Category: Web

A few months ago, I was asked to create an app for a mobile phone. My first thought was, I have no idea how to code mobile apps (nor do I want to learn right now). So I proceeded to “Google” how to make an app without having to learn the code. I found a couple of sites that would do the hard part for you, but as I got further into the building process I found out that it wasn’t free (as advertised). After several disappointing and misleading websites, I finally came across one that seemed truly legit!

Red Foundry

Red FoundryThe Red Foundry website is truly free and extremely helpful for newbies trying to create a mobile app. They have many written and video tutorials to teach you how to use their Fusion Studio. It’s mostly a drag and drop system, but there are lots of options for how unique and interactive you want your app to be. Then, there are “actions” which tells the app what to do when you touch, swipe, etc. It’s mostly self-explanatory, but when you do come across obstacles, Red Foundry has a very large developer community forum. All of the questions I had, someone had already asked and answered. So the process was pretty simple.

IOS Developer Program

The IOS Developer Program is a license from Apple that you must purchase in order to create applications for the iPhone or iPad. It costs $99 a year to develop iPhone and iPad applications. That was disappointing to find out, but I considered that into the price of building the app. You need to have this before you start developing your app with Red Foundry.

Apple’s IOS Provisioning Portal

IOS Provisioning PortalAbiding by all of Apple’s procedures is probably the most difficult part of the app-making process. Once you have your IOS Developer license, you will have access to Apple’s IOS Provisioning Portal. There you have to register your devices (iPhone/iPad), create Distribution Certificates, App ID’s, and Distribution Provisioning Profiles. It’s not easy to do, but Red Foundry goes through it all step-by-step to make your life easier.

Apple’s iTunes Connect

iTunes ConnectWhen your app is finally finished, you can “compile” it. First you get to set up more Certificates and Provisioning Profiles. Once you have all of the correct files and images for App Icons and Launch Screens, you can download a binary zip file that you will use to upload your app in iTunes Connect. You do not unzip it! Before you upload it, you must fill out all of your app info. That parts is self-explanatory. After that, the status of your app in iTunes Connect will be “Waiting for Upload.” At this point you will download something called “Application Loader,” which is where you will upload your binary zip file. You then just follow the steps to upload your app. After that, your app’s status in iTunes Connect will say “Upload Received” and shortly after “Waiting for Review.” Then you get to wait for Apple to review your app. I waited about a week, and my app was rejected. :( They said my app didn’t have anything that couldn’t be found on Safari (the internet, basically). This was disheartening!

Attempt #2, I added something that was unique to the app and wasn’t available online. Then, went back through the compiling and uploading process. With much anticipation, after a week and a half, I got the exhilarating news that my app was accepted!!! I was beyond ecstatic, but equally nervous because I didn’t have the slightest idea how to create push notifications (the clients main purpose for the app). As soon as I went back into Red Foundry to view the Manage section of the app, I found the push notification section was the most simple thing about creating the entire app. You click “Create a Push,” decide what groups of users you want to send the specific push to, and click “Send Push!” How easy is that? Unfortunately, Red Foundry does not offer scheduled notifications, but it’s on their list of things to add in the future.

Final Thought

The Aesthetic Clinic of Edmond AppRed Foundry was the most helpful company, even though they never helped me directly. All the information you need is there, everything has explanations on how to use it, and they are constantly trying to make it better. When I started making the app, I had to do this difficult procedure to link my Device to the app that was super confusing and hard to explain, but it made an app on my phone that I could preview the app I was creating. Anyway, before I was on my second attempt, they came out with an application that you can simply download and log-in without having connect your “device” to anything. I’m extremely impressed and would recommend them to anyone interested in attempting this app-making experience with little-to-zero knowledge of the code.

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