5 Things You Must Know about Creating Your Own iPhone Apps

create-iphone-appsFor the last couple of months (as pointed out in my latest income reports), I’ve been working vigorously on creating new iPhone apps. We currently have 4 available in iTunes, which has grossed us a total of $6798.64 during the first quarter of the year. We’re super stoked to have 8 more apps scheduled to be released in less than a month.

Over the past weekend, 3 of our new apps were completed by our developers and are ready to be submitted to Apple for approval. More apps = more potential passive income streams.


Since many of you (and I really do mean many!) have been emailing me and asking me for more info about creating iPhone apps, I’ll be writing more about my experience in individual blog posts, such as this one.

If you want to get into the iPhone (or iPad) app industry, here are 5 things you should know first:

1. You Don’t Have to Develop Your Own iPhone Applications

“I would love to make an iPhone app, but I don’t know how…”

This is a phrase I hear too many times, and I’m here to tell you straight up: you don’t need to know how to program.

I don’t.

All of the iPhone apps that I’m associated with were developed by other people. These are people who understand programming who can build apps better and faster than I ever could. I just supply the ideas.

There are thousands of companies and individuals out there who make a living by programming apps for other people. It’s still a little weird to me because if I were them, I’d make apps for myself instead. But, they exist – and I know a lot of people who are taking advantage of the opportunity.

For example, Jackie, an SPI reader over at MoneyCrush.com, hired a developer to create her own iPhone app, Pay Off Debt.

Recently, MJ Wolfe, another SPI reader over at ResidulsandRoyalties.com, is awaiting his first outsourced app to be approved (which was done for only $125).


Even if I knew how to program apps myself, I still think I would hire other people to do it for me anyways.


Because I can multiply my efforts and even get work done while I sleep. That’s exactly how I can have 8 apps on deck for the near future.

2. Any Type of App Can Be a Success Story

Every day, iTunes showcases the most downloaded and most profitable applications, and every day it surprises me.

Some of the top apps are actually useful, some are clever, funny, and some are just plain weird or stupid. But, it’s safe to assume that these apps that become the top downloaded apps are raking in some serious dough.

There is some luck involved, but there’s a lot of other factors involved too, which I’ll save for a later blog post.

3. Getting Your App Made and Approved is Only Half the Battle

The truth is: getting your app approved by Apple doesn’t mean you will make money or even get noticed at all. Developing an app is NOT a “magic button” for success or riches.

I hope you know by now that nothing really is.

Anyways after your app is approved, there is a bit of promotional work that needs to be done in order to give yourself a fighting chance to get noticed and gain some momentum. Also, because the iTunes store is actually a search engine, keywords are important to optimize as well.

How much additional work is needed?

It’s hard to say because sometimes a good app can market itself. Sometimes, all it takes is one person with a little bit of influence to start a huge wave of downloads for you.

4. It Takes Time To Create an iPhone App

The tough part about creating an app is that from the moment you have your idea to the moment your app is approved can take quite a long time, especially when you’re not developing the app yourself and all you’re doing is waiting for the people you’ve hired to get back to you.

One of my apps took over 2 months to get developed. Other apps (more recently), have taken just a couple of weeks.

Of course, it depends on exactly how complicated your app is too.

My advice: get started soon, but be patient.

5. Free Apps Are Profitable

The most surprising thing to me is how profitable FREE applications can be.

For example, we have two versions of one application:

Shake Shake Pop & Shake Shake Pop Lite

One is a “lite” version with only one level, and the other is the full version of the application.

Free applications get downloaded far more often than paid ones because, well, they are free. Because of this, it was our intention to “feed” people from our free version to the paid one, which is a marketing strategy that is used quite often in the app store.

As a trial, we put ads on our free version – just to see what would happen. Surprisingly enough, our FREE version running ads is far more profitable than our paid version. In fact, our paid one earns upwards of $10 a day, while the lite version consistently earns between $30-60 a day.

It’s crazy.

And the “cool” part is that the money coming in from free apps are more residual than the money coming from the paid apps.

Here’s why:

Apple takes 30% for each sale of a paid application. So, with a $0.99 application, you actually keep about $0.69 per sale. After you make the sale, that’s it (unless you have what’s called “in-app” purchases, which can earn you an additional income after the initial purchase, although Apple’s cut still applies).

With free apps that run advertisements, the download is free, but anytime anyone clicks on an ad, you get paid (just like Google Adsense). This means that you have more opportunities to earn money from each download. People can click the ads on day 1, day 2, day 60, etc.

Of course, the advertising companies take their share as well, and ads running on your application do annoy some people, but they can be very profitable.

As you can see in a screenshot on this “How to Create iPhone Apps (With No Programming Experience)” eBook sales page by Free the Apps! (a well-known iPhone app developer team who also outsources their apps), they made a whopping $56,366.69 in Advertising Revenue from Free Apps in ONE MONTH.

Yes – one month.

I had the pleasure of reading through their eBook myself and I’ll definitely be adding it to my resource page, because it’s probably the most extensive guide to outsourcing your iPhone app that you can find anywhere. I even felt the need to leave a nice comment for their sales page as they begin to launch their new eBook too.

(Disclaimer: I was not paid to write about “Free the Apps!” or their eBook, however the link above and on my resource page is an affiliate link for their product.)

Final Thoughts

Am I making enough money from my apps to live off of?

Not yet, but I’m slowly getting there. And who knows, maybe one of the new apps that we’re making hits the top of the charts and we make it big. I’m sure you’ll hear from me if that ever happens!

Overall, it’s been a great learning experience and seriously a lot of fun. If you have any specific questions about iPhone apps that I can possibly answer for you in the comment section, or in a later blog post, please feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to respond.


  • http://www.designbynice.com Joseph

    As a freelance graphic designer I was looking to graphically design an app and out source to a developer to actually build the app. Are their any good developers/development teams you can recommend ?

    • Pat

      There are a number of teams on Elance that are actually very qualified. I’ve worked with about 5, and most have done superb, quality work for me. I recommend checking out elance.com, typing in iPhone applications, and then sifting through some of the providers and reading their feedbacks and reviews :)

      • http://www.designbynice.com Joseph

        Thanks Pat I will defiently be checking elance out … I look forward to reading more about your app progression and look forward to seeing them do well !

      • http://www.eclecticdesignstudio.net K.Hill the Direct Response Design Diva

        Hey Pat, would you be willing to share the elancers you’ve worked with with us/me? I promise not to blame you if things don’t work out well (smile) but picking from elance is tough because one has no point of reference among all the choices. Like picking the best cupcake when they all look scrumptious. I’ve been burned with elance even with good reviews so I’m a bit gunshy:)

        Also, is it reasonable to expect the developer to handle the approval process or is the ball in my court on that one?

        • http://www.lfclondon.co.uk/ Chris Gilbert

          Too right they should be doing the approval process. Unless you’re developing something that you know up front is on risky grounds, the stuff you’ll get knocked back for are poor memory management (Apple don’t like you crashing their devices!) and using external libraries illegally.

          Both of the above are programmer issues and would need sort out by them (for free I might add cause they should have done if better in the first place!)

      • Luis

        Hey Pat,

        I am definitely a newbie at this whole App creation business. But I have a great idea for an iphone app that I have desperately been trying to create. I unfortunately know absolutely nothing about the process, or even the right direction to go. I looked on elance and did find a few APP creators that I may look in to. Would you recommend any in specific? Or have any advice or suggestions for me?

