Genesis of an iPhone App

By Curtis Dicken

If you own or have had a chance to play around with the Apple iPhone you probably already understand the appeal of the phone and its user interface. And it's not just the navigation and sleek interface that is the draw, it's also the incredible number of applications that can be purchased and downloaded from the App Store. With literally thousands of applications being offered for the iPhone you can spend countless hours previewing and downloading applications.

Making money with an app

Is there really any serious money to be made selling iPhone apps? There sure is, if your app achieves popularity among iPhone app buyers. If your app appeals to just 1% of iPhone app buyers you could realize tens of thousands of dollars in revenue even after Apple takes their 30% cut. There is also no rule that says you have to sell your app. Many companies are developing apps for free distribution as customer service tools. For example, a leading insurance provider recently released an app for their customers to submit claims via their iPhones. If your company is thinking about creating an app for distribution via Internet or intranet you may want to consider buying into the iPhone Developer Program.

What you need

First and foremost you need a good idea for an app. You'll also need to make sure that your good idea wasn't someone else's good idea last month. The only way to really do that is to thumb through the app store looking for a match with your idea. Of course, that doesn't guarantee someone isn't currently developing that same app as you though there is no way to know if that is the case.

Once you have your stellar idea your next step will be to become a registered iPhone developer which can be done at http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/start/ register/. Registration gains you access to the iPhone SDK as well as other development, community and documentation tools.

Next you will need the tools to develop your app. All iPhone development must be done in Apple's Xcode environment. Once you are registered you can download Xcode for free at http://developer.apple.com/technology/xcode.html. Install Xcode and the iPhone SDK then you will have everything you need to begin developing.




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