Appillionaires: Secrets from Developers Who Struck It Rich on the App Store Paperback – 28 Oct 2011
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‘Stevens writes in lean, punchy prose, combining anecdote with the specifics of each developer’s story to success, making this a readable take on a modern phenomenon.’ (Computer Arts, July 2012)
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Top Customer Reviews
So what do you get for your money? It's spilt into 3 sections - each of a few chapters each.
The first section deals with Apps from their first inception, through bedroom developers to millionaire developers. This I found interesting as I'd not really read much on the history of app development before.
The second setion goes through 5 mega games (Doodle jump, Harbor Master, Pocket God, Stick Wars and Angry Birds- basically what the game is like, the story of its development, marketing problems/successes and finally its hitting the big time. For me this was the best part of the book - I was really interested in the trials and tribulations of a developer (having worked in I.T. as a software developer myself).
The last section gets back on track with teh first section - where the App market is at the moment and what might it's future developments be like.
An interesting book, had its highs and lows but failed to deliver on really inspiring me to write my own apps. Maybe I just haven't got what it takes?!
I found the history/birth of the App section to be fascinating, I know a fair bit about the hacking scene of the iPhones and the jail breaking of the devices but found a good few nuggets in the book.
These chapters focus on how Apple did not want to have third party applications on it's devices initially, so the hacking community created their own App store (Cydia - which is still going strong today) to offer functionality and features that the phone did not. The success of Cydia directly led Apple to begin to create it's own App Store via iTunes. The rest as they say, is history and also a massive success.
The next part focuses on some well known apps, their creators, and their. Most people will have heard of Harbour Master, Doodle Jump, Pocket God and Angry Birds but most people will not realise for example that 52 games were failures before Angry Birds hit the big time.
This section is well written and stresses both the importance of hard work, development and luck as major factors as well as technical skill. It also shows how good marketing can prolong the life of a successful product by avoiding saturation.
The final (and smallest) section is around the difficulties of producing an App - $15 - $50,000 for a simple App being an example. There is an interesting debate on the pricing of Apps and why 99 cents may not be the best price point. There is also the future of Apps and how the market is likely to progress.Read more ›
What we have here is a few chapters about the history of mobile games, the iPhone itself, and the App Store - interesting background reading, but hardly useful for the aspiring App Store millionaire. There are then case studies of the history of the development of five individual apps, including the ubiquitous Angry Birds, and the book then wraps up with a few chapters about the current state of the app market, which basically lets you know that to make a million on the App Store, the main requirement is to be incredibly lucky.
The app case studies are interesting enough, but don't expect any of them to tell you anything that is going to change your life - pretty much all of them just had a good idea and were in the right place at the right time.
It's a shame - as a history of the mobile application market, it's not a bad read, but the whole experience is soured, for me, by the suggestion that the book is something else; your passport to a new life as a millionaire app developer. I wasn't really expecting that to be true - if there was a sure-fire way to make it big in software development, it would hardly be published in a book like this - but the marketing of the book implies it is something that it is not, and for that reason, I struggle to recommend it. It feels more like a bit of a bandwagon jump in the wake of Angry Birds - a book written purely for the money rather than having any particularly useful or interesting information to impart.
I wasn't disappointed that I had taken the time to read this slim volume and will come back to the positives in a moment, but before I do, a few thoughts when you are considering a purchase.
- the book is absolutely focused on the Apple app store and the Apple infrastructure. I know this is reasonably clear but still feel it worth stating. It is written with no mention of the Android or the new Windows 8 infrastructure
- it makes some assumptions about the "cost of entry" to writing an app being the purchase of the tools ($99 is the figure stated in the book). It neglects to mention that, of course, you need an Apple PC to develop on, it is not possible to use a Windows PC (this is what stopped me getting started on app development on my iPhone as I do not own a Mac). If you aren't already in the Apple world the cost of starting will be considerably higher as you need to invest in new hardware
- it is very much focused on games, almost all the examples and almost all the anecdotes are about games (the author wrote an interactive e-book and this topic gets a couple of mentions, gimmicks like virtual pints of beer and fart apps also get minor mentions).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this book is for people who are setting out to create their first app. it takes you through a journey of how you can avoid many pitfalls that a novice may face when launching his... Read morePublished 20 months ago by PUA Master
This is a really well thought out book, written directly from the coal face, so to speak. The case studies are vital to to theme that there is money to be made from apps, even if... Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2013 by abcmulti
This is not a serious work on the subject of app development.
But then it did not set out to be such a book. Read more
This is based on interviews with the people who created some pretty huge apps on the apple app store. Read morePublished on 21 Oct. 2012 by khisanth
This book starts out with the history of the development of the App store and mobile phone app development. Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2012 by Robert Hardie
As a part time app developer, I thought this would be a very interesting read. To hear from someone who has managed to have a hit app could be potentially very enlightening. Read morePublished on 24 April 2012 by Steven Brown
Have been interested in computers most of my life, and am a self-admitted Apple Fan Boy, so when I had the chance to read this book, I was excited. Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2012 by Mr. Simon Paddon
Although I have been interested in computers for nearly 30 years I have never taken much interest in mobile phone technology. Read morePublished on 24 Feb. 2012 by ReviewMan