  • David Lindop

    Hi Pat, thanks for sharing as usual. I love the fact this is a totally different form of income compared to your other affiliate and ebook channels – it’s a really varied portfolio (if that’s the right word) so hopefully you’ll be protected if one dries up unexpectedly.

    Do you provide the developers with a UI? Or do you outsource the design too?

    Do you promote the apps elsewhere, or just leave it to chance that iPhone users will find your apps via the store?

    • Pat

      David – diversity is key, and I think iPhone apps are a great channel to work with. I’m hoping none of my current income streams dry up, but I’ll be safe if they do.

      To answer your questions, sometimes I give them a UI if I want an app to look a very specific way (and I outsource that as well most of the time), and other times I just leave it up to them to create the UI for me. They do need some kind of guidance though.

      Lastly, we do promote on iPhone app review sites as well, which has been hit or miss really.

  • http://www.entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

    Well put together, Pat. I was always skeptical about the approval process
    . It would be a shame to spend money to develop an app and not get it approved but looks like you have had no issues with that.

    • Pat

      It does happen, so one must realize that there are a few things once can do to minimize the chance of being rejected. Even if your app is rejected, Apple will work with you to get it approved. In fact, a couple of our apps have been rejected a couple of times, but after a few minor changes (which the developers are usually willing to do, because they want your app to be approved too), they were approved!

  • http://www.venturemixx.com Tony Ruiz

    That’s awesome Pat! I have a few app ideas and I’m definitely going to look into developers. Are you going to get into iPad apps? I’m interested on hearing your thought about that.

    • Pat

      I was thinking about it, but the market is still new so I’m trying to choose my battles carefully. Developers are charging a bit more for the iPad right now just because of the buzz behind it, so I may get into that later. Definitely not out of the picture though!

      • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

        It’s not just because it’s new. The iPad is more of a cross between a phone and a laptop than anything else. So apps on the iPad can do more than iPhone apps, and therefore require more work. More work means developers need to charge more for their product.

  • http://www.RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com/iheadlines/ Karol Gajda

    Thanks for this Pat! It’s because of you I created my first iPhone app, which was released a week ago. (I sent you a redeem code through your contact form.) I appreciate all the info you’ve been providing with the App business.

    • http://www.jewelry-secrets.com Jewelry Secrets

      You should list your app so we can take a look! :)

      • http://www.RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com/iheadlines/ Karol Gajda

        Hey Jewelry Secrets (if that is your real name, hehe),

        I didn’t want to link to the App because I don’t want to use Pat’s blog to promote my stuff. That said, if you click the link to my Web site it goes to the App description page.


        • Pat

          Karol – thanks, I appreciate you looking out for what get’s posted on my blog, however – feel free to reply with a link. I think it’s relevant enough to the topic, and may provide some inspiration for people. So…you have my permission! Hehe. Thanks!

    • Pat

      I did get that email, thank you Karol, and congrats on your first app! I’ll leave you a review once I get it downloaded. Thank you! Cheers!

    • http://www.RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com/iheadlines/ Karol Gajda

      Thanks Pat, I appreciate that! :) The App is called iHeadlines – Instant Blog Headline Generator and more info is here: http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/iheadlines/

      (my server is currently being hit hard by StumbleUpon traffic so it might take a bit for the page to load, sorry!)

      • Pat

        I guess that’s good news through, right?

        Awesome app – I love the idea, and it’s perfect for us bloggers! Thanks again!

        • http://www.RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com/iheadlines/ Karol Gajda

          hehe, yeah, it’s always fun when a post goes viral even if the visitors don’t stick around. :)

          Thanks again Pat. And like I stated in the e-mail, I’m writing up a “how I created my first iPhone app” post and I’m linking you prominently. :)

  • http://www.wpsplittester.com Richard @ WpSplitTester

    Fantastic information. Looking forward to learning lots more about iphone app development here as it is something I am keen to get into though there isn’t too much information available.

    • Pat

      Thanks Richard, hopefully I can provide you with some helpful info!

  • Bart Jacobs

    I have one comment, though, with respect to bugs and updates. Being an iPhone dev myself, it is vital to be able to push updates as soon as (major) bugs are discovered (by yourself or your customers). Your customers will definitely let you know when something’s wrong with your app (especially when it’s a paid app). In order to respond to these bug reports, you’ll have to rely on the devs you hired as they will be the ones solving the problems and pushing the updates. The question then arises how passive this kind of income is. As Pat said, much depends on the complexity of the app. It is possible to ship a product that is bug free, but with more complex apps this is (virtually) impossible.

    It is also important to keep your app ‘alive’. As with many passive income streams, they tend to have a peak or plateau and then slowly die. By keeping your app up to date and adding features over time, you keep the app alive and your users interested, which means a significant extension of the lifespan of your app (and your investment).

    Personally, I wouldn’t take the route of hiring a dev to develop apps (no matter what platform) … probably because I’m too much of a control freak ;-). Besides, iPhone development is awesome and it has an amazing community. Maybe some of you should give it a try ;-).

    It is interesting to read about app development from an investor’s point of view, Pat. Well done and I wish you all the best of luck with your upcoming apps.

    • Pat

      Great tips, Bart. Every point you made is totally true.

      In regards to bugs, some developers allow you to contact them after your app is finished after a certain amount of days to have any bugs fixed. Some 30 days, some even 60 days I’ve seen, which is great. The trick is to do everything possible with your app before the end of that time so you’ll know what to fix. If you can, obviously fix all of the bugs before your app goes live. Hehe.

      Thanks for your comments Bart, and I wish you the best of luck as well. Do you have a link to your company’s apps on iTunes? I’d love to have a look!

  • http://www.bunnyhop.com.au Kelly

    Thanks for the insights into getting an app developed.

    I’m curious to know who submits the app to the iTunes store. Do I need to create my own developer account to upload from, in order to have complete control of the app even if I didn’t develop it?

    Thanks for your help

    • Pat

      Hey Kelly – no matter what, you’ll have to have your own developer account to upload from, even if you didn’t develop it. Some developers, however, are willing to go into your account to upload the app for you, since the process is a bit cumbersome at times.

  • Susan

    iPhone app development seems like a great passive income stream. Great tips and resource. I may just check that out! Thanks!

    • Pat

      You’re welcome Susan! Let me know if you ever have any questions!

  • http://www.residualsandroyalties.com Michael-John Wolfe

    Thanks for the mention Pat! (But you spelled my site wrong – it’s residualsandroyalties.com) It was you who motivated me to make my first app and if this one goes well, I already have a second app planned. If possible, it is also a good idea to get a Google Andriod version made of your app, since there is much less competition on the Android app market. My app should be going live on the Android market today. Best of luck with your apps!

    • Pat

      Doh – sorry about that. I made the changes in the post. At least the hyperlink was correct, hehe.

      Anyways, I don’t know much about the Android market yet, so I may be contacting you for some help with that. Second app, already? That’s awesome! Keep up the great work, and I look forward to reading more about your projects soon!

    • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

      As an iPhone-only developer who’s looking into Android, I’d be curious to know how your Android app fares compared to your iPhone app.

