iphone appsCell phone apps (or applications) are all the rage. Phone apps let you do all kinds of things, including surfing your favorite Websites, get directions to a driving destination, play games, watch movies, check your email, even do your banking. Apps have made life easier, more convenient and entertaining for hundreds of thousands of cell phone users.

The largest market for cell phone apps is the iPhone and the Android users. These two platforms have the largest share of Internet-based cell phone users than any other. This tutorial will teach you how to make money off of apps for these two platforms.

An unlikely app success story is the Fart App which made tens of thousands of dollars in its first month of release. Game apps are also extremely popular. Some of the most loved moneymaking game apps include Angry Birds, Oregon Trail and Infinity Trail. It seems that the public’s fascination with phone apps is ongoing, so you might as well cash in on the craze.

Every Successful App Starts as a Great Idea

The same is true of any product that becomes profitable: it all started out as someone’s idea. Whether you’re an IT whiz or you can barely fire up a computer, if you have a great idea you have the potential to make money off of it.

So forget about learning computer programming for now. Start by spending some time getting ideas. Talk with friends and colleagues. Surf the Internet and see what’s already out there. At the same time, try to discover what ISN’T out there that you might be able to provide. Spend time in gaming forums. Ask questions, elicit comments. All of these things will help you come up with an idea, or develop one you already have.

Once you get past the idea stage, it’s time to start planning. Again, don’t worry about programming issues at this point. Instead, focus on developing your idea from start to finish. If it’s something simple (like the fart app) it can probably be developed relatively quickly. Game apps, on the other hand, are going to require a great deal of thought and may take weeks or months to plan out.

Taking comprehensive notes and drawing diagrams (especially for more complex apps, like games) is essential. Write out how your app is going to work. Don’t worry at this point if writing isn’t your thing. It’s more important that you get your thoughts onto paper and less important that you spell correctly or use proper grammar.

You should also make some basic diagrams. Some creators find it helpful to diagram as they write out their plans. Others draw a diagram before or after they write out their thoughts. Do whatever works best for you. And again, don’t worry if drawing isn’t your forte. Crude stick figure diagrams are fine and will give you enough of what you need to move on to the next step.

Getting Your App Off of Paper and Into Source Code

Next it’s time to work on turning your ideas into software. There are basically two ways to do this: write the program yourself, or get someone else to do it for you.

Writing an app program isn’t something you should tackle if you have no understanding of programming. While it’s true that some 12 year olds have created apps, the average 12 year old isn’t capable of doing this. Neither are many adults. You’ll only waste time and potential profits if you try to do this part yourself without the right skills.

Instead, you may need to think of other ways to get the actually programming part done. Chances are good that you’re going to have to hire someone else to do it for you. Naturally this will cost you some money. However, if you have a hot idea, you’ll recoup your investment quickly.

You can find professional programmers through online freelancing sites, or from within your community. Check out local IT companies and computer retailers for leads.

Another, possibly less expensive option is to find one of those brilliant 12 year olds (or teenagers) to build your app for you. They work more cheaply than adult professionals. Contact local schools and colleges to find tech-savvy students.

Yet another option is to enlist a programmer as a partner. Many successful ventures (Facebook, for instance) got started this way. Instead of up front cash, find a partner/programmer who is willing to design your app for a share of your future profits. (If you take this route, make sure you draw up a clear legal contract first.)

If you know a little bit about programming yourself, you may be able to learn how to create your own app program. In the next section of this tutorial we’ll show you a couple of ways to create your own app program, starting with the iPhone platform.

How to Program Your Own iPhone App

Every cell phone maker has its own operating system on which all of its software runs. For an app to be compatible with the iPhone, it must be created using iPhone software. Here is a step-by-step guide to making an app that will run on the iPhone platform:

1. how to make appsUse a Mac or Mac Emulator: The iPhone is a Mac product, so in order to create an iPhone app, it will need to be written using Mac software. If you don’t own a Mac, beg for or borrow one (or do your work at a public library that has a Mac lab). You can also use a Mac emulator that comes with the IPhone App Development Course HERE.

2. Register with Apple Developer: You must be registered as an Apple developer. It only takes a few minutes to create your user account. It’s free, and you don’t have to register every time you upload a new app.

It may take weeks or possibly months to get approved as an official developer. That’s why you should take this step right away, so that by the time you finish making your app you’ll be able to upload it right away.

3. Get the right software: You’ll need to download the iPhone Software Developer Kit (SDK). It will take a bit of time to learn how to use this software, so be sure that you watch all of the tutorials it contains so you have a good understanding how it works.

After you download SDK for iPhone, you’ll need to download the latest version of XCode. XCode “has a streamlined new interface that integrates UI design, coding, testing, and debugging, all within a single window,” according to Apple. Both of these software programs are needed to create your app.

4. Start creating your program: SDK is packed with templates which you will be able to use to make your app. Simply pick your template and add your particular information.

5. Learn Objective-C: This is the actual programming language used to write all of Mac’s software programs. This is the trickiest part of creating your iPhone app. Again, don’t attempt this unless you’re somewhat of a techie. Otherwise, it might be time for you to invite in a pro (or a brilliant kid).

If you’re going to try this part yourself, get your hands on the book Learning Cocoa with Objective-C by James Duncan Davidson and Apple, Inc. This resource is crucial to getting this step right.

