Smartphones have made app developers one of the most sought after professionals. There are about 14 million app developers in the world. Based on a study by Evans Data Corporation, this figure was only 2 million during 2006. About 2.7 billion people use smartphones. So, it is safe to say that the demand for app developers will only continue to grow.
iPhones are one of the most used smartphones in the world today. It has gained a reputation as one of the strongest brands in the cell phone industry. When you think of platforms to build an app for, two options come to mind, iOS and Android. These two enjoy more than 80% of the world’s smartphone OS market share. Although Android takes a larger share of the market, the iPhone is far more profitable.
This is why developers love to build iPhone apps. Businesses have more to gain from iPhone apps. This is because customers spend more time on iPhone apps than Android. The App Store boasts of over 2.2 billion apps. iOS developers made over $26.5 billion in 2017. These figures have continued to grow. iOS seems to be the more profitable platform for businesses and developers.
The simplicity of developing an iPhone app also contributes to its success. Many developers feel iOS apps allow better user interface and experience than Android’s. This is due to many reasons. The minimalist approach of the Apple Developer software makes it the darling of app developers. Also, the lineup of iPhone is small. They have a unified UI and there are no fragmentation problems.
Every business now wants to own an app. From local coffee shops to financial enterprises, owning a smartphone app has become essential. But, there are vital considerations to make before you hire an iPhone app developer.
In this article, you will learn about the responsibilities and roles of an iOS app developer. You will also learn the average cost of hiring an iPhone app developer and other important factors. These factors will help you decide on the best iPhone app developer for you.
Who Is An iPhone App Developer?
An iPhone app developer is someone who creates and programs applications for iPhones. These apps are designed to run on iOS. This is the mobile operating system used by Apple. An iPhone app developer should be able to work with Objective-C, Swift in Xcode or any other IDE. iPhone app developers usually work with a team of IT professionals. These may include graphic artists, data analysts, and system developers. An iPhone app developer may create iOS apps for intra-organization use. They can also create them for public and commercial use. Examples of such apps are game apps, messaging apps, and e-commerce iOS apps. The developer handles testing the app and fixing bugs before and after the launch of the product.
3 Levels Of iOS Developers Based On Experience
Experience is the greatest asset a developer can have. The versatility of a programmer will depend on their working experience. Working experience refers to the number, diversity, and complexity of jobs undertaken before. This will determine their ability to solve diverse and complex problems.
What will help you determine the kind of developer your project requires? Knowing the different levels of iOS developers you are likely to encounter will help. Your budget is also a factor here. The salary for each level varies according to their skill set. But, you shouldn’t compromise quality for price. The complexity of your project should determine the level of iOS developer. A junior developer will not be able to manage a complex project.
There are three categories iOS developers can be divided into, based on their skill level. They are: junior, middle, and senior.
Junior iOS Developer
This category of developers is of the entry level. They are newbies who are trying to find their feet in the industry. Junior developers are usually placed under more experienced colleagues to understudy them. It will take a few years for a junior developer to achieve the required competence to handle projects.
Middle iOS Developer
These are the mid level developers. These individuals have had a few years working on a small number of diverse and complex projects. They have also spent time understudying senior colleagues. They can be hired to work on small and medium projects. But their skill level is still limited.
Senior iOS Developer
A senior developer has worked on a variety of complex projects. They have developed and released dozens of applications. Senior iOS developers have an all encompassing knowledge of app development. Apart from coding and design, they are knowledgeable in securities, testing and APIs integration.
10 Skills An iOS Developer Should Have
There are certain skills an iOS developer must have. You should look out for these 10 competences in the developer you are hiring. An iOS developer with these skills will be more suitable, especially if your project is a complex one. Will you need the developer for periodic maintenance of the functionality of the app? If so, you should ensure that the person you are hiring has the following skills listed below. The developer needs to be able to fix problems as they arise. You want someone who is more than a programmer. Choose someone who will be able to work with engineers at every phase of the project.
- Familiarity with iOS 10 and newer OS Versions
- Proficient with Swift 3.0 or Objective-C programming language
- Knowledge of Apple’s Xcode IDE
- Experience with Metal or OpenGL
- Advanced knowledge of code versioning tools, e.g., Git
- Understanding of UI and UX design standards
- Knowledge of Apple Human Interface Guidelines
- Familiar with APIs like Cocoa Touch and UIKit
- Understanding of RESTful APIs
- Knowledge of Core Data framework
When looking to hire a developer, you need to be able to define what your project is. Communicate your ideas in clear terms. This will help you during your interaction with the developer. You will also be able to decide the kind of iOS app developer you need. The complexity of your app will determine the kind of developer you need. A clear overview of your project will also give you a better idea of the level of programmer you need. The different features your app will have will determine the level of expertise. These factors summed up will determine the cost of your project.
You should take your time to outline what the iPhone app developer will be doing. The more accurate you are in your description, the better. Are they building the app from the scratch? Do you already have an app that you need someone to help update and fix bugs? Does the project involve designing UI and handling back-end integrations? Will your app require logins, through email or social media accounts? Will your users need to create profiles? Do you want 2-factor authentication? What about in-app purchases?
Mention the different skills you expect the iOS app developer to have. Include your preferences about iOS programming languages and technology.
Make sure you discuss deadlines with the iOS developer. You don’t want your project to be a work in progress forever. The different phases of the project and amount of time should be stipulated. App development has different phases. It can take several rounds of designs and tweaking. The different phases may also overlap.
