Learning how to program iOS – Part 2

A quick update on Chapter 2 of “iOS Application Development” which covered Xcode and the iOS simulator. I had played with an older version of Xcode (3.2 I think?) with the current version being 4.6 as I write this – seems like a lot has changed. I think the IDE has greatly improved – I like the Assistant Editor which pulls up header (.h) files in a separate side window from the current implementation (.m) files, and I like snapshots and the visual diffs they show, plus the error/warning feedback seems much better than I remember it.

I think the one thing I really like about learning from a book as opposed to finding stuff on the web – it’s great having everything in one place, and it’s great having stuff grouped together. It was nice to read a quick overview of the iOS Simulator’s capabilities, something I had never even thought to look up.

Now comes the actual learning part – starting the Objective-C portion next..

Learning how to program iOS – Part 1

I’ve been wanting to learn how to develop iOS applications since the iPhone first came out, not because I have the perfect idea for an app but mainly just┬ácuriosity. I’ve dabbled a bit here and there, using some of the Apple documentation (which is pretty awful for those just starting out), but it’s just so graphically oriented, and that is so not my thing – that’s probably why I never really did it. I almost took an in-person class starting a couple of weeks ago – there’s something about having to actually show up at a specific place and time that’s very appealing to my procrastinational nature, but I was told by other iOS developers that it didn’t have a good syllabus and that it would teach me the bare minimum and also how most iOS developers DON’T write iOS apps so I skipped.

However, I’ve got a client with an existing iOS application that needs work, so now’s my chance to really jump in with both feet. I’m using a book I just bought: “iOS Application Development in 24 Hours”. It was the newest and highest rated book available (just released actually), and I have been told that Apple keeps changing Xcode and the libraries from version to version and sometimes they’re not backwards compatible, so it’s best to be developing with the latest information and the latest versions.

The first chapter was some good starting information about the the devices themselves, including the Retina display, which if you were using an earlier book, would not have mentioned. It also had some information about signing up for the iOS developer program through Apple, though not nearly enough in my opinion.