iOS App Development: How to Build an Application
If you want to design and develop iOS apps, you first need to learn the basics of the Xcode integrated development environment, the Objective-C programming language, the Cocoa application programming interface and UIKit. Our experienced app developers created this guide to help you get started in app development and better understand the Apple environment.
Subscribe to Apple Developer Program
The first step you will have to take is to register an Apple Developer account, go to Mac App Store, download the latest version of the Xcode and install it on your Mac computer. The Apple Developer membership gives you access to many official tools, services and resources for iOS
Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) that contains development tools to create apps for OS X and iOS. It is not a simple code editor - it is packed with
Interface Builder is an app that enables you to
Why You Need to Learn the UIKit Code
Despite a rich functionality of Interface Builder, many developers who mostly work on bespoke interface elements prefer to use other programs because building custom objects in iNterface Builder requires a lot of coding. That is why our iOS experts advise you to learn how to use Interface Builder, but at the same time get familiar with the UIKit code that is generated by it. We perfectly understand that you may ask yourself a question - why learn how to code interfaces from scratch if you have such an advances app that will do everything for you. Well, that is just the matter of professionalism and expertise - you need to fully understand all the processes behind the elements and their interaction to be able to create outstanding digital products.
Frameworks for iOS App Development
Frameworks are probably the most crucial instruments that allow you to build and manage iOS apps.
The Advantages of Cocoa
Apple frameworks are a large collection of tools and commands that lay a foundation for your future app. If there were no frameworks, developers would reinvent the wheel every time they start a new project. The Cocoa frameworks provide you with so many advantages that even when you face a very complicated problem, which you do not know how to solve, you are most likely to find the ready solution in there. For instance, if you need to automatically fetch a file by its web address, then parse it and put into a data structure that you can easily manage, Cocoa will provide you with a single line of code to perform this. Xcode, Cocoa and Interface Builder are the core set of tools for any iOS developer, but of course, there are many other efficient instruments to explore. So do not waste time - download Xcode right now and start playing around, learning the basics of iOS development.
Getting Started with Cocoa
When people speak of iOS and OS X development, they often refer to it using such terms as Cocoa development or Objective-C programming, and everyone that has any experience in programing perfectly understands that they talk about creating iOS apps. Cocoa is a UI framework for building software for such devices as iPhone, iPad,
AppKit Classes and Objects
The Cocoa frameworks are comprised of AppKit (application Kit) and Foundation when you build apps for OS
What Does the NS Prefix Mean?
If you are not experienced in Apple app development, let us explain to you what the NS prefix means. It derives from the object-oriented, multitasking operating system developed by NeXT Computer, which was bought by Apple in 1997 and laid the foundation for the Mac OS X system. Keep in mind that the NS prefix does not always indicate objects, for instance, NSRectMake() is a function that is used to return an NSRect struct, while NSInteger is a primitive data type. NS is not the only prefix used in frameworks, for example, different frameworks may contain functions and object starting with a CF prefix (Core Foundation), UI prefix (User Interface used in the Apple’s UIKit), CG prefix (Core Graphics), MK prefix (MapKit - the iOS mapping framework) and much more.
Creating applications for the iOS mobile operating system, developers use the same classes as for Mac OS X development available in Foundation, but when designing interfaces, they turn to UIKit instead of AppKit. The UIKit objects that you are going to use most often include UIWindow, UIActivityViewController, UIView, UIBarItem, UIButton, UICollectionViewFlowLayout, UIViewController and UIColor. Yes, you are absolutely right - many objects of the UIKit has the same names as the AppKit’s ones but with another prefix instead of NS. You can find the full list of classes and objects of the UIKit at the Apple Developer official website.
Most Used Objects
To say the truth, there are also objects that you may never use, for example, Airplane or Car - they might be helpful only if you design an app for the Logistics and Transportation industry or an airline. However, you should master the objects that Apple offers as a part of its framework and that you will use very often: NSArray to manage ordered collections of objects; UITableViewCell to define the attributes and behavior of the cells you create; UIViewController to manage the views of your app; UILabel to display the lines of text or describe the purpose of various controls; UIImageView to display images and many more.
Chain of Inheritance
Moreover, Apple offers many useful and exciting classes that you can take advantage of when building apps for iOS and OS X - they mostly descend from other classes, adding more features and functionality with every new link in the chain of inheritance. Just look at the UIButton class inheritance to see what we mean:
NSObject >> UIResponder >> UIView >> UIControl >> UIButton
Their root class in
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If all the elaborate web development terminology is too much for you,