Learn How to Develop iPhone Programs and iPhone apps
Have you ever wanted to learn to develop apps (applications) for the iPhone? These Apps have become a major way of making heaps of money. Well this article will explain how. There are four ways of learning how to do this.
- Take your idea to a developer who will build the application for you
- Use an online program builder tool that requires little or no programming
- Learn how to convert a program developed in HTML or other programs for use on the iPhone.
- Learn to develop your own apps by learning all the programs and skills yourself.
First you will need to decide whether to use “Web App” or “Native App” after looking at the pros and cons of each approach.
All about Apps
What Is a Web App?
What Is a Native App?
A Native App is developed using the iPhone system and is installed on the iPhone. The application can use all hardware (speakers, accelerometer, camera, etc.), and are written with Objective-C. Native Apps are available in the iTunes App Store which increases their appeal for users, but means that the Apps have to be submitted to Apple and approved.
Pros of Native Apps
- Millions of registered credit card owners are just one click away from your App.
- There are excellent development tools available when you register for Xcode, Interface Builder, and the Cocoa Touch framework.
- You can access all the excellent hardware features of the iPhone.
Cons of Native Apps
- There is a cost for becoming an Apple developer. Generally, native iPhone application development is more expensive than its Web application counterpart.
- You are at the mercy of the Apple approval process.
- You have to develop using Objective-C or a similar program on a Mac.
- Its harder to release updates and problem fixes quickly and all you users will have to upload the revised version.
- The development cycle and testing can be slow and are constrained by App Store’s limitations and the mysterious approval process.
Pros Web Apps
- Web developers can use the tools they know, modify their current web design and use existing development skills.
- You are not limited to the Mac OS.
- Your app will run on any device that has a web browser (Blackberry, Android etc.)
- You can fix bugs in real time and not require users to upload revised versions on their iPhones. The updates will be instantly available
- The development cycle is much faster.
Cons Web Apps
- You cannot access and use all the wonderful hardware features of the iPhone.
- You have to develop your own payment system if you want to charge for the App.
- It can be hard to develop sophisticated user interfaces. The best application are very similar to the Native Apps. Users may see that it is not a Native App and reject it.
These distinctions are breaking down somewhat, especially in a development sense because there are various programs which you can use to develop a Web App and have them converted to a Native App (see below). You can also take a Website and package it as a Native App for the iPhone and other mobile platforms using various tools.
Options for Developing an iPhone App
Option 1. Take your idea to a developer who will build the application for you
There are several developers who will work with you and create a program for your idea and have it registered by App store. They will fully develop the Native or Web App for you for an upfront fee, a monthly fee or a share of the profits. This means that you do not need any programming skills. Some companies will pay you for ideas.
Complete App Developers
Option 2. Use an online program builder tool that requires little or no programming
Native App Builders
There are various websites that help you to build your own Native App using templates and tools. Most will submit your App to the iTines Store for Approval.
Examples of Native App Building Tools
Web App Tools and Converters
Web App Online Tools
Option 3. Learn to develop your own Applications by learning all the programs and skills yourself.
What skills do you require to develop a successful and profitable iPhone App? As well as programming skills and understanding of the iPhone system you may also need to play the roles of Researcher, Creator and Idea Developer, Entrepreneur, Project Manager, Information Architect, User Information Designer, Accountant, Developer, Marketer and Advertiser. You may need help with some of these aspects.
Here is Skills Checklist
- Ability to know what works and doesn’t work for existing iPhone Apps
- Market Research Skiils
- Ability to map the App Functionality in a sitemap and tree structure
- Graphic and Layout Design
- Graphic User Iinterface Design
- Programming skills in the iPhone Operating System, Objective C, Cocoa, etc.
- iPhone App Promotion, Advertising and Marketing
Don't panic there are lost of resources to help you learn.
The first major resource is the Apple iPhone Dev Centre (http://developer.Apple.com/iPhone/index.action) - Once registered you can join the team of Apple Developers and you can access iPhone SDK 3.2 for developing iPhone, iPod touch and iPad Applications. The website offers developers for the new iPhone OS lots of resources including the frameworks, tools, best-practice guidelines, and content-rich design methods for creating innovative and useful iPhone Applications. Some of the resources available are:
- Technical Documentation and Specifications
- Getting Started Guides
- iPhone Reference Library
- Application Programming Guide
- Development Guide
- Human Interface Guidelines and GUI
- How to Develop Your First iPhone Application
- A primer for Learning Objective-C: A Primer
Resources for Learning how to Program the iPhone
Online Tutorials and Courses
Face to Face Courses
Check your local University and other education centres for course in developing IPhone Apps. Various course are available for various stages and most require some requisite programming skills or experience. These courses will help you:
- Learn to use all the key tools and APIs contained in the iPhone SDK 3.0. This includes the Interface Builder, Xcode, Cocoa Touch programming, Objective-C and the APIs included in the iPhone SDK 3.0.
- Gain actual coding experience and get feedback your design, its development and answers to your questions and problems so you can start developing your own iPhone Apps.
- Create your first iPhone App, or improve an existing App that you may be working on.
- Get an understanding of how to program the iPad.
© 2010 Dr. John Anderson
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