Previously, we looked at the state of app development for Android. Now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were both a massive success, let’s take a look at app development for their operating system, iOS from Apple. Apps remain a great way to engage customers, employees and partners, but the challenge of developing one still requires a specific set of skills and a well-crafted vision for the app itself.
Draw Pictures First
Like Android, when creating an app for your organization, the most critical time is spent in the up-front planning of your features and user interface. Whether you are developing the app in-house or handing it off to a third party team of developers, so much time and expense is saved with precision on the drawings and flows you create in advance of writing code. Apple produces a couple of very relevant eBooks that will help you understand the rules of the road for designing iOS apps.
Objective C or the New Swift
Objective C has been iOS’ go to language for programming since the iPhone emerged several years back. However, as we have written about previously, Apple announced Swift as a new programming language that developers can use to create iOS apps. It is much cleaner and easier to use than Objective C and we think many developers are switching over, particularly if they don’t have a legacy app to manage that’s still using Objective C.
All Platforms, Including Watch
iOS 8.3 just came out and includes support for the Apple Watch. iPhone and iPad, with their different screen sizes, require consideration when creating an app. Will you support both? And will you take advantage of the different layout features that the two offer? Moreover, what about Apple Watch – will you support that new platform? The Watch comes with its own API (Application Programming Interface) to access features like Gestures and other new types of notifications for example.
Apple development can only take place on a Mac because Apple’s IDE (Integrated Development Environment) xCode is only available there. xCode is a fantastic code editor and project integration system. With its simulators, you can also preview your app on any of Apple’s devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and now including the Apple Watch.
iOS app development in 2015 is better than ever but be sure that your customers desire the powerful (but not inexpensive to deliver) features that an app provides. Some companies are finding that their resources are better spent optimizing their websites for mobile.
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