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How to develop and launch iPhone and iPad Apps

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 15 Nov, 2010
Essential Essential topic

10 Tips for developing Successful iPhone/iPad Apps

This chart, taken from my post on the consumer adoption of mobile apps and the marketing opportunities shows that it's worth thinking through you app strategy for different mobile platforms.

But if you decided you need to launch an app, what's the best approach to do this so that you get the results you're looking for? Well, thanks to Kim Watson, a Managing Director at publisher group MIlliivres Prowler Group, we're able to present this best practice advice on  an app development process.

Source: IphoneDev

Ten tips for developing a mobile app

1. DEFINE A PURPOSE - Be clear about the benefits of your Application and match needs with fast and effective  delivery as a real benefit. E.g it may be may be appropriate to focus on utility as much as content.

2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE - Who is your mobile consumer audience (18-24s?) What is their rate of adoption to new innovations and technology. Watch your users and learn what interests them. Do your market analysis.

3. MAKE IT UNIQUE - Does it exist elsewhere? Can it be obtained free through other apps or media  platforms ? This relates to the strenghth of purpose of your app and is also a key determiner in  your income/business model.

4. LESS IS MORE - Strive to launch an app that does one thing really well instead of a few things moderately well.  Keep it fast to deliver and easy to use to be effective.

5. METAPHOR - Think Google representation as well as iTunes and Apps Store.

Make sure it is SEO and multiplatform friendly in design adaptability, content and key word usage. Best practice with iPad apps currently in development for newspapers.

6. MAKE IT DELIGHTFUL - Create the Wow factor by balancing design, utility and functionality to make it stand out as a great app. See Reuters v BBC news apps for example.

7. SOCIAL - Sharing experiences with friends and communities is more common place in digital media and is a key to getting good ratings with Apps.  Make sure your app is building buzz by ensuring it can be pushed to friends via Facebook, Twitter, Delicious LinkedIn et al.  Make sure users can select Like and post Comment for real time feedback.

8. OFFLINE & LOCATION -Know how many customers use mobile phones, games consoles etc. and how many have iPhones and where they are geographically to plan your offline as well as online launch activity e.g countries with low smart phone usage may be de-prioritised over those with higher usage rates.

(In other words it can inform best segmentation strategies).

When launched learn where your users are through satellite and GPS tracking,

9. STABILITY - Avoid flashing or crashing of you app by building in a testing and pilot phase. Work hard at the testing stage - this is probably the most critical element and will increase chances of success on launch if all bugs are eliminated before main launch.

10. MEASURE SUCCESS - Set clear and realistic KPIs to achieve ROI and measure take up, income and usage regularly. Also ratings and user feedback are a measure of success.

Kim sourced the above tips and additional tips below through meetings with specialist app creators  Inside Mobile and Yuza Mobile plus attending a workshop run by digital agency Imano at Internet World.

  1. Make sure content is unique and not available elsewhere (especially online) if charging user for app.
  2. Focus on what you/your brands do best
  3. Never offer/charge for  something that can be got for free
  4. The app. Must have a function and reason to revisit regularly
  5. Get it rated "€“ Apps live and die by user ratings
  6. Getting good ratings can be a challenge so need to be aware of the reputation building with the apps blogging community also.
  7. Always factor in an ad channel and use someone professional like AdMob to serve this
  8. If charging for content offer multiple layers not just a one off.
  9. Subs models protect against piracy re images and video
  10. Adult content is not acceptable only very mild soft-core "€“ Apps store has age limit of 17 Plus and all content is language filtered.
Auhtor's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site,, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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