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on March 8, 2015
I found this book to be well written and it explains the life cycle of modern application development very well. If you are a developer who has worked in any decent software houses you will likely find the information in this book very familiar and not of interest.

This book does cover, in detail, the process of working with a client and developing an application based on the client's requirements in addition to how to go about designing, testing and reporting bugs in the process. It also includes some amusing stories on how not to do things and failed projects the developer has walked into.

I was anticipating a lot more information about the actual release process. As a developer who has written many web and desktop applications I was hoping for more information about the actual selling of apps and what I need to know about any pitfalls or things you may need to be aware of.

If you are a new or self-taught developer, or if you have no development experience and want to develop an application, then this book is highly recommended and should help you avoid common mistakes.
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on January 27, 2015
The book presents a broad set of technical topics so shallowly explained, that it makes for a good "dictionary of technical terms for app development" but a bad book about "strategies for app development success".

From a developer's perspective, there is little to learn from the book. Lots of the content is either obvious or intuitive and whatever could be interesting is mentioned in too few lines to derive value from it.

From a non-tech person's perspective, the book presents a plethora of technical terms (that I'm not sure will be of any use at all), while barely mentioning something about pricing or marketing (topics that I would assume critical for the development of a successful app)

There is no doubt, the author is experienced on the technical topics and, very likely, a good developer. Unfortunately, the book fails to provide instruction to technical readers, and useful knowledge to non-technical ones. :(
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on December 31, 2014
As a software developer with over a decade of working experience, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a great number of clients. The introduction of modern app stores and the vast amount of available online resources have made it possible for practically anyone with ideas and resources to drive for their own apps and products. However approaching the software business with little experience from the industry can be a very slippery slope and even hiring professionals to help you can prove to be more complicated than you expected. It has proven to be very difficult to find the right people to work on those ideas and as it’s widely known, most software projects fail even with professionals behind the wheels.

App Accomplished offers the reader a great overview of the full cycle of app development. From writing the idea down, finding the right tools, working your way through wireframes, concepts and prototypes, finding the right developers, following up on their work and until the testing, launching, marketing. If you’ve had an idea for an app and don’t know what to do next, this book if perfect for you. It requires no previous experience in programming apps but explains everything very thoroughly.

Reading the book felt like having a pleasant one-on-one consultation conversation with an experienced un-bias developer. The writer focuses for a major part of the book on how to find and interact with developers and how to make sure they deliver. This is a crucial part of a development process, especially if you are not as experienced in the software industry. Money can be lost on unclear descriptions and unreliable developers. There was also a great section on how to recognise when a project is going badly wrong and what to do in those situations.

The best part of the book are definitely the case studies. The case studies are sections of the book where Carl shares his real world experiences concerning the current chapter. They not only give a great picture of Carl’s experiences and professionalisms in but also share valuable information on how to apply the things learn in the chapter in the real world.

As the writer is mostly targeting the point of view of a client, I wouldn’t really recommend it to more seasoned developers. Even though the book does offer great tips on all the phases of an app development life cycle, most parts are still assuming the reader has no programming experience and it explains some things at length.

Overall the book was a great read and I got some great tips that I hope to use in my own product development career. I can recommend it to anyone wishing to create their own app.
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on November 19, 2014
App Accomplished is a good book. Do not expect it to tell you how to develop an application if you are a developer. The author even states that up front.

There is a lot of high level information which helps you to think about your app idea. I found this to be the most helpful as a developer as that information helped me plan out my app better. I found chapters 3 (Prototyping and Wireframing Your App) and 4 (Determining Your App's Components) the most useful.

If you are not a developer, but have an app idea and want to know how to grow that idea to an actual app, where to find a developer, and what to expect along they way then this book would be good for you.

As a developer, I found this book to be geared more towards a non-developer who has an app idea and wants to know how to get it developed. The author primarily makes reference to iOS and Apple tools and development on there. He does briefly mention Android and Windows Phone.

I recommend the book if you have an app idea that you are looking to develop.
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VINE VOICEon October 30, 2014
The process of getting a successful mobile application deployed can be complex and daunting. Architecting, designing and developing natural user interfaces for touch and gesture on mobile devices is not the same as web and desktop UI design and development. Mobile devices are used in different contexts, and bring different personas to the table. Having web and desktop architecture, development, and UI design experience does not make you a qualified mobile architect, developer, or UI designer.

Although it was much worse back in the Dot Com Boom days, I still see publication and commercial print designers trying to design web sites the way they design a magazine. A lot of them finally figured out web design is different, and we are now dealing with getting them to realize web and desktop UI design experience does not make you a qualified mobile UI designer.

The same was true back in the Dot Com Boom days for developers and architects. Mainframe developers and VB6 developers carried over skills they needed to leave behind. Not all of them, but developing client server applications was different than building web applications. For the past decade or so, a ton of people have jumped on to the web development money cow, now they are jumping ship to the next money cow, mobile apps.

To make money in the app stores, or as part of an enterprise effort, you need to know what you are doing. Regretfully, all we know, is what we have done. Luckily books like this come out and help us avoid a lot of the learning by trial and error. I have listed the chapters of the book below to give you a high level view of what is covered.

1. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
2. The App Development Life Cycle
3. Prototyping and Wireframing Your App
4. Determining Your App's Components
5. Finding the Right Tools
6. Skill Gap Analysis
7. Finding a Developer
8. Interviewing and Selecting a Developer
9. Managing to Milestones
10. Understanding What You're Getting
11. Pulling the Plug Early
12. Communicating Using Bugs
13. Testing
14. Submission and Beyond

The author won me over with his definition of a failed project. He summarized them in the four bullets below.
1. The app failed to ship (that is, didn't become available to users).
2. The app failed to work (that is, didn't work as intended for a noticeable percentage of intended users).
3. The project cost significantly more money than planned (more than 10% or 20% over budgeted funding).
4. The project took significantly more time than planned (more than 10% or 20% over budgeted time).

I have witnessed some software projects succeed, some crash and burn, and the rest get close enough to success that the team can sell it as a success. Sometimes the later takes a heck of a sales job. I would say in my book 80% of those sold as successes failed. They either came in well over budget, well beyond their projected delivery date, or delivered such buggy software that the maintenance effort was as big as the development effort.

I have seen teams only meet #1 in the author's list above, delivering an app so buggy it should not have been used. Success to the team simply meant they considered the project over for themselves, and they passed the headache on to support. You will find the members of those project teams run as fast as they can to the next project, instead of doing a retrospective study. After several months of releases to the app stores, the maintenance team got the major bugs out of the app.

Each chapter of the book covers a ton of topics. For example chapter 4 covers Devices, Native apps, Web apps, Hybrid apps, Third-Party Frameworks, Analytics, Video and Audio, Peripherals, Accessibility, Custom or Complex Animations, Conditional Formatting, Localization, User Preferences, Data Storage, Servers, Syncing, Push Notifications, and Background Tasks.

Chapter 6 covers Programming, Testing and Quality Assurance, Server Support and Troubleshooting, User Experience Design, Graphic Design, Sound Design and Music, Copywriting, Marketing, and Games.

Covering so many topics does not allow for a deep discussion of each one. Instead the author introduces the topic and provides enough information that you understand the topic well enough to continue learning more about it. There is also a lot of cohesion in the chapter's topics, which helps to provide a context for the topics as a whole.

The one thing I had a little trouble with is that in certain places in the book the author gets into a mode of "That having been said", and then saying it is ok to do the opposite of what he recommends. That is fine, but it drags out those sections with info that is repeated over and over. At least that is the way it felt.

Prototyping and Wireframing Your App was where this came through pretty hard. In this section he also seemed to get a little simple for the reading audience by covering in detail how to cut and paste images into Keynote from OmniGraffle. I am not going to ding the book for this, because I feel it is just a writing style. I have learned over the years there are a lot of people who like this style of writing.

One of my favorite parts of the book are the sidebar case studies. Here is a partial list of them- API documentation, app development company outsourcing, Auto Layout UI code, cookie refreshing, design changes, Groovy and Grails languages, miscommunication with developer, missing source code, multiple bug reports, number comparison bug, optimization updates, outsourcing developers, plagiarism detection, spaghetti code, and vague requirements.

The case studies really help tie the topics being covered in the chapter to the real world. They are also lessons learned the hard way. By reading them, you gain the experience of having made the mistake yourself, without actually having to make the mistake. You just reap the lesson learned.

Over all I highly recommend this book to anyone getting into the mobile application world. The book is good for getting a sweeping view of the mobile world in its current state.
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on October 21, 2014
Great read
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on October 8, 2014
Comprehensive and up-to-date.
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on September 12, 2014
The book helps readers understand the mobile-specific development problems that can lead designers into a mess if they do not consider varying screen sizes at the wireframe state of the design. Staffing developers with expertise is an essential ingredient to successful product release. They have to know how to deliver a bug-free app at a fair price. The secret is the software requirements specification that details the requirements needed to create reasonably accurate schedules and budgets. Wireframes and prototypes are another topic that is treated with great respect because it helps predict problems before they get out of control. By clarifying the user's core experience, the app has the best chance to be successful in the marketplace. Brown covers tools for source control, unit testing, regression testing, project tracking and rework. He outlines the methods needed for gap analysis and how to move the product forward after release. This book is necessary for the new development team and should be considered a valued resource to help new organizations develop the policies, procedures and work instructions to grow their organizations with a successful scalability structure.
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on September 6, 2014
No matter what side of the equation you're on in the mobile app business, this is a terrific read. Card does a fantastic job of explaining concepts in an easy to understand manner.

I've been in the freelance / consultant role for nearly a decade, so many sections in this book were familiar to me. The thing is - I'm always learning new things about the business. I found Carl's discussion rather refreshing - as if I were conversing with a mastermind group member or business mentor. Though I know a lot about the business, I always enjoy learning about new perspectives and approaches to common problems. Even if you think you know how to run your business, I think you potentially have a lot to gain from reading this book. We can all be better business people and developers.

If you're on the client side of the equation, this book is invaluable. As developers, consultants, agencies, we spend a lot of time educating our clients about the process and the business of software. In suggesting this book, I don't mean to shirk any kind of responsibility. Rather, you'll find numerous tips and suggestions for working with developers such as myself. Even before that, you'll learn how to spot the good ones, and the warning signals you'll encounter with the less-than-good ones. Reading through this book will give you a leg up on your project so you can hit the ground running right away. Ultimately, we want our working relationships to be positive and give your app its best chances of succeeding.

As I mentioned above, this book is for everyone in the Apps business. We work so hard to make great products that our customers & users enjoy, yet often run into snags along the way. We owe it to each other to learn how to communicate and collaborate well. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to current and prospective clients.
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