This is officially the first episode in The Polyglot Developer Podcast! I’ve spent a long time thinking about creating a podcast, but now I can officially say that I’ve followed through with it. Episode #1: The Requirements for Developing Mobile Applications is an episode that I’ve broken into several parts because I feel there are different kinds of requirements.
Those three topics should be considered by everyone looking to develop their first mobile application.
Because I know many of you would much rather read than listen, I’m going to explain some of my podcast episode here in this particular post.
When I develop a web and mobile applications in general, I like to ask myself two questions before I even start to think about writing source code.
If you don’t have these two things mapped out, your final product is going to be all over the place, in the wrong sense.
Are you going to be developing a utility type application or are you going to be developing a social media type application? Maybe it is neither, but it is important that you know what it is you hope to develop.
After you’ve decided what type of application you’re building you should really learn who your audience is. If you’re developing an application for yourself, then this doesn’t matter too much, but if you’re developing this application with the intent of having others use it, you should really know who those others are. If you’re making a niche utility application, will the demand be enough to make the effort worth it?
Finally, in the planning phase I ask myself if all the required components are available to me. For example, will this application be accessing data from the internet? If it will be, can this data be accessed easily and for free?
If you followed my last step, you now have a general idea on the type of application you’re going to build, who you’re building it for, and are all the required pieces available to you already.
Now it really comes down to, do you have the tools and finances necessary to complete the job?
To develop mobile applications you’re going to need a computer. I know many will argue that you can probably develop applications using a tablet and some paid services, but I’m going to say you need a computer. This brings us to the type of operating system you’ll need to get the job done.
If you want to build Android applications, you can use Linux, Mac OS, or Windows without issue. Essentially any operating system that supports Java. However, things change when you decide you want to develop iOS and Windows Phone applications. If you want to develop iOS applications you must be using Mac OS with Xcode installed. Likewise if you want to build Windows Phone applications you’ll need to be using Windows (at least for now).
I know I mentioned three different types of mobile applications (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), but there are different ways to build them. You can use the native approach or the hybrid web approach. Both will leave you with an application, but using different programming languages.
If you’ve got all the equipment and the skills, you’ll need to double check your finances. As of today, the costs to publish in the various app stores is as follows:
|Google Play||$25.00||One time fee|
|Amazon App Store||Free|
Not the most expensive things in the world, but these are requirements that you have to consider.
Planning and developing an application isn’t the only requirement when it comes to a mobile application. You need to nurse it and promote the success of it until it can survive on its own.
So how can you get the word out on your fancy new app? Last year I mentioned a few things that could help in my post So You Made an App, Now What? and many are still valid today.
My favorite ways to get the word out are with Twitter and my blog, but I’ve also dabbled with advertising. People report different successes with advertising, but I find it doesn’t help me as much as social media.
Getting the word out isn’t everything though. You need to make sure that the word is good. You’re going to get reviews in the various app stores and those reviews are not always going to be nice. You need to respond with quality customer service, address problems, and convert those negative reviews into positive reviews.
To have a good app, you are required to follow through after you release it.
I’ve made some recommendations regarding some of the requirements necessary when building mobile applications in my first podcast titled The Requirements for Developing Mobile Applications. Everyone will have their own set of requirements that may or may not differ from mine.
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