Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Getting Started With IPhone Applications Development

By Petr Kudlacek

iPhone applications development leads the way for Apple's booming economy. Gazillions of apps are already available for free & paid downloads on iTunes, and an equally huge number are being developed. Every company & organization in every corner of the world needs an app or apps, and entrepreneurs too are having a field day turning their ideas into apps for online engagement.

It has snowballed into such a big deal that Apple has a huge infrastructure available for developers who need help with creating apps. There's a bit of a learning curve, but it is a methodical process that looks easy after a few attempts. The basic requirements are a MAC loaded with MacOSX, the iOS SDK downloaded from Apple's developer site, and rudimentary knowledge of Objective-C.

iOS SDK is the toolkit that developers use and includes the Interface Builder, XCode and Instruments. XCode is the main development environment where the project is managed. The visual interface with drag & drop modules is provided by the Interface Builder.

The Instruments environment allows developers to test run and analyze apps in a simulator and on an actual device after they are developed. These are all things that can be easily understood and learnt with a bit of trial and error. But probably the hardest part for a beginner is picking up at least a basic understanding of Objective C.

Objective-C is an extension of the standard ANSI C programming language. It would be pointless here to explain the differences between Objective C and the original one unless the reader understands the concept of object oriented programming. Does this mean one needs to be a C programmer first before getting started with Objective-C or iPhone applications development?

Not really, since most of the coding is done by the Interface Builder and all the developer has to do is drag and drop pre-configured blocks. But it's important to at least be able to understand the logic and syntax of C programming. A few days of study wouldn't hurt at all.

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