How to Develop an iOS App [A Complete Guide]

The mobile app industry has been thriving for years, especially Apple and Google generating billions of dollars of revenue yearly. Hence, by learning iOS application development, you can significantly increase your chance of generating better revenue for your business and your clients altogether.

To scale a business or even start a career in iOS development, it is essential to know the fundamentals of the iOS app development process.

In this guide, we will show you how to develop an iOS app with the help of someone who is an expert in building apps for years. We contacted the head of the iOS team who build over 2500 iOS apps.

Now, with his help, we designed this comprehensive guide that will answer every question you have about building powerful iOS apps.

Basic Requirements to Develop iOS Apps

Before diving into app development, you must understand the basic requirements to build iOS apps.

Basic-Requirements-to-Develop-iOS-Apps

  1. Mac System

  2. To work with the current version of Xcode, you need a Mac Computer with an Intel processor running on the latest Mac OS version.

    You can purchase a Mac Mini. After you get the Mac Mini, attach it with your monitor screen and you are ready.

    Mac Mini comes with a 3.0 GHz Core i5 processor and 8 GB memory.

    Since the better hardware configuration will allow seamless iOS development. As you have understood in and out of the Mac system, it is time for registering yourself for an Application Developer account.

  3. Register for an Application Developer Account

  4. Registering for an Apple Application Developer account is free. After successful registration, you will have permission to download Xcode, and access iOS SDK and development videos along with technical resources.

    Now is the time to register yourself at Apple’s developer website. In case of doubt, there is a step-by-step guide on Apple’s official website or iOS platform. You just require to create an Apple ID (if you don’t have one) and mention all the information in your personal profile.

    Now, let’s check to set up Xcode by following the step-by-step method.

  5. Installation of Xcode

  6. The only tool you need initially to develop iOS apps is Xcode. Xcode is Apple’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for iOS and Mac Apps.

    When you will start building your apps, you will use the graphical interface of Xcode to perform seamless iOS programming. Xcode consists of frameworks, compilers, tools, and iOS SDK. You will need all these for designing a user interface, software development, and debugging purposes.

    As you have familiarized yourself with Xcode, an IDE, it is time that you get acquainted with the installation procedure of Xcode:

    • Step 1: Launching of Mac App Store. You can find the Mac App Store icon in the dock if you are using the latest version of Mac OS. Upgrade your Mac OS if you are unable to find it.
    • Step 2: Search “Xcode” in the Mac App Store and click on the FREE button to download it.
    • Step 3: As the download will complete, the Xcode folder will be found on the launchpad.

    That is it. Now, you can easily open Xcode and start building your apps for iOS.

So let us dive right into discussing to set up an iOS environment.

Prepare Your Environment for iOS Development

We have already discussed to set up Xcode. Now let us assemble everything.

Step 1: After successful setup and installation of Xcode, it is time know more about Xcode.

Step 2: Launch Xcode and create a new project.

Step 3: It is crucial for you to get acquainted with Xcode’s interface. The interface consists of 5 sections of the interface.

  • Toolbar
  • Editor Area
  • Utility Area
  • Navigator Area
  • Debug Area

Understanding these sections properly will help you in your development stage.

Step 4: Now, it is time for you to start building your application. We have created a step by step guide for it in the later section.

  1. iOS Development Tools

  2. Being Apple app developers, it is crucial for you to know about free app development tools and their platforms. Below, we have listed down some of the best iOS development tools.

    • GitHub: It is a code sharing and publishing service. It’s a social networking site for programmers.
    • Bitbucket: It is a similar platform to GitHub
    • Stackoverflow: A forum platform for developers and coders
    • It is always wise to Google to find answers
    • Contact a professional if you know any

Now, let us learn about the guidelines of Apple’s design and development to save yourself from getting into any mishap.

Understanding Apple’s Design and Development Guidelines

Apple’s guidelines are particular when it comes to launching a new app. Every coder needs to adhere to certain guidelines before launching an app to the App Store. Therefore, it is essential for you to know the ins and outs of Apple’s design and development guidelines before starting to create iOS apps.

  1. Overview of App Store Review Guidelines:

  2. Safety: It is essential for any user to feel safe before installing an app on their device. Therefore, Apple has a strict policy to remove apps that contain offensive or upsetting content.

    Performance: Make sure to upload the complete version of your app to the Apple App Store. Apple expects a seamless performance from the app you publish. It should run perfectly fine before you submit it.

    Business: Make sure to get a clear idea of monetizing strategies for your application. If you are not sure about the business model, explain it in metadata and Review notes.

    Design: Apple users love to use the application built with innovative and clean design. Additionally, it depends on the way you create a design, it is essential to maintain a standard while designing your app.

    Legal: It is essential to follow legal requirements before initiating the app development process.

  3. Avoid Common App Rejections:

  4. Issues like crashes, bugs, placeholder content, broken Links will certainly put your app on the reject list. To avoid that, Apple has highlighted some of the issues to save your app from rejection.

