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App development: Before you get started

Some useful need-to-knows!


Recently I was given the opportunity of creating a mobile app. This app had to be developed for both iOS and Android and it was my first. My very first app.

So I had no idea where to start or how. I had never developed anything using Xcode or Android Studio. So I ended up using a very popular HTML5 Hybrid mobile app framework named Ionic. This post isn’t about Ionic. I wanted to just touch on the few items that became troublesome for me throughout the build and after.

So here’s a list of some of the items I wish I had known before I started the whole process.

Apple

Name

Have a name for your app figured out. And you’re going to need more than one

  • The long display name that will appear in the app store.
  • The name that appears underneath the icon on the home screen.
  • The name that you will use throughout the developing process to name files, certificates, ID’s, etc. These names in particular will be set in stone. Of course they won’t be exactly same but they do need to relate. Just having this little name will help you so much and also in the future when you are developing other apps.
 Certificates.

This is a must for any app in the app store. From development to production. Luckily apple has lots of documentation to guide you along.

Testing.

Since you’re going to be testing your app you’re going to need a device to test on. In order to do this you’ll need a Developing Provision Profile that will allow you to debug your app on a device. This documentation here will guide you through everything you need to know and do to set up a device for testing.

Distribution.

Apple provides lots of helpful documentation that I didn’t take into consideration in the process of my build. I regret this immensely. The main reason I skipped all of this was because I was developing an app in ionic, I had the impression that ionic would do all this for me or have step by step process of distribution in apple. Although ionic does provide a lot of documentation this was something that they missed. Whether you’re building your app with ionic or not get real familiar with Apple’s App Distribution guide. This is really helpful for your first time developing an app for the App Store.

Android.

Android + Ionic was a much simpler process than it was for Apple. So I really don’t have much to add for Android development and distribution.

Name 

Same goes for Android as it does for Apple. You’ll be using these names in different areas but it’s the same concept. The Google Play store title, app icon name, ID’s, etc. Get this figured out in the very beginning.

Android Studio and Android SDK Tools

Android studio comes with the latest SDK tools and even if you’re developing with a framework like ionic you’re going to need to download Android Studio and get familiar with it.

Publishing

Android has great documentation to get you ready to publish with Google Play Store. This page will give you an idea of what you’ll need.
As I mentioned above, Android wasn’t as involved as Apple was. Well at least for me and using the Ionic framework. Testing on a mobile android device was much simpler also. The issues I had focussed mainly on Android SDK tools and getting ready for publishing.

I’m sure that everybody has a different experience when developing their first mobile app. My issues consisted of what I mentioned above. I didn’t need to understand each one completely before starting but being aware of them would have saved a lot of headache and trouble shooting throughout the process.

Gregory Yanez

With a degree in interactive media and computer science, Greg’s a technological wizard who does more than get his ratio of salsa to guacamole right…he knows how to build a gorgeous website with a CMS so clean it’ll bring tears to your eyes.

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