Running a mobile app business is more than coding an app and submitting it to the app store. To be successful in today’s competitive app market, mobile app development teams have to not only build and test their code, but market their apps, make updates, and do anything they can to keep mobile app users happy.
Unfortunately, this can all be overwhelming for app developers that try to do everything themselves. The good news is, there are a tons of amazing resources to help mobile app development teams pull it off with ease.
Here are a few developers resources to get it all done that you maybe didn’t know existed.
Mobile App Services
Hockeyapp — App dev services
HockeyApp is probably the Swiss Army knife of mobile app services. If you’re a minimalist looking to include only a few libraries in your code, you may want to consider HockeyApp.
HockeyApp tells you about app crashes, handles app analytics and user feedback, and even helps you manage your beta testing. If you’re already considering these features from other service providers, just consolidate and use this one-stop shop service.
Content — Update app content remotely
If you need to change an image or anything else in your app without coding, just use Content. Content is basically like WordPress for your mobile app.
Anytime you or anyone on your team (yes, non-coders too) wants to change video, images, audio, or even HTML in your native app, they can just drag and drop the new content into the app and users will see the changes in seconds.
Switch — Toggle your app features
You release your app and you’re excited it’s finally out. But in the reviews users are complaining about crashes.
What’s a developer to do? Pull the app from the app store…that’s dramatic. Send out a bug fix to in a week? Nah.
How about turning off the exact feature that’s causing the problem? Meet Switch. Let’s say your search feature is causing the crashes. Just use Switch to turn off only the search feature and your users can keep using the app while you bug fix. Once you find a fix, just switch the search feature back on and users can use the search feature without crashes.
Interesting App Dev Bits
Flat Mobile App Design in Photoshop Video
This video walks you through the entire process of making a beautiful flat mobile app design. It’s simple to follow, even for those of us Photoshop amateurs. Follow the video and you could end up with one beautiful looking app in a matter of hours.
If you’re a solo developer without the luxury of having an app designer, this could help you pull off something great.
Advantage of Reskinning Mobile Apps
Hate how long mobile apps take to make? Have you ever considered just reskinning a popular app and making changes.
I know, I know. Even the suggestion of doing this seems a bit unethical, but this article about reskinning mobile apps could possibly have you reconsidering your position. Just keep an open mind and read the article. It may or may not be for you, but if it’s anything, its an interesting read.
App Development Blogs
iOS Blog — Objective C Coding Tutorials
Awesome, simple, thorough Objective C tutorials. Sometimes it can’t get better than a solid tutorial to help you through code problems.
And this is just what iOS Blog delivers. If you ever get stuck or need to learn something new about Objective C, this blog should be one of your first stops.
Luke W — Mobile Blog
This blog goes into more of the business side of mobile apps. If you want some awesome reads on design, UX, and mobile app business trends, just spend a few hours shuffling through this blog.
App Development Tools
Pop — Paper app prototyping
Sometimes we don’t have time to get that genius app idea into a big prototyping app. When you don’t have the time, just draw it on paper.
All you need is a piece of paper (a napkin will do), a writing utensil, your mobile device, and Pop and you can just take photos and simulate the screenflow right there.
AppThwack — Automated Testing for Apps
Thoroughly testing your mobile app means making sure it works on different devices, not just the platform. But owning all of those devices would be a disaster.
Luckily there’s no need to. Just use AppThwack to test your mobile app on real devices, with different carriers and ensure your app’s in top shape for all your users.
Cocos2d — iOS game dev forum
Not enough love is given to mobile app game developers, even though they’re killing it in the app stores. So I love when I find resources dedicated to mobile game development.
If you want to create an iOS game using Cocos2d, this forum should be one of your first stops.
Making Money — Android dev & marketing forum
Who doesn’t want to make money from their apps? Seriously. That’s why if you’re an Android developer or looking to make the transition into the Android world, snooping around this wonderfully named forum wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Any Android dev topic from choosing the right ad network to discussions about unique marketing methods go on here. Just peruse and be prepared to be schooled.
App Design Resources
Opacity — Screen graphics app
Sometimes you don’t need everything graphics apps like Photoshop have to offer.
Opacity is an app that includes only the stuff you need to make on-screen graphics, like your app icon. No, you won’t be able to make awesome flyers with Opacity. But you surely can make a great looking app icon.
Everything Is a Remix — Series about “copying”
Ever feel that apps are starting to all look and behave the same. Well, you’re right! But there’s an interesting explanation for it. Want to be schooled on the history of “copying”, then you’ve got to watch awesome documentary “Everything’s A Remix” on Vimeo.
Just get your popcorn, fire up your Apple TV, and get some interesting insight on why you’re experiencing creative Déjà vu.
Design Mobile Apps book
There’s nothing like a beautiful book to teach you how to create beautiful apps. And that’s exactly what the Design Mobile Apps book is.
You need this book if you want a crash course on all things app design. From wireframing and user testing to file prep and design best practices, this book can get you through it. If you’re design challenged, this may be just what you need.
Content Strategy for Mobile
No matter the platform you develop for, your app needs content. The challenge today is not necessarily making your app for different platforms, but how to deliver a consistent “content experience” to all your mobile app users.
This book shows you how to create a “scalable” content strategy and talks about the importance of content on mobile. Must read.
Deploymate — Identify deprecated code in your app
Apps with old APIs can be crash magnets. So it’s crucial to keep an eye out for old code. Even though Xcode does a decent job at this, sometimes deprecated code can slip through the cracks.
Enter Deploymate. Deploymate looks through your code and sniffs out old API code. Now you never have to risk your users experiencing crashes because of deprecated code again.
Reveal App — Inspect, modify, debug code
If you hate debugging your iOS apps, you may just change your mind using this tool. Reveal makes debugging almost fun by displaying the hierarchy of your app in 2D and 3D.
But Reveal isn’t just a beautiful way to debug your app. You have the power to make changes and see them instantly without recompiling your code. Imagine all the time you’ll save!
Nine Old — Android animation
Some of the most tedious things to code in your Android app are oftentimes animations. But they are sometimes necessary depending on the app you’re making.
If you want to make it easier on yourself, use the rotation, bouncing ball, scale, and other animations Nine Old already handles for you.
Edge Effect Override — Library for styling & customizing scrollbars
Hate the standard blue overscroll_edge and overscroll_glow effects, then change them. No need to do it the hard way. Just use the Edge Effect Override library to do it for you.
Changing the color doesn’t even require graphics. Simply change the color dynamically to get the effect you’re looking for.
Gamasutra — Five PR tips indies need
There’s undeniably nothing more important to your success in the app store than marketing. If no one knows about your app, you’ll actuallygo broke making apps.
So if shamelessly marketing your app isn’t your thing, Gamasutra graciously walks you through the process of talking to the press to get the app downloads you need.
Alau — Like bit.ly for apps
Alau makes short URLs specifically for mobile apps. But you may wonder, why not just use something like bit.ly? Well, any ‘ole URL shortener can tell you who clicked on your app link, but nothing beyond that.
If you want to know how many people actually downloaded your app and installed it after clicking the link, you want to try Alau.
App Design Extras
App To Us — Easy app landing pages
If you’re already live in the app store and don’t have a website for your mobile app, Apptous has got to be the easiest way to get it done.
All you have to do is search for your app name and it will create a beautiful landing page for your mobile app. It will literally take seconds to get a website for your app, no excuses guys.