How to Create an iPhone App

This article will help you learn the basic setup steps, hardware and software that you would need to start creating your iPhone app.

SETUP

The first thing you need is an Apple iPhone SDK or software development kit. You can download it here to have it installed before you start. This software development kit includes an iPhone simulator that you will need in order to test the app that you will be making.

If you want to test your app on a physical iPhone, iPad or iPod, you would need to have an Apple developer license, especially if you want to distribute the app to the App store after creating it. You can get the basic license for $99 renewed every year. After acquiring the license, you can then log into the iOS Provisioning Portal to download and install the included development certificate. If you are planning on building a custom user interface for your app or if it is a game, you may need a powerful image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop to create the graphical aspects of your app.

LEARNING

There are available sources for you to learn from that Apple already shares with developers who have an Apple developer account. As such, you need an account in order to view them.

In the iOS Dev Center, there are many documentation files, how to’s and samples that you can view and read to learn the basics.
You can also check out some developer videos to help you get started in creating and designing your app to Apple standards. You can find these developer videos in the Apple World Wide Developer Conference.

EXPERIMENT

It is recommended that you get the feel of existing apps by logging into your Apple developer account to download and run some samples in Xcode. It will help you understand how the developers were able to create the apps. Spending time learning from other people’s projects will help you in creating your own app.

SETUP YOUR APP

You will need a set of certificates to be able to authenticate yourself as the developer of the app. These are the Development certificate, the Ad-Hoc certificate and the Distribution certificate. The Development certificate, as mentioned earlier, includes an iPhone simulator that allows you to test the app on your iPhone using the computer.

Every iPhone has a unique UDID that you can see by selecting the device and clicking the Summary tab. Clicking on the serial number will change it into the 40 character UDID that you will eventually need to input during the process of testing.

If you would want to test your project app on someone else’s iPhone or device, an Ad-Hoc certificate is required that will contain your friend’s device UDID. A Distribution certificate is needed if you want to send your app to the App store to distribute.

CODE AND TEST

Use your prior programming knowledge and the new things you’ve learned from reading and viewing sample projects to start coding your app. Make sure that you keep testing your app on the simulator and on the physical iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Keep in mind that not all the functionality of the iPhone is found on the simulator. This is why you still need to test it on physical devices.