Author Topic: Need advice about iphone quiz app development  (Read 9352 times)

KimPossible

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Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« on: May 09, 2013, 12:16:41 PM »
The thread about creating an income to cover living expenses in six months has me motivated (along with a very negative work experience this morning).

I want to create an iphone test prep app.  I have already started working on a list of questions, but know very little about app development.  Does it make more sense to hire a developer to create the app or would it be better to purchase source code that's already created?

The look and feel of the interface is of moderate importance.  There's not much competition in the area (specific professional exam), but I don't want it to be ugly.

Any advice?  Thanks!

destron

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 01:54:44 PM »
If you have never done any kind of programming before, there is a pretty long timescale to learn how to make a good app from scratch. I wouldn't want to discourage you from it, though, coding is a lot of fun. You will probably need some books, go through online tutorials, etc... You also need an iOS developer account which is $99/year.

On the other hand, it is not cheap to hire a good developer.

What do you mean by "purchase source code that is already created"? If there is someone selling an ecosystem that works for your needs (test prep) and then you just add your data and deploy the app, that would certainly be the quickest option for you.

Another option would be to code the app in HTML/CSS/Javascript and deploy it to iPhone AND Android AND Windows Phone via a tool like phonegap.

KimPossible

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 02:13:44 PM »
Thanks so much for your reply.  I'm completely new to coding, and really want to learn more, but I'd like to get the app started sooner than that.

Here's what I'm talking about with the source code:

http://www.developergarden.com/en/marketplace/components/details/cmp/quiz-maker-starter-kit-for-iphone

I've found a couple of these.  According to them, you don't need to have coding skills in order to use them. 

Taylor

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013, 03:39:24 PM »
full disclosure: I know an employee of this company, but they helped me out a ton.

www.appitventures.com

spider1204

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 04:00:47 PM »
The quiz maker kit definitely seems like the best option.  Learning to build the application yourself with no coding experience would probably take a few months at best, while hiring someone else to build it would cost at least $1000.

Before buying though I would definitely check out how much customization you can do.  It looks like they offer some amount of customization without any coding (background images), but do you have full access to the source code to make any changes you see fit after learning how to program.

nktokyo

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 06:26:53 PM »
Great to see people getting fired up!

If you want to learn Objective-C programming you'll first want to know C. Grab the book by Kernigan and Ritchie on C, set yourself up with a compiler and have at it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0131103628/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

To learn Objective C the Big Nerd Ranch Guide is good.

To get your head around abstract new concepts in programming I like the approach lined out in this free ebook http://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/Programs/HolisticLearningEBook.pdf

Disclaimer - programming is difficult and will take time to learn. However if you want to get into software then any experience will save you time and money down the line - if only in that you'll be 100x more effective at scoping an app and working with a developer.

Good luck!

KimPossible

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 06:36:30 PM »
Nktokyo,

How much time do I realistically need to commit in order to learn programming?  I definitely want to learn, but want to be realistic about the time it will take.  I'm stretched pretty thin as it is.  I'm wondering if it makes more sense to work with already written code (or hire a developer), so that I can get my app ready more quickly. 

Thanks so much for all of the advice, everyone!

nktokyo

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 06:42:43 PM »
I would say 6 months at 1-2 hours per day + longer stints on weekends. This is to get an app out the door where you "grok" the inner workings of the thing. Comp Sci is a hard technical skill - if you're looking at it as "something" to try then there are easier ways to make a buck.

This guy has been successful without programming https://www.udemy.com/develop-iphone-and-ipad-apps-with-no-programming-experience/

You're either going to have to invest time or money :)

KimPossible

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 07:05:11 PM »

You're either going to have to invest time or money :)

Yep, I figured that--just trying to figure out which one is smarter :)

Thanks so much!


nktokyo

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 07:53:28 PM »
No problem. FWIW you still have to position and market the app so if you have time to only get good at one thing then I humbly suggest to focus on biz dev and selling.

destron

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 07:56:53 PM »
Thanks so much for your reply.  I'm completely new to coding, and really want to learn more, but I'd like to get the app started sooner than that.

Here's what I'm talking about with the source code:

http://www.developergarden.com/en/marketplace/components/details/cmp/quiz-maker-starter-kit-for-iphone

I've found a couple of these.  According to them, you don't need to have coding skills in order to use them.

It seems to me that learning to code will take far, far more time than you plan on spending. It will take a pretty good amount of time to make any app, and more to learn to make a good app. For the same reasons, hiring someone will be prohibitively expensive.

On that note, the pre-made quiz app (you drop in data) seems like a good option for you. What I would do is find some applications that use this quiz app ecosystem and try them out. If the apps using the ecosystem perform to your standards, then it would be worth purchasing the ecosystem and moving forward with it. In any case, for a test-prep app, the most important part is the data going into the app. A good app will make it more palatable, but a bad app will make sure no one wants to use it.

