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App Development: It’s Not all Fun

Apps – applications or executable programs to old school developers – have become ingrained in our lives as they become available for almost every walk of life. The slogan “there’s an App for that” was registered as a trademark by Apple back in 2009, and has become a trendy phrase since then. But it rings true as, regardless of it being Apple, Android or Windows, there really does seem to be an App for everything.

That makes App development an important role, but one that is made all the simpler by the growth of App-development tools, effectively putting everyone in the driving seat. But even with the overabundance of tutorials helping newbies along, App development is a lot trickier than it may seem, and creating professional Apps even more so.

Learn to Code.

Apple and Google gives us great tools for creating apps. For iOS we have XCode, for Android – Android Studio. These professional SDKs typically require a strong understanding of common software language, such as Objective C, Swift or Java which means a high level of skill. Using these, an App is developed from the ground up, rather than being the product of ‘pick and place’ elements as with online tools, so becoming expert in programming becomes a prerequisite, and that is no small task in itself.

While there are good examples of Apps made using online tools, to really create eye-catching and flexible App that does exactly what the user wants, you need to code and develop a real, bespoke, application. But that is likely to require hundreds if not many thousands of lines of code, each one a potential point of failure, so it’s essential to take it slowly, check functionality regularly and debug in sections, and this considered approach is going to take some time to do.

Manage the Project.

Time and resource need to be assigned and used properly, and that takes strong project management skills. Some tasks can be carried out concurrently, other can’t be started until others are finished and to make the timescale as short as possible a timeline – often referred to as a Gannt Chart – is needed to show what has to be done, by whom and when. Project management is an intensive job, and if you are doing that while coding too, you will have a lot on your proverbial plate.

Brainstorm – Regularly!

Of course, an App starts as an idea, but as it evolves, you need to ensure that it stays on track. Is the original idea still relevant? Does it need new features? You need to examine the concept and see if it still fits the current thinking. You may find that there are other Apps that may come out of it, but you won’t know if you don’t review it regularly.

So, having a great idea for an App simply isn’t enough. App development – proper App development – requires a combination of hard work, knowledge, and great business skills in bringing your vision to life. Everything starts with an idea, but that gem of understanding is just the first step in what may become a long and protracted journey.

If you have a great idea for an App, but think that all of this sounds like an awful lot of work, and you can’t code, why not contact Unity Developers, and let the experts in the game help you out?