Privacy and Security TidBits

How To Build Your Own Mobile App in Three Easy Steps: A Thanksgiving Primer



Which professional has not entertained the wish to stay informed and in the loop, without having to spend hours of valuable time scouring the Internet for relevant information on a daily basis?

The daily load of professional newsletters, email subscriptions, RSS feeds, real time Twitter feeds, Facebook news streams, and now Google plus feeds, has become so heavy, that many have expressed the desire to go on an information diet.

I too have suffered from information overload, and in searching for a solution, I stumbled upon a very simple answer: I developed my personal mobile, information management tool in the form of an iPhone/iPad mobile app, which I use on my iPhone.

The “AltheimLaw” app is custom made for my needs and delivers real-time news from a variety of hand-picked sources, including social media sites, video and slide presentation sites, as well as more traditional RSS feeds of news aggregator blogs.

This particular app can, of course, also be installed by anyone who shares my interest in the very specific topics of e-discovery, data protection, privacy, social media, tech and information governance. I also created an Android version for those who use that platform under the name “Monique Altheim Esq.”.


But if you wish to create your own, custom made app to suit your own specific needs, and if you would like to publish it to any of  the IPhone/iPad, or Android platforms, you can do so, without knowing a word of code.


The entire process takes just three steps:


  1. Register as a “developer”
  2. Build your app
  3. Publish your app



Here’s a breakdown of the three steps for two popular mobile platforms: The iPhone/iPad, and the Android .


  1. Register as a developer:


The first step is to register as a “developer”. This will grant you permission to submit your app to the relevant store.


Requirements for iPhone/iPad:


Requirements for Android:


  2. Build your app:


Building an app is very easy, even if one doesn’t know a word of code, thanks to websites like

Just click on the “get started building your … version” on appmkr’s home page. You will see three icons, respectively for Apple, Android and Windows. Just click on the one you need.

You  may enter a keyword to start, so that Appmakr can find related icons and RSS feeds for your app, but you can disregard its suggestions and skip this step. It is better to use your own icons and RSS feeds.

The website basically gives you a template to work with, which it then translates into code.

Appmakr has a YouTube site where you can watch 13 instructional videos on how to buid an iPhone /iPad app, guiding you step by step through the creation of your app:

You can test-publish your app to your iPhone to check out whether you like the end product, before you publish it to the App Store.


Once you have finished building your app, you will be able to download the file on your computer.


TIP 1: You will need some basic knowledge of Photoshop or other similar software to adapt your screenshots to the different size requirements for the iPhone and iPad.

The iPhone/iPad and Android have each different image size and file type requirements for the icons and screen shots. For example, the iPhone icon must be 512×512 pixels in .png format.


TIP 2:  Safari cannot download the appmakr files. I used Firefox instead.


If you wish to make the app available for devices using Android, you can transfer the app into the Android (as well as Windows) format by clicking on the appropriate icon underneath your finished iPhone app link.



  3. Publish your app




To publish your app, go to and click on “Manage Your Applications”. Then click on “Add New App” in the upper left hand corner and follow the instructions.

You should download the “application downloader” software (the link should be on the iTunesConnect site), install it, and then download your app in that program.

When you go back to your iTunesConnect account, you will see that the status of your app is “Waiting for Review”. In the next stage your app will be ”In Review”, until, hopefully, the status will read “Ready for Sale”, at which point your app should be searchable and ready for installation in the App Store.

The entire process takes between one or two weeks.




To publish your Android version, go to

Follow the instructions to upload your app file. It is as easy as uploading a YouTube file. Within an hour your app will be for sale and downloadable on the Android market.


As between the iPhone/oPad and the Android platforms, the clear winner is Android: It has a much lower registration fee and the publishing of the app is a breeze.

Either way, when you think of the many hours you will save by cutting out most of the noise online through the use your app, it is worth the registration fee and the afternoon you might spend creating it.

While there are other sites that will help you build your own app, Appmakr is the only one that offers it at no fee.


It is also important to update your app regularly, to keep it compatible with changes on the platform. When Apple updated its IOS to IOS5, I had to rebuild my iPhone/iPad App from scratch.


Since my law firm focuses on ediscovery, privacy and data protection, social media and information governance, these are the topics that are covered in my app.

If you want to keep informed on these topics, you can download the “AltheimLaw” app for iPhone/iPad here: and the “Monique Altheim Esq” app for Android here:


Once you install such an app on your mobile device, the latest real-time news that is relevant to you is always available at the click of a finger, during your commute or while waiting online at the post office or the supermarket, during a quick lunch break, before falling asleep or upon waking up in the morning.