How to make an app

This final grab-bag of links is all about articles with general advice on making apps, and those technologies that enable you to create once and deploy to multiple platforms.

01. How to build a Progressive Web App

PWAs combine the benefits of native and web experiences

Progressive Web Apps combine the benefits of native apps with the perks of the web. PWAs can be saved to your homescreen (just like a native app) and thanks to Service Workers, they can run offline. However, unlike native apps, they don't need updating – which is a win for UX and for security. This tutorial shows you how to build a Progressive Web App for yourself. 

02. How to name your app

Naming your app is not to be rushed

What’s in a name? Quite a lot as it turns out. What your app’s called isn’t only important from a search standpoint, but also in terms of recognition in stores and on a device. This Creative Bloq article outlines how to pick the right name – and the difference doing so can make.

03. Get to grips with mobile app onboarding

The right onboarding process can make sure people engage with your app

The majority of people's phones are littered with apps they installed, played around with once, then forgot about. If you want to make sure your app doesn't end up being abandoned, take a look at this guide to mobile app onboarding. It walks through how to show users how your app works, and (where necessary) get them to commit to it without putting them off. 

04. Design better app icons

Getting your app’s icon right is of paramount importance. Icons are what grab people’s attention on stores, and what they prod on a device display. Michael Flarup’s talk from Generate outlines best practice for icon creation. And if you need a little inspiration, check out our feature on the best iPhone app icons.

05. Understand the power of colour

Create an iPhone game

Colour usage is key to usability, accessibility and branding

Given the penchant for relative minimalism in modern operating system interfaces, colour is vitally important. Nick Babich’s feature explores how to create an effective colour scheme through utilising colour theory and strong use of contrast. Need some apps to help? Check out Creative Bloq’s favourite free apps for picking a colour scheme.

06. Discover the best wireframing tools

Wireframing helps you turn your sketches into a workable app

You can’t – or at least really really shouldn’t – just delve into making an app without thinking things through. One of the more important components of planning an app is wireframing – stripping down your intended product to focus on functions and interactions. This Creative Bloq piece lists 20 tools to help you do so.

07. Build a game in Unity

You need to learn Unity if you want to build a game

How often have you fired up a great game and seen the Unity logo appear? This is for good reason – Unity is a powerful tool for cross-platform games development. At, there are explainers on the technology, along with how-tos that enable you to create your own Unity games. 

08. Discover GameMaker

GameMaker is another great utility

GameMaker is another tool for creating games that can be exported to a range of platforms. The link above takes you through to a page housing videos that help you get to grips with the technology, creating an exciting arena shooter while doing so.

09. Build an app using NW.js

app tutorials

Learn how to create a web app with this article

Although we never quite hit the moment where web apps became ubiquitous, many apps do have a foundation of native web technology. In Julian Motz’s Sitepoint article, you’ll use the NW.js framework for creating a cross-platform desktop app.

10. Develop cloud apps using Xamarin

This is for advanced app-builders

Xamarin is another cross-platform framework, albeit aimed at mobile. Adrian Hall’s free and open-source book is intended for C#-savvy users who’ve already built with Xamarin, and want to take their efforts further by utilising cloud services. If you’re not there yet, the introduction links to resources for getting that foundation first.

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