I recently published my first app to the Apple App Store. It is called Nice Day, and you can download it for free at http://www.appstore.com/niceday. This was a valuable learning experience. If you are thinking about publishing your first iOS app, you might find the following information helpful.
Nice Day is a simple app that wishes you a particular type of day. It randomizes the sayings, smileys and colors. This app is a very simple app, but it is a step up from the typical Hello World program that programmers start with. My main goal for this first app was to learn the iOS development process.
Even though I have over 20 years of experience in software development, learning iOS development was challenging. I still have a lot to learn, but I now know enough to ask the right questions and keep learning. It only took a few hours to develop this first app.
Testing Nice Day was actually fun. I tested my app in the built-in iOS simulator in Xcode 5. I also tested it on a real device. Testing was surprisingly easy.
Publishing the Nice Day app was harder than expected. I spent most of the time filling out required paperwork with Apple. You have to register as a developer in the iOS Developer Program. This costs $99 a year. You have to create a distribution certificate and iTunes profile. You have to create icons and screen shots for the app. Finally, you have to sign, archive and upload it. The whole process took almost four times as long as development. But now that I am set up, the next time will be easier. The iOS app distribution guide describes the entire process well.
After submitting the app, it went into “Waiting For Review” status. It remained in this state for nine days. Then I received an email from Apple saying that it needed additional time for the review. A day later, the status changed to “Processing for App Store.” That same day, the status changed to “Ready for Sale.” At this point, my app appeared in the App Store. However, the advertisements did not appear in the app. The iAd network required time to review my app. A day later, the advertisements appeared. Altogether, it took ten days to see the Nice Day app published and earning money.
Publishing the app was just the beginning. To make money with any app, you must market it. This involves promoting it on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Smart promotion and marketing is crucial to the success of your app.
Developing and publishing the Nice Day app was a valuable learning experience. I am happy to finally have an app in the Apple App Store. More importantly, I learned the process. Now I can concentrate on building better apps.
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