  • http://www.iamasource.com Alex

    Hi Pat! I completely agree with you regarding the importance of outsourcing the developement of an application. Each project needs a part of development, a part of control, communication etc. to be realized. Thinking of managing all these aspects at best is very difficult. One of the things I learned in these years is to focus on their core competencies and skills. “If you are not able to do something, you better make the professionals do it”, people who studied and is 100% focused on the development of a technology. Reaching a professional level in application development requires much time and time is money (something that often is not considered). I always think of how much time (and therefore money) I can save outsourcing to a professional freelancer, while I lay the ground to launch the application, the website or the new product I have commissioned.This is what I’ve learned and I’m putting into practice. Hope it can be helpful!

    • Pat

      Great words of wisdom, Alex! I think you’ve got the perfect mindset for something something like outsourcing applications. Good luck with everything!

  • http://www.idrawdigital.com Drezz

    Thanks for the info. I was alerted to Free the Apps from another friend of mine. Perhaps this is a sign that I should have a look at it and consider coming up with some app concepts.

    • Pat

      Based on what I know about you and your creativity, I’m sure you could come up with some great app concepts.


  • http://experimentsinpassiveincome.com Moon Hussain

    Pat, good stuff! I’m definitely interested in this arena and look forward to it, but I have a few other fish to fry first :)

    That’s amazing that someone made that kind of serious cash in one month, that’s some peoples’ entire salary for a year!

    • Pat

      They’re a team of two people, but still. 60k split two ways is 30k each in one month. Crazy!

  • http://www.jewelry-secrets.com Jewelry Secrets

    Thank you Pat. You have given me some great advice here. Things I’ve been really pondering about my own app, and that’s the difference between free and paid. I am so happy you as so open about these things and talk about them and how much they make. Your transparency is wonderful. Now I’m off to revamp my app… :) Thanks again! I now feel like I can do this thing.

    • Pat

      I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Good luck!!!!

  • http://www.jewelry-secrets.com Jewelry Secrets

    By the way Pat, I tried to retweet this and an error pops up saying “Failed to resolve the URL in the tweet”

    • Pat

      Hmm, that’s weird. Is it still giving you that error?

      • http://www.jewelry-secrets.com Jewelry Secrets

        I just tried it again, and now it went through! :)

        • Pat

          Oh technology…how I love and hate you. (But mostly love). lol

  • http://www.moneycrush.com Jackie

    Hey Pat, thanks for mentioning my site and app :)

    I’m definitely going to have to check out the free/lite idea, especially now that the app store is becoming still more competitive. Marketing is where my focus is at right now though. What sort of marketing do you do for your apps? I’m trying out a contest right now.

    In addition to having Pay Off Debt developed for Apple products, I had a version of it made for Android. I was curious how it would perform there, and so far it’s doing much better on Apple.

    • Pat

      No problem Jackie!

      Did the same developer create an android app version for you, or did you have to go to somebody else? I heard the language was totally different, so you might have to end up paying the same you would for another iPhone app. Right now, I’d rather stay in the iPhone market, however I’m sure the android market will so blow up. We’ll see I guess!

      • http://www.moneycrush.com Jackie

        It was the same development company, although I worked with a different developer within that company.

      • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

        Android app are built using Java, generally, and Google’s Android SDK framework. iPhone apps are built using Objective C and Apple’s Cocoa framework. They are very different. I’m an iPhone developer currently learning Android a tiny bit, and what I’ve seen so far isn’t very pretty! :)

  • http://mkakan.com mk akan

    great info…will really need to dig into apps and stuff.its a great way to earn residual income…thanks for sharing…

    • Pat

      No problem, Mk Akan! Anytime!

  • http://www.profitaddiction.com Profit Addiction

    Great post! I think everybody is looking for additional income streams and this is an amazing analysis. Thank you!

    • Pat

      Thanks PA. Hopefully I can continue to provide useful information about iPhone apps in the future for everyone. Cheers!

  • http://www.campusbyte.com Jay Willingham – CampusByte

    I definitely want to get into the iPhone app game. I’m wondering if I need a partner or not. Do you have a partner that you work with Pat?

    • Pat

      Hey Jay! Exciting stuff!

      You don’t NEED a partner, but I do have one. We split the costs and the jobs we do, which has helped quite a bit. I do know a lot of indy developers who are one man teams, who are just blowing it up! (in a good way, hehe)

  • Ryan

    Great info, as always. I appreciate giving all of us a peak behind the curtain.

    Keep it up.

    • Pat

      No problem Ryan – thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.highertrustmarketing.com/blog/ InfoGuy

    Great information Pat – two questions:

    1. Do you use any sort of NDA or contact with your developers to protect your idea or keep them from stealing it?

    2. Have you noticed any particular type of app being more popular than others?


    • Pat

      Hey InfoGuy –

      1. Yes – we usually use an NDA “just in case”, but these companies make apps for a living, so it would be detrimental for their business to steal an idea.

      2. It’s hard to say, because Apple does a great job of categorizing the apps, and within each category there are different kinds of apps that are popular. And it seems like they come in waves. Once one type becomes popular, other similar apps rise up the charts too. Then another one comes along, and it starts all over again.

      • http://www.MatthewHooper.com Matt Hooper

        Is the NDA that you are using generic or is it one that you have a lawyer put together for each app you want developed? Any other thoughts on this would be helpful.

      • Ken

        Hi Pat, despite having NDA:
        1. will it be possible for developer to also submit a similar app that they have developed for client to App Store with just a minor tweak?
        2. does copyright automatically belong to client that had paid the developer?

    • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

      Games are by far the most popular. Over half the revenue in the App Store is from games, IIRC.

  • Pete

    Great share, thanks alot for this post Pat!

    And by the way, wonder why nobody told you yet, BUT your “SPHINN-IT”-Link is missleading. You should check upon that!

    Pete from Impress-Girls.com

    • Pat

      Ahh – I can’t believe this is the first time someone pointed that out. Thanks Pete! I’ll look into that right away.


      • Pete

        You are very welcome!

        Looking forward to read your next article!


  • http://www.creativepassiveincome.com Randy

    Great post! I’m still trying to figure out my true passion, but keep dreaming about the apps world. It’s time to take the plunge! Question on marketing the app. You mentioned IPhone app review sites, but have you done any marketing with the app as you would with an affiliate product? Ie: Article, Videos, etc….

    • Pat

      It’s tough, because things like Article marketing and videos probably work, but you can’t really tell by how much. You can track clicks over to your iTunes page for each app, but you can’t tell exactly how many of those people actually buy or download your app.

      We’ve also tried Social Media, which seems to help create a little bit of buzz too.

  • https://www.newappidea.com Alan

    Hi Pat,

    Great post. Your first point is the idea behind our service NewAppIdea.com (https://www.newappidea.com). NewAppIdea.com is a community where people with creative new app ideas but no programming skills meet and hire expert app developers and programmers.

    After reading article-upon-article about people turning their app ideas into app store success stories, we became frustrated with our inability to find a qualified developer to turn our own app idea into a reality. We also sensed that we were not the only people out there with great ideas and searching for app developers. From that experience NewAppIdea.com was born.

    App Idea People simply post their app ideas, App Developers submit quotes and compete for the opportunity to develop those ideas, and users can pick and choose which App Developer they want to hire to create their apps.

    The NewAppIdea.com Team
    New App Idea | App Idea Development
    (follow us on Twitter @ newappidea)

    • http://inventionaddict.com/blog/ Stephen B. | InventionAddict


      There was a typo on the link you posted, it picked up the parentheses.


  • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

    If you wonder why your programmers aren’t just churning out the apps themselves, its probably one or more of these reaons:

    – lack of idea. Coming up with good, viable app ideas is not a skill everyone has.
    – lack of entreprenuerial spirit. Not a bad things, some people like just doing one thing well and not trying to be the next big success story.
    – lack of scalability. When you factor in everything else about creating and selling apps other than the actual coding part (eg research, marketing, customer service) creating 20-30 apps of your own as a coder would probably become burdensome.

    Great post as usual Pat. Gets the old mind gears turning :-)

    • Pat

      Thanks for the insight, Paul. I think you’re absolutely right. Maybe a partnership between a developer and an “idea person” would be the perfect combo.

    • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

      I know a lot of people don’t want to believe this, but another reason us iPhone developers don’t churn out apps ourselves is because many, if not most, apps on the app store don’t make money. You hear a lot about all the successful apps because they’re awesome stories to hear. But nobody writes stories about the thousands of apps that haven’t made back the time and/or money invested in them.

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com Andrew@BloggingGuide

    This is really a great idea! You may not be earning much from it yet but in time you will. I’m so sure of that!

    • Pat

      I’m pretty happy with our earnings from our iPhone apps so far. I mean, a lot of people struggle to make that much in a much, so we’re really happy and feel very lucky to have found as much success as we have – although obviously it’s not CRAZY amounts of money, yet. We’ll see though! Just gotta keep working at it!

  • http://sidsavara.com Sid Savara

    Hey Pat,

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the free versus paid apps change now that Apple is getting into advertising too. My opinion, I think they noticed all this revenue “leaking” out of the app store and are looking to cash in (and hopefully, also make it more profitable for developers)

    Not sure how things will go for 3rd party ad providers though

    • Pat

      Yeah – I think you’re right. We’ll see how well the iAds thing works out for developers too, although they’ll probably have a lot more options, and the ads will look a lot better. We’ll see!

  • http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com Chris Guthrie

    I see it’s been mentioned before a couple times, but I would echo that it’s worth porting the apps to Android. It is a much smaller market and there aren’t 385,000 paid apps to compete with like there are in the App store.

    • Pat

      Chris – you’re number is a little skewed. There are about 180,000 TOTAL apps (paid and free), right now. But obviously that number is climbing, and I wouldn’t be suprised if they didn’t reach 385k by the end of the year.

      That’s not the point though, and I think you’re right. The android market is still relatively small, however it might take twice the amount of money to invest in developers (if you are outsourcing your work), because it’s a totally different platform, and developers have to start almost from scratch with them.

    • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

      It all depends on both the product and the marketing. I’ve heard of some Android success stories, but most often I hear about how poorly an Android app fared compared to its iPhone counterpart. Now that the Motorola Droid is making such a big splash, however, that may change.

  • http://evengrounds.com/blog Julius

    I think when you’re developing iPhone apps, it is always good to try it with VoiceOver. This ensures that people who use this assistive technology would be able to fully enjoy the application you’re selling.

    • Pat

      Thanks for the insight, Julius!

  • Ron

    Really enjoyed this one Pat, had to comment. I’ve been putting together some business plans to get into the app business and this is a great starter resource. I do have a question though. Is it more difficult to create and distribute an app depending on its type? For instance, would a video game app be more expensive to outsource and sell in the market place, and have you guys ever tried creating and selling any?

    • Pat

      Hey Ron, thanks for the comment. We haven’t done video games, because 1) it’s SUPER competitive. Not only do you have the indy developers like me in the market, but you have the big names like Electronic Arts, for example, who are always on the leaderboards. If you were to outsource a video game type app, especially one involving a lot of animation, etc., I would imagine it would be rather expensive. Definitely about $10k based on my experience.

  • Jessica

    Hey there Pat, I love all your information on your site and really feel like you have gave me alot of insight on things.

    I am wanting to create an i phone app.,and I have had ideas for 2 differents ones in my head for quiet some time,but you stated on your blog,I TOO thought you had to know programming .I have looked through e-lance.com, I found someone to do this for me, but I am not sure as a newbie how much $ is a good amount for doing this, and how much is too high?

    Also, one it is created…then what? Would you just contact apple and let them know you have an exciting new app.

    Thanks so much and will be looking forward to any advice you have to share with myself and other readers:)

    • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

      There’s no fixed fee for an app because every app is different. I’d take a look at eLance and see what kind of projects are going for how much to get an idea. You should be able to judge from your app’s complexity how much an app on eLance would cost you. Note: I have no experience actually USING eLance. I happen to think that the developers there are selling themselves short.

      The creator of “Vision Board” and “Gratitude Journal”, who is not a software developer, had someone else develop those small apps for her. She discusses exactly how to do it in here eBook: http://iphoneappsecrets.com/

    • Pat

      I agree with Henning, the app cost really depends on what kind of app you want to get made. I’ve had bids on projects for only $500, and others for above $6,000. You’ll have to compare and contrast with other developers, and make sure you look at their portfolio and feedback as well.

      Also, since you’re a newbie, I’d recommend either picking up the book I mentioned, or having your developer walk you through the submittal process. There’s a very specific method thatyou have to go through in order to get your app approved, which is far too long to explain in a post. There’s essential a program you have to sign up for ($99), which gets you a developers license and then access to an iTunes Connect account. From there, you submit your app, and they review it and approve or deny it. There’s more to it than that, but that’s the jist of it.

      Hope that helps, and best of luck to you on your project!

  • Jessica

    Thanks so much for the above information. What is a good price to pay someone to design an app for you? As a newbie going into this I hate to be over charged..

    • Pat

      It really depends on the type of app you want to build and how complicated it is. I’ve spent anywhere between $500 and $4000 for an application. If you place a bid on Elance.com, you’ll get a wide range of prices so you’ll know kind of what the average price would be, and can make sure you’re not being overpriced by one particular company.

    • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning

      There’s a difference between designing and app and building the app. The design encompasses the look and the interaction. Often developers taking a design from their client and build the actual iPhone app from the design. It makes the developer’s job much easier when you know exactly what you want in an app, and communicate it effectively. Other times, the design is left up to the developer. In which case, the developer will go back to the client with design proposals that the client will choose from and/or change.

  • Jessica

    Hey guys thanks for the reply back :) I have been brainstorming and have several creative ideas so we will see what becomes of it. I would love to become as successful as Pat ,and some others of you, on making passive income.

    I have worked from home the past 3 years, but alot of it is small wages…and I just want more out of working from home :)

    Thanks again for the replies and I will be reading others q and a’s on your site as well.

    • http://na B. Mervar

      So, do you develop/design apps?
      I have some ideas but little money. Don’t we all?

  • L

    What you thought of an iPhone app but it’s already been developed. Or there are several of them out there. Do you recommend developing it and being the competition or try to find an app that’s never been done?

    • Pat

      That’s a tough question, L. I would approach it like anything else, if you think you can join the market for that type of app, and do it better, than you may have a profitable product. We just released an Anti-Theft Alarm System app, and it definitely wasn’t the first one (I think there’s at least 10 of them), but we’ve still seen good success with it.

  • http://www.myadventuretoday.com Wesley Craig Green

    As usual with your posts, my brain juices are a-churning. Now I’m thinking about putting together some iPhone app ideas I have bouncing around in my head and seeing what comes out of it. The more income streams, the better.

    Thanks for the great post, Pat. Cheers!

    Wesley Craig Green

    • Pat

      No problem Wesley! Thanks!

  • jared

    I am going to take the plunge and have an app developed.

    A question on process – do you engage and have the designers do 100% of their work before the developers even start programming? That would be my guess, but please let me know what your experience has been.

