How to Get Started With Re-Skinning Apps

Aside from mobile app development, one of the fastest growing trends is app re-skinning. This idea was born from app development itself. Many developers who want to try their hands in mobile app development found out that it is not an easy task.

re-skinning appsWhen you start building an app from ground up, it can be a daunting and tedious task. You go through the process of brainstorming, designing, tapping a programmer or coding, among others. On top of these, you will also be marketing the app, fixing bugs and providing updates.

Not only is mobile app development a long and lengthy process but costly too. A developer needs to have a deep pocket to take care of the expenses which can balloon up to $150,000 or even higher, depending how advanced and sophisticated it will be.

This situation opened a whole new world of opportunity called app re-skinning and if you are frustrated with the process of mobile app development, this option may work for you. It is also worth noting that app re-skinning offers a chance for non-programmers to get into this highly profitable venture.

Learn how to get started in re-skinning apps with the following pointers.

What is app re-skinning?

app re-skinningBefore delving further into the more serious points, it is as important to begin with the basics by having a real understanding of what re-skinning is all about. App re-skinning is what they call the process where a change is made to an app's graphics, but its code is retained.

With app re-skinning, one can work with an existing app and tweak its design and graphics, change sound effects and music, and rename it. That's why it is termed as re-skinning because one is basically just changing the outer appearance or skin of an app.

Want a more in-depth introduction? Get a free 4-part series that will walk you through every piece of the puzzle. Click here to get started. 

What are the benefits of app re-skinning?

Not everyone who wants to get into the mobile app development venture are programmers. Some might be programmers who don't want to go through the hassle of programming an app. Some are simply investors who want a piece of the mobile app boom. It can all boil down to profit and revenue. The biggest advantage that re-skinning can offer is saving cost.

Re-skinning an app involves a source code and the price for those start at around $50-100. Take note that if you were to hire programmers to code for you, it can cost you somewhere from $6,000 and up. Indeed, paying $1,000 is absolutely very reasonable.

app re-skinning saves timeAnother advantage of choosing the re-skinning route is saving time. Developing a mobile app from the ground up is not only tedious but also time consuming. The initial stage of looking for ideas and brainstorming cannot be hurried. The process can drag on and on especially when you are just not satisfied with the end result or there is a bug that can't be fixed. With app re-skinning, you don't have to wait for months before you see your finished product and release it. You only need to wait a month, or even a few weeks, before you're ready to launch your new app.

With only one source code, you can re-skin it to be able to make not just one, but several more apps. With re-skinning you can make one app look different by altering its appearance so you can produce many apps. Having several apps mean having various ways and means to produce more revenue.

How to use and reuse source codes

source codeFirst, find source codes. Because of the option presented by re-skinning, the marketplace for codes also grew. There are several developers selling source codes. Priced depending on quality, there are a lot of varieties depending on your needs and requirements. There are codes with full rights meaning they can be used for re-skinning or reselling; and there are also codes with limited licenses. Independent source code sellers also lurk in forums and social network. For indie developers, it may be possible to haggle the price.

Reuse source codes. If you have previously developed an app yourself before, you can use this as your source code to make several more versions of an app. Actually you don't even have to buy a new one if you have an existing one. Re-skinning is widely used in gaming apps. That is why you will see a lot of games with the same game experience but different design or graphics. Re-skinning is also widely practiced for productivity apps. These apps are all made through amazing works of re-skinning.

Click here to see a step-by-step case study we did at Bluecloud that reused source codes to make a BIG profit.

Marketing your app

marketing your appJust like apps that are made from scratch, re-skinned apps will also need some push in the marketing side as soon as it is launched. Because you didn't spend so much time in designing and programming the app, you can focus more time in getting the word out about the app.

Re-skinned apps can benefit from the usual marketing mediums like word of mouth and social media. If you have previously successful launched other apps using the same source code as your new app, then you would have no problem going through the process and hopefully consumers will support as much as it did the previous apps before.

Still another way of marketing the app is through advertisers and partners. Re-skinned apps offer several options of advertising because you will now have a portfolio of different apps that can offer different exposures too.

Additional app re-skinning resources

If after reading this guide you are still having cold feet about jumping in into this new app re-skinning venture, don't worry about it. Instead read more and familiarize yourself about this whole process. There are websites offering good information, developer blogs sharing trade secrets, and forums with sound opinions. Read them all and learn as much as you can.

The single most effective way to learn more is to join our list and get access to all our free resources. Because Bluecloud basically wrote the book on re-skinning, we've been able to “cut the fat” and give you everything you need to know for free.

Click here to get started!

See you in the app store!

COMMENTS

  • George March 17, 2014

    It looks like many people are following your advice if you consider the amount of flappy bird clones that are hitting the market!

  • Hicham April 30, 2014

    there is a huge diffrence between cloning ( stealing ) and re-skinning ( every things is paid the code source, the developpers,…) Mr george, i just want you to know that 🙂

  • Evan June 25, 2014

    Hello there,

    Brand new to app reskinning and only have two apps live on the app store currently.

    Where do you recommend getting new graphics from?
    I have been checking around and it seems that everyone has their copyright and limitation on graphics – vectors especially. Even places like graphic river and dollarphotoclub.
    Their extended license service will get WAY too expensive if you consider the amount of graphics you need for a reskin.

    Thank you

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas June 25, 2014

    @Evan – you don’t need an extended license unless you’re going to re-sell those graphics. If you’re just going to use them for your own app, the regular license works. You can also use something like Shutterstock if you want a TON of images. Other option is to have someone design custom images. Good luck!

  • Trevor August 8, 2014

    Hi guys,
    I just starting skinning myself recently, and I’m wondering about copyrights- when I see games like Rhianna Runner, I have to wonder if you can sued for using a celebrities likeness? I have some fun ideas, but I’m really scared to put them in the store. I’m having difficulty finding information on such a specific topic, does anyone know how this stuff works, or could you point me to a reliable source?

    Thanks a ton!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas August 8, 2014

    @Trevor – This is not legal advice, but I’d say you’re not going to get sued. You may get a cease and desist and some heat from Apple when getting reviewed, but those companies have a lot more going on than to try and shut you down. I’d personally try to come up with something that is completely in the clear simply bc it’s a huge pain to deal with that stuff. Best way to get information about that is to as a lawyer, specifically one that deals in IP law.

    Good luck!

  • Trevor August 8, 2014

    Great, thanks Carter! I appreciate your time!

  • Tyler January 30, 2015

    Hey Carter – agreed on Shutterstock. I did a lengthy blog post a few months back on how to maximize a one month subscription (750 images for about $250). That should help out anyone that needs a whole slew of images, everything from vector to people to products to landscapes and scenery. http://www.tribalcore.com/2014/07/shutterstock-monthly-subscription-plan/

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