Our phones are getting smarter, and besides the robust hardware they are built from and the flashy OSes they run, mobile apps have emerged as one of the most captivating elements. Agreeably, today there is an app for just about anything – from managing your errands, booking tickets, flight schedules  to recipes and even, losing weight. In the hordes of apps available today, one can also find a fair share of apps, helping them while away their precious time; there are some, which make less sense, while there are some, which make none. All types of apps co-exist in a humongous mobile app market.

The Mobile Application Development has forked out pathways to newer opportunities and has in the process, broadened the market for software geniuses. In India, it is picking up pace, with Apple loyalists and emerging all-budget Android fanboys. Yes, app development or to be precise mobile app development in India is still at the grassroot levels, yet emerging and blooming slowly, yet steadily.


Rising popularity of apps..

IDC has in a report, revealed that it predicts that in the current year, mobile devices will surpass PCs, in both shipments and spending, while mobile apps are likely to generate a lot of revenue with billions of downloads. While iOS and Android have already geared up, Microsoft will join the real war, this year, with Nokia and Samsung having their own set of apps, too.

Gartner had predicted early last year that by 2014, we would see about 185 billion downloads. We aren't sure if we’d reach that large number by 2014, but looking at the current scenario of the mobile app market, it wouldn’t be a surprise, if we really do.

So, what does one do to jump into the shoes of a mobile app developer. There may be some with the knack for it and require a bit of polishing, while, with despite with no knowledge of the field would still look forward to it as a career option. We decided to find out what options do these students or people looking forward to learn mobile app development have and this is what we found.


App Stores for all platforms

Here is what we found in our quest for Mobile app Development courses –

Geek Mentors

Geek Mentors is an option for those looking at mobile app development. Well, they are the ones who’d dished out the Angry Anna app. Based in Noida, this institute offers classroom coaching at building applications for varying platforms, including popular iOS and Android. Currently, Geek Mentors is offering 3 months Mobile Game development course for the designers without any experience or knowledge in coding. This three months course would make you poorer by Rs.75,000.

Shahnawaz, the co-founder of Geek Mentors says, “Mobile Apps have been around since late nineties and app markets/stores are also available for a quite sometime. But with the launch of Apple App store, this world of apps started to blossom in earnest.  It made a lot of significant changes like it changed the revenue model in favor of the mobile app developers. The importance of seamless end to end user experience to increase usage and monetization became a core principle in the mobile app development arena.

But, does it offer profit margin in developing nation like ours with budget-friendly Android phones and millions of free apps? Do we really have people buying mobile apps in India? “The dynamics of the app market is quite different in a country like India from the western markets. To succeed here different business models, creative strategies are needed,” he adds further.

Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune

The Bharati Vidyapeeth college has a full fledged degree in Mobile App Development. This isn’t a quick course, but a proper three year course, called Bachelors of Science in Mobile application Development. Students interested in taking a firm step in Mobile Application Development can take up this course, but not before clearing the desired entrance test required by the University. The course has limited 90 seats and the fees  is over 2 lakhs. It follows a Semester pattern for examination.


Learning mobile app development

In India, the Android trend is picking up pace quickly as devices based on this OS cater to all budgets. However, no one would deny that despite the hefty price tags that iPhones carry, their loyalists wouldn’t compromise the sophistication over price (obviously because they can afford it). Bengaluru-based, CodeFrux provides well-planned app development courses for both iPhone and Android platforms with real-time application development on relevant devices. It provides classroom teaching and can arrange for online teaching provided there is a group minimum 5 students willing to learn online. Its courses crafted for iPhone and Android run on weekends for a span of one to two months, priced at Rs.15,000 and Rs.20,000, respectively, plus taxes.

Genius Port

At its head office in Bengaluru and branch in Pune, Genius Port offers mobile app training for iOS, Android and also Windows 7. Genius has a well structured curriculum, experienced developers with real time app building, and limited seats to ensure personalized training.

NIIT, one of the top institutes in IT training have a course in Developing  Mobile Application in J2ME, which costs a little over Rs.5,000 with taxes. Disappointingly, they do not have a course targeted at training students specifically in developing apps for iOS or Android platform. However, they have a brush through course on Android, which introduces students to Android, but the course doesn't include app development or coding.

App Developer Speaks
Again, talking about India, people haven't got themselves into the habit of using apps heavily and generally everyone would opt for the freemium versions, rather than premium ones. A recent Semantic survey, however, showed just how the enterprise market has been affected by the mobile app development. If you see BlackBerry, for instance, their apps are largely enterprise-based, although BBMing adds the fun frolic bit for individuals, the corporate-ness seems just evident, this is something we realized at the last BlackBerry app developers meet, we attended in Mumbai.


Where it all started…

We spoke to Siddhartha Banerjee, app developer and founder and CEO of CodeConclave, who has a different take towards learning mobile app development. A developer for iOS platform, he suggests one with some knowledge of programming could take help from a list of books available at Amazon. Those with no knowledge or some knowledge an opt for the online Stanford course. Siddhartha also shares a list of book,s which could make up an iOS developer's wish-list.

  • iPhone and iPad Apps for Absolute Beginners by Rory Lewis (Author)
  • Programming in Objective-C, Third Edition (Developer's Library) by Stephen G. Kochan
  • Programming iOS 4: Fundamentals of iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Development by Matt Neuburg
  • Beginning iPhone 4 Development: Exploring the iOS SDK by Dave Mark, Jack Nutting
  • More iPhone 3 Development: Tackling iPhone SDK 3 (Beginning) by Dave Mark
  • Objective-C for Absolute Beginners: iPhone, iPad and Mac Programming Made Easy by Gary Bennett (Author), et al.
  • Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK by David Mark (Author), Jeff LaMarche (Author)

Engineering colleges in India teach C and Java programming, but the level is so basic that one can't really use it for app development. Moreover, we really miss on boot camps and are left with some sporadic meet-ups (especially for Android), but we doubt the credibility, says Siddhartha who has been hiring for his startup firm. Obviously, app development isn't a widely accepted entity and still in its nascent stage in India.

Siddhartha says, “Buy the iOS Development books (beginners, intermediate and advance) from Amazon. And enroll with Stanford University online course on iOS development. These will definitely give an exposure to the latest technology. Create at least 2 apps, and upload them on iTunes Store. This is will give them confidence and understanding of how the eco-system works.  Finally, if they are serious, get into Apple Development Program ($99/year). This will give them an opportunity to access huge resources from UI design to coding examples and video tutorials from Apple WWDC that happens every year in San Francisco.”     

Image Credit: Getty Images           

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