Getting an App developed - a few questions

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by gangst, May 26, 2011.

  1. gangst macrumors 6502a

    Dec 27, 2004

    First off,

    Like many people probably do I have an idea for an app, it's a niche which hasn't been filled, nothing super clever or really fancy, but it is an area where the app could be polished off really nicely with good graphics and would mainly rely on a database for it's functionality.

    I have no experience programming, there have been periods when I have wanted to learn, but have always been too busy, and I assume that programming a nice looking, efficient app is time consuming.

    Therefore, I am considering paying a programmer. However, I have a few questions....

    > What kind of costs am I looking at in getting an app developed? Like I said, I don't think it is hugely technical, but I want it done well with nice graphics and a good UI. My funds are reasonably limited, but am interested what kind of range I am looking at.

    > How do I protect my app? It's just an idea for a niche app, it's not patentable as such, but how do I know a developer isn't going to just run off with my idea?

    > How long does it take to get an app made...roughly?

    > Can anyone recommend any companies which specialise in making apps, their websites, stuff they have made in the past etc?

    Thanks for any input!
  2. dantastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 21, 2011
    Only one of your questions can actually be answered.

    To protect your idea so that a developer doesn't run off with it you have the developer sign a NDA, Non Disclosure Agreement. Then you are protecting your idea legally.

    An app can be done in a day. It can take a year.

    I'd recommend you to create a story board for your app. draw out every single screen, doesn't have to be pretty. Draw out every button and just a very brief description of what it does. This will greatly help your chosen dev to make a more accurate time estimate.

    If your app requite artwork you will need to source that as well. Its quite uncommon for a programmer to also be able to come up with good artwork.
  3. Nikh, May 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2011

    Nikh macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    To calculate the estimation for project, you need to describe it in details, and ask experiences developers about estimation. The price really can differ. The another addition to cost is UI and design, usually programmers themselves cannot do that part of work efficiently.

    You should sign the agreement with developer, that you will hold rights for source code. However, at the moment the main problem is not to develop an application, the problem is to sell it :)
    To have access to sources, you can run SVN or other version control system on your own server, and force developer to upload his changes there.
  4. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    An app can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars (USD) for a crappy simple app to over a quarter million for a full featured professional grade app. If you don't have a solid spec, it's almost impossible to estimate the exact amount. It might cost you $20k to just mock up the idea enough to get a better estimate of the final amount.

    You might be able to protect your idea by talking to a IP/patent attorney. But most iOS developers hear far far too many "great app ideas" to be likely to run off with any one in particular, such as yours.
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Plus they probably have their own great ideas which they would rather do than worry about yours. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Implementation is what is worth the money. Don't skimp on development / design costs.
  6. jnoxx macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2010
    Aartselaar // Antwerp // Belgium
    I'm having the opposite. i have knowledge of the coding, but i'm all out of ideas. Allways staring dead blank at my screen.. What to code now :p
  7. RodThePlod macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2005
    Agreed - getting a programmer to write the code is only one piece of the puzzle. A lot has to be invested in research and other areas such as UI design. And by 'a lot' I mean time as well as money...


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