    • Pat

      Hey Jared – awesome! Good luck with it!

      Usually, it’s better to have the designed done before hand, or at least a major part of it, so that when your developers are ready to add in a design, it’s ready to go. What usually happens is the developers will create a skeleton or very watered down, basic version of the app, and then add in the graphics on top of that afterwards. So, you’ll probably have time if you hire both at the same time, but like I said if you can you should try and get the designs done beforehand.

  • jared

    Two more questions – and I appreciate all the help
    1 – I am struggling with finding the balance between keeping the app simple with a core idea, and designing in every possible permutation and use of the the core idea. Any thoughts?
    2 – Do i need to decide whether to include space for advertising before the app is developed? In other words, is the advertising something that is developed in to the app or somehow added by AdSense? I have not made up my mind on whether to charge for the app or give it free an rely on advertising.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    • http://www.chewyapps.com/ Henning


      1 – I would go with enough functionality to make the app useful and sellable. Then you can add more functionality later. It’s actually good to update the app, because it makes the app more visible in the store.

      2 – Ads are something that are built into the app. Depending on how the app is designed, it might be relatively easy or pretty hard to retrofit with ads. It’s a good idea to keep ads in mind right from the beginning, even if they’re not used.

    • Pat

      Yep, Henning answered your questions perfectly. However, the more complicated you get with the app, the more money you’re going to spend.

      Lastly, regarding your second question, you might want to think about developing both. We’ve submitted a number of apps that have both an ad version for free, or a paid one without ads, and you can make money on both.

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  • http://www.yourdesignblog.co.uk Szabi

    I’m definitely going to have an app developed. I was thinking to do it myself as there are some techniques and programs that you can actually use simple web development languages and wrap it in this X code environment (somehow). The program is called phonegap. Although I think working with pro developers will give more freedom for the creative mind. I’m wandering how much an iphone app dev could cost. Probably it depends a lot on complexity and features but 150 bucks sounds like a great investment. :) Thank you for this post Pat. This was the first time I read your blog and it’s really great. :)

    • Pat

      Hi Szabi – I think $150 is a bit low as far as how much it would take to get an app developed. The cheapest app we’ve done was $500, and our most expensive was $4000. Who knows though, you might get lucky and find a willing developer to do it for you for cheap. Good luck with everything!

      • http://www.yourdesignblog.co.uk Szabi

        Hey Pat,
        I think 500 is also very reasonable or even more. I think it also depends on the app. There are some solutions where you can build an app even with simple XHTML etc. I wrote a post backin April about this: http://yourdesignblog.co.uk/technology/develop-your-own-iphone-app/2010/

        Maybe dividing the whole process and trying to outsource parts of it and do some on your own can save you a decent amount of money. Anyway I already have some ideas and definitely going to give a try to the iphone app development. Thanks for all the useful info guys you share here.

  • http://jonathanbutterworth.com Jonathan Butterworth

    This may be a question that was already asked (I didn’t read through all 89 comments) but how do you come up with the ideas for your apps?

    • Pat

      Actually, no one has asked that question yet. The ideas just come from random things that happen throughout the day. No special techniques, just brainstorming and trying to be creative! Thanks Jonathan!

    • http://www.yourdesignblog.co.uk Szabi

      Actually I think this is a question which can be very important. Because iPhone is just engage users in so many different ways than the “regular” PC-laptop-handheld button pushing old-fashioned gadget do. If you look at it from usability point of view, you have to consider many other factors than usually. Of course it also depends on what type of application you are going to develop. A useful one with some lifesaving features or an entertaining game? Great question Jonathan. I think I’m going to write a post based on this.

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  • http://jonathanbutterworth.com Jonathan Butterworth


    You inspired me to create my create my first iPhone app. This app was more of a test just to see how the process works. After 2 weeks it was approved and is now in the App Store. I run a local beer blog in Austin, TX and pulled in various feeds from our content to the app.

    I didn’t hire anyone for this one but have several ideas I have started working out on paper for a revenue generating app in the future.

  • Brian

    Thanks for the great and inspiring post. I have made a few Google widgets, but I really want to get into apps. This post will be my starting point.

    I got here on Stumble but I will definitely be back!

    • Pat

      Oh sweet Brian – I think since you have experience with Apps already (albeit Google apps), you’ll have that much of a head start. Good luck, and hope to see you hear again soon. Cheers!

  • http://www.shabbylaneshops.com Catherine Monceaux

    Hi, I am trying to learn about business apps, There are large companies that have their business apps on Iphones, how are they doing that? Like our local hospitals have an ap that shows E/R wait times, I would like one for my business for marketing purposes. I know those are different than going through the ap store, just not sure the process, thanks!!

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  • Manny

    I love your site! It’s very inspirational and motivating.
    I wanted to ask you what type of entity did you form for the app dev company and why? Also besides the cost to develop the app, what other set up costs did you have?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Chris

    There are some existing resources on how to develop iPhone or iPad apps yourself. You don`t need programming experiences, just build upon the provided example source code, comments and guide.

    Give the following page a chance to show you how…

  • http://mediaboxvideos.com free streaming movies online

    Damn, very nice website. I really explored this on Ask Jeeves, and I am really happy I did. I will definately be revisiting here more frequently. Wishing I could add to the discussion and bring a little more to the table, but I’m just sucking up as much knowledge as I can at this time.

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  • Alex

    I have a good app concept, so lets say I hire someone to do it for me. Will it just be one price or would they have to get a share of your profit made by that app? Any help would be appreciated, and very nice website by the way:)

    • Henning

      Depends on the arrangement you make with the developer. Most don’t want to share profits, because that’s basically a partnership, and he doesn’t know you. Most developers just prefer to be paid for the work.

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  • http://www.fever18.com fever18

    I think when you’re developing iPhone apps, it is always good to try it with VoiceOver. This ensures that people who use this assistive technology would be able to fully enjoy the application you’re selling.

  • http://www.uptomark.com Jimmy

    Great thanks. Your tips are really important for all those who are want to develop the iPhone apps. Cheers…!!!

  • jfieres

    Hey, great blog, great info.
    Outsourcing seems to be the great topic here. Here’s how outsourcing works when you actually DO know how to program: I do all the fun stuff (creating ideas and, yes, programming) by myself, ad have the communication work and additional artwork done by others. So, I can control exacly how I want the app, and my turnaround time for features and bux fixes is only how long it takes from my head into the computer keyboard.

  • http://kurtrox.dyndns.org/forum/member.php?action=profile&uid=15 Ty Guillet

    I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information ,-.

  • http://brandoncordoba.com Brandon Cordoba

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to have an app interphase like iBooks? I have 16 individual apps planned out that I want to sell seperately (so they can pick & choose what they need) but have them all grouped in 4 different smaller groups (b/c they compliment each other) in 1 spot.

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  • Harry

    Thanks Pat for the inspiring article.

    I was looking to learn code and I got a headache when I attempted. Can you recommend any specifc developers from Elance? Also what are ball park costs to get an app developed?

    • http://www.chewyapps.com Henning

      Harry: what’s the ballpark cost of creating anything? The question is much too vague to answer. Your best bet is to ask something like “What’s a ballpark figure to develop an app like X.” (Where you specify an app of similar complexity to the one you want developed.)

    • http://www.customsoftwarebypreston.com/android-iphone-ipad Brett Miller


      In my opinion the minimum price for a professional app is around $3,000 (depending on quality and functionality). Any less than this and you are taking big risks…sorta like buying a car that’s too cheap to believe.

