Building an iOS App with a Dynamic Content Back-End in 3 Days

No Comments Mobile App Development,Technical stuff

11930984_888086211283247_6235634713526303089_oMy wife teaches Moroccan and French cooking classes (utilizing easy-to-find local ingredients) to Japanese students (in English and with some Japanese). She’s now had a few hundred students attend her classes, many of them regulars.

Her students get exclusive access to delicious recipes. I had been wondering how to further share her know-how and offered to present the recipes through a dedicated mobile app; she promptly agreed.

I then set out on a journey to build such an app, leveraging knowledge I’d recently gained in an online Swift course I’d taken through Udemy. I could have started from scratch, but that would have taken more time than I can afford. Instead, I found a recipe app source code sold on Codecanyon, which fit my initial requirements.

Here’s what I achieved in the first 3 days:

(Note: Prior to beginning, I had already purchased a domain name and installed a WordPress site with a recipe-oriented theme on it.)

  • xcodeDay 1: I first purchased, downloaded, and customized the app with Xcode. Then, I tested the app with a local XML file containing the recipe information. After creating a logo for the app and changing a few photos, I installed it on my iPhone and showed it around. Everyone was amazed and jealous!
  • Day 2: I created an online database (MySQL) with the right structure to contain the recipe information needed by the app. Next, I wrote some PHP code to generate an XML file that the app can fetch to get the latest recipe information. Now, the app content is dynamic!
  • Day 3: Because I didn’t want to display any ads (more on the monetization later), I removed the iAd framework from the app. Then, I built a simple web content administration site to create and edit recipes. My wife can now manage her recipes without my help!

screen1What’s next?

The following tasks remain on my to-do list:

  • Add content (text and photos);
  • Address the localization (EN/JP first) matter;
  • Add In-App purchase to offer subscription access to newly-added recipes (after a 1-month free trial period);
  • Internal testing: Get the app tested by a few users to iron out any issues;
  • External testing + Promotion: Recruit 100 students to test the app for free using Apple’s Testflight and/or Promo Codes; and
  • Publish the app on the App Store!

Stay tuned for further updates!

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