How To Really Make Your Own iPhone App

Last week, I did a post on how to make your iPhone app using a service call Bloapp. While Bloapp is a cool service for getting your blog on the iPhone, it doesn’t create a native iPhone app. Instead, it adds your blog to the Bloapp app. While this may be good enough for some bloggers, I imagine most would rather have their own native app. Well, if you happen to have a little money to spend, you can have your own native iPhone app for your blog thanks to a service call AppMakr.

I actually spent only $50 to create my iPhone app. I had a $149 coupon at the time. The coupon no longer works but $199 is still a lot less expensive than going the traditional route. Here’s the easy ten steps as explained by Mr. Gary Lee, my iPhone developer.

1) Go to AppMakr.com and register for an account – no affiliate link or anything. I’m not making a dime off this and neither is John (yes, he resisted, but it’s for the betterment of the blogosphere!)

2) Once you’ve created an account and logged in, you’ll be directed to your App Manager Page. To get started, you’ll want to press the “Create an App” Tab on the upper left as seen below:

3) Choose which iPhone App template you’d like to use – Since they are new, you only have one option, so press “Choose This”

4) Submit your RSS Feed of your Blog as I show you below. If you’re using wordpress, you’ll find that adding “/feed” to the end of your category URLs is going to come in very handy.

5) Now, we’re getting into the main graphics of the app. If you have any custom logos, you should get them ready. Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 512 x 512 pixel Logo – This will be the “button” on the iPhone Menu.
  • 320 x 480 pixel Splash Screen – This is the loading screen which is the first graphic your app will load.

6) Creating Buttons that represent different feeds to different parts of your site. Remember when I told you that “/feed” comes in handy, well, this is where they come in. These are the feeds that I will be submitting for John’s site by pressing the “+ Add RSS/Atom Feed URL”:

  • Blogging – http://www.johnchow.com/category/blogging/feed
  • Fine Dining – http://www.johnchow.com/category/fine-dining/feed
  • Technology – http://www.johnchow.com/category/technology/feed
  • Cars – http://www.johnchow.com/category/cars/feed
  • Investing – http://www.johnchow.com/category/investing/feed
  • The Net – http://www.johnchow.com/category/the-net/feed
  • Dot Come Lifestyle – http://www.johnchow.com/category/dot-com-lifestyle/feed
  • Make Money Online – http://www.johnchow.com/category/make-money-from-a-blog/feed
  • Trade Show – http://www.johnchow.com/category/trade-show/feed
  • Featured – http://www.johnchow.com/category/featured/feed
  • Ramblings – http://www.johnchow.com/category/uncategorized/feed
  • Videos – http://www.johnchow.com/category/videos/feed
  • Featured Video – http://www.johnchow.com/category/featured-video/feed
  • Reviews – http://www.johnchow.com/category/reviews/feed
  • WordPress – http://www.johnchow.com/category/wordpress/feed

After submitting each feed, make sure to press the “Validate” link to make sure your feeds work.

This is what it looks like:

Now you may think these are a crapload of categories aka buttons to put into the app, but there is a more button users can press on their iPhones and if they would like to rearrange the buttons on the bottom, it’s as simple as drag and dropping.

7) This is the final customization part of the look and feel of the app, so this is what you’re going to need here:

  • 320 x 46 pixel Header Image – This is located at the top of the app at all times.
  • Color Codes for Fonts – Linked and Regular – I would suggest similar color scheme to your current blog.

Controls

And this

Controls

8) Monetizing your iPhone App. To get started, you’ll need to select one of these Mobile Ad Platforms. For Google’s Sake, we’re picking AdMob – Sign up with them and get your publisher ID to put here:

John has decided to make his first iPhone app Ad free, so you won’t be seeing this implemented.

9) Publish your App. The “Mashable” coupon expired a while ago. I’m not sure if it still works but feel free to try it.

10) Once you have paid for the iPhone App, you’ll be asked to submit details for your App, so that it is listed properly in the iTunes store. Submission and approval takes about 2-4 weeks even though AppMakr is claiming 1-2 week turnaround. I guess your mileage may vary.


47 thoughts on “How To Really Make Your Own iPhone App”

  1. Kevin Kimes says:

    This seems very neat, but the John Chow dot Com app still does not work for me. I even reinstalled it. It crashes when I click on the empty box where a post should be. It says Loading instead of any posts being listed, nothing ever shows up in any of the categories.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I think it’s funny how in the first bullet point, it says that John resisted not having an affiliate link in the post. Awesome stuff. 🙂

      1. Graham Lutz says:

        Affiliates links are what he does!

  2. Jeffrey Kang says:

    Oh yes! Finally someone who would share their experiences making apps. But I kind of want Joel Comm to share his innovativeness. It’s too bad I don’t have an iPhone.

