Writing Your Own Apps: Getting Started

Smartphone users often wonder whether there’s really an app for everything. The answer is: not quite. If you have ever been disappointed after an app store search, take heart: you can write your own! This might not be a fun challenge for the technically-impaired, but if you enjoy learning new things and want to experience something new, writing an app is easier than you might think and infinitely more satisfying than you probably suspect.

Here are some simple tools and resources to help you learn coding, structure your app, and improve the final product. You, too, can build an app!

1. Come up with a concept.

Before you start building your app, you need to know what you’re working towards. Come up with the core concept – the one thing your app makes easier, faster, smarter, or less expensive. This is going to be at the center of your app, and all your development will focus on this one idea. If you’re trying to create an app that does everything, simplify it until you’ve built an app or two and understand how they work and some basic design principles.

2. Use an all-in-one tool.

If you have little time or brainpower to invest and want to just get your app built and out there, use a tool like the MIT App Inventor to generate an app based on your specifications. You can’t build in-depth software or program complicated games, but you can do simple things and release a branded app for your business. Different sections allow you to design, learn, and debug your app.

3. Look at app businesses.

A business like BuzzTouch or Infinite Monkeys will allow you to design, code, and publish an app for free. You can take lessons, organize screens, compile code, and do much more right on the website. These resources are better than paying someone to design an app for you if you want the experience of doing it yourself.

4. Build a game with GameSalad.

A great resource for learning how to build a game is GameSalad, which gives you visual editing software, interactions, and pre-made elements in order to build a game. You can use your own image and sound files or pre-made ones, and you can publish your app to the web for free or to an iPhone for $99/year.

5. Write it yourself.

This is the most time-intensive method, but it will teach you a lifelong skill that you can refine, reuse, and monetize: app development. If you can do this a few times, you will be surprised at just how much you learn! Buy a book or study online coding lessons like those offered by Buzztouch, then download the Apple development kit (you can test your app on a simulated iPhone screen for free, or pay $100 for the ability to access more tutorials, publish or sell your app, and more).

Writing an app isn’t actually an impossible chore, and with a little time and hard work, you might find yourself able to add “app developer” to your resume! Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of being able to show off your great app idea to your friends instead of just talking about what a good idea it is all the time. Before you know it, your friends will be coming to you with app ideas.

Author Bio:

Guest post contributed by Carla Gregson for BingoStreet.com – where else can you play great bingo? Carla is a freelance writer. She is a self confessed geek that enjoys keeping up with the latest changes in technology.

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