Our learnings from publishing our first app in the Apple store

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My husband and I love taking photos with our iPhones. However, this meant that every second month we had to sort through all these photos for hours. There are photos of work, kids, school and whatever strange objects on our phones…I like to call it photo clutter.

A few weeks ago we became really creative and the idea of our Photo Tagger app was born. The app lets you classify your photos into My Albums as you take them. About five weeks later we are now really proud to have a first version in the App Store.

If you are an iPhone, iPod or iPad user please download the app, take some photos and let us know what you think. We really appreciate your feedback.

Here are our learnings from the experience:

Viability study.  Validation will give you a reasonable certainty on how feasible your idea is and if it is possible to establish it as a profitable business.  Ryan Robinson has some great tips on how to test your idea. You can undertake a basic viability study with friends or through a Facebook survey call out. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to get some feedback on how much demand there is in the market for your product and service. The other advantage is that talking to other people about your idea will open up other viewpoints which can enhance your offering.

Research. Is there already something in the App Store that may solve your problem or is solving it closely?  Perhaps buying a similar app for a $1 or $2 will fix most of your headache? Decide whether your app will really make a difference in the current market place and if it is worth the effort.

Solve your own problem. That way you stay focused on the problem because a solution does not exist but would actually really help you.

Be experimental. Try things out and see how they work. Make sure you are able to backtrack your work.

Follow iOS dev guidelines to the dot. The iOS App Store has one of the strictest quality assurance guidelines for mobile apps. It is recommended to follow them to the dot as this will save any rework.

Free resources.  There are a lot of great and free resources available. The development of our app would not have been possible without:

Expect rejections. Expect at least two rejections from the app review team. They are going to hurt initially but will improve your app in the long run.

Embrace feedback. Whether it is from Apple or your external testers from the early feedback group, any type of feedback will make your product better. Embrace every feedback and implement them in small iterations.

iTunes connect. Don’t waste your time using the iTunes connect app or mobile site to submit your app. Ironically the app used to upload iOS apps is very user unfriendly. How did this app ever make it through their own iOS app review process?

Whatever your goal, enjoy the journey although it may feel like running a marathon at times.

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