    Maybe the only way to learn to make apps is to go the old fashion way and go to Borders to read the book instead of buy it. Oh wait, they went bankrupt. 🙁 I wonder why.

    Will someone teach me how to make an app that’s called “donate just $1” to the Jeffrey Kang needs a car fund?

    1. Graham Lutz says:

      I’ll do it for a 50% cut 🙂

  3. Travis says:

    Yes, the app crashes for me as well. HAHAHAH @ jeffrey =p.

    1. john have you tried yourself.

  4. Bil Smith says:

    This sounds like a neat service but I think I’d be inclined to wait until they have more than just RSS feeds as an option when creating the app. I’ll keep an eye on this one though.

    1. Graham Lutz says:

      The real question is how many people are going to be downloading blog apps? Is there any kind of resource out there with that kind of forecast?

      1. Yes that is useful data which we should have so that we can take the step accordingly.

      2. Humm deeply goin….
        this is a really real question.

    2. Kevin Kimes says:

      The option exists, but costs more. It means hiring your own developer.

      1. We had and we have that option always.

  5. Mark Chauvin says:

    Yup App just stays on “Loading” and if you try to select a category it crashes.

    1. Kevin Kimes says:

      Has *anyone* gotten this app to work yet?

      Several posts that it isn’t working, no replies of “works fine for me”. I wonder, does it work at all?

  6. John why you emphasis on REALLY in title.

    1. Graham Lutz says:

      Because he already posted on Bloapp which is really just your blog inside the bloapp app.

  7. Unless the app has any usefulness – other than browsing and visibility in the app store – I wouldn’t recommend making an app.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I agree but also disagree. I personally feel that simply having an app for your site adds a level of credibility and prestige. Do agree it would be cooler to have an app that does something other than simply doing what you can already do on the mobile site.

      1. Graham Lutz says:

        Yeah – my question is just how many people are really wanting apps for an individual blog? seems to me that an RSS app serves that function.

      2. Kevin Kimes says:

        A well built app, combined with webserver-side integration, can make it significantly easier and quicker for a reader to load up your blog and interact.

        It should not be built in a way that simply displays the content with the iPhone’s web browser. It should only download the content itself, displaying it with locally stored or generated visual framework.

  8. Tikyd says:

    Thanks for this post. i am more interested in doing an app on my computer without using a service online. There seems to be a lot of interest in this market in general.

  9. fas says:

    Fantastic stuff there John. So whom is the payment made? iTunes or the company which helps you make it?

  10. I have used many application in iphone its working great

  11. That looks pretty cool.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        Agreed! It gives your blog or website a certain level of “prestige” by having its own app.

        1. Not that I want to start the whole Blackberry versus iPhone debate here, but I wonder how difficult it would be to create a similar app for the Blackberry.

          1. Kevin Kimes says:

            I suspect there’s no easy route for BB and other mobile platforms, like this. But I’d bet it’s not hard to find a single developer who can develop one for all of the platforms simultaneously to save costs significantly.

            For a blog app, though, it’s probably only worthwhile to hit Android and iOS.

  12. PPC Ian says:

    Super cool! I’m definitely going to check this out. I think the price is very fair for what you’re getting. 🙂 Would love to have my own app for my blog and also my big, authority websites. Also, the name is better than bloapp.

  13. Graham Lutz says:

    Other than the credibility that comes along with having the app, what other benefits are there? I wouldn’t think it would be any big source of traffic or anything.

  14. Iphone looks beautiful….

  15. It’s a beautiful post and thank you for this effort. and an iPhone can function as a video camera (video recording was not a standard feature until the iPhone 3GS was released), a camera phone, can send texts and receive visual voicemail, a portable media player, and an Internet client with email and web browsing capabilities, and both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

  16. This tutorial is cool and informative enough for me to be able to create my own iphone application. thanks for sharing this awesome information.

  17. adam holmes says:

    this combined with drupal on the back end could create an awesome application platform.

  18. Actually, the iphone is more than a product as it is becoming status symbol now a day. Even in Europe, you can have navigation facilities from it as well.

    1. Considering the advantages of having this kind of device no doubt about it becoming so popular and widely used.

  19. Kevin Kimes says:

    I think the app is broken for everyone. 😛

  20. Iphone applications are really cool love to have them on my site

  21. Nice iphone tutorial. Thanks for share.

  22. Forex News says:

    Unless the app has any usefulness – other than browsing and visibility in the app store – I wouldn’t recommend making an app.

  23. Ember says:

    I see many unhappy comments. As for me guys I use snappii dot com and it works. I make apps for me, my friends also use it.

  24. Jon says:

    I recommend Nov8rix (www.nov8rix.com). Customizable for iPhone and Android. Completely worth it and user friendly for the non-html consumer.

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