An ABC of Independent App Development

An ABC for developers who would like to support themselves financially with their independent app dev work.

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iOS screen sizes reference v3

I’ve added iOS 16 compatibility, here’s a link to the new PDF file. See my original post for more information on this reference sheet!

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Z is for Zeitgeist

“the general beliefs, ideas, and spirit of a time and place” (Merriam-Webster) Let’s say you’ve come up with a novel app idea. Look around to see if there are other projects or trends sharing some degree of similarity with your idea. It could mean the timing is good for your project. The Hooked app was… Continue reading Z is for Zeitgeist

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Y is for You

Cultivate your difference Building an app addressing a need no other app has ever addressed is a great competitive advantage. Your app can become the top result for the corresponding keywords and the more it’s the top result, the harder it is to beat your app. Your best shot at finding a novel idea with… Continue reading Y is for You

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X is for Multiply, don’t add

Optimizing is for established businesses When an app is not bringing in serious money yet, focus on improvements you feel have a chance of changing the order of magnitude of the downloads or revenue you’re getting. There’s lots of advice out there about app marketing that will focus on optimizing existing revenue and they can… Continue reading X is for Multiply, don’t add

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W is for Wow effect

Hook users in as fast as you can New users will often only try your app for a few seconds after downloading it. If they’re not amazed right away, they’ll leave the app and delete it. You need to create a Wow effect™️ very quickly once the app is launched. In TextingStory, a user can… Continue reading W is for Wow effect

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V is for Virality

Make something people can share Using paid marketing to make an app visible in the app stores is very expensive. That is especially true for a freemium app like TextingStory. Only about three percent of users make in-app purchases in freemium apps, making user acquisition costs difficult to recoup. Virality is a good way to… Continue reading V is for Virality

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U is for Update anxiety

And how to fix it Now that I’m enjoying moderate success with TextingStory I find it increasingly scary to change anything in the app or add features. I’m worried I’ll break something or that users will stop liking it. It has a paralyzing effect I wasn’t expecting! I try to remember that any changes can… Continue reading U is for Update anxiety

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T is for Time

It always takes more time than you think Building and shipping an app is always more work than you think. Coding somehow always takes me twice the time I estimated. Testing takes as much time as coding. Making the app look good requires countless iterations. Preparing the app store screenshot takes forever. You’ll need to… Continue reading T is for Time

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