• Outsourcing to an Offshore iPhone App Development Company

    The time of the company that could handle every aspect of its business in house has long passed. Today only Santa Clause still designs, builds and delivers all of his toys on his own and even his PR department is handled by other companies.

    This is where the massive wires connecting the continents in the high speed optical network we call the World Wide Web really come in to play. Now a company is no longer bound by physical proximity to hire the specialists that exist in their own town. In fact there are many aspects about running a business, from creating and maintaining a website to developing an iPhone app or even tackling the job of an entire HR department that can now be outsourced to a another company working from the other side of the globe.

    This is particularly true when talking about developing a new website or an iPhone app because these are tasks that only require one initial effort in terms of resources and then everything can be set on auto pilot with just some regular maintenance checks. That means that not only there is no need for an in house iPhone app developer but that it would actually be an excessive waste to hire one. That is just one of the reasons why a company would look at outsourcing iPhone app development and we are going to take a very good look at both the advantages and the drawbacks of doing that.


    The Advantages of Using an Offshore iPhone App Development Company

    The one thing that needs to be clear from the start is the fact that, whether you decide to go with an offshore iPhone app developer or not, it is imperative that your business needs an iPhone app.

    Companies began developing their own websites when they realized that people were spending more and more time surfing the web and learning there about anything that was of interest to them. With the rising popularity of the iPhone people now spend almost as much time browsing the App Store and playing around with the apps they find interesting as they once did surfing the web. The only really significant difference is that now they do this while commuting, while standing in line at the grocery store, by filling up those moments when they really have nothing else to do but wait. And that means that a great app can really draw a lot of attention towards a specific product or company.

    The only real challenge is coming up with that extraordinary app and making it look and feel irresistible. In order to do that a business will need to spend some money. Just how much money they will end up spending really depends on the quality of the app they are building and on the team they are using. In order to keep both this factors in check the only real solution is to relay on offshore iPhone app development and here are some of the best reasons why.

    An Offshore iPhone App Developer Is Less Expensive

    There is a common fallacy in assuming that if a product is cheap it is also of low quality. The fact remains that the costs of leaving a high quality life in the USA is many times more expensive than leaving that same type of life in Eastern European countries like Hungary or Romania. This translates in high quality

    programmers that are much more willing to do an excellent job for less money than they would if they were leaving here.

    Increased Quality for the Same Price

    The fact that the same amount of money means something totally different in another part of the world also means that to outsource iPhone application development means to get the same quality you would receive from a senior iPhone app developer but for the money you would pay a grad student.

    Also by outsourcing the development of an app you are setting specific targets that need to be met and you are also stating a clear financial expectation. So no matter what issues might arise during the development process you are not obligated to make any further investment. It is the responsibility of the offshore iPhone application development company to get over whatsoever hurdles may come up and deliver the product that you have paid for.

    No Financial Responsibility Outside of the Project

    The fact that you are paying for the delivery of a project also means that you are not responsible with the human resource behind that project. Paying salaries, organizing team events, scheduling holidays and paying for them too and basically anything else that dealing with a work force implies is no longer your responsibility.

    Broadening Your Company’s Area of Expertise

    There is also a particular type of advantage that only businesses that are somehow related to the iPhone market enjoy. Say, for instance, you own an advertising company. Many of your clients will already have an iPhone app or may not be interested in developing one, however you are aware of how important an app really is and it is your duty to point that out. Now you could just give your client the tip and let him find his own developing company but by having a strong connection with an offshore iPhone app developer you can retain full control of your client and provide a more diversified advertising portfolio.

    Keeping Only Essential Resources on Constant Payroll

    This last example also points to another advantage of working with an iPhone app development company: you can focus your business on the one thing that really drives in cash, maximize the profits and the energy of the company in that direction and then outsource everything else. You may be great at developing and designing an app but there is really no need to keep the programming side of the business within the company if you are not particularly focused on that aspect.


    The Drawbacks of Using an Offshore iPhone App Development Company

    Of course it is not all fun and games when working with a partner and, besides the normal issues you would expect to come across when approaching another company to help you with a service, working with an offshore iPhone app developer can create its own range of problems.

    Limited Direct Contact

    The biggest problem when trying to outsource iPhone application development to another country is that you will not have a lot if any direct contact with the developer team. You can stay in close contact through Skype, of course, and they can send you daily updates about the project but most of us really can really get a feeling of understanding another person when we can get to actually see eye to eye.

    It really boils down to how many projects you will have with that team because, if you are only working with them for one app, than a combination of Skype, chat and daily updates will be enough. And if you are thinking about expanding your collaboration to several app plus the maintenance you can always take a business holiday, visit with the team and get to taste a bit of their culture too.

