How would I go about making an app?
In this blog post I will be discussing what I found when researching App development.
People talk about Apps like they’re a new thing, like they are an innovation that has changed the media landscape and are a must have if you want to compete in todays media environment. While most of that statement is true there is one part that is the result of misunderstanding. Apps are not a new thing, what is new about Apps is the platforms and the way in which they connect to the internet. You can develop a specific App that enables people to solve a problem or you could make a video game people play on their smart phone. There are many reasons apps can be developed. Most brands whom want to reach a wide audience have taken Apps on board as a way for people to interact with their brand, receive their message and buy their products.
Much like designing a website you would have to take into consideration the aesthetic look, the usability and especially the platform you are developing the App on. Before designing an App you need to think about the people who will be using it and the relationship they have with the platform you are making it for. Apps can be games, book readers, Art, novelty jokes, tram timetabling systems and the list goes on. The point is you could develop any communication idea as a software application. However, who you are making it for should help you decide what it does and how it can help them solve a problem or enrich their lives in some way.
Once you have a good idea that has considered all of these things, how will you then go and make the App? First you would get the Software Development Kit or SDK for the specific platform you wanted to make the app for. Using the specifications in the kit as a guide you would write code, designing the function and interactivity of the app. Then you would design art assets for the user interface. SDKs have ways which can make this process easier such as plug-ins or built in effects and they ensure you stay within the requirements of the platform. If you are good enough at coding you could learn Xcode and write apps from scratch but you still need to understand SDKs in order to write for the specific platform you wish to put your App on.
Apps really are just a way for the user to interact with an idea.
One more thing to keep in mind is, that platforms have their own requirements and your App may not be accepted on the platform you make it for even if you have made it within the specifications, for example if you submit your App to the Apple App store you have to wait for them to assess it and approve it before they make it available in their store. In other words the ideas in your App have to conform to the ethics of the App store you choose. While these ethics do force censorship on developers there is still quite a lot you can do.
The main thing I take from this is that learning how to write code or at least wrk with code has become more important in todays media industry and it is worth learning if you have space for it in your skill set.