We speak to many clients and we always ask the question of how much they know about development. Sometimes they know nothing, sometimes everything but we often hear that they have been told the wrong thing, or have the wrong idea about app development. These misconceptions and myths range from cost to process and everything in between, so, we decided to clear up these confusions once and for all!
Whether you are fresh to app development or simply want to know some of the misconceptions then check out our quick guide to what’s what!
We have a lot of conversations with new clients, and we always start with the same question.
“What do you know about app development?”
The answers we get back usually take one of the following form…
“Nothing at all.”
“I know the approval process and general costs.”
“I only know what other firms have told me.”
Now the first one and second one are fine. For those who don’t know the process we go over the ins and outs of apps, the App Store, Apples approval process, revenue models and marketing. For those that do know the process we dive straight into their requirements. The third one on the list is the one that causes us the most headaches, you see, clients come to us misinformed, with outdated or just plain wrong information and sound surprised as we slowly correct, point-by-point, the sales pitch given by others.
So let’s dive in with a list of the common misconceptions and myths about app development. If you’ve heard any of these, and we suspect some of you will have, rest assured we are here to clean up the confusion.
- Apps are only for large organisations. Incorrect, in fact anyone can have an app, providing you follow Apples rules. We personally work with large corporations right down to school kids who have a great idea, which just goes to show anyone can have an app.
- You can do anything you want in an app without restriction. Partially correct. In the Android world you can get away with almost anything. If the device has a particular function you can generally access and use it, however the Apple world is a different thing altogether. Apple publish a strict list of ‘guidelines’ although they should be called ‘enforcedlines’ as there is little room for manoeuvre. If your Apple app fails on one of these criteria it will be rejected from being published to the App Store until it is fixed.
- Apple don’t take any of the money you make. Incorrect. This one gets us the most, and we hear it often. Apple in fact take 30% of all revenue you make on the App Store, including paid-for apps, in-app purchase and subscriptions. If your app is free then you pay nothing, but as soon as you charge for a single thing then you pay.
- Apps cost a huge amount. It depends. Some apps do indeed cost a lot of money, some unjustly so (take Stings new iPad app for example….) but equally you can get an app produced for as little as around £800 – £1,000. The price of an app really depends on the functionality, the content, the sheer scale of it and the design. Many apps are around the £10,000 – 15,000 mark but can go higher (and lower!).
- Quality doesn’t matter in apps. Incorrect. The is a dangerous one. The notion that quality is not really an issue, as it is just an ‘app’ should be put out of your mind as soon as possible. Apps are a growing market and first impressions count. If you don’t show people you care about the app you created for them, why should you care about the products and services you offer them?
- An app can be created in a day. Dubious. Whilst you can create an app in a day, the quality of anything produced just won’t be there. Excusing the rapid coding efforts of simple procedural games (like Canabalt), anyone who offers you a complete business app in a short amount of time most likely won’t be producing anything of quality.
- Everyone needs an app for their company. Incorrect. We turn people away where we think there is genuinely no benefit to them having an app for their company. Having an app just for the sake of it is a waste of money and exposes you to Apples guidelines which have clauses relating to ‘broad appeal’ and ‘lasting usefulness’. Bottom line is that if you are simply taking your website and putting it in an app, DON’T.
- You can use a template-based product to create a great app. Incorrect. Whilst you can create a templated app from a myriad of online services, we simply wouldn’t recommend it. The app store is flooded with apps and if you want to gain any traction there you need to stand out and be noticed. When your app looks like all other car dealerships apps you simply won’t do that.
The apps world is not difficult and should not be avoided if your company will benefit from one. Cost, timescales and company size are no barriers to entry for an app, certainly not enough to warrant going doing the pre-made templated app route. Always ask around and double-check any information you receive on the subject, there are many sources of knowledge, some more geared towards a sale than others.