The App Store is full of applications. Most of them are written in the Objective-C programming language, the native language to develop apps for iOS, basically iPhone and iPad. Other options to build iOS apps include JQuery, HTML5, C and other programming languages. There are also websites and platforms to build basic apps by dragging and dropping buttons, labels and images. However, the native iOS is the best option in terms of performance, management of resources and user experience.
Apple provides lots of resources to help developers build their apps. Native apps are built using XCode, Apple’s IDE (Integrated Developer Environment) which includes tools to build the app’s interface, program the code, simulate the app on a simulator, and test the memory, CPU and resource usage. The apps are programmed using Objective-C, the Apple’s object oriented programming language.
To build an iOS app, developers must use a Mac OS X since other operating systems are not supported. The development tools needed are iOS SDK and Xcode. Both are free of charge and available on the Apple’s Developer Website. These tools allow any developer to build and test it using the iOS simulator, which is part of the iOS SDK. However, to run the app on a real device, developers must pay $99/year, which includes the license to publish unlimited apps in Apple’s App Store.
The basic resources to learn iOS programming and build apps for iPhone and iPad among other iOS devices are:
- Apple’s Developer Website: the developers website allows to register as an iOS Developer and download Xcode and iOS SDKs. It also includes lots of resources to learn how to build apps, API references, etc.
- iOS Developer Library: detailed API information. References are classified by resource types, topics, and frameworks. All the information you need is here.
- Stamford University Course: There are hundreds of courses and tutorials but the iPhone Application Development from Stamford is the most popular and well-regarded course. The video lectures, demos and sample code are available to watch and download on iTunes.
- Ray Wenderlich’s Blog: this blog, owned by Ray Wenderlick, contains thousands of programming tutorials. The tutorials cover almost all topics and are very easy for everyone to understand and learn.
- AppCoda’s Tutorials: Blog about iOS programming which includes lots of tutorials and a big community of programmers who share and discuss development tips.
- Stackoverflow: Any developer knows stackoverflow. It is a question and answer site for programmers. Developers help other developers answering their questions and discussing programming topics and issues.
Besides of these websites, Internet is full of tutorials, blogs, forums and other resources. You only need time and enthusiasm to start building amazing apps for iOS devices. Hands on!