How hard to make an iPhone app ?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by fredsarran, Aug 10, 2008.

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  1. fredsarran macrumors 6502

    fredsarran

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    #1
    Hi,

    I know nothing in programming apps. I have some knowledge in HTML and BASIC but I guess that will not be helpful at all.

    Starting from the point that I know nothing and that I want to make an iPhone app, how hard is it ? Is it like Dreamweaver in Designer Mode ? Do I really need to know some programming language ?

    Please help out. Also I do not have a project in mind to make a app for the iPhone, but I am sure that by trying, ideas will pop out :)
     
  2. DipDog3 macrumors 65816

    DipDog3

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    #2
    Hard. No. Yes.
     
  3. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

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    #3
    There's a huge difference between making an app, and making an app well :)
     
  4. fredsarran thread starter macrumors 6502

    fredsarran

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    Jun 15, 2008
    #4
    Yes I can agree with you. I am just wondering if it is something that I should look into to make an app, in order to distribute it through iTunes. It seems like a lot of work to make an app.

    Is it really a lot of work ?
     
  5. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    #5
    For an experienced programmer, the iPhone is pretty easy to develop for. For someone who hasn't programmed before, the difficulty is going to have nothing to do with the iPhone and will depend on how quickly you can become comfortable with programming and using the SDK documentation.
     
  6. davedelong macrumors member

    davedelong

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    #6
    And also how quickly you can wrap your head around some of the concepts. I'm currently struggling with NSWindowController but have grasped Core Data rather easily.
     
  7. whosyourtator macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #7
    The level of difficulty is somewhere between making a PB&J and building a space shuttle.

    Seriously, if you are experienced learning Cocoa Touch is incredibly easy. If you are inexperienced, start by learning simple programming such as C and then learn objective C. Next start learning the APIs that come with the SDK an study the examples. All of that should keep you busy for some time.
     
  8. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    #8
    True, there are also some design patterns that you have to learn as well that go beyond simply understanding the programming language.
     
  9. RossOliver macrumors regular

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    #9
    I think programming in C is far from simple. In my experience (although I did learn C first) Objective-C is a much easier language. Going from C to Objective-C without any prior object-oriented experience would be challenging. I would recommend starting with a simple object-oriented language such as Java. In fact, I wouldn't even bother starting with Java - Objective-C and the Cocoa frameworks are so well documented I think it would be just as easy, if not easier to pick up than Java. You could then move onto C to allow you to delve into the core Cocoa frameworks...

    -Ross
     
  10. fredsarran thread starter macrumors 6502

    fredsarran

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    #10
    Wow, thanks for your replies. It all sounds pretty hard actually. I was hoping to do things visually and not coding. I hope to see a app to make iPhone apps, quickly and easily.
     
  11. Sbrocket macrumors 65816

    Sbrocket

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    #11
    Creating software is not some drag-and-drop fun time like Interface Builder makes it look like it is. Cocoa and Cocoa Touch are both made it be very easy for experienced and even inexperienced programmers to get a hold of quickly and use, but they won't ever by drag-and-drop-"I'm going to throw together an app today and sell it 'cause I feel like it". Developing software requires time and patience to learn what you're doing and how to do it well.

    People that think they can just jump in and get in on the AppStore gravy train are simply wrong - the people that are in the AppStore right now all spent the time to learn what they were doing if they didn't know already. You need to take the time and effort to do the same. Or you'll be here every two seconds flooding the forum with "How do I create an array?" or "What is an dictionary?"-type questions.
     
  12. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

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    #12
    Don't forget that people go to universities to learn to program. While people do learn it by themselves all the time, it is still something that takes years to begin to grasp.

    Visual tools exist, but only for the design of the UI, not for the logic. It's similar to how there are WYSIWYG tools for HTML, but not for JavaScript.
     
  13. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #13
    I have a bit of experience in desktop Cocoa and have spent the best part of 2 days getting a very, very simple app running. The visually thing is quite funny: normally with desktop Cocoa I find Interface Builder (the visual way of laying out the interface; you still need to write code for the logic) pretty good. For Cocoa Touch I found it to be totally useless. I couldn't get it to do what I wanted at all so I have created the interface in code instead!

    With regards to a way to make apps without writing code you are very unlikely to see anything. In the end it is a mobile platform and tightly constrained. There is not going to be a big market for this app and it would have to compile down to Cocoa Touch anyway. Perhaps a web-app would work for you and be easier for you to develop.
     
  14. Delirium39 macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2008
    #14
    If you're planning on trying to build anything past a screen shot app, or an app that adds two numbers together, then you will have to spend the time learning how to do that. If you've never programmed before, think of it this way:

    You've never driven a car before, but you have sat in one several times. Now, you've suddenly decided to build a car, and race NASCAR. Yes, you've been given free tools to slap fancy body panels on a car frame, but that will not get you to the race. If you manage to fool someone into letting you race, you'll get passed quickly, or smashed into a wall. If you want to be a success, you're going to have to get a driver's permit, learn how to drive, get a license, learn how to build a car, learn how to build a better car, gain enough experience to become a good driver, and then slap those fancy body panels on your whiz bang car frame, and enter the race.
     
  15. Sbrocket macrumors 65816

    Sbrocket

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    #15
    Funny, I ended up doing the same thing. Granted when I started Interface Builder was missing about half of the UIKit controls and it was even more raw than it is today, but I still feel like its missing something.
     
  16. firewood macrumors 604

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    #16
    Dashcode

    If you want to try and build an easy app using only drag-and-drop, try building an iPhone web app using Dashcode. It's included with the Leopard Developer Tools. And Javascript is more forgiving than Obj-C for beginners.

    Eventually, there probably will be tools to help convert a Dashcode web app into a regular installed app.
     
  17. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Edited for accuracy...
     
  18. Sbrocket macrumors 65816

    Sbrocket

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    #18
    Sad but true.
     
  19. detz macrumors 65816

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    #19
    My problem is I can program anything...I just can't think of something to make. My projects folder has almost two dozen apps that have yet to be finished. :rolleyes:
     
  20. DipDog3 macrumors 65816

    DipDog3

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    Sep 20, 2002
    #20
    So you made stuff, but you don't have any ideas???

    If you need ideas, PM me. I currently have 64 ideas and I am not going to have time to do them all.
     
  21. necubi macrumors newbie

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    Jun 29, 2007
    #21
    I had the same experience. Since you're going to have to resort to code to make virtually any interface anyways, there seems to be little point in mucking around with IB. It's not at all like desktop cocoa, where one can go without ever writing interface code.
     
  22. BigCanoe macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Just give me a Flash player on the iPhone, this Objective C stuff is nutty.
     
  23. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #23
    In what way?
     
  24. BigCanoe macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Just my opinion as an experienced Java programmer. I find the syntax a little hard to grasp, reference counting, memory allocation, just stuff I havent used since the old C/C++ days. I have gotten lazy, and I now prefer the drag and drop and click paradigm of C# Winforms and Adobe Flex :)
     
  25. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #25
    Fair play, never used any of them so can't comment :).
     
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