So you want to create your own app? Thats great. Creating an app is very fun and interesting. I still remember the time, when I started my app dev journey and when my first app was accepted by Apple App Store. So yes it is actually rewarding.
So now you want to develop an application for iOS. Any development that you do, needs to be done in a proper environment so let’s get started.
So before we dig deep into understanding the app development let’s set up the tools that we are going to need.
Now we all know Apple loves to work in a closed ecosystem of its own and hardly gets out of its shell. As iOS only runs on Apple devices like iPhones and iPads. Apple has enclosed its development procedure only for Apple devices. That means to develop native apps for iPhones and Macs you should have a Mac.
You need to have at least a MacBook Air to start the development of Apple Apps. You need an Apple device for that it can be either MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or iMac. Right now you cannot develop apps for Apple, on iPhones and iPads. Also, you cannot use Windows and Linux platforms to develop apps for Apple.
So you want to develop apps for Apple and you don’t have a Mac. So what can we do?
I know this sounds funny, but this is the best solution. As you will be making a career out of this and you will be needing a Mac always. Hence this can be an investment which you can make.
I know buying a Mac won’t be that easy and cheap. The second most good solution is to rent a Mac and start your development there.
So you have heard that you can use cross-platform like Flutter to build an iOS app but there is a catch. You can develop apps in cross platform but to upload them to App Store you are again going to need a Mac. Without Mac, you cannot submit apps to App Store.
This solution is bit critical as we won’t be getting a Mac but building one. A Hackintosh is a non Apple Computer which runs Apple MacOS or OSX.
But we have found a compatibility issue in Hackintosh, as it has been reported that there are several crashes in the OS and the components must match with each other. You can google search about building a Hackintosh.
To start Apple development you need to create Apple Developers ID. You need this ID to download Xcode and iOS SDK which you will be needing to build the apps. Now you can use the Apple ID that you have, if you have downloaded an app from App Store you can use that same ID, to download the tools you need. You should only focus on free developer’s account to learn Apple development, You do not need Paid Developers ID right Now. A paid developers id is only needed when you have to upload or submit your app to App Store. I would advise not to buy a paid ID right away. Only buy it when you feel it’s the right time.
Simply go to https://appleid.apple.com/account and follow on-screen procedure to create an ID.
To start developing apps for iPhone and Mac you will need an IDE where you can write all the code and start development. Apple needs software called Xcode which is free of cost on the Mac App Store. Xcode is an Integrated Development Environment developed by Mac for developers who can build apps. Xcode provides everything that you will need to download. It bundles with the latest iOS SDK, an User Interface Editor to edit the UI of the apps, and debugging tools which we will use to debug our application.
One of the most important features of Xcode is that you get an iPhone Simulator. A Simulator is a software application that runs on a computer as a mobile and acts completely as a mobile which you cause use to test your application directly on a laptop and you won’t need to use your iPhone always.
To install Xcode navigate to Mac App Store and search Xcode. Download and install Xcode completely.
Once the installation is complete you will find Xcode in the Launchpad
Command line tools get installed automatically when you install Xcode but if it is not installed you can manually install the command line tool.
open the terminal and put the following command in the terminal
$ xcode-select --install
This will help you install the command line tool for Xcode.
Cocoapods helps us install 3rd party libraries into the application which we want to build. It helps us to reduce the time and energy in developing our application.
To install cocoa pods open the terminal and copy and paste the following line
$ sudo gem install cocoapods
follow the on-screen instruction and cocoa pods will be installed.
If you face some problems during installation or want to know more about cocoa pods visit https://guides.cocoapods.org/using/getting-started.html
That’s all you need to start your journey as an Apple app Developer. With time and persistence you can you can slowly develop yourself and become a good app developer.
If you want to know how to start your career as an app developer read the following blog which will guide you accurately and clear most of your doubts.