      Brett Miller

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  • http://www.LFCLondon.co.uk/ Chris

    The one thing I learnt from developing my first app is never to let the comments get you down.

    No app will ever satisfy every iPhone user and generally speaking, people that hate your app (trust me, there will be plenty it’s just a fact of life) are far more likely to post something highly offensive than those people that are busy happily using your app.

    Read negative comments constructively and try to learn from them (even if you have to read between the lines/vitriol). Consider getting a fellow deveolper, colleague or friend to act as a buffer between the comments and you to enable you to take the comments onboard.

    Ultimately, if your app dramatically improves as a result, you’ll sell more!

  • http://www.freemakemoneyadvice.com/ Erik Emanuelli

    Pat, thanks for sharing this post.

    I have some nice idea to develop, also for an app…

    I will use your tips.

  • http://www.pushmotivations.com Dave

    Your site and this post have been a great help in getting me started with making an app. I love how you share the little details that are only learned from experience. Thanks Pat.

  • Jon Russard

    Easy way to make a customizable app: use Nov8rix. (www.nov8rix.com). Don’t need to be an html expert, can design the screen backgrounds any way you want, give them your content, fill out a submission form, and Nov8rix pretty much takes care of the rest (less the Apple iOS account setup). Totally reasonable cost for both self set up and full service packages. And fast turnaround!

  • http://sporadicism-random.blogspot.com jer
  • http://www.techispot.com techispot

    well I learn much more for creating iphone app

  • http://www.fishfinderreviewsguide.com Fish Finders

    Pat, what would you say – on average – is the hit rate for making money with iPhone apps? 1 in 5, 1 in 3? I know this would depend heavily on how well you read your market, but from your experience, what would an average assumption be?


  • Caitlane

    Hey Pat! I was hoping you could give me a little more advice about how to get an app created/launched.
    -I’m only 18
    -I just started college in August
    -No job at the moment, just school
    -College student=limited money

  • http://bestmedicalassistantjobs.com medicare12345

    I love all your information on your site and really feel like you have gave me alot of insight on things.

    I am wanting to create an i phone app.,and I have had ideas for 2 differents ones in my head for quiet some time,but you stated on your blog,I TOO thought you had to know programming .I have looked through e-lance.com, I found someone to do this for me, but I am not sure as a newbie how much $ is a good amount for doing this, and how much is too high?

    Also, one it is created…then what? Would you just contact apple and let them know you have an exciting new app.

    Thanks so much and will be looking forward to any advice you have to share with myself and other readers:)medical assistant

    • Goni

      elance is good site as long as you are hiring a good development team (check for projects done, reviews and earning report), it costs more but it guaranteed you the good application. you should check with oDesk also, its also an another freelancing website however if you want any direct company I will recommend you Movil Technologies. Its a good company with responsive team.

      Development Cost:
      New/Low Level Company: $10/hr – 15/hr
      Medium Level Company: $12/hr – $22/hr
      High Level Company: $20/hr – $50/hr

      I guess, go with medium level company, its good. Don’t take risk to hire any new company OR hire any reputed company that is in the market from long time like http://www.moviltechnologies.com

  • http://recessionitis.com Jay

    Hi Pat,

    An old post but hopefully you see this comment. Can you speak a bit on the legal side of app development? I’d love to create an but I wouldn’t want to be infringing on another’s IP. What are your thoughts on the legal end when brainstorming an app?

    How much different does your app have to be from other ideas? (ex: Can I create a Angry Birds like game with chickens and cows? etc.)


  • http://www.cheapsolarpanelsforsale.com/ Nick@ solar panels for sale

    I remember when I first got my iphone how cool I thought all the apps were. i was downloading them all the time. But now I notice that there are so many, I tend to search less because it’s hard to find what I want out of the mess of apps.

    What effect do you think this is having? Are you finding it is harder to stand out in the crowd?

  • http://sazkove-kancelare.info sázkové kancelá?e

    No app will ever satisfy every iPhone user and generally speaking, people that hate your app (trust me, there will be plenty it’s just a fact of life) are far more likely to post something highly offensive than those people that are busy happily using your app.Thanks and wish all the best.

  • http://iweballey.com Deepak

    Thanks for the info’s! Your article actually helped me.

  • http://n/a Michael

    Pat you mentioned in one of your iphone apps podcast that you had a good outsourcing company you used for you apps development can you email that company info to me please I have several apps ideas in the works and need to find a good developer. Thanks so much!

  • http://www.customsoftwareybypreston.com/android-iphone-ipad Brett Miller
  • http://www.loans4tenants.com Jason Scott

    Great tips, I think there are a lot of people (me included) who have said “I would love to make an iPhone app, but I don’t know how…”. Theres no denying the popularity of iPhone apps, beiong able to create them is becoming an increasingly valuable trait.

  • http://www.loans4tenants.com Jason Scott

    Great tips, I think there are a lot of people (me included) who have said “I would love to make an iPhone app, but I don’t know how…”. Theres no denying the popularity of iPhone apps, being able to create them is becoming an increasingly valuable trait.

  • Steve Myers

    Well guys this is a winner such a great motivating site/blog, might have to take a few runs at it but I believe it’s a numbers game like anything else in sales. The more you have out there the more likely you will have a winner or 5. I sat last night and came up with 16 app ideas. I found out 4 of them were done already. Yes I am creative but can’t code my way out of a wet paper bag. However I do have my commercial Pilots license so I do have technical ability + 20 yrs in telecom. But I can’t write code. Ideas come from solving a problem or a need.

    SOOO if there is a developer out there who has some funding available then I would be willing to team up and get a few apps out there ASAP. I used to be a commercial artist in another life so I can do up whiteboard type things to get the point across.
    Hit me up if anyone is seriously interested. [email protected]

  • Steve Myers

    Also if anyone wants to partner up and provide funding I would be most interested in discussing potentials. 2-3 ideas being developed consistently would be something to strive for. I am in discussions at this time with a few educators to look at “alternative ways” to teach some things…to kids. Ideas like this will always be a good bet – Look at the target markets who buys and why…look at the top sellers beside games. Why, whats the draw? Tweens and teens are a huge market.
    Steve Myers
    [email protected]

  • Diana

    Thank you for this great article!!! I wanted to create an iPhone application, but I don’t have sufficient knowledge for this. After reading this article I realized that I can build my Iphone app using online app builders. After several searches, I found the most convenient service for me – http://seattleclouds.com. This service is more flexible to my requirements and isn’t too expensive. Now, I have created several applications and expect to be published in Appstory.

  • marc

    Pat, your story is interesting but how do you protect your idea before giving it to developer and how expensive is it to hire a developer and where do you usually find a developer.

  • http://N/A Franklin

    Dear Pat,

    i have a few concerns i’m hoping you can help me out. been trying to google my questions and unfortunately i got no answers. my app is related to photo apps. assuming it’s a paid app and i get lucky and alot will be using it, my problem is that like instagram millions of photo will be uploaded daily which in turns will cost me to get a bigger server/storage. my profits will be eaten up to buy these big data storage as more and more people will be uploading their pics sending out to friends. is there a solution for this or a company who will partner with me taking care of the storage and just have a profit sharing so i dont have to worry about data storage problems? they will only need to download the apps once the problem is when the pics will start to increase and more data is need to store them.

    and how can i protect myself from giving my idea to the developer without him running away with it? with software technology not even an iron clad contract can protect your idea from being stolen or they tweak it here and there and they take credit for it. i have done my research extensively and so far i know no one has this type of app that i have thought of…i hope! thank you very much!



