“Hello, World!” Mobile App to a customer in less than 24 hours

That’s right! In todays mobile app world, it’s easy to get a basic “Hello, World” mobile app into the hands of a customer or tester in less than 24 hours!

What is “Hello, World!” ???

A “Hello, World!” app is a very simple app that displays the text “Hello, World!”. It can be used as a sanity check to make sure everything is working and that the systems or processes are running correctly.

Why release such a simple app to a customer?

  1. The initial development and automation of the release process can be done very quickly. We are, in effect, testing this by releasing to the customer
  2. Having the customer or tester register their device and get an app installed is a necessary part of the entire process.
  3. Giving the customer version 0.0.1 shows they actually have their own app running and working on their phone. There is something!
  4. Iterative development is a key piece of software development. When a new milestone is made, it is very easy now to push the changes to the customer to get their feedback.


  • I already have a Google and Apple developer account. Setting these up can take a few hours to several days depending on your requirements.
  • I have built many apps in the past, so I can re-use some of my most basic configuration and automation tasks. I also have any necessary developer certificates or keys setup because of this.
  • This assumes the customer/tester replies to emails and invites (from the App distro tool) in a timely fashion.

Simple steps to get this done

  1. Create a starter app using my development tools
  2. Change the text on the main page to “Hello, World!” or “Hello, [Customer Name]!”
  3. Create the appId in Apple developer account and update the apps’ code using this app ID
  4. Build and test locally
  5. Push my code to my git repository
  6. Create a new build configuration for this app in my CI/CD tool, linked to my new git repo so that new pushes of code will kick off new builds
  7. Copy various build steps from a previous app that I use, changing relevant pieces where necessary
  8. Create the Apple provisioning profile for my iPhone and upload to my CI/CD tool
  9. Run a build on the CI/CD server
  10. Test on my iPhone
  11. Setup App Center information, linking my CI/CD tool to automatically push new test versions to testers
  12. Invite testers through their email
  13. Once the invite is accepted, the tester will register their device to allow the test version of their iOS app
  14. Apple provisioning profile is updated with new devices from testers
  15. A new build is started that will go to the testers. This build gets deployed automatically to App Center
  16. Testers receive an email when a new version is available for them to download and test.
  17. Tester installs, starts the app and sees “Hello, World!”.

Hmmmmm…..now that I think of it, it’s more like a few hours, given that I don’t run into any weird snags or it’s not football season.

Next Steps

Now that the guts of the app are working, its time to start on the various features. I begin development while testing on my Android and iPhone regularly. Once a major milestone is hit, I simply push a button and the new features are released to the testers.

Apple Developer Program Enrollment

Should you register as an Individual or an Organization?

According to Apple:
“In order for your company name to be listed on your App Store product page, your company must be recognized as a legal entity in your country/region.”

So, for example to have my apps listed as the seller, then I register as an Organization. In the US (as far as I know) yo will need a D-U-N-S® Number. Don’t have one yet? You’ll need to get that first to complete the Apple Developer Enrollment.

If I were to register as an Individual, the seller name would be my personal first name and last name.

D-U-N-S® Number

Need a D-U-N-S® Number or need to see if you have one? Start this process early as it can take a couple of business days to complete.

Lookup a D-U-N-S® Number: https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/lookup.html
Get a D-U-N-S® Number: https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html

How much does a mobile app cost?

This is a question that I hear a lot. And it’s a fair question, for sure. But a very difficult one to answer too.

I feel this question comes from the fact that mobile app development is just a different thing. I wouldn’t know how much it costs to build a bridge or raise a cow. I’m not in those realms, so I would not know and I would have to ask someone.

So, how much does a mobile app cost?

Think of it this way. Or think how you would answer the following scenarios:

How much does it cost for a new car?

  • How big will the car be?
  • How fast will it need to go?
  • How far will it need to go?
  • Does it need to be big enough to transport a refrigerator or couch? That would be a truck then probably.

How much does it cost to build a new house?

  • Where will the house be located? Downtown New York, a beach in Florida, or where?
  • How many rooms does it need?
  • How many bathrooms does it need?
  • Does it need a basement? Because if so, we should build that first, not last.

Do you get the idea? I’m playing and joking, but the analogies can be quite similar to building a mobile app. You really don’t know until you dig into all the requirements. The difference between the house, car and mobile app? It seems like the mobile app is never done because you want to add one more thing. The nice thing about mobile apps is that they can generally be built one, two, or three features at a time. We can do the Q & A to see what you need to get the first version of your app released before working on your next features.

Can you do that with a house? “You know, I want a basement and 5 bedrooms. Let’s start with that, we’ll move in and then begin building the living room and dining room.” No, I don’t think so. That would be difficult.


So, how much does a mobile app cost?

Hmmm, that sounds familiar. Here’s a sample breakdown of costs. These costs vary greatly from app to app though, so don’t quote me on this guess.

