Confessions & Assumptions

Confession #1: I am not a superstar iPhone programmer or Silicon Valley whizkid.

When I was first asked to produce an iPhone App for the company I worked for at the time, I didn’t really have any understanding (other than as an iPhone user of a few months) exactly how to put one together.

It’s not that I didn’t have any interest in producing one. It’s just that as ‘Head of Online’ for a large company (with a team of 25 people to manage and every project marked as urgent) making my 14 hour working days even longer wasn’t the first thing on my mind. Nevertheless because of my job title and as the guy with over 10 years of online experience, mobile just naturally fell under my remit too, and with some great people around me, I picked things up quickly.

The guide you are now reading is everything I learned in that process. If I could have had something like this before I started, I know that a lot of time, money and pain would have been saved and, from speaking to others since, I realised many other people were in the same position too.

Confession #2: There is nothing in this guide you couldn’t learn directly from experience (or many hours) of online research and talking to people in the industry.

It is not a ‘magic formula’ for success.What it is though is collated knowledge and experience in a single document (and a supporting website at that will hopefully save you the hours, wrong turns and cost of figuring everything out for yourself.

Neither is this guide going to be some ‘Apple-wash’ about how apps are the greatest thing ever, that they are the only things worth thinking about and if someone even breathes on your app in the App Store you are going to make $1m. If you are staring at a blank piece of paper or an email from your boss though (or you want to create one of the world’s greatest apps but you have no idea where to start) it will give you a great launch pad.

Some assumptions about you:

#1 You know a little bit

I’m going to have to strike a balance here between assuming you know something about iPhones or iPads, the App Store and what an app actually is and the fact that clearly there is some stuff you don’t know or you wouldn’t be reading this guide. If you really have no clue what the App Store is I suggest you take a look now (hint: you can find it on your iPhone) and download a few apps just so you have some idea before we go on.

#2 You own or at least have access to a device that runs apps

If you trying to do all of this without at least owning or having access to one Apple device that runs apps (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) I think you’re really going to struggle to get too far and I would recommend you get one (or at least regular access to one) before you go much further with your project. Virtual iPhone ( and Virtual iPad ( are only going to get you so far.

#3 You have some kind of budget (or at least will in the future)

This is the App Outsourcing Guide rather than the App Development Guide. If you want your app to go from idea to App Store (and you want to follow all the recommended steps in this guide) then almost certainly you will need some kind of budget. Can you get any use out of this guide if you don’t have a budget? Yes, you can still learn a lot, but if you are hoping to follow the guide fairly closely then a budget is likely to be necessary at some point.The good news is that if you were thinking your app is going to cost $100,000 at least (and, it is a very big project it still might) then you may be in for a pleasant surprise when you tap into some of the talent your web browser can bring you these days.