How to create your own iPhone App

2 replies
Recently I had the need to create an iPhone App for my Website Marketing Magazine launch.

I had a couple of criteria that I needed the App creation service I chose to fulfil.

My criteria

- The service had to be easy and intuitive. I didn't want to be editing lines of complex code, and I didn't want to hire a programmer to complete the job.
- The process needed to facilitate the App creation and submission to the Apple App Store. Yes, please spoon feed me.
- The cost of the App creation had to be non-prohibitive. I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg creating the App.
- The functionality within the app had to be customisable so that I could create my own functionality, look and feel.

I fired up Google and started searching for 'app creation services'. After a short while, I came across a service called Their headline exclaims "No coding required". Parfait.

What impressed me immediately was the ability to specify a website URL and to instantly see a mockup of an App for that given website. Cool. But was it just a gimmick, or would the full service live up to the promise shown by this first impression.

Don't be fooled, creating an App with Appmakr is a somewhat technical and complex process. You are dealing with creating an App, testing it within Apple's servers (then downloaded to one of your devices that you specify), then finally submitting your App for review and approval by Apple.

The Appmakr service, makes it quite clear that not all Apps are approved by Apple, but helpfully Appmakr give you an indication of the likelihood of your App being approved based on the type of functionality you include within your app.

Just to be clear, the type of App I was creating for Website Marketing Magazine was an informational type App only. Basically, the App pulls in existing information from RSS feeds created by Wordpress which is used as a Content Management System for the main website. In addition to the RSS feeds, I created some static html pages that linked out to other pages including my Amazon author page, a YouTube channel, a Subscribe page, and an RSS feed from MagCloud (the service used to print and distribute the magazine.)

If you have a Wordpress powered website or Blog you want to create an App for, head over to AppMakr :: iPhone App Maker | Make your own iPhone App | Free iPhone App Maker, enter your URL and click 'create'. You will be able to immediately view a mockup of your App. Go ahead and create an account with and you will be able to add and remove features to customize the app to your requirements.

Some considerations

- The name of your App is limited to 11 characters to display correctly on the Homescreen.
- You will need to have an App icon designed for your App. I suggest you get a professional designer to do this, as they can produce something that represents your App the best. A lot of App icons have a 'gloss' effect that looks like a shadow between the top of the app and the bottom. Ask your designer for this, it looks professional and cool.
- When you upload your app to the Apple developer site, you will also need to include some screenshots of your App. To do this, open your test App and click the front button on your iPhone and the top button (on / off switch) simultaneously. You will hear a "click" photo sound, and the screenshot will be saved to your Camera roll. Email them to yourself for upload to the Apple site when required. Take 3 different screenshots if you can.
- You will need to apply to become an iOS App developer with Apple to enable you to submit your App. This is $99 per year, and I see no reason why Apple will deny any application for iOS developers. Mine was processed and approved within 24 hours. will direct you to the right place when the time comes, but here's the link iOS Developer Program - Apple Developer. If you're not confident about submitting your App yourself to the App store, then have an option to submit your App for you. The price is about $1000. I suggest you have a go yourself first. I am somewhat technical, but found the instructions were so easy and intuitive to follow, it only took me a couple of hours (then a few days to get approved.)

Creating your App

In the screenshot above, you can see the Appmakr App creation interface. Across the top are the tabs for all the information you need top complete to create your App. On the right is a preview of your App.

We'll go through each tab one by one.

App creation tabs

Art: Allows you to specify an App icon, and an App splash screen. The App icon will be visible by people searching in the App store, and will be the icon that is downloaded to the iPhone or iPad once somebody downloads your App. The splash screen is displayed briefly as soon as your app is open.
Tabs: The tabs tab is where you will add the main functionality of your App. You can see the types of Tabs you can add in the screenshot below. Atom/RSS Feed Reader can be used to add an RSS feed from your website or blog. Post Message Tab is an internal messaging system. Any message sent to you will be viewable when you log into your account. HTML/PhoneGap Tab is used to upload static HTML files. You will need to create the static HTML pages first, then upload them to your App.

Customize: allows you to add your own header and footer images for your App, change the colour scheme, adjust sharing options for facebook, twitter and email, and setup login info if required.
Notifications: This tab allows you to send Push notifications to your App users. You can send a message that will pop up on their iPhone, if they have allowed this hen they installed your App. You get 100 free credits, then you are required ot pay for additional credits to use this service.

App info: This is where you set the title,, description, website, support cost and gallery info.

Monetize: Here you can select from various advertising platforms to monetize your app.

Publish: Once you have completed all your other tabs, the Publish tab will allow you to Test your app before publishing. To do this, you need to specify a device to test the app on. From this tab, you can also create your own Developer account as described above. If you prefer to have test and publish your app, you can do that from here too. To test your app, you will need to know your device number. Appmakr will step you through how to get this number. You can then install your test app by either plugging your phone into iTunes or emailing an AppDrop link to yourself. You then click on the link from within your iPhone to install the test app. I highly recommend that you test your app before publishing it, as I think Apple will take this into consideration when reviewing and approving apps. Also, this is how you get your screenshots for your App as described above. Note: you can only test your app on the device you specify when setting up the test app.

Once you publish your App, you will need to go through a number of steps that will guide you through. You will need to create, download and upload various certificates between your account and your Apple developer account. Just follow the instructions and you should be alright, it is very straightofrward and intuitive, even though it is a long process.

Once you submit your App for review and approval, allow up to about a week for it to be reviewed and approved. There are 10,000+ apps submitted weekly, so the approval team are quite busy. My App was approved on the first submission.

Tips for App approval

- Make sure you have a professionally designed App icon
- Make sure you have included 3 screenshots of your app (taken from your test app)
- Make sure you have tested your app from within the App developer centre
- Make sure your app has as many varied tabs as possible. i.e. not all RSS feeds.
- Make sure the content being fetched from the RSS feeds are longer rather than shorter posts.

That's it! Good luck, let me know when your app is in the store, I'll check it out.


#app #create #iphone

Trending Topics