4 Developer Prerequisites for iOS App Development

4 Developer Prerequisites for iOS App Development

To make the most of developing iOS apps, there are a couple of prerequisites that need to be met. Not sure what they are? This blog elaborates those 4 important developer prerequisites that you simply cannot do without.

Get a Mac

If it is not obvious enough, you need a Mac to get the ball rolling. Since it is the basic requirement for iOS development, you can’t begin without it.

To start developing apps for Apple, you need a Mac that comes equipped with an Intel-based processor. The Mac needs to have Mac OS X (version 10.8) or greater for app development.

If you are on a budget, you can get the Mac Mini. The entry model sets you back by no more than $599 from Amazon. Once that is taken care of, simply pair the Mac Mini with any monitor. Remember, if you have a higher budget, spend more on a better Mac Mini or an iMac with greater processing power.

Sign Up for an Apple Developer Account

A lot of people mix this up with the iOS Developer Program, which is completely different. With that out of the way, you need to sign up for an Apple Developer Account. The good news? You can register for free!

Once you have registered, you will be able to download Xcode, and can even access technical resources and documentation related to iOS SDK.

To sign up, visit Apple’s developer website. The registration process is not complicated, just make sure you create an Apple ID beforehand.

Install Xcode

To develop iPhone and iPad apps, Xcode is the only tool you need. Xcode is an IDE (integrated development environment) offered by Apple.

Xcode makes app developing easy. It comes bundled with the latest iOS SDK, debugging tools, GUI editor, source code editor and much more. But the best thing about the tool is that it comes with an iPad and iPhone simulator, meaning you can test your apps without actually having to spend more than you already have on the actual physical devices.

To get your hands on Xcode, you need to access the Mac App Store. If your Mac is running the latest version of Mac OS, you will find the Mac App Store in the dock. If it is not there, it would be a good idea to update to the latest Mac OS.

In the Mac App Store, search ‘Xcode’ and select the ‘Free’ button to install it. After the installation process is complete, the Xcode folder will be available in the Launchpad.

Join the iOS Developer Program

Many developers out are not entirely sure whether they should join the iOS Developer Program. The truth is it is completely up to you if you want to join the program or not. As already mentioned earlier, Xcode comes with an iPhone and iPad simulator, so you can develop and test the apps on your Mac.

Do keep in mind though, if you do not join the iOS developer program, then the only way you can run the apps you are working on is via the simulator. You will not be able to deploy and run your apps on Apple devices you already own. If this the case, you will not be able to submit your app to the App Store either — meaning you will not be able to sell your app!

As amazing and powerful as the simulator may be, it simply can’t do everything that an actual iPhone or iPad could do. For example, it lacks the video and camera capture feature. So if you plan to develop a camera app, the only way you can test it is if you own an iOS device. Technically speaking, you need to join the iOS Developer Program.

If you do join the iOS Developer Program, consider the fact you need to pay $99 annually, which is not much to be honest. If you are new to iOS development, you simply can’t rely on the simulator alone to test your app in every way. Of course, you can wait until you have a proper plan to distribute your app before joining the iOS Developer Program.

When it comes to developing iPhone apps, developers even resort to opting for cross-platform development. Some examples for cross-platform development apps include Xamarin, Phone Gap and Appcelerator Titanium. But for the best results, it is a good idea to stick to native development environments.

The problem with cross-platform app development is that the user experience lacks in customizability and design. Also, if you do wish to publish such an app on the App Store, then you need to join the iOS Developer Program without fail, which as mentioned earlier will set you back by $99 annually.

Developing a native iOS app is a complicated process. Even with the right tools, you or the developer you hire need to have the right skills to get the job done. This is one of many reasons why it is necessary for you to get a lay of the land first before committing to developing an app of your own.

If you need assistance, do not hesitate from asking for help. In fact, you won’t need to, seeing how much information and resources is already available online for iOS app development. If you spend a little time doing your homework online, you realize you have everything you need to get through coding and design phases without a hitch. There is no denying the fact you may make mistakes, but you will learn from them, which improve your app by leaps and bounds.

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