Idea to App book review; first base for iOS app creation

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Building an app starts with a concept, and idea, a vision. If you don't have a guiding light in mind, you're just doing. That isn't necessarily creating. Idea to App: The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Making iOS Apps is a new book from Megan Holstein, who is also responsible for the website of the same name. Her book promises not to be a rehashing of the website, though; it's billed as one that is full of fresh ideas, and a better walk-through of how to get from idea to app. To see if it accomplishes that, I decided to give it a read.

At nearly 400 pages, Idea to App is no slouch of a book. You're not getting a cursor glance at what an app is, or 'Hello World' code exercises. In fact, you're not getting coding practice at all.

The book's 'idea' is to give you a better understanding of all the things that happen outside of actually writing code. While sections like 'Design' or 'Development' suggest you'll be getting tucked into the minutiae of app creation, you won't.

What Idea to App hopes to accomplish is bringing us up to speed with all the things that happen outside of the app itself. Marketing, pricing strategies, and info regarding discounts and promotions are all included. While those concepts are great for the Indie Developer who has a decent idea and wants to be seen on the App Store, but the book doesn't end with that crowd.

If an over-the-top awesome idea that requires more work than you'd be able to put in by yourself or outside of your normal life duties occurs, this book can help. With the section on 'Funding Sources', Holstein pokes around the pros and cons of various sources. Kickstarter, venture capital, and even striking a deal with a business partner are all visited. Should you need to hire Developers for the work, either to compliment your efforts or to execute it for you, Holstein dips into the pros and cons of that as well.

One section that struck me as someone in the "press" is a section on — wait for it — how to deal with the press. I won't give too much away, but I will say her plan of attack will — and does — work. Though I'm conscious that I'm being sold on things all the time, those who stand out do so in large part because of the very same things Holstein is promoting in her book.

What the book does is discuss just about everything that isn't actually developing the app via code. Plenty of other books and videos do such things. Ray Wenderlich and his team spend countless hours doing tutorials and writing books on coding for iOS. Wenderlich is a stellar resource for that — maybe the best. To rival those efforts would have been silly, but Holstein offers things those types of resources really don't.

Idea to App is a great book for anyone who had that "a-ha" moment about an app, and wants to make it a reality. From starting a company blog/website to validating an idea and submitting feedback from users all the way down to testing and launching an app, Idea to App has quite a bit to offer.

In her parting thoughts, Holstein says "there's a lot more to making an iOS app that what was contained in this book." She continues that the book is a primer for best practices, more or less, and she's right. While the book covers a series of topics, it never dives into anything too deeply, making it a great first step toward bringing an app or service to reality.

You can (and should) find deeper info on all the things you'd read in the book, should they strike your fancy or hit on something you need to bring your app to life. As a starting point — one that will get you pointed in the right direction — Idea to App is strong. If you're interested, it can be found via the following resources:

AmazonBarnes & NobleGoogle PlayiBooksKoboIdea to App website (direct)