The Step-by-Step Guide to iOS App Development
The world is divided into two parts: Android users and Apple users and these two operating systems are generating billions of dollars in revenue yearly. However, if you are thinking of learning one of the two, I suggest you go with iOS app development. Learning iOS application development will help you increase your chance of generating better revenue for your business as well as your clients.
Before learning iOS app development, you will first need to start with the basics; fundamentals of the iOS app development process.
So, here is a step-by-step guide that will show you how you can develop an iOS app.
But before that, here are the benefits of iOS app development
Advantages of iOS app development
Offers robust security
Developing iPhone apps for businesses necessitates complying with Apple's Play Store's high-quality standards before they are made available to the public. The primary aim of iPhone app development is to safeguard user data privacy and identity to protect them from potential external security threats such as hacking, phishing, malware, viruses, and others.
Furthermore, iPhone apps provide high-security measures for in-app purchases and app-based transactions. Apple offers a top-notch security layer, including data encryption, to prevent data breaches, duplication, or theft in the enterprise. Overall, the level of security provided by iOS apps is unparalleled, making it one of the significant benefits of iPhone application development.
Simple and effective testing practices
Since Apple has a smaller variety of devices in the market, the number of versions available is also limited. Additionally, it only issues one update annually to its existing OS, necessitating iPhone apps to comply with the latest iOS versions. This results in a substantial reduction in testing time and a quicker time-to-market for iOS applications, making it a significant advantage for developing iOS apps. The lower fragmentation of iOS also facilitates the introduction of newer apps and upgrades to existing ones.
Premium user experience
The inherent features of Apple iOS provide a superior user experience. When considering the advantages of iOS app development, the satisfaction of iOS users must not be overlooked. It offers a powerful combination of hardware and software, as well as comprehensive customer support and maintenance throughout the app's lifespan. The result is that nearly every app on the Apple store performs flawlessly.
Valuable customer base
Apple has a well-established group of customers who greatly appreciate Apple's quality and performance. It is also believed that once a smartphone user experiences iOS apps, they may never be satisfied with any other OS. Furthermore, it is a global fact that Apple device users generally have a higher paying capacity than Android app users. iPhone apps provide seamless performance and an outstanding user experience. This trust and reputation are a part of Apple's legacy for iPhone apps, which helps attract a large and loyal customer base.
Basic requirements for developing iOS apps
Here is the list of all the requirements that you will need to start with iOS app development service from Bytes Technolab Inc.
To begin developing iPhone apps, it is essential to have a Mac computer with an Intel processor, running the most up-to-date version of macOS, which is currently macOS 13: Ventura. This operating system is necessary to run Xcode and access the iOS SDK. It's important to note that using the latest version of macOS is critical because older versions may not be compatible with the latest releases of Xcode and iOS SDK.
Register for an application developer account
After the Mac system, you will need to register for an Apple application developer account, which is free! After that, you do get permission to download Xcode and access iOS SDK and development videos along with other technical resources.
It's advisable to register yourself on Apple's developer website at this moment. If you're unsure of how to do this, you can refer to the step-by-step guide available on Apple's official website or iOS platform. All you need to do is create an Apple ID if you haven't already done so and provide all the necessary information in your personal profile.
Once you have successfully registered for an Apple Application Developer Account, the next step is to install Xcode, which is the only essential tool for iOS app development. Xcode is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provided by Apple for coding, building user interfaces, and testing apps across all Apple devices.
It's worth noting that the latest version of Xcode, Xcode 14, is available for free download and includes everything necessary for developing, testing, and distributing apps across all Apple platforms. With Xcode 14, iOS app development has become more accessible and feature-rich.
Knowledge of iOS SDK
To be a proficient iOS app developer, having a solid understanding of the Software Development Kit (SDK) is crucial. It's like knowing the workings of a vehicle before attempting to repair it. The SDK consists of frameworks, libraries, tools, and APIs that enable iOS programmers to develop apps for Apple devices.
The iOS SDK provides numerous built-in features to facilitate the integration of push notifications and iCloud. Additionally, it has everything necessary for creating intuitive user interfaces, integrating third-party services, and designing custom app interfaces.
Understanding of the iOS languages: Swift/Objective-C
You may already be aware that there are two programming languages available for developing iOS applications. Objective-C is the older language, used for building apps across various Apple platforms, including macOS and iOS. Swift, on the other hand, is a newer language specifically designed for iOS app development, offering developers trending features to make the process faster and easier.
These programming languages are essential prerequisites for creating powerful, intuitive, and engaging iOS applications. Now, let's delve into some basics of setting up your environment and preparing for building iOS mobile applications.
Understanding Apple’s design and development guidelines
Apple has specific guidelines for launching a new app, and every developer must adhere to them before submitting their app to the App Store. Therefore, it's crucial to have a thorough understanding of Apple's design and development guidelines before beginning to create iOS applications.
