Video Tutorials for iMessage Apps and Sticker Packs
Make it this week, sell it the next…
iOS10 is here, and Apple has unleashed Stickers and iMessage Apps. Two new potentially lucrative app types for developers at a time when it’s tough for indie devs to make a name for themselves in the saturated App Store. And although the iMessage store is discreetly tucked away within the App shelf of Messages, with over 45 billion text messages sent a DAY in the US alone, you better believe it will get found eventually.
Speaking in terms of days, that’s about as long as it takes to make a sticker pack! It is seriously easy. The perfect way for artists and animators to dip their toes into iOS development without writing a line of code. And like everything else in the iOS-verse, Sticker Packs can be sold and updated over time. This gives you a unique opportunity to create a niche audience in a brand new store as early as this week.
Why teach making Sticker Packs if it’s so easy?
Great question (you can sit down now sir)! First off, making an iMessage App and making a simple Sticker Pack are totally different. One involves code, the other does not.
Building your first Sticker Pack is mostly done by dragging and dropping images into a simple Xcode project template. You can even publish to your phone and send stickers to your friends while you build it. Submitting your first sticker pack is the same process as submitting any iOS app and involves a little bit of know-how. Our video courses on How to Make Sticker Packs for Non-Programmers cover getting the app listed in iTunes Connect, registering your Bundle ID, and submitting your app. Plus there’s plenty about the actual sticker creation process, in particular animation techniques in Adobe Animate.
Since Sticker Pack projects are so simple (there’s no coding involved), we’ve also got plenty of lessons on how to send stickers via an iMessage App. We’ll show how to essentially rebuild the Sticker Pack project template, but using an iMessage app. This allows you to customize the user experience far more, and most importantly, sell in-app purchases to unlock more stickers. Our iMessage app tutorials cover way more than just Sticker Pack creation: for example, adding property lists, mixing in Sprite Kit and creating back-n-forth games between participants in a conversation. These lessons are part of our Everything iOS10 series, and available now…Subscribers can get started now!
My wife, “Mrs CartoonSmart” – From Novice to a Top 50 Developer
Feeling pumped up yet? Yes, no, maybe… Let me share a personal example. As most of you know, not only do I run the daily in’s and out’s of CartoonSmart, I teach all the iOS tutorials, and I’ll admit perk up anytime I hear the word “Apple”. I drank the Apple Kool-Aid very young. When Stickers were announced at WWDC 2016, I felt like these would be a huge hit with users. Then the first beta of Xcode 8 came out and I saw how incredibly simple it was to make these packs. It literally is drag and drop. For years I’ve been looking to bring my wife into development in some way and realized this was perfect. She wouldn’t have to learn coding, and I could certainly teach her enough animation to get by.
And wow, was I surprised. Within a few weeks, she had a great handle on animating, and was flying through pack creation. We spent a lot of our prime-time TV hours this past summer making sticker packs. Cut to the release of iOS10. We spent about a week straight submitting apps, and just the other day we noticed one of hers was featured front page of the iMessage Store. This propelled it into the Top 50 of Free Apps.
So there you go – a Top 50 developer with zero programming knowledge. But hey, a bona fide registered Apple developer all the same. As Vin Diesel said, “Whether you win by an inch or a mile”, right?
“Pfft. But if it’s so easy, isn’t everyone going to be making packs?”