Creating a mobile application and getting it out to the world isn’t as difficult as it first seems. Are you looking to create an application that can do something completely new? Maybe you just need one that’s a lot like what others in your market are doing–but branded specifically to your business. Perhaps you’re trying to tie your brand to a fun mobile game. Whatever your wish, there’s a way to get your app out there. Read on to find out how to release a mobile app within an economical budget.
Developing Your Mobile App for Android or iOS
You can do it cheaper than you might think. PhoneGap.com will do it for free (although they’ll be implementing $249/year support in the near future). There are other cheap and free ways to get your mobile app built. You can even use the Google App Engine to develop applications for Android, and have them host and support it for $9 a month.
You can also hire out development without having to worry about spending a ton. You can likely find students from Craigslist, a university or community college who will be happy to create an app for you at a reasonable cost. The tools above should make it easier for them–and less expensive for you.
Another good thing about using free and inexpensive development tools is that they can speed up the process. You can find a few more resources in this Mashable article.
Things You Should Do Before Putting Your Mobile App on the Market
Whether you’re developing for Android, Apple’s iOS, Windows or another operating system, there are a few steps you should take to make sure your app is ready for the world.
1. End User License Agreement
While not required by all platforms or marketplaces, an End User License Agreement (EULA) just makes good sense. The biggest reason is the protection it gives you: it can literally save your business’s future from the litigation-minded. It also makes your app look trustworthy and professional.
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2. Double-Check Your Resources
Whether you’re running on your own servers, Google’s cloud servers, the Amazon Cloud or elsewhere, you need to be 100 percent sure that users will be able to download your mobile app at any time! It’s important to make sure all of your servers are online at all times.
If your app will need to connect with these servers in order to run on user devices, or if you expect heavy user adoption (i.e. lots of downloads) straight out of the gate, consider load testing your servers to see how well they do (and to see if you need to change providers). And don’t forget to warn your provider with a 24-hour notice before your app goes live!
3. Don’t Forget the PR!
Regardless of what Hollywood may tell us, “build it and they will come,” is rarely a realistic strategy. Even if you choose not to advertise heavily, a press release to your favorite media (blogs, magazines, and specialty publications that serve your market) can give you a huge payback. If your app has a paid version, see if you can make it available for free for reviewers.
How to Release a Mobile App for the Android Market or Apple Store
The Android Market (now part of Google Play) and the Apple Store are the two best places to release your mobile App when it’s done. Google charges a $25 registration fee, while Apple charges $99 a year for a developer’s license.
Google’s Android developer center offers help along with an app publishing checklist so that new publishers will feel right at home (they even offer tips on promotion). They even offer advice on promotion, utilizing Google Badges, and more.
Many developers have complained that Apple’s App Developer Guidelines are too strict. But like them or not, you have to comply with them. Getting your iOS application approved by Apple can take a little more time than one for Android. But being able to fly on both systems will prove well worth it.
Jessica’s interests run the gamut from tech and gaming to literature and writing. She spends much of her time writing about game development for mobile platforms and reading up on the latest mobile gaming trends.