Vilx-

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 07:37:46 AM »
How much time do I realistically need to commit in order to learn programming?  I definitely want to learn, but want to be realistic about the time it will take.  I'm stretched pretty thin as it is.
10 years. Seriously. However, if programming really does tickle your fancy, those will be 10 very fun-filled years. And you will be able to start doing stuff much sooner than that, of course. :)

But if you just want to solve one task and then forget about programming - forget it. It's a lifestyle.

KimPossible

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 10:15:28 AM »
How much time do I realistically need to commit in order to learn programming?  I definitely want to learn, but want to be realistic about the time it will take.  I'm stretched pretty thin as it is.
10 years. Seriously. However, if programming really does tickle your fancy, those will be 10 very fun-filled years. And you will be able to start doing stuff much sooner than that, of course. :)

But if you just want to solve one task and then forget about programming - forget it. It's a lifestyle.

That's kind of what I suspected.  I'm very interested in learning how to program, and I'm going to start working on it.  But for this app, I think I'll go with something already created.

I think the hardest part for me is figuring out where to jump in.  The scope of programming is so overwhelming when you're on the outside looking in. 

I really appreciate all of the info here.  Thanks so much!

gotaholen1

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2013, 11:26:24 AM »
If you are only looking to deploy the app for mobile applications I would highly recommend using an SDK with smaller learning curve (that the iOS SDK).  I would recommend Titanium or Corona SDK. 

Google these.  You can mess around with them for free and would give you more flexibility to publish your app on multiple platforms.

If you do decide to have an offshore team code the app, make sure to budget extra money for app updates.  Something will always come up with new iOS releases and you will need to keep in contact with the developer.

Insanity

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2013, 01:14:39 PM »
How about asking to see if there is a developer that would be interested in partnering up with you? 

As a former developer (currently doing computer security work), I can tell you that while working for "free" is not ideal.  If you do the research and find a true idea of what is possible for revenue, then you will find someone will to take the chance and you might get out to market sooner rather than later.

Just a thought.

foobar

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2013, 02:51:01 PM »
You would have to be incredibly luck to get a good developer who is just willing to work for equity unless you are bringing a lot more to the table than your first post indicated. Not to be a downer bu the iPhone gold rush was 4 years ago. There are probably 100+ quiz type apps in the market. You either need to target a niche they don't (i.e. not a lot of customers) or be much better. Not saying not to give it a try but you might want to google how much the average iPhone app makes (it isn't pretty) and some of those have 50k+ development budgets.


How about asking to see if there is a developer that would be interested in partnering up with you? 

As a former developer (currently doing computer security work), I can tell you that while working for "free" is not ideal.  If you do the research and find a true idea of what is possible for revenue, then you will find someone will to take the chance and you might get out to market sooner rather than later.

Just a thought.

Insanity

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2013, 02:57:26 PM »
You would have to be incredibly luck to get a good developer who is just willing to work for equity unless you are bringing a lot more to the table than your first post indicated. Not to be a downer bu the iPhone gold rush was 4 years ago. There are probably 100+ quiz type apps in the market. You either need to target a niche they don't (i.e. not a lot of customers) or be much better. Not saying not to give it a try but you might want to google how much the average iPhone app makes (it isn't pretty) and some of those have 50k+ development budgets.

Oh I agree that equity isn't the most desirable approach, but if it is only a side gig and the task isn't all that excessive (which it sounds like this isn't), there is a chance so figured I'd just put it out there.

KimPossible

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 03:49:25 PM »
I would definitely be open to working with a developer--I just don't know where to start in looking for one.  I've looked on elance and Odesk, but I don't really even have the vocabulary to know what to put in an ad.  (I'm also definitely a DIY-type--I would love to learn how to do the dang thing myself.)

The app idea I have isn't actually a quiz app, but that's kind of the format I want.  It's actually a board review app for my medical specialty.  There aren't any out there right now, and I would have loved to have one when I was studying for my recertification exam. 

I know the market for this is fairly small, but since it's a board review app, I could actually charge real money for it.  And the barriers to entry (at least for developing the questions) are pretty high. 

Since it's targeting a very specific niche, I don't think the user interface is of critical importance--but the app has to be clear and can't be too ugly :).

nktokyo

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 05:32:30 PM »
Check out the udemy course I linked to above, it talks about how to spec an app, advertise for and hire a developer and all the other stuff you're going to need to do.

The question to ask yourself is "how can I prove that people will buy my app before I make it?"

You could pay a little for some google ads to see if people will click through for the app. Or you could make a website with a "buy now" button that simply collects people's email addresses and tells them the app will be finished in 3 months. If you're connected you might try networking directly. If all of this results in no concrete interest in your app then you'll have saved yourself a lot of time, effort and money up front.

KimPossible

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 06:05:53 PM »
I'm pretty sure they'll buy it--board review material is pretty scarce in my specialty.  Everyone I've talked to has said they'd buy it.

I'll check out the Udemy course.  Thanks :)

Nick24250

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Re: Need advice about iphone quiz app development
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2015, 04:56:25 AM »
There are source codes available that will save you hundreds of hours and pounds in development costs, e.g.,
http://revisionquizmaker.binpress.com/
Much quicker and easier that writing an app from scratch.