Why Creating iOS Apps Isn’t Easy

Many people want to create an iOS app. While there are many companies and programs that promise to make this task easy, they all have tradeoffs. Either they cost a lot of money or they’re too limited to create any but the simplest apps.

The free solution is to learn Xcode, which is Apple’s free editor/compiler. Unfortunately, learning Xcode isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

First, you have to learn a programming language. Xcode supports Apple’s two official programming languages, Objective-C and Swift. Of these two choices, learn Swift and ignore Objective-C if you can. Objective-C is far more confusing, convoluted, and complicated than Swift. In fact, Apple created Swift specifically to fix all the problems of Objective-C while still being equal or even better than Objective-C.

So if you ant to create iOS apps, you must first learn the Swift programming language. This by itself isn’t that difficult because Xcode offers a feature called playgrounds that lets you practice writing Swift code without the hassle of writing complete programs. With Swift playgrounds, you can test your ideas out quickly and easily, so Swift is the best programming language to learn and use for iOS development.

Once you learn Swift, you have a second task in learning how to use Xcode. Xcode contains multiple commands for professionals, which means novices will often feel intimidated by the program. Fortunately you can sue Xcode without knowing or using all of its features. However, this means you must learn both Swift and Xcode.

Now to make matters more confusing, you not only need to learn Swift and Xcode, but you also need to learn Apple’s Cocoa Touch framework that provides commonly used code to create iOS apps.

So if you want to learn iOS programming, you have to learn Swift, Xcode, and the Cocoa Touch framework. That’s three different topics you must master before you can even start writing an iOS app.

If you have a burning idea for an app, the first step is never to start writing a program, but to figure out if your idea is any good in the first place.

First, ask what problem your app will solve. Next, ask other people if they might find your app useful. Finally, ask yourself why you want to create an app in the first place. If your only goal is to make money, chances are good you won’t make money because obstacles will appear and frustrate you long before you can complete your app and start making money. Unless you actually enjoy programming, don’t think creating an app will suddenly make you rich.

In fact, most app developers don’t make money. There are so many apps in the App Store that new apps get lost in the crowd everyday. That makes it hard for potential customers to find your app and even if they do find it, they’ll be far less likely to pay for an unknown app. That means you must find ways to convince people to try and eventually buy your app.

In other words, that requires taking time to learn how to market your app. If you thought learning Swift, Xcode, and the Cocoa Touch framework were enough, now learning marketing is a fourth task you must master as well. Without marketing, your app won’t attract many sales and you won’t make a lot of money (if any).

It’s still possible to make money selling apps, but it’s not easy, simple, or fast for anyone to do so. If you’re creating an app, be prepared to market and support it for years. In other words, create an app because it will solve your own problem or because it’s fun. Don’t try creating an app just to get rich because chances are good you won’t.

Creating an app isn’t difficult but is tedious and time-consuming. Unless you’re willing to put in the time to learn, then spend your time more productively doing something you really enjoy. If you really enjoy programing, then start learning Swift, Xcode, the Cocoa Touch framework, and marketing.

Who knows? You might wound up having fun and making money, but that’s only if you enjoy learning and mastering all these tasks simultaneously.

Creating an app isn’t any harder than mastering any skill such as learning to rebuild a car engine or knitting a quilt. It just takes time and desire. If you don’t have the desire, you won’t make the time. If you do have the desire, you will make the time and then you’ll find the world of app creation can be far more rewarding than just the financial rewards alone.

December 7th, 2016 by
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