  1. Apple and Google Developer License: Apple is $100 (per year) and Google is a $25 one-time fee, that equals $125 for your fist year. This will get you the access to publish your own app under your own name. You can by-pass these fees and the setup if you want your app published by an app development company.
  2. Does your app use cloud data? For beginner or low traffic apps, this cost may be $0 / month. You can get your own virtual private server for $5-$20 / month to host your own data if the traffic increases more. Other cloud computing solutions, especially for high-traffic apps can cost hundreds of dollars per month. But hey, at that point you’re probably bringing in the dough to pay for your cloud data needs.
  3. Design or visual assets. This would be things like a custom logo or images to use within your app. We generally like to hire this out or have you provide your own images/logos. We do the code and put all the pieces together though. Design or logo costs can be $5 to a few hundred or more depending on the quality and the service you use.
  4. Software development costs
    1. Option 1 – Free. You can download the tools and learn how to code it all yourself. It might take longer, or it might not be your cup of tea, but it’s an option.
    2. Option 2 – Online mobile app creators. There are tools out there that will give you a very basic mobile app with a specific set of features. These generally charge by the month I believe.
    3. Option 3 – App Development Company. These can cost from $7 / hour for an offshore firm or up to $200+ / hour for larger firms.
      1. This is where a majority of your costs will come from initially. Let’s say you have an app that will need about 30 hours of coding, testing, and app store setup. For a firm that costs $75 / hour, that becomes about $2,250 for the initial cost. Not sure what features you get in those 30 hours? Neither are we, because apps are all so different.
  5. Marketing
    1. Option 1 – $0. Is this app used by a select group of people that already need it? Then you just need to tell them, like your hobby group or the employees of your company.
    2. Option 2 – Marketing material or low cost. Maybe you just need to add the app store logos to your website or print a brochure for your customers because your app is meant for local customers. These cost will vary.
    3. Option 3 – unknown. Do you have “the killer app” and need to tell a lot of people about it? You will need to market the app through Facebook, Twitter, or in the app stores themselves. This will also increase the development cost a little too. Why? Well, big apps like this would use silent tools within the app to track where your revenue is being spent the most efficiently.
  6. I’m sure I forgot something…..


The cost of a data-driven app with a limited set of features, might run in the range of $2500 – $5000 for the mobile app itself. If you have cloud data development needs, then this value could be doubled. That gives you a ballpark $2500 – $10,000 for a mobile app. That’s a gut feel though.

Do you want a more accurate idea of how much your mobile app would cost? Ask around. Ask for a 30 minute discussion with a mobile app development company (or three) on the ideas of your app and see if they can give you a ballpark.

Did you get the sense that there is no direct and specific answer to how much a mobile app costs? In some cases there are. In most custom app cases, there is not. Sorry! Remember the car and house questions above?


Sign-up for my newsletter below. I plan to release some case studies, including general information on how much certain apps costs to build. Also more to come on how I’m working toward lowering my “out-of-the-box” mobile apps.

Check your Blog or Page setup before sharing to Social Media

You can’t see it, but it should be there! Hidden in the depths or your web page.

It’s called metadata, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “data that provides information about other data”. These are small chunks of data within your webpage that helps describe the content or summarize the content of your web page, whether it’s a blog post, news article or About Me page.


When either you or a visitor to your site wants to share your page or blog article to social media, these pieces of metadata are used by the social media platforms to build the post for their specific platform. A Facebook share looks different than a Twitter share which looks different from a LinkedIn share. The same goes for other social media platforms.


3 Tools

If you want to test your page to see what it will look like on some social media platforms, take a look at these three tools.

  1. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/post-inspector/inspect/
  2. Facebook: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/sharing/
  3. Twitter: https://cards-dev.twitter.com/validator


How to use

  1. Go to one of the links above
  2. Paste a link to your blog post, article, or whatever you want to share in the text field.
  3. Click the action button to Inspect/Debug/Preview what it will look like

Possible Issues

There are various things that could be wrong with your page. When you look at the preview, it should be close to what you want to share.

  1. Missing Image
    1. Solution: Your website may have a default image that can be used for all posts, or you can add an image to your post.
  2. Missing Description
    1. Solution: Sometimes the SEO tools specific to the page you are sharing do not have the metadata description filled out. This is like a summary of your content.
  3. Missing Everything
    1. Solution: Twitter cards typically need to be set up on your website for correct formatting


It’s always a good idea to test your website for the correct social media metadata. This will provide a more professional look to your current and potential customers when you are sharing content.

Note: Metadata is also used by search engines and your webmaster should have that setup as well.

Bar Bands – Complete re-write

The BarBands mobile app started a couple of years ago, when Ionic 1.x and AngularJS were in full swing. I’ve always liked this app and the potential it has, so I decided to upgrade it.

Since I’ve begun building my newer mobile apps with Ionic 3.x and Angular 5.x, I decided to take this one and upgrade it. This was not a difficult task, but a little time consuming as I was also building new processes/flows in my upgrade and build process. I want it to be smooth when I upgrade some of my older apps.

In addition, I added a few new features to the app which included:

  • a map of gigs closest to you
  • an easier way to submit gigs
  • an easy way to contact support with an email

The new Android version is finally complete and has been released. Take a look at it on Google Play.

What’s next for the app? iOS.

Once you have the Android version of the app built with Ionic, an iOS version is not difficult at all. For a developer that works in a Windows environment, like myself, it just becomes a little time consuming. I just simply need to build the app for iOS (usually using PhoneGap Build or Ionic Package) and then install and test on my various iPhones. I make sure all the plugins work and that my build scripts are kept up-to-date. But, I still use the same source code as the Android version. Most of the time spent on the iOS version is actually testing, which is a good thing, right?

AQuA – Another Quote App

We’ve recently released a new mobile app called AQuA, Another Quote App, to the Google Play Store.


What we used to build this:

  • Angular 5.2
  • Ionic 3.9.2
  • Cordova
  • Firebase with a real-time Database to store the Quote categories and the Quotes

This was an exciting project to start on, but it is a work in progress. We were really excited to use the Firebase backend. To add the quotes, we built an Angular frontend website to view the current quotes and add new quotes. It was great to see how quick and responsive Firebase and the Angular Firebase modules were. When we added a quote to the backend database, we didn’t even have to refresh the mobile app. The quote just showed up in less than a second on the mobile app.

Future Plans

  • Favorite a Quote and view a list of your favorites
  • Share a quote on social media
  • Get local reminders (such as a daily reminder at 8:00 am) to read a favorite quote

[UPDATE 04/08/2018] Now available for iOS on the App Store