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View Full Version : Need advice on beginning to program for iPhone




spooky2k
Sep 4, 2008, 07:39 PM
Hey there guys,
Firstly, apologies for posting this as I imagine this type of post drives you crazy. Just bare with me if you could.
I've looked through all the resources and downloaded the SDK available here by searching.
I have an idea for a program (it's pretty much designed already, i just need to code it) but I have absolutely zero experience with programming.

My first idea was to learn programming for myself, but it's becoming ever more obvious that this will not be the quickest route to go (though, I'm still toying with this idea).

The option I'm left with is to find someone who would work with me to develop my app. I'm not sure how these kind of things work, nor how to go about finding a free (a dev that has spare time!) developer to help me do this.

Is there anybody on here who was in the same situation as I am right now, and could possibly offer some advice or a helping hand in showing me the way forward?
I hope to hear from some of you soon, and I hope you don't think that i've wasted your time since a response is extremely appreciated.
Thank you,
Dan x



mccannmarc
Sep 5, 2008, 02:22 AM
I take it you are planning to distribute the app for free too? I'm pretty sure you haven't got a cat in hells chance of getting a developer to develop your app for free if your going to charge for it. :D

spooky2k
Sep 5, 2008, 07:39 AM
I take it you are planning to distribute the app for free too? I'm pretty sure you haven't got a cat in hells chance of getting a developer to develop your app for free if your going to charge for it. :D

Yes, that's true. And if at the end of development both I and the dev deemed the app to be worth paying for, then I'd be more than happy to do a 50/50 split everytime/if Apple paid out(if, on the off chance that we don't make enough sales to get a payment from apple - I'd heard they pay out a minimum and you need to make that to actually get paid). Though that would require the dev to trust me, and I can assure you I am trustworthy. Though, it would be down to the dev when it came to it what they thought of trusting someone and splitting the money.

robbieduncan
Sep 5, 2008, 07:44 AM
then I'd be more than happy to do a 50/50 split everytime

Good luck on finding a developer desperate enough to take that deal. Most developers have more ideas than they have time to implement them. Ideas are worth almost nothing: implementation is everything. If they offer you a 90/10 split in their favour they are probably being kind.

grimjim
Sep 5, 2008, 08:12 AM
Though, it would be down to the dev when it came to it what they thought of trusting someone and splitting the money.

Yes, it would, since, although you have downloaded the SDK, I am assuming that you haven't applied for the $99 developer program yet. The developer presumably will have, so the app will be uploaded to his account, and the money will be paid to him. So you would have to trust him to pay out, not vice versa.

I'm afraid that you're going to be disappointed. As robbieduncan says, for most developers, the problem is not lack of ideas, but lack of time to implement them. If your app idea is extremely trivial and fun to make, you might find a developer willing to work on it for nothing, just for a bit of fun. As soon as it becomes complex and/or tedious, he's going to want paying for it, whether you decide to sell it or not.

As you have found out, writing iPhone apps is not a trivial thing. The developer will have done the vast majority of the work in getting the app to the App Store. He will expect the majority of the reward, too.

spooky2k
Sep 5, 2008, 12:04 PM
Yes, it would, since, although you have downloaded the SDK, I am assuming that you haven't applied for the $99 developer program yet. The developer presumably will have, so the app will be uploaded to his account, and the money will be paid to him. So you would have to trust him to pay out, not vice versa.

I'm afraid that you're going to be disappointed. As robbieduncan says, for most developers, the problem is not lack of ideas, but lack of time to implement them. If your app idea is extremely trivial and fun to make, you might find a developer willing to work on it for nothing, just for a bit of fun. As soon as it becomes complex and/or tedious, he's going to want paying for it, whether you decide to sell it or not.

As you have found out, writing iPhone apps is not a trivial thing. The developer will have done the vast majority of the work in getting the app to the App Store. He will expect the majority of the reward, too.

While what you write may be true of some people, ideas and their realisations are completely equal - neither could thrive without the other (it's pretty obvious that an app wouldn't exist without the idea, but then, and idea cannot physically exist without the realisation, anyone arguing otherwise is delusional).

