Looking at app development - a few questions.

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by TheGrudge, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. TheGrudge macrumors member


    Feb 22, 2010
    I've thought about writing an iPhone app for a long time now, but I always brushed the idea off for one reason or another. Recently, a friend of mine came to me and asked if I wanted to develop an app with him, and with that, I think it's high time to work on something.

    We both have a programming background, though my programming at work these days is minimal. I'm more into databases/reporting/statistics now than before. We do both have a college diploma as Computer Programmers though so the concepts of loops, variables, classes, methods etc are not foreign to us at all. Having said that, the closest thing we have to "C" experience is a year long C++ course from 6 years ago.

    Now, I have a few questions:

    1) Generally speaking, how long should it take two guys with a programming background to get their feet wet and start feeling comfortable in the iOS programming environment?

    2) Again, generally speaking, what kind of money can a person expect to make from the app store? Neither one of us expect to be up there with Angry Birds on the first pass, but if 80% of the apps in the store never even get looked at, is there a point in spending all this time to sell 4 downloads.

    I know that #2 depends entirely on the app idea, the execution, and the reliability of the app (and even some luck), but I just want to get a sense from experienced developers what the market is like. If you throw up a simple app does it make you a few hundred bucks or does Apple cut you a cheque for .57 cents at the end of each month.:cool:

    Any other information you think is relevant, let me have it.
  2. ulbador macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2010
    This is all so subjective and dependent on what you want to accomplish. For some people, even having the ability to publish something that millions (potentially) of people could see is better than drugs.

    As far as learning to program in objective c, that again is subjective and based on your abilities. I have both been in and taught programming classes and the level of ability can vary wildly depending on how your mind works. For myself, with an hour of goggling and some focus, I can be pretty proficient with any language out there. On the other hand I have worked with people who, after years of experience with a language, they are completely unable to implement basic logic without completely whorking it up.
  3. TheGrudge thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 22, 2010
    I hear you. We've both used C++, Java, VB, and even COBOL (gag).

    I guess I'm just hoping for people to post their experience so I can get an idea for how their experiences vary.
  4. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    The fact that your C++ experience is 6 years ago is actually an advantage. The differences between C++ and Objective C syntax/semantics won't scare you as much, because you won't remember C++ syntax/tricks very well.

    If you were a competent programmer a few years ago (in any HL and OOP language), it might be a matter of only a couple weeks before you're up to speed at a decent level with basic Objective C and the Cocoa Touch frameworks, and maybe a couple months till you have a non-trivial app ready for sale. Of course these time frames can vary by several multiples depending on your aptitude, time and effort.

    The amount of money you can make is much like that of any new business (restaurant, etc.), the majority go out of business after a while, a few make their owners rich, maybe 10% to 20% are somewhere in-between. So you could make pocket change, unless you manage to produce (market, etc.) one of a small percentage of hit apps.

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