Cassidy Williams

Software Engineer in Chicago

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Design Your First iPhone App


Hey good lookin.

So, I’m a computer science major. Introducing myself that way usually sends people running for the hills. “I’m not tech savvy,” they say. “I could never do that,” they say.

They are wrong.

Anyone can code, if you put your mind to it. So, I’m going to show you the first steps you need to make an iPhone app of your very own. I’ll keep it general and let you follow more specific tutorials and such, but if you follow these steps, you’re on your way to building your own app. If you’ve got a great idea, and you’re good at the business side of things, there are plenty of learning resources and opportunities to help you with actually creating the next big app!

First of all, be sure you own a Mac. If you own a PC, you’re kind of out of luck. Don’t worry, I didn’t have a Mac for a while, so I just learned on lab computers and borrowed them!

If this is covered, it’s just a few easy steps:

  1. Get an App Store Developer account. You can’t sell an app that you can’t list on the store. You have to set up an account that costs about $100 a year. Even if you don’t launch your app for a little while, it’s good to do. An App Store account provides access to helpful tools and resources for development.

  2. Map out your app. What’s the look and feel of your app? What will the home screen look like? What pages do you need? What do you expect out of your users? How will it flow from screen to screen? There’s a great app called POP that helps you figure this out. You just draw out what each screen will look like on paper and take pictures of your drawings, and then it treats your sketches as a real app! It really helps you figure out the flow and design of things.

  3. Put it together! The next, fairly intimidating, step is actually coding the app! But don’t let that scare you. If you’re willing to learn, you can totally learn to code with one of the following resources:

If you put your mind to it, you can learn it!

If you aren’t up for coding but you still want your idea to exist, you can hire a team. Yes, that sounds expensive, but even in just talking to friends and classmates, you might find someone!

There’s plenty of options for you to make your great ideas a reality. Good luck!

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