Creating Apps for the iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch)

I have spent the weekend looking at the logistics of creating an application for GCSE Geography revision. This is something that I have never done before. This would need to be free for students to download and distributed via the apple app store.

There are three options:

  • Pay someone to develop the app – this is cost prohibitive as it would start at £200.00 and then would incur additional costs every time something needs to be changed.
  • Use App Builder software – there are a number of sites / programmes that will build iPhone apps for you for free. The problem with using these is they are often supported by Advertisements and you are dependent on third party software.
  • Create the app from scratch – This is the option I have decided to choose so I have control of the process. This will involve more work than I originally thought.

Apple provides XCode software free of charge; this is the software needed to develop applications. It is however only available for a Mac.

I have begin to experiment with the software; and I have created some very simple applications. XCode provides a built in iphone/ipad simulator so you can test the applications on a Mac.

There is one limiting factor; before installing the application on a iDevice you must be a Apple Application Developer. This gives you an electronic certificate that will allow apps to work on an iPhone; it also allows you to submit apps to the App Store. The cost of this is $99/£59 per year.

I have purchased ‘iPhone Application Development for Dummies’ and am currently working through the book. The problem is the edition of the book that I purchased is written for XCode3 and the latest version of XCode that I downloaded is XCode4. This however should be enough to get me started; and there are some other book for XCode4 that are published in December; and a revised version of the Dummies book is out in January.

This will be an ongoing task; to put it in perspective the Dummies book is 850 pages!

I will try to post regular updates.