Apple Launches ‘Start Developing iOS Apps Today’ Guidebook
“So you want to be an App Developer,” is exactly how Apple’s new “Start Developing iOS Apps Today” guideshould read. It doesn’t, but that doesn’t detract from the important information Apple’s built into its new thirteen-step guidebook for aspiring iOS app developers.
Now, to be fair, using Xcode and the iOS SDK to build a fully-fledged, working iOS app is a bit more complicated than what a thirteen-deck slide presentation might be able to deliver. And that’s not what Apple’s trying to accomplish in a single document per se. Rather, the guide splits up the process of app development into five separate chunks, and each is punctuated with links to additional resources that are designed to help turn a wannabe developer into the next Zynga.
“The road map provides you with a breadth of knowledge to get you started, and the last page, Where to Go from Here, includes links to documents you should read next,” reads the introduction to Apple’s guide. “After you finish the road map, you will be prepared to delve deeper into any individual topic. You’ll have the knowledge, tools, and skills to start developing iOS apps!”
The guide’s first section, “Set-up,” gives readers an introductory overview to the tools that go into designing the most basic of iOS apps: Apple’s iOS SDK and Xcode development software. It also helps users set themselves up as Apple Developers within the iOS Developer Program (provided they pay the $99 annual fee), although Apple does note that non-official developers can still write and test apps within the iPhone Simulator.
Since Apple’s guide is more of a general look at app development than a specific instruction list for helping a user to build his or her first “hello, world!” app, the guide’s next “Tutorial” section just introduces readers to Apple’s official “Your First iOS App” guide—the meat and potatoes of app development.
Subsequent sections related to app “fundamentals” and “development” give readers a general overview of app development workflow: The act of coding up an app with Objective-C (using both basic and advanced tasks), the process of testing and debugging one’s introductory software, and the various frameworks one can integrate into an app using APIs.
As one might expect, Apple spends a good portion of its “Start Developing iOS Apps Today” guide discussing how a user might go about designing an app’s overall look and feel to create a satisfactory user experience.
“Before you begin writing a line of code, you should make some critical design decisions. Be as specific as possible about your app’s purpose and features. Choose the kind of data model your app will use. Decide on a user interface style for your app; for example, should it follow a master-detail pattern or that of a utility app? Do you want your app to be universal—that is, an app that runs on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch,” Apple writes.
And, of course, Apple finishes by touching on how a new developer might get an App uploaded into the App Store itself, ideally contributing to the near-25 billion app downloads that the App Store’s quickly approaching.