I'm actually looking for a dev willing to help me out with coding the app, if I was to keep tabs on the design (its more than obvious that many app developers, though not all, have no idea how to design a user interface) and do the submitting process etc. I fully expected to have to sign up and pay the 60 for the develop program - it would work something along the lines of:
Dev codes -> send me app -> I load it in simulator, check everything works as it should, is intuitive, that my idea is on track, how I could better it etc -> I submit it to the store if I'm happy with it, if not, I give the dev my feedback and we go through all that again.

The app I'm wanting to make is a pretty obvious one to me, yet NO ONE has even come close to it yet, and I think the reason is that devs tend to work coding first, design second (as you guys just pointed out to me - the design is seen secondary to coding), which is why so many of the apps on the App Store are completely unintuitive and falkey when it comes to the UI.

It's pretty obvious I wouldn't find what I was after here though, but thank you so much for taking the time to post back to me. Now that I've laid out how I would have intended to work, if anyone is interested just get back to me.
Remember: you don't need to have paid the $99/60 dev fee, I'd be more than happy to do that.

spooky2k
Sep 5, 2008, 12:06 PM
Good luck on finding a developer desperate enough to take that deal. Most developers have more ideas than they have time to implement them. Ideas are worth almost nothing: implementation is everything. If they offer you a 90/10 split in their favour they are probably being kind.

I'd suggest you take another look at what you wrote. As I posted above, implementation wouldn't exist without the idea, and vice versa, so they're 50/50. Neither one is worth more than the other.

kainjow
Sep 5, 2008, 02:08 PM
How about an analogy:

You want to have your house custom built. The house should have a large basement, an outdoor pool, and three bedrooms upstairs. You contract an architect and construction workers to design and build it. But since it was your idea, you only pay them 50%.

Would that make sense, or be fair?

detz
Sep 5, 2008, 02:51 PM
Ideas are worth more if they are GREAT ideas. I'm a developer and I would gladly take 1% of a product if I thought it would do well but out of 10,000 ideas there might be one of those. I'm working with two companies now on products that I'm only taking 10% but I'm doing all the development because their ideas(in my opinion) are worth my time and I could see that 10% paying out if I'm right. :D

On the other hand, I turn down projects daily because I don't think it's worth my 20 minutes to even hear what the person has to say. It takes a great idea, a great design, a great programmer and great execution to make a successful product and it's not fair to say one is more important then the other without first understanding all the pieces.

Being a developer I think a quality designer and a great idea are worth way more than what I do.:cool:

spooky2k
Sep 5, 2008, 08:28 PM
How about an analogy:

You want to have your house custom built. The house should have a large basement, an outdoor pool, and three bedrooms upstairs. You contract an architect and construction workers to design and build it. But since it was your idea, you only pay them 50%.

Would that make sense, or be fair?

That's not house design, that's not even design (Well, there's a tiny bit of it), but its more planning something around those rooms. In that case, after this initial spark to have those rooms in your house, a house designer would go on and product something from those, and then the builders would then build from that.

Tell me: if no one ever had an idea for a house, would the house be built?
Or, if everyone wanted to build something, but had no focus or direction, would a house ever have been built?

I'm sure you get my point.

Ideas are worth more if they are GREAT ideas. I'm a developer and I would gladly take 1% of a product if I thought it would do well but out of 10,000 ideas there might be one of those. I'm working with two companies now on products that I'm only taking 10% but I'm doing all the development because their ideas(in my opinion) are worth my time and I could see that 10% paying out if I'm right. :D

On the other hand, I turn down projects daily because I don't think it's worth my 20 minutes to even hear what the person has to say. It takes a great idea, a great design, a great programmer and great execution to make a successful product and it's not fair to say one is more important then the other without first understanding all the pieces.

Being a developer I think a quality designer and a great idea are worth way more than what I do.:cool:

Agreed. One cannot exist without all the puzzle pieces, and if anyone thinks one is more important than the other, the end product suffers majorly.

robbieduncan
Sep 6, 2008, 03:06 AM
The app I'm wanting to make is a pretty obvious one to me, yet NO ONE has even come close to it yet, and I think the reason is that devs tend to work coding first, design second (as you guys just pointed out to me - the design is seen secondary to coding), which is why so many of the apps on the App Store are completely unintuitive and falkey when it comes to the UI.

