You’ve been thrown on your company’s app project. Now what? Where do you start? What’s all this gibberish about platforms, devices, resolutions, and density? How do you find a good team to work with? How do you not sound like a tool when you talk with them?

Relax. This book has you covered. With years of design and development experience behind me, I wrote a book to help clients and corporate employees understand mobile apps. From the vague to the specific, this book explains:


  • Why build a mobile app: Get advice, direction, opinions, and industry research so you can guide your company (or at least occupy an informed seat at the table).
  • Understanding apps: Learn the nuts and bolts of different platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian) and HTML5. Learn about distribution, resolution, and specifics on the largest platforms.
  • Getting your app built: Know what they cost, how to find and review a firm, what the build process is like, and see use cases.
  • Case Studies: Real world examples and the advice clients would pass on to other people starting an app project.

Whether you are building for iOS for iPad, iPhone and iPod, Android for mobile and tablet, HTML5—or all three, this book has the information you will need. Even if you are considering BlackBerry, Windows Phone or Symbian (Nokia) development you will be able to show up to meetings with an informed stance.


Only have 10 minutes?

Want to cut to the chase and whip out some answers to almost every question you have? Want a quick guide to every piece of information in this book? Skip right to the chapter, Everything You Need to Know in This Book—in Ten Minutes.



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Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • A Note of Caution

Get Started / Good Things to Know 1

  • Who This Book is For
  • Proper Care and Feeding of Designers & Developers
  • Five Short Stories about Working with Designers & Developers

Part 1 / Why Build a Mobile App 9

  • Why Build a Mobile App?
  • What Could Be a Good Mobile App for your Company?
  • Is There Money in Apps?
  • Who Has a Mobile Device?
  • “Why don’t we just build a…”

Part 2 / Understanding Apps 31

  • Native vs. HTML5
  • Understanding Platforms
  • Choosing a Platform
  • Resolution: A Tale of Pixels and Densities
  • Building an iOS App
  • Building an Android App
  • Building an HTML5/Web App
  • Pricing an App

Part 3 / Getting your App Built 65

  • What Does an App Cost to Build?
  • How to Hire a Firm
  • Worksheet: App Planning
  • Where to Look For A Firm
  • What to Expect When You Are Pitched
  • Please No RFPs
  • How to Choose From the Bids You Receive
  • What an App Build Process Looks Like

Case Studies / Let’s Look at Some Apps! 87

  • Boart Longyear
  • SmartMouth Communications
  • The Mandate Press
  • TimeMD

More / Reference & More Help 99

  • Online Resources
  • Educate Yourself to Talk to Designers and Developers
  • Sample Use Case
  • Sample Wireframe

10 Minutes / Everything You Need to Know 111

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