Developing an iPhone application is not a process to undertake lightly. If you want to create an end-product of which you are proud, then you need to invest some time, effort and hard cash in learning the tricks of the trade and avoiding the mistakes of others. Some apps are successfully brought from the drawing board to the App Store without problems, but the majority will require you to make some tough decisions.
One particularly sensible piece of information to keep in mind is that app development is best done on a focused level. You should set yourself targets, prioritise the important aspects and avoid becoming distracted by minor issues. If you are leading a team of people and working for a major developer, then things are different, but for most small-scale app-development initiatives it will be necessary for a few focused individuals to get the job done.
The next thing to consider as you begin your app-development journey is that in most cases you will not need to begin entirely from scratch. If you are developing for Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android there are already powerful development kits out there to help you lay the groundwork for your own software. You can learn from existing user-interface arrangements and there is no harm in echoing the best bits of popular apps provided you are not blatantly copying or even infringing intellectual-property rights. This is not just unhelpful: it will also leave you at the mercy of the reviewers, who will heavily criticise those who mimic successful apps yet do not provide the same innate quality.
A heavily customised user interface is not always the best approach for an aspiring app developer. This is not just because creating your own user interface is time consuming and expensive, but also because some of the best UIs are the simplest and there is already an established way of getting things done that smart phone owners will be familiar with. Given this, you should arrange your menu elements, sidebars, context-sensitive buttons and other UI features based on existing formulas. This should help you avoid creating a confusing app which may seem perfectly clear to you but will deter potential customers.
Mobile-phone hardware is improving and becoming more complex at a fast pace, so you should create an app that takes advantage of modern features without excluding users who may not have upgraded to the very latest handset. With the arrival of the Retina Display on the iPhone 4, the resolution of the screen was increased dramatically. App developers have had to keep pace, introducing images and textures which do not look lacklustre when put under added scrutiny. Loading times and performance can take a hit when visuals become more complex, so it is something of a balancing act. If you are introducing video elements, then you also need to think about whether the users will be accessing a high-speed Verizon Internet connection over wi-fi or a basic 3G service. It is all of these elements that can ultimately affect the success of your application.