  5. Design Guidelines of Apple

  6. Apple expects a type of consistency in their App Store. It certainly does not mean that your app should have rich design interfaces. Moreover, the app should contain basic UI design elements.

    It should be your only goal to deliver the best in the class application. There are three essential points in Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines we will discuss here:

    • Clarity: Text, Icons, and adornments should complement the functionality of the design.
    • Deference: It is about the way you represent the content. Ensuring to keep your interface light and prioritizing the content is the key here.
    • Depth: Distinct visual, touch, and transitions should be accurately put to allow everlasting experience.

    Apps Design: A thorough guide that explains the do’s and don’ts of app design

    User Interface Design: In the latest version of iOS, you can use the built-in tools of Xcode for designing a great interface. Here is a guide you should look at.

Below you can see a step-by-step guide to initiate your app development project.

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How to Start Your App Development Project

To make iOS applications, you require Mac and Xcode. Now is the time to start making your first application.

  1. Download Xcode

  2. download xcode

    Now, the first step is to get Xcode. Download it from the Mac Store (Available in the latest Mac OS). It is a lengthy setup (may take around 20 minutes to download and 1 hour to install), so you need to have patience.

  3. Open Xcode and Set Up the Project

  4. It is important to set up the project properly hence, follow the given steps.

    1. Start Xcode
    2. Go to File > New > Project
    3. Start Xcode

    4. Tap on ‘App’ and click ‘Next’.
    5. Tap on ‘App’ and click ‘Next’

    6. Name the project as per your preference.
    7. Name the project

    8. Make sure Storyboards or SwiftUI selected
    9. You can also select between Objective C and Swift
    10. Click on ‘Next’
    11. Select the path where you want to save your file and click create
  5. Writing the Code

  6. The programming should be done in the ViewController.swift file. Moreover, you can always check other files as well. Main.storyboard file is UI, but we will talk about it in a later section. Leaving appDelegate we will jump right on to programming.

    1. Open ‘ViewController.swift’
    2. In ViewController.swift we define the outlet of a label and assign text “Hello World”.

      ViewController

      Go to ‘Main.storyboard’Under @implementation ViewController add @synthesize label; and in the viewDidUnload function add [self setLabel:nil];In viewDidLoad, add the following code: lblHello?.text = “Hello World”;

      viewDidLoadWe are done with the programming.

  7. Connecting the UI

    1. Open ‘Main.storyboard’
    2. Search for a label and drag it onto the view like shown in the picture.
    3. Search for a label

    4. Click on the Label and drag the squares of the corners to resize the label.
    5. Navigate to ‘Attributes inspector’
    6. Keep it in the center and choose the size and font. We will suggest the system font and increase the size to 25.
    7. choose the size and font

    8. Right click on ViewController and connect label to Storyboard
    9. connect label to Storyboard

  8. It is Time to Run the App

  9. Run the App

    This is it. After checking everything once, click on the Run button and your app will say its first words. In this case, “Hello World”

    Want to Build Powerful iOS Apps?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to learn iOS development?

With the latest Swift Language, Apple has optimized the tools and simplified syntax. Now, you just require a Mac with Xcode installed in it and helpful resources to get started. So, it is not as hard as you think to learn iOS development.

How much does it cost to develop an iOS app?

If we consider the hourly rate of $35 to $40, a basic app can cost from $3000 to $30,000, depending upon the timeline. As the requirements for features get complex, the cost also may increase.

What coding language is used for iOS apps?

A powerful and intuitive, Swift programming language is well known for making iPhone app, macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps.

How can I develop iOS apps on windows?

There are different ways to develop iOS apps on windows. You can use any one of them and build an ios app:

  • Get a Mac in the Cloud
  • Create iOS Apps on Windows with Cross-Platform Tools
  • Build “Hackintosh” to Run Xcode
  • Work in React Native Environment
  • Use Xamarin to Write iOS Apps on Windows

Conclusion

There is a lot to learn about iOS development. If you think of anything specific or want us to elaborate on anything, feel free to let us know in the comments. Now, let us recap everything we have discussed so far.

If you have made up your mind about building an iOS application, make sure you buy a Mac or borrow it from your friend. Then register yourself for the Application development program and install Xcode.

Before going all raw you have to understand the design and development guidelines of Apple. Our iOS experts will help you to validate your app idea and offer a FREE consultation to make your app a success. You can look at some of the best examples of iOS Applications our experts have developed.

In case you get stuck anywhere while building an iOS application or require consultation, don’t hesitate to contact our expert iOS developers.

Author Bio
Hitesh Trivedi
Hitesh Trivedi
Designation: iOS Team Lead

Hitesh Trivedi is an iOS Team Lead at Space-O Technologies. He has over 10 years of experience in iOS app development. He has guided to develop over 100 iPhone apps with unique features and functionalities. He has special expertise in Swift and Objective-C.