I can tell you now that good developers do not just chuck any old UI on the code at the end. The UI is, for many of us, the most important part and making it work just so is the enjoyable bit of the exercise.

There may be a good reason that there are no apps that do whatever it is you are thinking odd: the SDK makes a lot of apps that a lot of people have thought off impossible to implement.

spooky2k
Sep 6, 2008, 05:48 PM
I can tell you now that good developers do not just chuck any old UI on the code at the end. The UI is, for many of us, the most important part and making it work just so is the enjoyable bit of the exercise.

There may be a good reason that there are no apps that do whatever it is you are thinking odd: the SDK makes a lot of apps that a lot of people have thought off impossible to implement.

The key words you use are 'good developers'. I completely agree, that's why they are good developers. Unfortunately, it's quite apparent that this type of developer is very rare and is even more rare when it comes to the App Store.

A need can breed an idea, an idea can breed a great product, however, it has to be able to work in the current conditions on a persons phone (or anything for that matter!). This is the wall that many people who are fumbled by the SDK are coming up against. If they cannot find a way around it, or to implement their idea another way (adapt and change according to system capabilities) then they will not make a great app.

mccannmarc
Sep 8, 2008, 02:40 AM
All the time you spent writing those replies you could have been on your way to learning how to code yourself! Seriously mate programming the iPhone (and cocoa in general) is a piece of cake, its well worth the effort of learning and you never know depending on what your app is actually going to do you may be able to get 90% of the work done in interface builder!

spooky2k
Sep 8, 2008, 05:25 AM
All the time you spent writing those replies you could have been on your way to learning how to code yourself! Seriously mate programming the iPhone (and cocoa in general) is a piece of cake, its well worth the effort of learning and you never know depending on what your app is actually going to do you may be able to get 90% of the work done in interface builder!

See, this is the type of reply I was after.
Did you learn to program for the iPhone without any prior programming experience?
Thanks for the reply.
Dan x

DipDog3
Sep 8, 2008, 05:59 AM
See, this is the type of reply I was after.
Did you learn to program for the iPhone without any prior programming experience?
Thanks for the reply.
Dan x

You can learn. You just have to be dedicated. It won't be easy, but most things in life that matter aren't.

I would offer our services to you, but we are already have more than enough fully funded projects... So sorry.

Good Luck

mccannmarc
Sep 8, 2008, 06:25 AM
See, this is the type of reply I was after.
Did you learn to program for the iPhone without any prior programming experience?
Thanks for the reply.
Dan x

I already had experience with C/C++, VB and assember but all of my C/C++ was DOS/Windows based so I came into iPhone programming with no experience whatsoever of how to program for Mac OS, the only reason I ever bought a mac was to program the iPhone.

Like DipDog said learning from scratch can be difficult. I'd suggest you start by learning C. Search for C tutorials on google and there are literally thousands. Feel free to PM me whenever you like if you want advice or guidance.

Good Luck

spooky2k
Sep 8, 2008, 11:56 AM
You can learn. You just have to be dedicated. It won't be easy, but most things in life that matter aren't.

I would offer our services to you, but we are already have more than enough fully funded projects... So sorry.

Good Luck

I already had experience with C/C++, VB and assember but all of my C/C++ was DOS/Windows based so I came into iPhone programming with no experience whatsoever of how to program for Mac OS, the only reason I ever bought a mac was to program the iPhone.

Like DipDog said learning from scratch can be difficult. I'd suggest you start by learning C. Search for C tutorials on google and there are literally thousands. Feel free to PM me whenever you like if you want advice or guidance.

Good Luck

Thank you both so much. I think I'm going to start with a few books/hands on C tutorials, then I'll dive into the SDK when I know what exactly I'm looking at when I look at the code.
Thank you both.
If I get stuck, I'll give you a shout.
Dan x