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mikthe20

Building An App (Ios/android)

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I know there are a lot of knowledgeable IT people on here so hopefully some good advice.

I'd like to build an app for iOS and Android. I'm OK building web sites but not a programmer and frankly the day job takes enough time, so my options I think are either to build it using visual tools with no coding or get someone else to build it.

The app itself, in first version at least, is very simple. It's a fitness app and I want to be able to log various specific exercise activities and the time taken and calories burned on a daily basis. There should be totals (day/week/month) and charts accordingly (I appreciate there are fitness apps already where you can specify new exercises, but I want this app to be specific to the sport/fitness plan). There'd be a lot of features to add later (social media, online account, maybe movement sensing) but just want to get something that works first. The app would either be sold very cheaply (<£1) or there'd be a free version with advertising on it (or I suppose both so that people have option to get rid of ads).

Can anyone suggest a visual tool to create this (most I've looked at don't seem to have charting) or how I could find a reliable third party that could do it for not a lot of money? TIA.

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The fitness app market is sort of saturated on Android and ios. If you can't do at least a big part of it yourself (and thus absorb the cost) then it will be expensiveish to expensive to get it developed for you - app development isn't cheap at the moment. If you want to go down that route make sure you've got a robust business plan - the early players might have got multi-million downloads but this only makes the hurdle higher for new entrants and dilutes potential income. I also note that all the main players (on Android at least) are all free + inapp payments, which mean only a small % of the users actually pay. Advertising can work, but gives paltry income depending on the app.

I'd have thought that visual software won't get you that far - for your needs you'll need to have a reasonable amount of hard-coding going on.

If you are interested in pursuing it I'd suggest getting a partner to buddy up with you and get them to do the programming - maybe a relative out of college, etc. You'd have to do marketing/sales etc.

Or learn how to do app development - you don't say whether you're a pretty website builder, or hardcore backend stuff - if the latter app development won't be that hard....

As an aside, if you want to make money then for a start (imo) ios users are much more likely to shell out hard cash compared with Android users.

But my 1/2p worth is that fitness apps might be where it's at, but it is also a fairly congested market and you'd have to offer something really unique to compete - and as soon as you start to make sales the current incumbents will just introduce your innovations into their software and wipe you out.

[but I'm happy to accept that you've got something unique and you don't want to go into details - if so, good luck with it]

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But my 1/2p worth is that fitness apps might be where it's at, but it is also a fairly congested market and you'd have to offer something really unique to compete - and as soon as you start to make sales the current incumbents will just introduce your innovations into their software and wipe you out.

[but I'm happy to accept that you've got something unique and you don't want to go into details - if so, good luck with it]

Many thanks for your response dgul. I guess I want to test the water before investing in any meaningful way. The app idea is very niche but you make a good point of other people potentially copying it. Thanks again for your insight - food for thought.

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If high-speed processing is not a necessity (as it sounds with your proposed app), investigate PhoneGap or its open-source variant: Cordova for a cheap, shallow-learning-curve write-once hybrid app development technology suitable for commercial app store deployment.

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Shares of Fitbit Inc. FIT, -4.51% declined on Tuesday after Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.51% unveiled Microsoft Band 2, its own wearable fitness device. Microsoft Band comes with an optical heart rate monitor, a GPS, and a calorie counter. It also checks sleep quality and keeps track of floors climbed, Microsoft said. The $249.99 device will be available at stores on Oct. 30. The news weighed on Fitbit's stock with shares down 4.6% to $36.42 while Microsoft shares rose 0.5% to $46.87.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fitbit-shares-slide-as-microsoft-unveils-new-wearable-fitness-device-2015-10-06

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You might want to have a play with the Eclipse Android Developer Tools (free) before deciding that you don't want to code it yourself. Although this is fairly hard-core programming and the learning curve is quite challenging, the mental rewards come from writing and tweaking an application that you can carry with you anywhere are quite large. You could find yourself motivated to learn how to program.

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You might want to have a play with the Eclipse Android Developer Tools (free) before deciding that you don't want to code it yourself. Although this is fairly hard-core programming and the learning curve is quite challenging, the mental rewards come from writing and tweaking an application that you can carry with you anywhere are quite large. You could find yourself motivated to learn how to program.

Android people tend to use Android Studio rather than Eclipse.

As for PhoneGap / Cordova, mentioned above. It does produce cross platform code and you can access the low level nuts and bolts by writing your own libraries. It is good where your app is largely screens (like web pages) but I've had quite a few inconsistencies across different phones (fields not appearing) and ended up tearing my hair out with it. At least native Android code pretty much does what you expect it to. I would suggest both PhoneGap and developing native apps are beyond the abilities of the average guy or gal in the street.

If the poster wants to PM me I may be able to help a bit with the Android side anyway. At least to knock up a prototype.

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