A text interview with Diethard Seiferth, who has been kind enough to give people an idea of what it is like to develop apps for iOS. Diethard’s most well known app so far is ‘AroundCal’ and he will be revealing a new universal app creation very soon. Ever wonder how smartphone app developers work?
1) How many apps have you produced and for which platforms/operating systems?
I’ve designed and programmed three apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch and one universal app for the iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch.
2) Which is your most popular app?
My most popular app is AroundCal for the iPhone. There is also a free version available
3) Which programming languages do you use and which one is your favourite language to programme in?
I use Objective-C, but for other projects (not mobile apps) I use C, C++ or Java.
4) What made you decide to start programming apps?
After I bought my first Mobile Device from Apple, an iPod Touch, I saw which that new things were possible to realize and develop and that it was fun to think about it as well as design and develop my first app.
5) Can you tell us about any challenges or learning curves you’ve encountered whilst developing apps?
Yes, for e.g. my best running app AroundCal is running very well. AroundCal already was under the first ten productivity apps in the German App Store, and when people use it of course they can add a lot of things to each calendar event, like voice memos, photos, tag images, prioritise and more, which makes AroundCal different to other calendar apps. But, AroundCal has a lot of features, and people must learn how to use it. I’ve added a tutorial inside the app, of course one cannot see all the actions which are possible to do.
And today I would say that AroundCal is more like a “Windows program” than a small app for the iPhone. I thought for me that my future apps should be able to operate without a tutorial, it must be clear for the user to know how to use it. For e.g. my newest app Calquencer is a small app, allowing people to produce sequences of calendar events. It’s easy to handle, no tutorial is necessary. And Calquencer is my first app running on both the iPhone and iPad, and I learned that the iPad is not only a big iPhone, it needs a bigger design phase. For this app, I’ve spent most of the time getting iCloud running well, and I’ve learned a lot.
6) What do your family and friends think about your job/hobby developing apps?
Oh, that’s very different. My wife is not so happy, because of course I’m now sitting and spending a lot of time in my office creating apps.
7) What advice would you give for people thinking of starting to develop apps?
Think differently! What can I make what is special? What do other apps not have?
What do people get if they use my app? Define a few major functions and do not try to add the same functionality as for a desktop app.
Think about the differences of iPhone and iPad: People use the iPhone if they travel and want to do something fast.
Create a clear design. Think how a user would operate your app.
If you have the app already in your head and some a designs on paper, start developing. Think from time to time if you are on the right track.
8 ) Do you have any future projects on the horizon?
Yes, I’m now very far with a new universal App.
9) What kind of apps are you most interested in developing and what kind of apps are you least interested in developing?
Of course I program the apps in my free time, I’m very open minded in what to do. My available apps are calendar apps, my new one will go into the learning category. And possible I will create future apps for different categories.
10) How do you advertise or gain exposure for your apps?
In the past I tried a lot of things. But IÂ´ve learned that advertising needs a lot of money and if you do not invest much money, it will not work. I now use twitter to give new information to people about my apps, and I give away promo codes and write some sentences from time to time on different blogs. Today I think it’s much better to spend the time on a good design and making a good app, and then people will tell other people about this app.
We hope that you found the advice of smartphone app developers like Diethard Seiferth’s advice helpful. A big thank you to Diethard for being kind enough to give us an interview and a glimpse into the world of smartphone app developers techniques.