Straight talk for businesses considering an iOS app

IOS (s aapl) development is not for the faint of heart, and a new blog post by developer Kent Nguyen (the creator of the Denso mobile video discovery apps) does a good job of pointing out exactly why. Nguyen’s target audience is companies who foot the bill for app development, in the hopes of lessening sticker shock and generally making it easier for non-developers to understand why devs need all that time and money to do what they do.

Nguyen goes into a lot of detail, and it’s a must-read for anyone thinking about commissioning an iOS (or really any mobile OS) application. Here’s one passage in particular that I know will resonate with a lot of freelance devs:

Converting an iPhone app to iPhone/iPad universal app: This is the worst ‘additional feature’ found in iPhone development contracts. Because an iPad app is not a frikin’ additional feature. The iPad app is always more complex than iPhone app, and most of the time requires entirely different interface and interaction mechanism. It’s like making an electric bicycle and then convert[ing] it to a fuel-powered motorcycle! They are very similar at what they do, but under the hood, the difference is immense. [Emphasis in the original]

A lot of companies may be interested in what an app can do for their business, but without a good sense of what kind of resources need to be invested in order to create the app in the first place, there is bound to be ample frustration on all sides. Nguyen’s no-nonsense primer is a good way to help avoid some of that frustration.