Side jobs usually have two main hallmarks: they reflect skills we love and kinda wish we could make a living off of, and that there’s no way in hell we could manage to achieve that. Making purses and doing some photography on the side can pull in extra cash, but can’t always make ends meet. And if your skills lie in sitting at the computer all day, a few years ago there wasn’t much on offer for you.
But today we have apps. And making an app is the kind of job that can almost replace cutting lawns in the summer.
While tiny little widgets have been around for years, Apple introduced the world to the app that lives on the mobile, and that these can be written by anyone, and then sold. After a rocketing number of apps and purchases transformed the mobile forever, other big names like Android got in on the marketplace goodness and made their own app stores. While the process is slightly different in some cases, the money-making potential is much simpler: find something you’d like your mobile to do, code an app on your own machine, post it in the app store; and if it’s approved, make a chuck of change.
Course, it’s not always that simple. For Apple’s tight-fisted, walled-garden approach to apps, you’ll need to know a bit of Objective-C, have a Mac to begin with, and have to get your app approved (which can be a dicey prospect), as well as making sure it works for the iPhone, iPad, and their varying versions. Also, they take a huge chunk of your profits to boot. For Android, it’s much easier to get your app up, and you have a lot more freedom in how you put it together – there’s even a prototype version of a simple app builder, which turns the process into something like a Flash game. Still, you don’t yet have quite the audience that Apple does.
But the most telling thing about these new app developers is their age – there are a whole slew of coders under 16 making apps that, on their own, sell for a few quid, but after millions of downloads, have turned a few week’s work into a full-time business. Best of all, you don’t have to be hired by anyone to start.
Just don’t work on any fart apps. We’re full up.