I Have An Idea For An iPhone/Ipod Touch App- Where Do I Start?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by duncyboy, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008
    OK, I don't actually own a Touch/iPhone but am thinking of getting a Touch in the next couple of months if/when they update in September.

    I have an idea for an app- more of an add-on or feature to be honest- where should I start?

    I suppose I have to get the SDK and get cracking?

    Problem is I have very little programming knowledge but am eager to give it a try. What does everyone think?

    Anyone on here tried/made their own apps? Any advice?

  2. macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2008
  3. macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom
    You'll need to know the basis of Cocoa.

    Cocoa is Apple's Objective-C based programming environment for Mac OS X.

    You can find articles on cocoa and how to programme in it at:


    Crack Cocoa, and u'll have cracked the basis of Objective C and Cocoa Touch.

  4. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    If it's a modification to a current built in app (like Safari), it's not going to fly.
  5. macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Great ideas

    If it is a really great idea, just tell it to me and I'll build it. Then when I make billions in App Store sales, I'll take you to lunch at your favorite place, on me! ;)
  6. macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2002
    Getting started

    I could use a bit of help getting started. I can figure out the objective-c stuff by messing around, since I've done C++ in the past. I also have numerous books on the subject. However, I'm looking to find info on 2D graphics. Specifically, I just want to be able to draw rectangles or circles on the iPhone's screen. That would be a great step 1. Can anyone point me to a tutorial or page that might explain that in detail?

  7. macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2003
    Just look at the QuartzDemo sample in the SDK. It does all that...

    If you some great idea, you should post it to these forums, and let us help you flush it out .:D
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2008
    There's also a video overview of working with graphics and numerous reference documents and PDF guides, all available via the front page of the iPhone Dev Center.
  9. macrumors regular


    Jul 12, 2008
    Austin Texas
    vista ?

    can apps be made running windows ? like xp or vista ? :confused:
  10. macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    learning curve?

    So realistically, how long would it take a non-programmer, say, at around 90th percentile "intelligence", to write a decent and non-trivial native iPhone app?

    I would randomly guess at least 3 months of intense full-time (equivalent to 12+ units of university coursework) study. Maybe faster for someone with 99th+ percentile talent?
  11. macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2003
    I would say if that person had a knowledge of a programming language (I developed in C# and java) and if you had a college course at some time in your life, you should be able to get up to speed in a couple of weeks. Sure there's a learning curve, buy you'll move down it.
  12. macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    But how long did it take you to get a good working knowledge of C# and Java?

    Some of the people posting here with what they think is a great app idea have no programming experience at all.
  13. macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2005
    I've been doing Java for about 7 years now. And I just started learning Objective-C and Cocoa Touch as of last week. At first it was massively frustrating - a new language - a new framework - hardly any non-apple code snippets thanks to the NDA. It took me almost a day to link a button to an action in a view!

    Once you get you're head around it all though it starts to flow. I highly recommend Apple's Intro to Objective-C video from 2006 - it was the start of a lightbulb moment #ahhhh that's what all this stuff is#. It's called 'Fundamentals of Cocoa Session from WWDC' It's at this location in the iTunes store:

    I still feel like I've got one hand tied behind my back and find it hard to do things, but I think I've successfully got over the 'hump'.

    If you're not a programmer though, I think you'd be better off learning some programming basics first before attempting iPhone apps. I reckon if you're reasonably bright you could learn in a month, it would help if you knew someone who can program though to bounce things off :)
  14. macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    If you don't know anything about programming just jumping into iPhone development head first will not get you very far no matter how smart you are. If you're serious about programming go pick up a beginners C book and read the entire thing, it will explain simple(but necessary) programming elements like memory, arrays, headers(libraries) and other programming fundamentals that are present in every programming language. If you don't know the basics it's going to be very very hard to create anything decent. As easy as Apple has made it it's still not something you can pick up in a weekend. :D

    Objective C is not hard it's just different. Almost every (high) level language out there follows the same schema and objective C kind of breaks away from that(smalltalk background) but once you understand what's it's doing it's easy to transition over to it.

    I can't recommend this book enough, if it's for Mac programming but it's pretty similar to the iPhone.
  15. macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    I just jumped into this a couple weeks ago and have my first app working with only some c programming experience from college. It's doable, but I burn a lot of time figuring out stuff that is probably obvious to the experience developer. This example helped me a lot, you'll need a login on the developer site. Download the SDK and see how far you get. At least you don't have to invest any money until you get farther down the path.


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