These days, coding your own iOS app is pretty straightforward. All you need is the right app builder, some coding knowledge and the right deployment steps. Test, refine, submit, and before you know it, you’ll have your own tailored iOS app ready for market. Below are some of the fundamentals you’ll need in place to get cracking.
Can I write an app for my own iPhone?
Writing and launching your own app for iPhone is pretty simple once you get down to it. In fact, with over 4 million apps registered on the App Store, you’ll likely spend most of your time brainstorming an app idea that separates itself from the competition, drives innovation and fills a consumer need that hasn’t been met.
If you have an award-winning iOS app idea in mind already then more power to you! If you’re still on the fence, then go in with the mindset that whatever you develop will have some features that stand out from the crowd, without needing to reinvent the wheel completely.
Here are the steps needed to build your own awesome iPhone App.
Step 1: Come up with a unique and cool idea that you’re passionate about, and use it as a practice run for getting the hang of building your app.
Step 2: List and expand on your app's unique features and selling points while doing as much market research as possible to determine whether there is a large enough need for your service.
Step 3: Create app mockups, graphic design templates and user interface guidelines with tools like Sketch, Figma or FramerX.
Step 4: Download Xcode (Apple's integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS and start developing your app framework using Swift language. Or outsource the work if time is hard to find.
Step 5: Submit your App to the App Store, and once approved, start marketing your brand-new iPhone app to the world using in-app advertising, App Store Optimization (ASO), influencer marketing and other methods.
What programming language is used for iPhone apps?
While there are a few alternatives in circulation, the Swift programming language is by far the easiest option out there to create your App for iPhone.
Swift is powerful and intuitive and at the same time easy to learn and fun to implement. Having been around since 2014, Swift is the preferred choice for iOS, iPadOS and macOS programming. Swift is behind all the big name apps housed on the App Store, including Youtube, Instagram, Spotify, LinkedIn and many others.
To get started using Swift you’ll need to have a Mac with either a Mavericks or Yosemite operating system, Xcode 6, (which we’ll get into in a bit), and most importantly, a good understanding of Swift that will help you bring your app to life over time, with the right coding.
As programming languages go, Swift is fun to learn and easy to get the hang of. That said, if you're at the very beginning of your Swift programming journey, you’ll need to put in at least an hour a day for around a month to ace the fundamentals. Sign up to resources and learning portals like Code Academy, Udemy, Swift.org or similar to get started.
Once you have your Swift knowledge base down, you’ll use the Xcode Integrated Development Environment (or IDE) to put your skills to the test and roll out your iPhone app to the masses.
Remember, if you’re short on time, you can also outsource your app development to skilled professionals, or find paid software that cuts dev time in half. Some options include:
Hiring an app development company: who’ll take care of development, project management and roll-out, but usually at a pretty hefty cost.
Partnering with a programmer: where you’ll either need a proven track record or a killer idea, since skilled devs are always in demand and always short on time.
Use an app builder/template: that will take care of the integration and leave the design and aesthetics up to you. The downside is you’ll pay a monthly subscription to keep your app in circulation until (what feels like) the end of time itself.
The bottom line? It pays to keep control in your corner. Learn the fundamentals of Swift and XCode and when it’s time to put your app in motion, you’ll be in the driver’s seat.
Can you code your own app?
Coding your own app is totally doable, although pretty time-consuming. To get started, you’re going to need access to XCode and Swift. It’s been said that if XCode is the English language, then Swift will be your alphabet. When building an iOS app, one can’t exist without the other.
Xcode is Apple’s official Integrated Development Environment (or IDE) for Mac and iOS developers. The Xcode IDE pulls together all the tools needed to build your own iPhone app in the quickest possible time, including a project manager, text editor, debugging tool, and an interface builder. You can download Xcode free on the App Store and start developing your new iPhone app from your Mac or mobile.
If you’re going the full nine yards and choosing not to outsource your app development, it’s time to learn Swift. The language is integrated into XCode, but you can also download it by heading over to the official Swift site (https://swift.org/download). Install the package file and make sure you have the right version, which should be 5.1. After that, all that’s left to do is start building.
To quickly recap the steps you need to code your own iPhone app.
Step 1: Download and install Xcode 6, the latest version of Xcode, compatible with Mac Mavericks and the Yosemite operating system.
Step 2: Create a new Xcode Project. Launch Xcode and on the Welcome Window, select “Create a new Xcode project”
Step 3: A new sheet will appear where you can select your “target operating system/platform” as well as choose your template in the “Application” panel.
Step 4: From there you’ll need to fill in some project details and select further options to configure your coding panel.
Remember, you can also download Swift (https://swift.org/download) and practice on your own before heading over to XCode and starting a new project.
How hard is it to create an app for an iPhone?
While we did say that Swift is easy to get to grips with and the initial coding can be learned quite quickly, there’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question. Conceptualizing, developing and rolling out your own app for iPhone depends on a few key factors that may or may not influence your effort and turnaround time. Below are three of the main things to take into consideration when building your iPhone App.
Time: There’s no doubt about it. Creating your own app for iPhone will take time. You’ll need to learn the ropes of Swift and Xcode, build your basic language, roll out your minimum viable product (MVP), beta test it, refine your features, generate user feedback, submit it to the App Store, deploy it and market it. It all comes down to time. How much time can you spend building and refining your app? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Once you know how much time you’re committing, you’ll be able to plan ahead. On average, even simple apps still take a few months from initiation to delivery.
Budget: Knowing how much of a financial buffer you have will dictate how long you can afford to be tied up in development. The less financial backing you have, the less time you have to work with. Producing your own app can cost anywhere from $500 up to $50,000. Put together a budget, list out your administrative, infrastructural and support overheads and limit your deployment/revision stages if you’re starting to run short.
Difficulty: And lastly, it all comes down to what you’re building. If your app is filled to bursting with a range of new and exciting features, your dev time will inevitably be far longer and possibly much harder. A good rule of thumb is to start simple. Get your first edition product out on the App Store and add new features when you start to see increased installs and stronger interest.