Overview of app store review guidelines:
Before installing an app on their device, users must feel secure. As a result, Apple has a stringent policy to remove apps that contain offensive or disturbing content.
Be sure to upload the fully functional version of your app to the Apple App Store, as Apple requires that the published app performs seamlessly. It is important to ensure that the app runs smoothly before submitting it.
Ensure that you have a well-defined strategy for monetizing your application. If you are uncertain about the business model, you can clarify it in the metadata and review notes.
Users of Apple devices have a preference for applications that are designed with innovation and a clean aesthetic. Furthermore, the quality of your app's design is crucial, and it is important to adhere to established standards during the design process.
Before beginning the process of developing an app, it is crucial to comply with any applicable legal requirements.
Keep away from common app rejections
Problems such as crashes, bugs, placeholder content, and broken links can lead to the rejection of your app. To prevent this, Apple has provided guidelines to help you avoid these issues and ensure that your app is not rejected.
Guidelines of design by Apple
Consistency is an expectation of Apple for their App Store, but this does not necessarily require a highly elaborate design interface for your app. Rather, it is important to include fundamental UI design elements in your app.
Your sole objective should be to provide the most exceptional application possible. There are basically three important points in Apple’s human interface guidelines that are described below:
The text, icons, and embellishments in the design should complement its functionality.
The key is in how you present the content, and it is important to keep your interface uncluttered and prioritize the content.
Distinct visuals, touch, and transitions should be accurately put in to allow everlasting experience.
How to develop an iOS application
Creating an app idea
Before embarking on iOS app development, it is essential to have a well-defined app idea. Although this may seem obvious, many individuals begin app development without a clear understanding of their objectives. Developing an app can be a smart business decision that offers increased exposure and revenue, but only if executed correctly.
The Apple App Store is a highly competitive market, with new apps launching every day. The oversaturation of the market, combined with the increasing popularity of apps, creates a fiercely competitive environment. Given the vast number of apps available, there is a strong likelihood that the type of app you intend to develop may not be entirely original - however, that's not necessarily a problem. A unique idea is not a prerequisite for starting on the App Store; rather, a well-defined concept is what's needed.
Once you have identified the motivation behind developing an app, you can proceed with refining your initial idea. It is crucial to have a well-defined app idea right from the start. Without a clear objective in mind, all other aspects of the development process will likely present difficulties. Therefore, it is recommended to identify which of the six categories mentioned earlier you wish to target with your iOS app and use that as a starting point.
Once you have a fundamental concept in place, you can start to incorporate additional features and refine your idea. Even if your app idea is not entirely original, a well-executed app still has the potential to succeed on the App Store.
App designing stage
The subsequent phase in creating an iOS app involves designing it. While many believe this to be the most complex aspect of app development, it doesn't necessarily have to be. In order to build a mobile app, you can either choose an online app builder or hire an expert mobile app development company.
By using an app builder, you are offered various pre-designed apps to choose from. Simply browse through the options, select the design that appeals to you the most, and proceed. The advantage of using an app builder for creating your app is that a skilled designer has already created the final product with great care, ensuring that the product you choose is of professional quality.
On the other hand, you can choose to hire professionals like a well-known application development agency which is like a blank canvas. If you are imaginative and seeking a completely distinctive product, you can list your desired features without any limitations. However, while this can be beneficial, there are also drawbacks to it.
After receiving approval on the design prototypes from the client, the design team transfers the file to the iOS app developers. The developers then commence writing the code using tools such as Xcode, Cocoa Touch, CocoaPods, and lately, Carthage. Carthage is a convenient dependency manager that allows iOS developers to integrate its SDK into an existing Xcode project.
QA and app testing
When employing a dedicated iPhone developer, they will employ testing tools such as iOS Simulator, XCTest, or Appium to ensure the app's performance and compatibility. These tools are utilized to identify any potential issues before the app is launched. Additionally, the Xcode debugger is used to diagnose code and design issues before submitting the app to the App Store.
After the iOS app has been tested and any errors or bugs have been fixed, it can be released to the App Store. TestFlight is an online service used to test mobile apps and invite users to provide feedback on App Clips and apps before launching them on the App Store. The unique aspect of TestFlight is that it involves real app users, which can help enhance the success of your subsequent iOS app.
Once an app has been successfully deployed to the App Store, the development process does not truly come to a close. Instead, launching an iOS app is an ongoing effort that requires continuous maintenance. This includes using app analytics platforms to monitor app usage, measuring success using KPIs, addressing any functional or security bugs that may surface, and updating app features and interfaces in response to customer feedback and changes in iOS requirements or updates.
A science graduate who has a keen interest to lean about new technologies and research area. With an experience in the field of data analytics and content writing, she aims to share her knowledge among passionate tech readers.