Apps are E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E! With over 25 billion apps downloaded on the Apple App Store and another 10 billion and more on Android mobile devices, apps are dominating more and more devices every day, faster than you can imagine. Do you ever catch yourself saying "I have an idea for an awesome app"? Well, it's about time you scratch that itch, and dive into our primer on app development for the iOS and Android platforms.
APPS DEVELOPMENT FOR THE SERIOUSLY INCLINED FOR APPLE
If you're serious about app development on the iOS platform, you'll first need to download the iOS Software Development Kit for the Mac platform (Mac only), which includes Xcode (the development environment) and Interface Builder, a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)) user interface design tool. From there on in, you can head over to the iOS Dev Center at http://bit.ly/JcRfXb to learn the ins-and-outs of iOS app development. Once you've tested the app on your local device, you will need to sign up for the $99/year iOS Developer Program before you can distribute your app via the App Store.
As with the iOS platform, you'll need the Android SDK set up on your Mac/PC, and we strongly recommend reading the Android Design guide at http://bit.ly/IhAlNK before you even write the first line of code. Speaking of which, if you're familiar with computer programming basics, head over to the Android Developers guide at http://bit.ly/Ibrs7x for a groundup tutorial on how to develop Android apps. You only need to cough up the registration fee ($25.00) when you wish to publish your finished app on the Google Play store.
APPS DEVELOPMENT FOR THE REST OF US
The trouble is, for most folks, the process of app development is still a bit of a mystery, not to mention the spiralling costs of hiring a programmer or the sheer intimidation of going it alone. Luckily, there are ways to create your own feature-rich Android and iOS apps without hiring a developer or wading through millions of lines of code. Most of these are simply tools that let you drag and drop app elements into app pages, not altogether different from using Word or PowerPoint.
- APPMAKR (http://bit.ly/JpT0os): Do you have a popular blog or Flickr feed, and want to make that into an iOS app for your readers? Using AppMakr, this can be as easy as point-and-click. You can add feeds to the app, from text-based feeds to Flickr photos or your Twitter activity, and the app then lets you customise the colours of design elements, the start screen, wallpapers and icons. It's really that simple. Be warned though, while the basic ad-supported service is free, if you want to go pro and get access to advanced features to build, publish, and monetise your app, you will need to pay a hefty $79 a month for the service.
- APP PRESS (http://bit.ly/Izn4hk): Familiar with design tools like Photoshop? You'll feel right at home with App Press, which allows you to use Photoshop or Adobe InDesign to edit predefined app templates to start building your app. You can even use the webbased content management system to manage your app look-and-feel. Subscription options are far more varied and flexible than AppMakr though.
- Andromo (http://bit.ly/Iepfst): Billed as the "App Maker for Everyone", Andromo is a web-based app development system for Android. Apart from letting you add photos and videos, blog feeds, music and social sharing elements, you can fully customise the app appearance as well. Free to use if you're willing to split your ad revenue 50-50 with the Andromo folks, and $99 for an ad-free app.
- AppsBar (http://bit.ly/IjYXnK): Want a quick and dirty app for an event? Try AppsBar-a free to use website that lets you create smartphone applications for Android (and iOS) devices. Select the app type, choose some look and feel elements, add in page -elements-and you can submit the app for publication to the Google Play store!
Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos