How to develop for iOS

Considered the holy grail of mobile app development, developing an app for the iOS platform is not as impossible as some may thing. Granted, it is harder than developing for Android or Windows Phone, but it is still doable.

The first step to developing for iOS is to decide what you will be developing and how you are going to go about developing the app. If you’re not an experienced programmer, now may be a good time to put your ideas back into the reality glass. If you don’t have thousands of dollars, developing an Angry Birds or Words with Friends style game may be dreaming a bit too big. Pick an idea that will not cost too much time and resources. If you are completely naïve, get some expert opinions from a forum online.

Once you have decided what your app will do, it’s time to get the programming process started. If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with the iOS SDK. Of course this will require you to have access to a Mac computer. Thankfully you can build iOS apps on Windows using the Adobe Flash platform which can be less expensive than buying a Mac. The issue with this is, HTML5 apps are not natively coded and so performance may be a problem (i.e the old Facebook app).

If you are planning to develop the app yourself, it’s strongly advised that you have a solid foundation in programming. If not, this may be the time to call in some professionals. Object-C, the programming language that iOS uses, is not the easiest to learn and that explains why the average iOS developer charges between $75 and $200 an hour for development.

It is very important that you pay special attention to Apple’s guidelines regarding app acceptance into the app store. Apps that contain excessive violence, obscene language, and or are lacking in quality can all be denied. Apple has also said they reserve the right to deny duplicate apps. So if all your app is doing is duplicating the exact functionality of another app, you may be in trouble.

The price to get into the iOS development club is $99 and that will allow you to submit your apps, both paid and free. Apple takes a 30% cut from all revenue made through the App Store. Apple also requires that all transactions done through the app be processed through in-app purchases. Developers are not allowed to offer the purchase through another means if it is not being offered on the app itself.

Once your app is published you need to start marketing it. Get appropriate blogs, websites and magazines to review your app. Tell your friends and family about it. Take out an ad in your local newspaper to get the word out. Anything that you can use to tell people about your app, try it, and remember to be creative. Of course, success is not guaranteed, but if done right, there is a great possibility that you could have a successful app on the iOS App Store.


Catalin is an IT professional that has a passion for technology, internet, gadgets and coding. He writes for