Trying to develop apps for iOS devices is a HUGE learning curve. I wouldn’t like to attempt this unless I had some programming experience, that’s for sure! Over the past few weeks I’ve been teaching myself ANSI C in preparation for the move to Objective-C, but then I hit a snag. There’s so much to Xcode, Apple’s free IDE for developing iOS and Mac OSX apps, when you first open it that I was having difficulty finding appropriate resources for where I was at – right at the bottom – wanting to learn new coding skills, but also wanting to see my results in a visual interface. Most of the resources I found were focused entirely on code and/or were way beyond my present skill set with Xcode and Objective-C.
Then I found the book iPhone and iPad Apps for Absolute Beginners by Rory Lewis. His approach is to get non-engineering students into programming, so unlike other resources I’ve come across, Lewis doesn’t attempt to explain all the nitty gritty of what code is doing. Instead his aim is to tell you what you need to know only when you need to know it. The trick is to just accept this premise and have faith that things will become clearer in the long-term. I’ve ordered the print edition from Amazon and also have the ebook on my iPad as well. So far, so good! It’s the one resource that hasn’t completely lost my interest after chapter one at this stage!
In my series, Xcode for beginners, I’m going to use this blog as an outlet for putting things into my own words. I’m already thinking that I’ll make comparisons with Visual Basic .NET when necessary as that’s been my main programming focus of late. We’ll see how it goes…
What you need to get started
- An Intel-based Mac. Any Mac laptop or desktop 2006 or later
- To run the latest version of Xcode you need Lion OSX
- Signup as an Apple developer. You can either register as a developer (no $$ needed) or pay about $100 per year. The latter option is needed to be able to submit apps to the App Store, but when you’re first starting out it isn’t a requirement. Either way, this gives you access to Apple’s Developer Center
- Xcode – login to the Developer Center and download the latest version. This is the programming environment (IDE) that you’ll use to write code, develop a user interface and run simulations.