Building an App

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by potimus, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. potimus macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #1
    Hi everyone, I have a few questions regarding building apps, I'm brand new to it so any and all information is welcomed.

    I've done quite a bit of research, and every guide / tutorial on how to make an app goes on and on about how you need "no programming knowledge" at all. To me it all sounds too easy. I'm decently experienced in Java, and I'm willing to learn objective C, and would appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction on where to start.

    I've heard "SDK" a lot. Does apple supply one? What software do I use to develop an app? What hardware will be necessary?

    I know these are extremely general questions, but as stated before, any information on the topic would be very appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tander macrumors 6502a

    Tander

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    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #2
    Hi and welcome to MR.

    So let's start with what you need to develop apps (Hardware wise)

    1. A Mac (iMac, Mac Mini, etc) any recent Mac with an Intel CPU.


    Software wise:

    1. Xcode - used to write and developer the app - an all in one IDE
    2. An Apple Developer's account - $99 per year. (Free if you just want to test your app on your mac and cannot install it to a device )

    You need to know C and Objective-C to be any good at this.

    Personally, I suggest starting out with the Stanford's CSP193 Winter 2013 course. Lectures are free and takes you through everything you need to know on building apps and becoming an iOS developer. :D
     
  3. Tander macrumors 6502a

    Tander

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    #3
    Sorry - I forgot to mention - Yes, the SDK is provided by Apple. Without it, we could not develop for the iPhone and other iDevices. The latest SDK is for iOS7 BETA 5.
     
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #4
    You mentioned Java, so it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to think you're used to Android. If you are, a key difference to note is that whereas the Android simulator sucks, the iOS one does not.
     
  5. potimus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #5
    I've actually never touched android before, just learned it for fun and wrote some scripts for a game.

    Thanks for the information Tander, much appreciated!
     
  6. Duncan C macrumors 6502a

    Duncan C

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    #6
    If you know Java then Objective-C will not be a big deal to learn. The syntax is different, and you will need to learn about pointers, but both a C-based object-oriented languages.

    The biggest thing you will have to learn is the Cocoa Touch frameworks. They are both broad and deep, and take quite a bit of study.

    The Stanford video courses Tander mentioned are well regarded. I haven't spent much time with them.

    I personally don't like videos. I find the pace is all wrong for me. Some people love learning from videos. It all depends on what works for you.

    The David Mark/Jeff LaMarche "Beginning iOS 6 Development" and "More iOS 6 Development" books seem quite good. (I've been doing this full time since 2009, before any of these resources were available, so the beginner's guides are not that useful to me.)

    The Big Nerd Ranch Objective C book is good too. It teaches you programming from the very beginning using C and Objective C as the language you learn. If you've already written working Java apps, that might be too beginner-ish for you.
     
  7. potimus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #7
    Awesome, I'll definitely check out those books.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  8. potimus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #8
    Few more questions

    Just a few more questions as I'm going deeper into this process.

    The correct site is "developer.apple.com" correct? I couldn't find any link to it from the main apple site, and giving out my apple ID information, I'd rather be safe then sorry.

    Also, is there any other financial investment required to make an app, other than the $99 paid to apple at the beginning? I'm looking to do this as a hobby, and maybe put something into the app store for fun, but not looking to spend more than $100 yearly.

    Thanks
     
  9. xArtx macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #9
    Other than buying the hardware devices,
    and the Mac if you didn't already have one, the $99 pa is it.
    You might have to pay for licensing, etc, but obviously not for any
    project that is entirely your own property.


     
  10. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #10
    developer.apple.com is correct.

    You don't see links to it from Apple.com because that page is intended for 99% of the people looking at Apple, IE, prospective customers, not developers.
     
  11. potimus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #11
    Another Question

    Hey everyone, I have another quick question for you all.

    Excuse me for posting under the same thread, I just don't wanna be the new guy cluttering up the forum.

    When you purchase the Xcode developer software for apple, can you then develop applications for both Mac Computers and Handheld devices? Or do you have to buy a package for one or the other?

    Thanks!
     
  12. xArtx macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #12
    Xcode is free, you just need an Intel Mac to use it.
    It's the same environment to compile for the simulator as the real iThing,
    and I suspect the SDK is just added if you want to write for the Mac as well.
     
  13. Tander macrumors 6502a

    Tander

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    #13
    Correct - you just start a new project and it will ask you for which device iThing or Mac. :cool:
     
  14. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #14
    Xcode, the IDE, is available for free on the Mac App Store. It allows you to write apps for OS X and iOS. But if you wish to distribute those apps on their respective App Stores, you'll need to enroll in the Mac Developer Program (for OS X apps) or the iOS Developer Program (for iOS apps). Those programs are separate and each cost $99/year. The iOS Developer Program is also required if you wish to test your apps on your iOS device(s). There's plenty more info available at Apple's Developer page: https://developer.apple.com.
     
  15. potimus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #15
    Is there a difference between free xcode and developer xcode?

    Also, can I test my apps by simulating them on the computer using xcode, or do I have to be a developer to access the simulator?
     
  16. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #16
    There's only one Xcode.

    Yes, you can.

    What do you mean by "developer" here?
     
  17. MeUnix macrumors 6502

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    Aug 21, 2013
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    San Francisco
    #17
    Masters-of-the-Void.com

    When I first got into building apps for Mac I used this tutorial. It does a pretty good job explaining Xcode and the features from the program you'll be using regularly while building apps.

    Hope this helps! :cool:
     
  18. Duncan C macrumors 6502a

    Duncan C

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    #18
    As the other responders have said, there is only one Xcode. It's free.

    Apple has both a free and a paid developer program. The paid program lets you install apps on development iOS devices.

    The free program lets you use the simulator.

    You can test on the simulator, but but it isn't perfect. Some things -especially hardware thinks like the accelerometer - don't work on the sim, and the simulator is basically worthless for performance testing. Most things run MUCH faster on the simulator than on devices. Graphics performance is an exception to this. Some graphics rendering is faster on the device than on the sim.
     
  19. potimus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #19
    Oh I see now. I had heard from a friend that there were 2 versions of xcode, a "lite" type thing, and a professional version you got once you paid apple $99.

    I now understand that I was misinformed, and I'm pretty sure I understand whats going on. I can develop to my hearts content, but if I want to put it on an iDevice, I need to pay them $99.

    Once I pay them $99, am I able to put it on my phone for example, without putting it into the app store?

    For a tutorial I'm using a book recommended by Duncan called "Objected C Programming Big Nerd Ranch".
     
  20. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #20
    Yes, you can. This is how developers test their apps on devices before releasing them to the public.
     
  21. potimus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2013
    #21
    Awesome.

    Thanks for the fast and informative responses. Really appreciate it.
     
  22. Tander macrumors 6502a

    Tander

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    #22
    Also that $99 gets you early access to any BETA software for iOS that comes out under Apple. For example paid up developers have access at iOS7 BETA 6 and Xcode 5 DP6. We also have access to Apple Developer Forums and technical support.
     
  23. MeUnix, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    MeUnix macrumors 6502

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    #23
    This is the same class I used to start learning how to build iOS apps, it has been a great help. I would recommend these video courses to anyone with an interest in developing iOS apps.

    I also recommend reading "Learn Objective-C on the Mac: For OS X and iOS; 2nd Edition", authored by Scott Knaster, Wagar Malik, and Mark Dalrymple; as well as "Learn C on the Mac: For OS X and iOS; 2nd Edition", authored by David Mark and James Bucanek.
     

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