Q&A: Are There Still Opportunities for New App Developers?
I was recently asked the question "Are there still opportunities for new App developers?" on our new book series (iOS App Development for Non-Programmers) forum. I'm repeating my answer here for the benefit of others who are asking the same question.
iOS 6 Provides Great New Opportunities
In short, the answer to the question is--absolutely. There are always new trends and new interests in the world at large and if you can tap into these you can create an App that does very well.
Getting in on the Maps Action
For example, EVERYONE is currently complaining about the Maps App, but Apple has created an opportunity where you can create a Routing App (subways, buses, trains) that users can purchase directly from the built-in Map App.
Build a Better Mouse Trap
There are also a lot of Apps out there that you can improve on. Even though an App already exists to solve a particular problem, often there is a better approach that you can implement in your own App. Apple has been tremendously successful in doing just that--taking something that exists, and making it far more user friendly. If you haven't already done so, I recommend checking out Apple's iOS Human Interface Guidelines. There are far too many Apps in the store that don't take the advice in this guide!
Use New iOS Features
You can also get your App noticed if you create a Universal version that works for both the iPhone and the iPad (there are a lot less Apps in the iPad store). If you take advantage of new features in the operating system, you can also stand out. Many App developers are reluctant to take advantage of new iOS features because it means their Apps won't work on older versions of iOS. If you're willing to take the plunge with a new App, you can get noticed by taking advantage of great new features.
Passbook Offers Great New Opportunities
You can also get into the business of creating Apps for others. A great opportunity in iOS 6 is the new Passbook App. You can create coupons, store cards, boarding passes and event tickets for businesses in your area. It's pretty exciting for a local (or national) business to see their store cards and coupons scannable from an iPhone.
Easy Integration with Facebook and Twitter
There is also new integration with Facebook and Twitter. It's VERY easy to incorporate this functionality into your App (only two lines of code) and you can have your users sharing photos and messages from within your App.
Finally--A Control that Lets You Add Photo and Music App Features to Your App
There's also the new Collection View available in iOS 6. It allows you to easily create a user interface that mimics the built-in Photo and Music Apps. We've been waiting a long time for this functionality, and now it's up to App developers to incorporate this new control in their Apps.
Every new release of iOS provides brand new opportunities for new App developers to throw their hat into the ring and create Apps that surprise and amaze their users.
Author of iOS App Development for Non Programmers book series