    Cultural Differences

    This is not about language differences because there really is no point in working with a team that does not speak fluent English. It is more about finding a team that has the same business sense and drive to succeed that you have. Of course even in the US some people are more driven than other but what we may fail to understand is that our entire culture is oriented towards performance and when dealing with offshore iPhone teams you need to make sure that they are on the same page with you on this.

    Time Zone Differences

    Seeing how you are outsourcing iPhone application development to another team there is really no need for them to work during the same hours as you do. Still there have been people who had a problem with the fact that they could only communicate with their team during few hours window when their working hours over lapped and you need to take that into consideration. The good news is that some offshore iPhone app development companies will either work different hours to match their schedule to yours or will have a representative that will always be available.


    Conclusion

    Ultimately there are no absolute answers to the issues that may arise when working with an offshore iPhone app development company but there are also plenty of advantages to offset any troubles that may arise. The best thing about going offshore is that you get an outstanding level of quality for far less money than what you would pay here and, if you take the time to chose wisely the team that you will be working with you may be surprised just how many things can get that over the internet these days.

  • Basic things you need to know before starting your iPhone app development project

    You need to sign up for your Apple developer account

    Despite what the name may suggest, you do not have to be a developer to sign up for the iOS developer program, any app publisher goes through this. If you want to have your apps published under your own company name and receive royalties from the sales, this is something that you have to do yourself – even when you outsource the actual app development to a third party, they are not going to do this for you.

    Do not worry though, the process is quite simple (submit personal information, fax the required documents) and varies a little depending on what kind of developer account you want to sign up for.

    There is the individual developer account, recommended for people who are developing their own apps, and this usually takes the least amount of time and effort to get it approved – usually just a couple of days.

    There is the company / organization account, which is recommended for people who use third party developers to do the actual development, as this type of account allows you to create team members within the account who are granted limited access by the account owner to work on specialized tasks. This type of account might take several weeks to get it approved, so make sure that you apply as early as possible.

    Lastly, there is the enterprise account, which is usually used by internal IT departments for private use.

    Regardless of the type of account you apply for, there is a fixed cost of $99 per year which allows you to publish unlimited apps and you can sign up for one here.


    It takes time to develop an app

    There will be significant period of time passed from the moment you first come up with an idea for an iPhone app and the moment you see it live in the App store.

    Even the simplest app can take at least a couple of weeks to develop (although most of them take months) and when you add on top of that the time it takes to exhaustingly test the app and the time it takes for Apple to review the app (usually another couple of weeks), you start to understand the importance of getting started as early as possible if you want to have your app live before a certain date. Open your developer account, get in contact with your iPhone app development company , and make plans well in advance of the desired launch date.


    Have a clear vision of what your app is supposed to do

    With more than 700,000 apps live in the App store (as of September 2012) and the number going up daily, there is little room left for apps that do not address a specific need in the marketplace. Not only do you need to know precisely how your users will interact with your app, you also need to be able to clearly describe your idea to your iPhone app developer. This usually implies having ready at a minimum a list of desired app features and it’s highly recommended to have mockups prepared as well (wireframes that describe the workflow of the app, how screens will connect to each other, when you press a certain button what do you expect to happen, etc.)

    By not starting your development project with precise requirements, you will run the risk of running into unexpected problems mid – development, as iOS is still a closed platform and many features that may look simple to you might prove to be impossible to integrate on iOS or restricted by Apple. Also, keep in mind that extra features added at the end of the project will be harder to integrate (compared to having been described in the initial phase) since they will most probably require a complete rework of the app logic and architecture, and in the end that is extra time and money coming from your pocket.


    The iPad is much more than a big iPhone.

    Developing an app for iPhone and iPad usually means developing two different apps. While from a code perspective it is more or less true that an app developed for iPhone will run on iPad as well (not vice versa though), from a design and user interface point of view it is a mistake to use the same app. The iPad’s bigger screen requires a specifically designed interface with extra features and a lot more menu space to take advantage of all the options the iPad offers. When planning your app strategy you will have to decide if it makes sense to develop your app for iPhone users only, iPad users only, or for both platforms, as the costs involved in the projects differ significantly.


    Apple takes a 30% cut from the app price, as well as from any IAP

    After your app is developed and before you publish it live you will have to decide on your monetization strategy. Depending on your business model, you can go with a free app, a paid one, a free app with in app purchases, or two versions of the app, a free one and a premium one. Regardless of your pricing model, you have to take into account that Apple will take a cut of 30% from the price of the app, as well as from any in app purchases your users make for the privilege of letting you publish through their platform. This might seem high at first (and we had some client surprised by that), but there is no way to bypass it. On the upside, you have complete freedom regarding the sale price, and you can easily modify it and test various price points to see what makes most sense for your business.


    If you wish to talk to one of our app strategists regarding your idea, get in touch with us!