Is coding for Mac a prerequisite to develop on iOS?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Bernard SG, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Bernard SG, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    Bernard SG macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #1
    My interest in Xcode is really as a hobby. So far I have just scratched the surface of Xcode, Cocoa and obj-C, on and off. I basically know nothing.
    I have the greatest interest for the iOS platform, especially iPad and that's probably where I'd like to explore the most in terms of coding/developing.
    However, it's tricky to have to pay the $99 to test the work on an actual device.
    Would you recommend to try and progress with Mac stuff first, to get more acquainted to the Xcode environment, or to go straight to iOS using the iPhone simulator?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    The Cocoa framework on the Mac is somewhat similar but not the same as Cocoa Touch on iOS devices. If you want to program for iOS you can learn that directly without learning desktop Cocoa first.
     
  3. Bernard SG thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for your answer, robbieduncan.
    Any other opinions?

    Another question: should I purchase Xcode 4 on the Mac AppStore or I'll be fine with the latest 3.2.x? I'm a bit worried that Apple's available documentation is based on v. 4.x
     
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #4
    There are a lot more books available right now for 3.2.x. I can't think of any reason 3.2.x won't be fine for hobby uses for quite some time to come.

    And Xcode has builtin documentation, for itself and for the iOS SDKs. The SDKs aren't different under Xcode 4, so that leaves only the Xcode documentation itself. And for that, builtin or books are fine.
     
  5. Bernard SG thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
  6. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #6
    I agree with robbieduncan. Although there's similarities, Cocoa Touch can be, in ways, simpler than Cocoa, and as such, easier to learn. For example, Cocoa Touch's table views can only have one column whereas Cocoa's grid views can have multiple. This restriction can be a pain but also makes it easier to understand.

    Much of Apple's documentation is still available in 3.x form. As well, much of the learning resources out there have not yet been adapted to Xcode 4.x. You should be fine.

    Also, remember that although you need to be a paid developer to deploy to your device, you can also test your app on the Simulator, which comes free with Xcode, although some features are not available or restricted (for example, no accelerometer).
     
  7. Luke Redpath macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK
    #7
    If you're just starting out, you'd be much better off learning Xcode 4 from the outset. Admittedly there are a lot of tutorials/books out there based on 3.x but these will be replaced/updated in time.

    Learning a 3.x when it is for all intents and purposes, discontinued (don't expect any further development) and doesn't ship with OSX Lion seems pointless to me.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    So, is what you're saying "wait for them to be replaced?" :confused:

    FWIW I just got my copy of the third edition of Kochan's book. Since it focuses on Objective C it is a good foundation for either iOS or Mac OS X.

    I haven't read the updates (for Xcode 4 and iOS) yet, but it might be a good place to start and build a foundation.

    B
     
  9. Luke Redpath macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK
    #9
    I know of a few books being written/updated for Xcode 4. That said, you can still use older books, just be aware that any instructions regarding the IDE will be different. The code will still be the same.
     
  10. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #10
    When you are finally ready to stump up the $99 to test on a device you'll get Xcode 4 for free anyway so don't bother.
     
  11. Bernard SG thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #11
    Thanks everyone for your answers so far!

    Yep, that was why I had the dilemma: there's no question that at some point it would be necessary to use Xcode 4. The question is whether I go for it right now or wait until I'm ready to fully register as a iOS dev (might take quite a while :D). The little issue with the latter is the adapting to a new software version later; it's always some effort, perhaps worth $5 to avoid, and isn't Xcode 4 more polished and easier to use?
     
  12. DennisVar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #12
    I started programming for iOS before I started Mac development. Actually, the iOS APIs are somewhat more refined/cleaner, in part because they are newer, and in part because they provide a slightly more limited set of functionality compared to a desktop platform.

    Definitely recommend starting with Xcode 4 as well.

    Good luck!
     
  13. tutiplain macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #13
    I would say the answer is no. I've coding for iOS or almost six months now, and I've never coded a native Mac app. In fact, I became a mac user just so I could code iOS apps (so I've been a mac user as long as I've programmed iOS apps (though I haven't sold them in app store yet.

    As for XCode version, I don't see a reason why you couldn't begin with v3. It's able, and in my opinion, easier to use than v4 (even though there are a lot of "loose" windows in it). But, as suggested, I would only use it for hobby purposes. There seem to be some things that don't work in v4 (in my opinion), and the basic app templates change a bit. I find v4's debugger to be more intuitive, though (and that is very important).

    Good luck!
     

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