How to become an iPhone developer

Have you heard about iShoot app, written by a programmer at the Sun Microsystems in his spare time? This well-known application has reached the top of the Apps Store charts earlier this year and stayed there for weeks, generating money for its author who later quit day job after earning $22,000. You may as well have heard about nine-year-old genius Lim Ding Wen who has created his own painting tool.

In literally a month you can develop an application that would be available to a global market. Here are the tips that may come up handy while creating your first iPhone application:

1. Buy a Mac. It doesn’t have to a top of the range models, but it’s got to have an intel-based processor and run the Leopard version of OS X. iShoot app was written on an old MacBook with only 1GB of memory, however, even this machine provided the creator with needed flexibility to develop his app.

2. Down the SDK (software development kit). The SDK is provided for free by Apple Inc. iPhone developers can use it from their developer sites. They’ve basically provided with everything required to get going, including iPhone simulator for testing, interface builders, documentation reference library and development environment XCode.

3. Learn the objective C. Objective C has been known as Object oriented programming language developed in Xerox PARC and later adopted by Apple. Objective C became the main development environment for the Apple Mac. If you are proficient in C/C++ or Objective C, the best place to start creating your apps is use the iPhone developer website. There are many books that you can read to learn the programming languages yourself. For Dummies series is very good for that purpose.

4. Create! Forget the theory and start writing. Set yourself a project and make your first attempts!  If you struggle that much, take one of the samples provided by the SDK and reverse engineer it. Besides, you can easily use these samples to create your own new game by adding various features.

5. Sign up as an official developer. If you plan to release your production at some point, right from the start you should sign up with the iPhone Developer program. This costs money and requires your agreeing to Apple’s terms and conditions. Signing up is important even if you’re interested just in testing your code on an actual iPhone. All onscreen emulators are good, but not that good to be totally trusted.

6. Submit your application to Apple. It’s not that difficult process. All you need to do is to zip up your file, upload it with a description, screenshots and large and small icons. If there’s nothing wrong with your file, it usually takes Apple Inc. a week to approve the content. However, if the app contains some obvious problems, it will be most likely rejected. But you still can resubmit it after fixing all the bugs in the future.


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