dropdamic

#50) How to Build an App: Drop Da Mic

Posted on Posted in Best of Season 1, Blog, Building Useless Stuff, Season 1

Time: 20-40hrs

Cost: $0

Difficulty: Easier than you would think

Ability to be a Bowwss?: Massively Increased



D-D-D-D-Drop da Mic

How many times in your life have you had a moment where you wish you had a mic in your hands to drop?

Burn someone real hard? DROP DA MIC.

Spit some phat rhymes? DROP DA MIC.

Slip into some canola oil, and brace yourself with your hands just about as you are going to perform on stage? DROP DA MIC.

If you’re like me, than these kind of situations present themselves at many times throughout the day (and without a mic to drop) often leaving you with a feeling of dissatisfaction… of an opportunity missed.

Which is exactly why I chose to spend 20 hrs of my life building the Drop Da Mic App for iOS.

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Well that, and I think that learning how to code, and understanding the basics of how an app works is incredibly important in today’s society.

Whether or not you want to accept it, apps are ubiquitous.

Assuming that you own a smart phone, you are probably using an app right now THAT was probably built by individuals just as smart (and not nearly as handsome) as you.

In 2013, people from the ages of 18-24 spent an average of 37 hours a month on a variety of apps. And this is not even including messaging apps!

From my perspective, to be using apps without having a clue of how they function, is comparable to driving a vehicle without understanding why its being propelled forward. Last week, if you had asked me how an app works, I would have said “pressing buttons, duh”, which is like saying “pressing the pedal, duh” for driving a car…

You don’t have to be able to build an engine from scratch, but its important to at least understand how it works.

And for that reason, I decided to build my dream Drop Da Mic app (which is also an awesome alliteration), and learn the basics of this phenomenon called “coding” that has placed itself in the majority of our lives.


How to Build an App

1. What is Your Reason for Building it?

First off, before you choose to build an app, you want to examine the reason as to why you want to build it.

For myself, I built this app to learn more about coding, build something I’ve wanted to build for a while, and produce a super cool video and post for my viewers.

Because I had you guys, and a variety of other reasons holding me accountable to getting this done it was a huge motivator to actually following through and completing it.

So know your why!

2. The Simpler the Better

The second thing is to make sure that whatever you’re building is relatively simple.

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Drop Da Mic literally as three features that I had to create. The microphone, the background and the function of touching the app and playing a sound… and it still took 20hrs.

Even with how simple the “Drop Da Mic” app is, there were a few moments where it was incredibly frustrating to build. When I was learning code for the first time, kept getting errors, and had no idea how to fix it…I often felt completely lost.

Which is okay and an important part of the learning process, but can also be a huge deterrent to you actually finishing your project. So the less features that can cause roadblocks like that the better.

Also, when making your first app, its great to be able to produce something that works, and works well as quickly as possible. This will highly increase your chances of finishing, as it is a huge moral booster when a function you’ve added runs properly for the first time.

So Simplify that Mutha Ucka!

3. Track down Some Awesome Resources and ask for Help

The only way that I was able to produce this badboy, was because of the plethora of free app related resources that you can find online. Here is a list of resources that I used to get this guy off the ground.

  • Xcode: The platform that iOS developers use for Apple software. Free and relatively easy to pick up and use.
  • CodeAcademy: Not directly related to coding the app, but is a great resource to use to learn the basics of coding, so that you have a stronger understanding of how each line works in relationship to eachother before jumping into Swift.
  • This Guy’s Youtube Channel: Is a super helpful channel that takes you through the process of building your own app, and all the important basic features that Xcode has to offer. This was my bible throughout the build, and I owe a large portion of my “success” to his help
  • This Video: Was used to find out how to add a sound and button into your app. Super helpful, and very straightforward.

Of course, many of these resources were specific to building the app that I built, and if want your app to have different functionality, than you will obviously have to search for your own. The main point of linking these resources is to show that they are out there, I used them and it totally works!

So Resources are there, Use Em’


How to Build the Drop Da Mic App

So apparently apple doesn’t like the idea of having an app that may inflict harm on your phone the app store. They also aren’t too fond of the idea of putting an app on the store that a 6 year old with impeccable typing skills could create.

So, I thought that if you would like to build the same app I have, all you have to do is follow the blog below, and I will send you all the materials and the step by step process I used to build “Drop Da Mic”!

Follow 52skillz on WordPress.com


What did I learn?

As with many of the 52skillz’, I have continued to solidify my belief that learning the basics of many seemingly intimidating areas of specialty is waaaayyy easier than you would think.

When I used to look at individuals who code, I would see them as these people who have committed an incredible much time to becoming skilled in their trade (which is often true), and that there would be no way that I could ever learn how to do something useful through coding (which is not true at all).

And as we’ve shown, with the right motivation and a total span of about 20hrs, I now have a basic understanding how of coding works, a basic understanding of how to build an app and a super fun product I can show off to my friends.

And you can too!

Anyways, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed and happy learning!

Follow 52skillz on WordPress.com

Have some cool resources or thoughts to check out in regards to first time app buidlers? It would be awesome if you posted them below!

 

 

 

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