If you own a SmartPhone, particularly an iPhone, you know that there are thousands of apps available for purchase; apps that show up on your phone, and can be accessed by just a touch; apps that give you information, or amuse you, or maybe even help you in your line of work. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and yet, more continue to become available. But how do they happen? Who creates them, and how do they do it?
To begin, SmartPhone apps, like anything else that runs on a computer, are in essence computer programs. And like other computer programs, they can be large or small, or simple or complicated. And like all other computer programs, they come to exist because someone, or a group of people dedicate themselves to writing the code to, to testing it, and then eventually to launching it for public use. The people who do this are a varied bunch. Some are professional companies who create software as their business. Others are hobbyists who teach themselves how to code in the appropriate language. Other’s still are app enthusiasts who see a niche and then figure out how to make it happen later.
And as for how they do it, they buy the toolkits that are made available by the company that has the device they want to write for, and use them to create the apps they want. As an example, if you up and decide one day that you’d like to become rich by writing the hottest iPhone app ever, you’d have to first start by purchasing an Apple computer to use as your development computer (if you don’t have one already) then, you’d have to sign up with Apple’s application development program, which would entitle you to download the iOs Software Development Kit (SDK), which you’d have to pay for, of course. You’d probably also need to purchase the iOS programming Guide and some sample code as well to give you a feel for how things are supposed to work together. Then, you’d have to either teach yourself how to use the iOS SDK, or sign up for a course or two where someone would teach you.
If you’re an experienced programmer, all of this would be old hat, and you’d likely pick things up as you go along. If you’ve never done any computer programming before though, you’d likely the find the road a long and lonely trek. Once you get the hang of how coding and the SDK work, you’d then have to dedicate some amount of time to actually creating the app you’re after, and then actually do it. Short easy ones can be done in a matter of days; harder ones can take many months, or more.
Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. If your particular app relies on data retrieval or storage, you’ll also need to figure out how to tie your app to a database, which means of course, that you’ll have to have a database to tie to. And that database can be in your basement, or it might be that you lease database storage and access capabilities. This all of course, means even more out of pocket change and more time dedicated to maintain the database.
And then, at some point, you’d finish your app, and download it to the Apple folks, who would then review it and only accept it to the Apple Store if they believe it’s worthy.
So this is how SmartPhone apps come about, through the efforts of some very dedicated, and usually smart people, who are willing to work hard and see an idea through from inception, to completion.