  • http://N/A Franklin

    oh and last but not the least how and where does apple pay your royalty? through your bank? do they accept PAYPAL?

  • http://thezetastalk.com/?page_id=4 Tusher

    This is a good wap site,& healp full blog.
    Created with the permission of ZetaTalk.com, the Safe Locations app was created by the producers of
    “The Zetatalk ” to allow iphone users instant and ease of access and search to vital information regarding safe locations,
    along with a useful reference guide to safety and survival.

  • kanyasri

    Hey Pat,

    With your blog and comments and advises, i really made up my mind to get into this.
    Very nice blog, Very useful information and knowledge which you are sharing with others. Thanks and I will keep looking forward for more information.

  • Courtney

    I came up with an app idea yesterday that I have never seen before. So when you’re hiring someone to create it, how much are we talking? Also, how do you not get your idea stolen?! I’m worried about that!

  • http://startwithgarbage.net/ Start With Garbage

    Thanks again Pat. This is the second or third time I read this article and right now I feel more confident about creating my own apps. Hope to finish one very soon.

  • Amit singh

    can u plz kindly help me out.
    I have just started to do apps work.
    So plz can u tell me the way we can send our app. to itune, iphone etc for approval .
    And does it charge any kind of fee ,or is it free.
    Plz make me inform
    thank you

  • rana hamad

    this page is very helpful…..
    i have a question how much u have to pay apple for open a account for uploading paid application…..?
    kindly guide me……

  • Mike Dare

    @Rana – The Apple Developer account is $99 per year. That allows you to submit apps (free AND paid) over the course of the year.

  • Jennifer


    With all the apps out there approved and being developed, how do I know if “my” idea is already been done or not. I don’t want to waste my time if there is the exact same thing out there….


  • http://www.softest.nl Pawel

    I am seeking an advice on the way of delivering an iPad app to an individual customer. The app is made for just one specific customer, and the customer should be charged for the development costs. If the app were on the App Store, it might be downloded free by anyone, but only my customer would use it in a useful way. How far can I use my own provisioning profile instead to install the app on the iPads of the customer? My customer in no way would join any of the development programs, like company or enterprise …
    I see very little discussions on this kind of situations, which must be quite common. What is the best business model within the Apple framework?
    Thanks for anu clues.

    • Mike


      There are ways to do this very thing. During the provisioning process you would need the device’s UDID number. That’s easy to get using this app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/udid-tool/id377602501?mt=8 . If you go this route then only your client’s device would be able to run the program. You (or your developer) would build the app with the UDID and then send the client the .ipa file. They would simply drag the file into their iTunes on their syncing computer, then sync it onto their device.

      Hope that helps,

  • Jack

    Is there an easy way to search to see if there is already “an app for that?”

    • Light23K

      search the iTunes or google store with keyword from what your game is about.

  • gab

    Dear Pat,
    Somebody help me out to create a simple app that is complementary to a company product.
    He sent me Xcode file, now I pay $99 and create certificates, etc but I am finding really difficult to finish uploading the app.
    Is that something I can trust my developer to do, I mean he is located overseas, I dont really know him, so I tried to manage at least uploading and distributing the app, but I will prefer somebody else to doit..

    What can you recommend me?


  • Tania Emmanuel

    Hi, what kind of team is needed behind a successful app?

  • Just me

    If i hire somebody to make my app, that app would be upload into appstore for approval, with my account right?

  • jack

    Thanks for the post…But How can we promote our app and what are the things necessary for this app

  • josh

    how secure is this? how do i know that if i submit an idea that it will be rejected and then 5 months later i see the same idea available as an app but somebody else passed it off as their own and they are getting paid instead of me?

    • http://www.game-fun.net JonnyHilly

      ideas are cheap. usually if you have an idea, its been done before… the trick is to do it better than the last guy. Just think about games… there are genres, but rarely ever any really new original games. Its the same with apps. Many companies base their whole biz model on copying other apps / games, and just trying to make them better, or take a slice of the pie. So dont worry about it too much. You can always make them sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement)

  • Dave West

    Heres’s also an article about “transferring apps from iPhone to iPhone“.

  • rdvd83

    Download my app “Speedy Shark” today! Its free and fun! More apps to come as I am working on them now.

  • Light23K

    it’s not that programmers don’t want to make their own app, it’s that not everybody can come up with a good idea for a game and who knows maybe they have apps in the iTunes store but it just not making money so they decided to make apps for other people.I have a game being develop at this moment and it’s going to be around 2 months if not more before it’s done and i have used over $10,000 now might reach as high as $20,000 so the risk is huge for me but I always tell myself this”I rather tried and fail rather than never knowing if i could have succeeded”.I am taking a lot of heat from my wife and family for selling all my stocks and take out a loan to make this app, but they don’t know that I am doing this for them, so they all can have a better future.The only ones that think i will be a success are my 2 kids, they don’t know much because they are so young but they make my heart melt when they say “daddy, i know you can do it” in the end that’s all the inspiration I need.

    • Goni

      play safely sir. you have family responsibilities. Rather go with small idea and development. I hope your app is doing great.

  • Daniela

    Great choice of the topic and great article. I think that also design plays a key role when you are creating an app.. Publishing an application it can be a complex and frustrating process to carry out because of the amount of restrictions and guidelines set by each store. Speaking of how to design a perfectly user-friendly interface compliant with Apple requirements, I found this webinar very insightful. It focuses on the main design principles to keep in mind when creating your app icon and splash image. Check it out!

  • Adam

    Hi im really interested in creating an app and have a few thoughts in mind, how much do app developers charge for there service and I was also wondering how your apps were getting on, have any made it big ? thanks Adam

    • http://www.game-fun.net JonnyHilly

      basically you get what you pay for. IF you want a small, quick, cheap, app without fancy graphics you can get them done in a few weeks by one programmer. If you want a fully functioning high-end game with lots of graphics, animations, fx and Ai, then expect to pay the salary of 4 to10 expert developers for 4 to 12 months of work. So you can go cheap or expensive… depending on what you want to risk, and your confidence level of payoff on the idea.

  • Adam Densmore

    Wow. Thanks so much for that information. I’ve never learned programming, and I don’t plan to, but I want to make the app for myself. Is there any way to do that? For example, I want to make an app that people enter notes and thoughts into, and then can export various ways… all i’ve seen that you can do is make an app advertising for a business. Is that all there is out there?

  • Clay

    Where do you get the ads to put on your free apps from? I have tried to research ad agencies, but I don’t know how to find a agency to pay me to put an ad in my app.

    • http://www.game-fun.net JonnyHilly

      Well the easiest one is apple. If you make an iOS app, and integrate iAds…. apple serves the ads for you into your game/app automatically, and pays you directly into your bank account. You need to have a apple developer account though.

  • http://www.terraformcorp.com Ainslie

    Great job ! i like your all the great and useful tips…those tips are very informative..

  • Andrew

    Great points! If anyone is seriously interested in learning how to outsource an app, especially using elance, definitely check out appswithoutcoding.com

    It’s a blog a friend and I have just started, and I think it can really help provide some value to the people that have an idea but have no idea where to begin.

  • Jeremy Warlen
  • Goni

    Nice Post. I have my 2 games on store and i m getting nice revenue.
    I got my workdone from Movil Technologies. http://www.moviltechnologies.com
    I will recommend this company to all of you, its a good one. they do my iOS and droid apps.