6. Test your app: Developing your app may take weeks or months. It all depends on its complexity (if it’s a game, count on spending several months on it). Once it’s finished, you’ll need to test it and make sure there are no glitches.

SDK comes with an iPhone simulator. You simply upload your program into the simulator and start testing. (Again, testing could take some time, like in the case of a game with multiple levels and lots of variables.) If you find glitches, it’s back to the drawing board. Getting it right can be tedious, but it’s critical if you hope to appeal to your market and actually make a profit.

7. Upload your app to iTunes: There’s a fee for this (around $100). Consider it a cost of doing business, and motivation to make sure your idea is spectacular.

8. Enlist others to test your app: This is like a writer getting someone else to edit his work. Other people are more likely to pick up on things that you didn’t. Testers will help you make sure your app is user-friendly and can also help you gauge its market appeal.

9. Officially submit your app for approval: This is where the rubber meets the road, so make sure you’re app is really ready before you do this. The approval process can take months. You don’t want to wait only to find out your app has problems and can’t get approval. Once it’s approved, it will go up for public sale in iTunes’ app store.

How to Program Your Own Android App

Like apps for the iPhone and the Mac system, Android apps must be compatible with the Android operating system (a subsidiary of Google). One of the advantages of the Android platform is that it’s open source. This means that getting approval for your app may be as onerous a process as it is for iPhone apps.

Creating an Android app is similar in many regards to creating an iPhone app, the major exception being different coding and different software required. Here are the steps for creating your Android app:

1. Register as an Android developer. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create a basic Google account to do this. Peruse the publishing terms so that you have a good understanding of what regulations you’ll have to adhere to in order to publish before you begin creating your app.

2. Android apps are created using Java code. If you don’t already have it, you’ll need to download a Java development kit. You’ll also need to download integrated development environment (IDE) software. Eclipse is one, and it’s free. (Make sure you extract Eclipse in the same directory on your computer as Java.)

3. Download a version of the Android platform. Finally, download the Android Software Development Kit (ASDK) program.

4. Add the Android development tools. These are found in the Eclipse program. Put them in the same directory where you stored the ASDK.

5. Install your Android SDK to Eclipse. This will allow you to eventually test your app within the program.

6. Create an Android Virtual Device (AVD). Go to Android SDK and AVD Manager and follow the instructions. (You may want to test your app within the various versions of Android. If so, you’ll need to create a different virtual device for each version.)

7. Now you can start developing your app.

8. Test your new app. As already described, do this within your AVD(s). Debug it if needed (it will probably have at least a few bugs).

9. Send your app to market. The most effective and easiest way to do this (especially for a beginner) is to publish it to the Android Market using your Google account ID. You must agree to the terms as set out by the Android Market, as referred to in Step #1.

Marketing Your App

All that’s left to do now is market your app. The least you should do is create a Website to promote your app. Include links to your marketplace(s) or a button that lets users download it directly from your site. You might also choose to advertise it through a PPC program.

However, the most successful apps are those that were promoted mainly by word-of-mouth. Mobile device users talk with one another, and when they find a great app they let other users know. If you have a killer idea then it’s most likely that your best business will come from users who spread the word to other users.

Hope this helps,

Related posts:

  1. Make Money Blogging
  2. How to Make Money on Ebay
  3. How to Make Money on Youtube
  4. How to Become a Secret Shopper and Make Money
  5. Make Money Website Flipping

(10) comments

Drayle Patrick says:

November 10, 2011 at 4:37 am

Thumbs up Scott! You give me an important suggestion. I have been working to do a project and this article provides the missing piece. Thanks

Brandon Frasher says:

November 18, 2011 at 5:48 am

You are really teaching us how to earn Scott! Your article above is often discussed in I.T. schools. But in my case, I earned a respectable sum even I do not techie by collaborating with programmers. The competition is tough but the key is to think out of the box.

Vincent Davidson says:

November 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Is this covered by some copyright or patent rules? Someday I will be like Mr. Zuckerberg or Bill Gates.

Krizza Lopez says:

November 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Really? I thought only microsoft, et al. can make applications. I never thought that this seems to be a common knowledge. Computer application is not rocket science after all.

Scott says:

November 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

No, you can develop any app you wish as long as you don’t copy someone else’s app.

Warner Bush says:

December 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

I want to develop my own app. Can you refer me to a online instructor? I think I could easily learn if the instruction is more interactive. Appreciate your help!

Roland Button says:

December 9, 2011 at 8:00 am

I do not intend to copy somebody’s app but what is the best way to avoid this without me taking so much of time searching the net to check what is available already?

KIm Bang says:

December 20, 2011 at 6:31 am

Yes, try making apps. It’s a bit difficult at first but I earning now better than when I worked in a fast food chain crew. You may not be techie but as long as you have brilliant ideas then you can translate that into a program one way or the other. There are lots of geeks out there.

Gab Kurts says:

December 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

I would love to develop my app of my own. Nobody wants to reinvent the wheel. But its seems there are so many apps around. How could I know that a certain app already exists? I mean is there a website which offers a list of all registered apps?

Scott says:

December 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm

You can search for apps or look on the various app stores such as the android app store or the Apple app store.

Leave a Reply