How to Make an iOS Fitness App: 12 Tips Checklist

While the mobile industry grows, our devices become our personal assistants. Nowadays, smartphone apps can give us a hint on the medical treatment or teach us a new language. No prizes for guessing how easy it is for our mobile phones to become personal coaches.

Fitness apps are not a fashionable trend — it’s more like a necessity to achieve certain goals and become a healthy individual. We continue a research in mobile fitness app development, and today’s article is about main steps to make before launching your own fitness solution.

Starting with a Research to Make an iOS Fitness App

1. Define your target audience

First of all, who exactly will use your product? You should be sure that people really need the app you’re going to offer them. As there are several types of fitness apps on the market, their target audiences differ to a certain extent.

On this research stage, it’s better to use as many data sources as possible. You may start simple with analyzing the market and finding apps similar to yours especially if they have high ratings (for example, Fitbit or MyFitnessPal). Then, go further and look for some numbers on Statista or Google Trends. And finally, use such services as ProductHunt where you can place your idea and get a feedback from potential users. Those who will be interested in your app are your future loyal customers.

2. Pass your idea to tech professionals

The application you’re going to present to the market will definitely require lots of work to be done and constant updates afterwards. With this concept in mind, think about hiring a remote team of professional developers. It is way less expensive than hiring an in-house team, and you yourself can focus on the business idea and work on a marketing concept while your product is being developed.

Additionally, looking for technicians working remotely, the whole world will be open for you. And as developers have different hourly rates depending on the country, you can adjust the app price to your budget.

Setting Up the Development Work to Make an iOS Fitness App

3. Pay the most of your attention to UX and UI

The importance of a thorough design elaboration is widely discussed in the mobile app development community. More applications appear in the App Store every year, and this fact makes users pickier about the product they download. That’s why coding should be based on a perfect design. Besides, Apple has its own Human Interface Guidelines which should be a foundation of your app’s visual representation.

Source: Dribble

4. Focus on certain devices

Earlier, it was considered that iPad responsiveness was more important for business apps. Nowadays, any application should be adapted to the size of any screen, including both iPhone and iPad devices. And you should not forget that fitness apps are often used on the Apple Watch, so it can be a perspective development path for your business.

5. Benefit from iOS fitness app libraries and frameworks

iOS libraries and frameworks are very convenient instruments which can be used in many cases for your project. You should also know that they can reduce the cost of your application as it lowers the number of efforts to create a new app. These tools are available on GitHub, and they are mostly open-source solutions, so anyone could contribute to a huge iOS ecosystem.

6. Learn more about healthy nutrition services API

Diet and nutrition apps are one of the most popular types of fitness apps. They may concern many aspects of people’s everyday habits: a number of calories (either burned or taken), water intakes, logging body weight, etc. As there are many options, one can find lots of ready-made APIs on the web for the future work.

7. Provide the list of fitness programs and exercises

This point concerns another fitness app type which is the workout application. If you choose it, your product should be very informative and motivational for users. And first of all, it’s about sets of exercises with detailed instructions on how they should be performed.

Source: Dribble

8. Add a piece of entertainment: news and tips for users

News and tips are not a necessary element in your application, but it allows users to find more information within your app not using Internet sources. It widens the user’s horizons and helps him achieve higher results. Plus, this is also a reason to visit your app more often and, consequently, it increases the average time spent in the app and average session length.

9. Make sure that peer reviews are conducted by the team

Peer reviews are such practices when developers review each other’s code before the QA stage. It may seem unobvious at the first glance, but imagine that each code line has the experience of several developers. Any specialist can make mistakes, and all of them have different levels of expertise — peer development helps to smooth any roughness in the code.

But not all practices of peer reviews are efficient enough for the final result. These are examples of successful practices which can be implemented in your project:

  • Reviewing less than 200–400 code lines at one time.
  • Thorough reviewing should take not more than 1.5 hours.
  • Using quantifiable metrics to see the progress.
  • Using checklists, etc.

The Post-Development Stage

10. Take care of the high-security level

People entrust their smartphones with more personal information every year. While it makes our lives more comfortable in some ways (for example, using payment apps), malware never sleeps and hunts our personal data. As a businessman, you should make the final decision about the security level of your product. You become a mediator between your users and outside threats of attackers.

You can check the needed security level starting with the basics:

  • Following Secure Coding Guide written by Apple.
  • Custom encryption.
  • Data protection with HTTPS and SSL certificates, etc.

11. Check the user interactions

The work doesn’t end when the user downloads an app. Actually, this is where the real conversation between the product and customer begins. To check if this communication is pleasant for the user, work with the most reliable analytics tools.

These are instruments you can turn to looking for the relevant data:

  • Flurry
  • AppSee
  • Countly
  • Localytics
  • Mixpanel

12. Consider the monetization strategy

There are plenty of ways how mobile app owners can make money with their product. As for fitness apps, freemium is the most popular model to get profit, i.e. usually users are offered to open some extra functionality for money. Here are examples of such apps on the market: Strava, MapMyRun, Zombies, Run!, and lots of others.

You can also offer users some advanced services such as individual workouts or a customized diet plan, depending on the idea of your application.

Ready! Steady! Develop!

Any mobile application requires a row of preliminary steps to be sure your product will meet the audience’s expectations. People now have an opportunity to compare several similar apps to choose what they really want, so there are no steps you can miss when building any type of the fitness app.

Each item we’ve described in the checklist needs to be detailed while working out an idea of the new application. We have a great piece of knowledge to share about iOS development, and will gladly give you a free consultation on any aspect of your future fitness app.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 301,336+ people.

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