  • http://magentocrux.mavenstore.com/ Nirav Sheth

    Pat, it would really be a great opportunity for someone learning from your experience that you have earned developing many successful iPhone apps to date. Appreciate the guidelines mentioned over here, truly seem to have been fostered from times of market exposures; fulfilling demands raised by the app users thereby.

    Yes, outsourcing an iOS app development to any reputed app developing firm is an idea being widely materialized though. Our app is created the way we wish. Marketing an app then can be a thing of putting many efforts in; yet quality approach never fails; usually ending up with lots of downloads and recommendations so far!

  • http://www.davaomedical.com davao

    Thanks to sharing article and nice services in your website…….


    • http://www.imobdevtech.com/ Dave Smith

      Awesome points are covered here and I recommend the best iphone app development company with high quality services like your post.

  • Jessica Rector

    Thanks so much for this post. I just loved reading it. I have a friend who has her own app but she pays a monthly fee to someone for it after it was created. If I’m outsourcing the development and design, and all rights will be mine, can I then just submit the app to Google Play or Apple or do I need to pay someone a monthly fee for it? I can’t find any info of what happens next once you have the app, can you just submit it to Google Play or Itunes or is there a step I’m missing? Thanks for your help.

    • Goni

      Someone is over charging you for services, there is no sense to pay money every month just for maintenance.
      I had my few apps on store and i never paid them again for my apps. I have full control on my apps and even company provided me all the source codes for my apps so in case i want to update my app i can hire anybody but so far this company looks good. I will suggest you to share your matter with Movil Technologies (www.moviltechnologies.com) they will surely help you with the things.

    • Jorge

      There are generally 2 types of development frameworks offered by app development companies, Custom & Platform. Custom app development companies build and submit your app to app store and deliver you the entire source code of the app once the project is completed. The entire development cost for custom apps is generally higher but you won’t have to pay any monthly fee once the project is done. As the name suggests, the app is custom designed and built from scratch. Any changes to the app in future will have additional cost and time.

      While platform providers will help you to build your app on their platform using existing design templates & functionality and allow you to submit it to app store but will not provide you the source code. The development cost here is low but you have to pay their monthly fee for using the platform. I guess your friend had built her app on a mobile development platform which is why she is paying a monthly fee.

      Other than this, I know a company that uses a hybrid framework which is a mix of custom & platform. They build custom apps and migrate them to platform in order to have the ability to make quick changes or upgrades in future. They also manage & monitor your app 24*7. You can find more info about them here: http://julysystems.com/mobile-development-solutions/

  • Janey J

    The number and variety of apps on the iPhone leaves Android in the shade still, even 3 years after this article was published! It’s probably why Apple devices hold their value so much on resale sites like http://www.sellmycellphones.com.

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  • http://mobile-app-development-india.com/ Jay Patel

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for sharing this post! As being app developer all the things you have mentioned in above post is really helpful to me. Great Job!

  • Yair W.

    Well done! Lately I’ve been learning Java Programming and I will later move to Swift so I can develop apps for Android and iOS. I love reading articles of people who made apps (Self developed or not) and see what they learned from their experience so I can learn about it aswell. I would lik you to get a bit more into app approval however as it seems to be something I know nothing about.

  • Subdividedkid

    Hi, I’m a new reader. Loving your podcast. I want to know how much money I have to raise to pay a programmer to program a pretty complex game app. I also want to know how I know if I’m being swindled or if that happens a lot. Those are my hesitations for jumping into a great idea! any thoughts are welcome.

  • Rob LaPointe

    We are into mobile app development and been rewarded for that by research firm, but here that I could understand the price ranges of an outs, we are located in Silicon Valley, California.


  • Tony Turkovic

    I have had a few bad experiencing with outsourcing app development and decided to fix the underlying problem… communication!

    I founded appR.co after a trip to India where I established an in person relationship with an amazing team. We do the design and product management here in states while they do the development. Doing so allows us to combine the creativity & design of the west with the technical skill & expertise of the east. The price benefits of outsourcing your work combined with the reliability and quality of work that you can only find here in the states.

    And then if we believe in you and your idea we may also decide to invest in your company. Our mission is simple, help entrepreneurs succeed. Please do contact us and tell us how we can work together!

  • SorinJackson

    Great information!
    If you are a beginner and want to build your own iPhone app then this is the best resource for building iPhone applications. I hope by following these steps beginners can easily build awesome user experience with in the app.

  • hooshang

    Tips for making the application referred to. Special thanks.
    نمای ساختماناجرای نمای کامپوزیتکرکره برقینمای کامپوزیت

  • AppWarrior

    Good read. Thanks!

    I have searched high and low for a bit of infor a revenue from adventising and this seems to give a few broad stroke ideas of it.

  • Piotrek

    Hi, and what about trust? I mean, developer can steal your idea or something, do you have any tip how to protect our ideas? It is my the biggest problem to move forward

  • Jordan Moy

    Please message me as I am curious for discussion potentially business opportunities and knowledge regarding this field. Most importantly, what is your other job since you are so passionate about developing and enhancing applications and second, your inspiration for apps initiated. Please contact me via email as I am curious about your life, job, and an optimistic, fruitful, and profitable partnership. (: [email protected] Thanks again for your input, blog, and openness towards your time.
    – Jordan Moy

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  • Nihar Sharma

    Thanks for sharing the information. This is really an informative blog for all the beginners as well as app developers.

    Whenever you are going to create your app, first of all you have to decide in which platform you want to make your application.

    App making is never an easy task. So if you are a newcomer in app making then you have to hire a developer or app Development Company. Presently iOS app and Android app are running successfully in the market. For my app I have hired IndiaNIC Infotech Ltd..

    And the company made my app very user friendly and I am very happy with my app. If somebody wants to make their own app they can visit: http://www.indianic.com

  • Shpak Olesia

    thank you for the great article! but the only thing you should know about iPhone it’s that you can play poker on it! :)

  • tony kimtai

    thank you. that really helped, i’m actually working on an app right now and i hope it makes it to the top in kenya.

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  • Roy Young

    I have an app that is ready to be published and cost about $3900 to complete. The developer just informed me it wold cost about $15,000 to get it into the app store. Does this seem about right? I’m from NJ and the app developer is from South Carolina ( dont know if that matters)

    • Pell

      Uh no. That doesn’t sound right! Do your research before you get ripped off.

      It only cost $99.00 a year to get the Apple Developer License, which you will need to purchase. Once you pay for the membership, you can submit apps in the App Store. Of course, they have to be approved by Apple. Apple can reject your app if it doesn’t meet their standards. At that point, you might have to make changes, then you would need to pay a developer for the re-work . But it shouldn’t cost $15,000.00, because they would be fixing what ever was the specific reason Apple rejected it, not re-designing a new app.

  • http://www.techvalens.com TechValens

    Nice job, your post is really very helpful for developers. I also make some apps on iPhone but I want to know that how that how can I get more traffic on my apps.

  • sean

    Hey should i sign an nda before any consultation of an idea? and how can i trust someone developing my app for me.

  • Jaison Jose

    so after completing my app what should i actually do? i mean like to contact apple? or to register? or should i have any server to run ???? i dont know guys if anyone know please let me know

  • Jon

    We have an app which is available on iTunes currently. The data that gets fed back is mainly anonymous. Is there any way of gaining more visibility on the data front? Thanks