The magnetism of the Apple logo has bolstered over the years, evolving into a symbol of aristocracy and power. The average person may call it a frivolous obsession that suits the elite, while true fans beg to differ. Nonetheless, the iOS community stands strong; its market share may look meager compared to Android, but it’s carved in stone. Android and iOS developers are both equally in demand – ever considered why?
Although Google Play Store handles the bigger bulk of apps and caters to a larger audience, the Apple store generates more money. Android community is awfully diverse, whereas iOS community is more wealthy. Naturally, iOS users make more purchases, while the majority of Android users tend to opt for price-tag-free options. Therefore, it is crystal clear that investing in iOS can be rewarding if you play your cards right.
Here’s a list of things for beginners to get started on the iOS development journey:
Get Your Apple Machine
If you’re serious about becoming an iOS developer, you probably own a Mac computer already. If not, it’s time you put all your savings to good use. If your budget allows, you should go for what’s latest and loaded. However, that’s not an obligation and it’s okay to work with the cheapest options in the beginning. You may invest in a second-hand machine as long as it’s clean and functional. The brand comes with a cost, so you better be prepared to spend some if you later want to earn some. In case you’re wondering – using Windows is not an alternative. Moreover, you also need to switch to an iPhone if you’re using a smartphone with a different OS. If you’re planning to make mobile apps, that’s the foremost logical deed.
Adapt to Xcode
Installing the Xcode software is an obligation if you’re thinking of getting into iOS development. Hence, if you have a Macbook right now, visit the Mac app store immediately and download it for free. Xcode is basically an IDE (integrated development environment) that provides everything for creating every kind of app on all Apple devices/systems. You can use it to write, edit and debug your code; you may also customize the powerful tools it showcases.
Embrace the iOS language
Swift is a multi-purpose, compiled and intuitive programming language that was introduced in 2014 by Apple Inc. It is slowly gaining the status of the official language for developing iOS applications. Although, you can code iOS apps in other languages such as Objective-C, Swift is rapidly taking over and is seen as the future. Despite being old school, it is best to learn the basics of Objective-C as it still remains one of the leading languages in this department. Apple provides excellent documentation for Swift, and it is actually easier to learn.
Pay Attention to Apple guidelines
Before you start building your first iOS application, you better take a good look at all the requirements set by the company. This is necessary because all the hard work and thought you put into a project will go to waste if it doesn’t comply. There is a fairly lengthy list of specific guidelines for uploading an app to the Apple store. These include restrictions and instructions for content, design and several technical shortcomings. If you design or upload your work without thoroughly studying and implementing the rules, get ready to face rejection.
Indulge in Research & Practice
Once you’ve done everything mentioned in the points above, it’s time to test your knowledge and understanding. Kickoff with the simplest types of apps like a calendar, calculator, alarm clock etc. Be as random as you can; this will help you discover your interests and strengths. Also keep an eye on different open source projects, video tutorials and blogs based on iOS development. This will boost your learning and accelerate your transition towards complex tasks.
Go custom with all the help you need
By the time you’ve successfully created several working iOS applications and your code looks good, step up your game. You can initiate that custom project you had in mind all along or come up with one, because it’s never too late. Don’t hold back to make use of code, libraries or repositories that are openly available. Let your project be open-source by hosting it over sites like GitHub and Bitbucket. Take all the help you can as a learner and don’t hesitate to participate in other people’s projects either.
Finish and Publish
After you’ve completed your app, make sure to refine it. Perform unit testing, review your code, fix all the bugs and make improvements where possible. Repeat the process until you’ve reached your standards of perfection. Your work has to be high quality in order to generate a decent reputation and resume. Then comes the moment when you can finally publish your app on the Apple store where the public can see it and download it. The last step is totally optional, and must only be followed if you can afford to pay the $99 annual fee. I must say that publishing your app will definitely add points to your portfolio and persuade recruiters to offer you an opportunity of a lifetime.
Commence Your Career
After you’ve contributed and created a number of iOS projects, assemble your portfolio and enter the job market. Go ahead and apply to all the firms you’ve been eyeing for a long time. However don’t be too picky as a newbie and keep your options open. Work as a junior or internee for a small business and gradually build your way upwards.