Write down a detailed project description. It should describe what the app will look like. Add as many details as possible to give the developer a good idea of the work to be done. Signing an NDA may be necessary. Include this requirement in the project description. Mention the deliverables like designs, source code, or documentation.
The 7 Phases Of An iOS App Development
Are you considering hiring an iPhone app developer? You’ll need to understand the different phases of an app development. This knowledge will help you know what to expect from your developer. The job of the iOS developer is to take your specifications and turn them into a functional iOS application. The developer should be involved in all the phases of the app development. Every app has peculiar procedural requirements. But these are the typical procedures an app development project goes through. The app development project may take weeks, months or more. It all depends on your requirements and the complexity of your project.
This is the planning of your app’s content. It describes the flow and how users will interact with it.
· UI Design
At this stage, necessary graphics are incorporated into the Xcode development environment.
· Software Planning
The software architecture of your app is created.
· Front-End Coding
This is the phase where the developer codes the functionality of your app. This is done in Xcode, using either Objective-C or Swift.
· Back-End Integration & APIs
At this phase your app’s system architecture is built as well as necessary beck-end integrations
Your developer will go through your app on a device to ensure there are no bugs. This can also be done in the Simulator of Xcode.
· Submission to the App Store
This is the final phase where you submit your app for approval on Apple’s App Store. This includes the process of configuring the code. You’ll also create a profile and listing, before submission through Xcode for certification.
Cost Of Hiring An iPhone App Developer
A utility app may only need an intermediate developer who may charge $5 to $20 per hour. This price range may also apply if you only need someone to make updates and bug fixes. A more complex project may need a senior developer. This will cost more. A project like migrating your iOS app’s codebase from swift to swift 3 falls within this category. An app with real-time functionality, complex database integrations or APIs will also need a senior iOS developer. The charges may be as high as $80 per hour.
More experience usually means higher rates. Basic iOS development that involves the following may cost between $15 and $40 per hour:
- Objective C
- Xcode IDE
Developers who are skilled in frameworks and APIs like Foundation and UIKit may charge $35 to $75 per hour. Their skills may also include experience in dependency management tools like CocoaPods. Others who are familiar with bug tracking systems like Bugzilla and version control with GitHub may charge $45 to $100 per hour. Developers at this level can also perform traditional design tasks. This includes high fidelity visual mockups with Photoshop. They are versed in Apple Human Interface Guidelines and color schemes.
3 Ways To Hire iPhone App Developer
There are three basic ways to find iOS app developers:
- Hire a software outsourcing company
- Hire a freelance iOS developer
- Form an in-house team of developers
You will decide which one is suitable for you based on the nature of your project. Below are the pros and cons, from there, you can choose which of the three best suits you.
Freelance iOS Developer
Freelance iOS developers are suitable for short-term or one-off tasks. Hiring a freelance developer for a long-term project is not the best. You may hire a freelancer to fix bugs, update or add features to your existing app. These are projects with defined requirements and short time frames.
You will find freelance iOS developers on freelancing websites. This includes sites like Upwork, Fiverr Pro, and Toptal. These platforms offer an array of talents with various skill levels. You can even work with the freelancer on your own terms. Many of the freelance platforms operate a refund policy. This allows clients to get their money back if the work delivered doesn’t meet the agreed standard.
Only 3% of applicants get through to become developers with Toptal. There is a Toptal representative who will keep track of the progress of your project. This will reduce your project management worries. Fiverr Pro has vetted and handpicked app developers. Freelancers on Fiverr Pro are different from those you find on the regular site. Only about 1% of applicants earn the Pro status. Upwork is one of the most trusted freelancing platforms around. You can definitely find app developers that suit your project needs there.
LinkedIn is also a very viable platform to find freelance iOS developers. LinkedIn is a social media platform designed for professionals. It’s a good place for finding and hiring iOS developers. Make sure you ask for references before hiring. You can also use other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Software outsourcing companies may be a more reliable and trusted option than freelancers. This is because they have direct control over the developers working with them. You are dealing with the company as a brand and not faceless persons. Most outsourcing companies have two operational models. They can either outstaff their workers to you or work for you as a company.
With outstaffing, you hire iOS developers from the company. With this method, you will pay the company on a per hour rate on each individual. This model is also called dedicated team. The management of the project lies with you. Under the second model, the management responsibility lies with the outsourcing company. You contact them and explain your project. They will build the app for you from scratch to submission.
Outsourcing companies are a good option for hiring an experienced developer. They keep an eye on their staff’s development. They usually send them on trainings. This option is cheaper than hiring an in-house developer.
In-House Team of Developers
Many people prefer to form an in-house development team. This gives them total control over the activities of the developers. This approach is more expensive. It is only advisable for established companies. Most startup companies outsource the development of their products at the elementary stage. They only start building an in-house team after achieving viability. This is usually after they already have their product in the market. They may also take this route if they’ve secured investor confidence.
Some startups may need to hire an in-house team early on. These are companies with a complex product. Usually the product is based on the workability of their app and other tech resources. In such situations, there is a need for constant cooperation between developers and other departments. They may need dedicated iOS developers to work in-house with other tech staff.
An in-house team will cost you more. You will end up paying taxes, office rent, and buying hardware and software. With a freelance developer or outsourcing company, you won’t need to bother with any of these. Hiring and keeping the right talent can also be a huge challenge. Another downside is that they remain on your payroll, and you have to pay them whether you have a task for them or not.