If you want to have your own iPhone app, you have two options: either learn to build it yourself, or pay a contractor or freelancer to build it for you. Fortunately, learning to create an iOS app is a rather straightforward process. Here are the six basic things you need to create any app.
- Mac – You need to get yourself a Mac to build an iOS app. It just needs to have an Intel-based processor and Mac OS X—the Leopard version—installed.
- Software Development Kit – Get the free software development kit (SDK) from Apple’s Developer site (open the App Store app on your Mac). It contains everything you need to get started coding, including Xcode (the development environment), interface builder’s performance analysers, and the iPhone Simulator to test your app.
- Familiarity with Swift – The programming language used to create/code iOS apps. You don’t need to be a master, but you should at least be able to read and understand Swift code comfortably. Consider visiting the Swift Playgrounds app for some ‘Learn to Code’ exercises, or the Swift Programming Language (Swift 4) for a Swift Tour walkthrough.
- User Interface – Every app needs a user-friendly and easy-to-use screen and user interface.
- User Interaction – Guide your users on where to go and what to do once they come to your app.
- Computer Logic – Make your app fulfill a specific need in a logical manner.
Start Writing the App
It’s important that you don’t burden yourself with the need to master Swift, especially when developing your first iOS app. Your passion for your project will direct you towards what is most essential—getting something to appear on your screen. Start by creating a rectangle on your screen, and then try to add some texture and features gradually.
Alternatively, you can use sample projects that come pre-installed in the SDK. These typically cover most aspects of app development, and create the perfect foundation for novices to reverse engineer and build on. You can quickly add the necessary features as you bring your app idea to life.
Remember to Sign up with the iPhone Developer Program
You probably hope that your app will fulfill a certain need and get a good number of downloads. If you intend to release your iOS app, you must agree to Apple’s terms and conditions, get into a contract with Apple at a cost of $99, and receive your certificate. You should sign up as soon as you’re ready to pair up with an iPhone to test your code on a real-life iOS device rather than an onscreen emulator. When your app is finished, simply submit it to the App Store and start marketing it.