How to Write a Viral iPhone App – Part I

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iPhone application development is one of the hottest fields in the world of information technology these days. Many programmers have found instant fame and fortune by writing killer iPhone applications. It’s true that these apps are fairly cheap, but if you write one that goes viral, you can make a lot of money. But here is the challenge. How do your write a viral program for the iPhone? Not every app is going to make it, and you could end up spending hours working on an app that ends up producing no real results. Here are a few factors that have helped web-apps go viral on iTunes:

  1. Simplicity: you want a program that is easy to use. You don’t want your users to have to be rocket scientists to play with your product. The more difficult you make your program, the less success your are going to have.
  2. Usefulness: this really applies to business and utility web-apps. You need to solve a problem and address a need. You can’t just introduce a product for the sake of doing it.
  3. Innovation: sometimes the simplest ideas take off because nobody has thought of them before. Take iFart for example. It’s very simple but has made its developers a lot of money.
  4. Share Options: whether it’s providing support for multi-users or just allowing your users to send e-mails or other content to those who they know, you will need to provide some experience sharing functionality. You can’t go viral without it.
  5. Price: your product can be priced from $0.99 to $20. Sometimes, you get more value by giving it all for free. In fact, a lot of companies have gained a lot of exposure by giving away freebies. Make sure you don’t price it too high or you are going to turn people off.
  6. Monetization: don’t try to over-monetize your apps. Your users are not stupid and can read through you.
  7. Support: be responsive. Provide them with support, and you’ll reap the rewards.
  8. Updates: your job is not done once you have finished coding. You should listen to your customers and provide them with features that they need.

Developing an iPhone application is more than just writing the code. There are thousands of applications available for the iPhone, but not all of them have gone viral. It’s easy to see why. Applications that are simple to use and provide unique value to the users have a better chance of going viral. And you can’t go viral if you don’t give your users to share your app and the fun with their friends. At the end of the day, keep it simple and unique, and you are on your way.

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