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How to Make a Mobile App: A Beginner’s Guide

When was the last time you used an app? Most likely within the hour, or even right before reading this blog post. What exactly is a mobile app then? How are apps made?

Well, you’re in luck. This article is a step-by-step guide for programming beginners who are looking to develop and launch a mobile app for the first time, as recommended by a professional full stack programmer (one who can work with all levels of the app, from what clients see and interact with, to the database and what goes on in the background).

Step 1. Understand the cycle of app production

As a beginner, it’s important to get a grasp of what it actually takes to create a mobile app. Research and study the cycle of app production, from planning to publishing the app. This will require you to study programming fundamentals, such as data structure, algorithms, etc., so that you’re familiar with the tools you need to create app.

You can also read the developer's guide for Apple and Google and master the app production overview and create an app according to their requirements.

Step 2. Master app programming languages and programming tools

Now that you have an overview of what you need to be doing, you can start working on the app itself! Learn your necessary programming languages and also how to use your programming tools: Swift is recommended for iOS devices and Java for Android. You can go about this by purchasing books about programming or watching tutorials online. The Swift Programming Guide, for example, offers a guided tour of the Swift code, a comprehensive guide, and a formal reference for the language. Great sites for online tutorials include Codecademy, Code Avengers, Khan Academy, and more.

Step 3. Develop a prototype for the app

After learning more about what you can do with powerful programming tools, it’s time for you to sketch out what you want your app to look like! You can do this in many different ways, from using just pen and paper to different kinds of software! Prototyping is useful because you can effectively share your ideas with your team, reduce costs on the developers and designers since you already have a frame, and gain feedback from potential customers.

Step 4. Plan and design the app for actual development

With the basic frame done, now you can plan and design the app for actual development. This is an extension of the previous step, and it involves actually building a programming environment and installing the coding tools. If you’re making an iOS app, this could involve buying a Macbook, installing Xcode, and dedicating time to code your app.

Step 5. Complete the app's development and beta testing

After you’re done developing your app, it’s time for you to do beta testing! Beta testing is when you test your app with actual target users after an alpha test with the product designers and developers.

There are many components to think about for beta testing, including cost, duration, scope. Beta testing will let you know about anything you missed, bugs in the app, and what parts of the app to refine. For more detailed information, click here.

Step 6. Complete debugging mobile app

If you’ve gotten reports about bugs in the mobile app, debug it! In order to debug, you may have to reproduce the bug, comment the details of what a line of code should do by using debugging tools, etc. Here are some tips recommended by Codecademy and here is a walkthrough of debugging for absolute beginners by Microsoft Visual Studio.

Step 7. Register my app on the app market

After everything is done, register your app on the app market! For iOS apps, use this link to create an account and register so that you can upload your Xcode. For Android apps, use this link to create an account and register so you can upload your apk (Android Package Kit) file. Apple and Google (or other companies with app stores) will review the app and let you know. Once this is done with, all that's left to do is launching the app!

Are you interested? Click here to download Dreamfora to add the customized plan “Learn to code by making a mobile app”. Dreamfora will set you up with a comprehensive set of daily tasks and habits for you to follow.

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