Get Going with Apps
by John Kremer
In the age of the Apple iPad, it is important for publishers to have their own iPhone apps. A lot of people already use the iPhone or iPod Touch to access information from the Internet. An app is an easier and snazzier way for consumers to access information, make decisions, and have fun.
As I write, the top two genres for iPhone apps are games and books, and there are more than 27,000 iPhone book apps. Is one of them yours? It should be.
One way of creating an app is by hiring a programmer, thinking through the interface, testing and more testing, and then submitting the app to Apple with the hope that it will be approved. That’s the complicated way.
The simpler way is to use one of the following services.
My App Creator (myappcreator.com). My App Creator lets you easily create an app by incorporating a news feed, Twitter feed, blog feed, and audios or videos. You can use one of its standard templates or apply your own custom design. And you can have an iPhone app in just a few minutes or in a matter of hours, depending on what feeds you already have set up.
Once completed, your new app is automatically uploaded to the iTunes AppStore. The cost? It’s $297 for set up and $27 per month for hosting. For an extra $97, you can monetize your app with Google ads and track usage via analytics. This service was created by Joel Comm, developer of the bestselling iFart app.
iPhone App Quotes (iphoneappquotes.com). Get three free quotes from iPhone app developers who can create the app for you.
RevMobile (runrev.com/products/revmobile/overview). This program, now in beta testing, is designed to allow you to create an iPhone app in as little as three hours while simultaneously developing an app for the Windows Mobile platform. When the RevMobile software is released later this year, it will sell for $999. It’s an expensive option that may be most useful to people who are already comfortable using programming software.
AppWizard Custom iPhone Development Suite (appwizard.com). The company claims you can use this suite to create an iPhone app in less than 30 minutes (my guess: probably not a great app, but one suitable for giving away free). There’s an option to create a more custom app that costs $99.95 plus a monthly hosting fee.
AppMii (appmii.com). By trying this free, you can see how you’d make out creating your own app. The cost is $19.95 per month to create and host an app. A one-time fee for professional design is $499.
App Breeder (appbreeder.com). App kits for bands, Realtors, businesses, events, legal, teaching, restaurants, and more are available here. You can create an ad-supported free app or paid iPhone apps for a $99.95 publishing fee plus monthly hosting fee of $10 to $40.
Check out the various services and decide which one works best for you. You can test drive many of them before paying.
John Kremer, president of Open Horizons, is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book and of “John Kremer’s Book Marketing Tip of the Week,” which alerted readers to these resources. He blogs at blog.bookmarket.com. To contact him, e-mail JohnKremer@BookMarket.com. To learn more about his company, visit bookmarket.com.
Apple is currently clamping down on cookie-cutter apps that are basically RSS feeds or glorified business cards, so be sure to incorporate more than RSS feeds in your new iPhone app.
Because Apple is so heavy-handed about what it allows and doesn’t allow and because it can be very controlling, don’t put all your apps into one basket. Be sure to develop apps for other platforms too, and learn how to market to mobile phones in other ways. Some of the programs mentioned here allow you to develop apps for mobile phone platforms such as Android or BlackBerry.