How to create an app for iOS

iOS is a well-known operating system of Apple Corporation, which is used on gadgets and devices of the company. Due to its wide dissemination, many business owners and project managers choose to create iOS apps. In the article below we will talk about the nuances of such development, as well as its process. And also we’ll speak about what advantages and disadvantages the system has.

Who needs to develop an iOS application

Creating an iOS application can be relevant in several cases:

  1. Development of an application for its monetization. As a rule, Apple users have an income above average since the company’s products are quite expensive. Therefore, they can often afford to purchase an application or its additional services. You can also monetize the app by selling ads.
  2. Development of an application for corporate use. This solution will be relevant for large companies. Especially, if part of the work or all processes are carried out remotely. A convenient mobile application will be easily accessible to company employees and will help make business processes more organized.
  3. Application development for business. Such a solution can be a great option for companies that want to scale and improve the user experience. For example, it can be an application of a bank or an online store. 

It’s important to note that when creating an application on iOS , it’s worth considering the target audience. And, if a sufficient part of it uses Android, then it makes sense to consider developing two versions of the application at once, or separately creating an application on Android. Of course, this will increase the cost and time of development.

Features of the iOS operating system

The iOS operating system has its own nuances. Let’s talk about them in more detail.

Firstly, the system is quite closed and has a high level of confidentiality. This means that downloading and installing the application is possible only from the official application store, the App Store. The only exceptions are PWA applications, which can be added from the browser to the main screen.

Secondly, iOS versions are updated regularly, bringing new features with them. And this requires adaptation of the application to the system. Thus, during development, it may be necessary to design additional functionality for the application to work correctly.

Advantages and disadvantages of developing iOS mobile applications

Let’s list some advantages and disadvantages of developing an application for iOS.

So, the benefits are:

  1. Fewer device types compared to another operating system, Android. And this means that the period for testing an iOS application will be much shorter. And this, in turn, will reduce the development time for applications for the iPhone and other devices.
  2. High system speed. The quality of iOS will allow the developed application to function quickly, which will make it possible to use it comfortably.
  3. High level of security. This may be also a disadvantage, but we will talk about it later. The iOS operating system is quite secure and not at risk from viruses. Therefore, the finalized application can safely store and process user data, if necessary. Also, before publishing in the app store, it undergoes a thorough moderation.

The disadvantages of developing a mobile application on iOS include:

  1. Enhanced application moderation. Before an app is published to the App Store, it’s carefully moderated to meet the high App Store Review Guidelines. For example, an application shall be tested for usefulness to users. Moderators can also submit the application for revision to comply with Apple’s requirements. In addition, a $99 payment is required each year to maintain access.
  2. Systematic reviews of already published applications. According to Reuters, at the end of 2020, Apple reviewed and removed more than 46,000 apps from the App Store. Moderation is carried out to improve the security of the system.
  3. Closed system. If the application is not in the App Store, it won’t be possible to install it by downloading it from third-party resources.

How to develop an iOS app

The process of developing an iOS application can be divided into 7 stages: 

  1. Analysis. A team of specialists analyzes the target audience, the market, studying the demand. A client portrait shall be updated. Based on such marketing research, a strategy is established to make an application on iOS.
  2. Creation of specifications and prototypes. The stage implies the creation of a detailed technical assignment for the implementation of the project. Technical requirements shall take into account all the nuances of development and not only to create a really high-quality application. The terms of reference are created together with the customer, who approves the final requirements.
  3. Final planning and cost estimation. This is the last of the preparatory steps before you create your iOS application. This is where development timelines are determined, important points are fixed, and tasks are divided into sprints, which are time intervals of a week or two. Each sprint has its own task and goals. The customer also chooses the payment method for the project. This can be a fixed cost, which is suitable for small projects. Or a flexible system of payment upon completion of work in large-scale projects where it doesn’t make much sense to go for long-term detailed planning. 
  4. Working on design. Depending on the complexity of the project, both one designer and a team led by an art director can join the creation of layouts. The involvement of the team and the art director is justified in cases where it’s necessary to develop a unique design concept. In other cases, you can resort to the unionization of templates and design layouts to make them meet the requirements of a specific project.
  5. Application development. This is the main stage at which developers write code and implement the functionality of the project. For convenience and to reduce development time, programming is carried out in the selected framework. At the same time, throughout the process, the client has the right to promptly receive information about the progress of work. Demonstration meetings can also be organized by the project manager. 
  6. Testing. For the application to work correctly after launch, it’s worth testing the functionality and checking how the design is displayed before the product gets published. As mentioned earlier, testing for the iOS operating system will be faster since it has a fewer number of devices than the Android OS. 
  7. Moderation and publication in the app store. This process cannot be called easy. First, a developer account is registered, and it has to be moderated. Moreover, moderation can last up to a month, so such an account should be prepared in advance. In addition, the moderation of the application itself will be quite serious, so it’s worth paying serious attention to each stage of development in order to avoid rejection of the application.

It should be noted that after the application is launched, work still might continue. The created application, if desired, can be scaled and some new functions and sections can be added.

Also, a very important point for creating an iPhone application (and not only iPhone apps) is the active participation of the customer in the discussion and implementation of the project. After all, only an entrepreneur or manager knows the nuances of a niche that developers may not have encountered yet. Therefore, the customer should interact with the team to form effective cooperation. Note that a project manager shall keep a client informed about all the issues at every stage of the development.

How much it costs and how long it takes to develop an iOS application

The timing and cost of developing iOS applications is rather individual. They may depend on the wishes of the customer, the required functionality and the implemented technology stack. However, you can estimate the average investments of time and cost. So, the cost of developing an application on iOS starts from $14 thousand. And the development time lasts at least 4 months.

Note that the cost of development and other stages of creating an application consists of multiplying the number of hours spent on work by the hourly rate of a specialist. And the higher the level of the specialist and the better his experience are, the higher the rate will be.

Summing up

  1. Creating an iOS mobile app can be useful and relevant for monetization, corporate use, or business scaling.
  2. The features of the OS ensure sufficient secrecy and increased privacy protection. To ensure regular updates, the app shall be adapted accordingly. 
  3. The terms and cost of work for developing an application for iOS are set individually. This is influenced by customer requirements and the amount of work required.

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