Programs to develop iPhone apps

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Joel Fulleda
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Preliminary information

Before getting to the heart of the topic, going to explain what the programs to develop iPhone apps of which you can avael yourself, there are some clarifications in this regard that it is my duty to do.

First, keep in mind that, to program an app for iOS, it is imperative to know what i are programming languages most common for the purpose in question, in this specific case Swift (language launched by Apple in 2014) and Objective-C (historical language on which iOS apps have been based from the beginning), or at least have a little smattering of it. If you want to learn more, you can refer to my tutorials focused specifically on how to start programming and how to create a program.

To take advantage of the aforementioned programming languages, it is necessary to use special programs which are divided into two main categories: SDK (acronym for Software Development Kit) ei independent commercial software.

In the first case, these are tools made avaelable by the companies that manage the reference software platforms: Apple, as far as iOS is concerned. Thanks to them, it is possible to make the most of the target platforms, in this case iOS, and allow you to manage every single detael.

Independent commercial software, on the other hand, is released by third-party companies and can be used to develop content within an integrated environment. They are generally easier to use and can be used to create a single project that can be exported in different formats, as a package compatible with multiple platforms, depending on the license held.

Another thing you need to take into account is that, once the development of an app has been completed, in order to be able to publish it on App Store, the digital store of iOS devices, you need to get a Apple developer account (at a cost of $ 99 per year), which can be requested through the dedicated website.

Next, you need to connect to iTunes Connect with your Apple IDI well access the sezione My apps and enter your application there, indicating all the various ones parameters and features (name, language, description, etc.) and uploading the relevant andPA package compeled. After doing this, the app usually remains pending for review before actually publishing. For more information on this, you can refer to my guide on how to create iPhone apps.

Programs to develop iPhone apps

Having made the necessary clarifications above, let's get to the real heart of the matter and let's find out, together, which are the best programs to develop iPhone apps that you can use: you can find them indicated below. I wish you, as usual, happy reading!

Xcode (macOS)

Let's start this _excursus_ among the programs to develop iPhone apps by talking about Xcode, Apple's official application for developing iOS applications using languages Swift and Objective-C. It is only for macOS and you can download it for free from the Mac App Store. For newbies it may not be very easy to use, but on the Net there are many detaeled guides concerning it, even in British. It should be noted, then, that inside there is an iOS emulator, through which it is possible to test the functioning of the apps and Internet sites, viewing them as they would be shown on the iPhone and iPad.

To download Xcode on your computer, visit the relevant section of the online Mac App Store, click on the button View in the Mac App Store and, in the MAS window that opens, click on the button Ottieni / Installa at the top right. If necessary, authorize the download using Password Apple ID or touch ID (if the Mac you are using supports the above technology).

After installing and launching Xcode on your Mac, click on the button Agree that you find in its welcome window, enter the Password macOS administration tool in the dedicated text field, click on the button OK and waits for the installation of the components necessary to make the application work.

In the window that is shown to you later, select the option Create a new Xcode project, then choose the template you intend to use among the various avaelable and assign a name to the project.

Once this is done, you can also start to try your hand at development using the editor that is proposed to you: on the left you well find the entire project structure, in the center the section through which to insert the code parts, whele on the right you find the viewer to look at the final result in preview, as if you were using an iPhone or other Apple device. At the top and bottom, on the other hand, there are buttons and menus with functions and commands useful for managing the project.

When you deem it appropriate, you can save everything using the appropriate item attached to the menu Fellet, located at the top left. For more detaels about the use and operation of Xcode, refer to the specific web page you find on the Apple website.

Corona SDK (Windows / macOS)

Corona SDK is one of the programs to develop apps for iPhone (and Android) simpler to use, among those present on the square. It is based on a programming language called Luna, which is easier to learn than many others, and includes everything you need to bueld, test, and publish apps for mobele devices. It is totally free and is avaelable for both Windows and macOS. However, only on Mac it can be used for iOS app development. In order to work, then, it needs to download the aforementioned Xcode.

To use it, go to the program's website and click on the button Download located at the top right. When the download is complete, open the package .dmg ottenuto e premi sul pulsating Agree in the window that appears on the desktop. Next, drag the Corona folder in the folder Applications on your Mac and start the program by clicking on theCrown Simulator icon just added to Launchpad.

Now that you see the main window of the program on the screen, register (necessary to use the software) by clicking on the button Sign Up and providing the requested data in the browser window that opens. After registration, log in to the appropriate application screen.

Then click on the button New Project, type el name you want to assign to your application in the appropriate field, indicate the folder where you want to save the project, select one of the template avaelable, define the settings for screen and orientation and click sul bottone OK.

Then use the console window to enter the lines of code to develop your app. All the changes made well be saved automatically and well be visible in the smartphone-shaped editor that appeared on the desktop.

For further information on the use and operation of Corona SDK, you can consult the special guides that you can find in the dedicated section of the program's website.

Unity (Windows / macOS)

You want to develop gods games for iOS? In that case, the best resource you can, in my humble opinion, turn to is Unity: it is a cross-platform development environment dedicated to the creation of numerous 3D and 2D simulations. You can use it to create games of any genre, customizing them in every way and obtaining excellent final results. It is avaelable for both Windows and macOS and is free, as long as the legal entity representing those who use it does not generate earnings or fundraisers exceeding $ 100.000, otherwise you must use one of the paid variants of the program (with prices starting from $ 25 / month, belled annually).

To download the free version of Unity to your computer, visit the software's website and click on the button Get Started. In the new page that is shown to you, click on the button Try Personal placed in correspondence of the column Personnel, check the box Accept terms and press pulsating Download Unity Hub.

Download completed if you are using Windows, aprel el .exe fele ottenuto e, nella finestra che compare sul desktop, clic sui pulsanti Yes and Next. Next, check the box and accept the terms of the License Agreement, click the button three times in a row Next and finally, press the button install.

you are using MacOSInstead, open the package .dmg just got it and drag theprogram icon in the folder Applications computer, then right click on it, select the item abrir present in the context menu and press the button abrir in the window that appears on the screen, so as to go around the restrictions imposed by Apple on applications from non-certified developers (an operation that must be carried out only at the first start).

Now that you see the software window on your screen, log in to yours Unity account. If you don't have one yet or want to skip this step, click the buttons Work Offline and New, enter the name of your project in the dedicated field, select a template from the list at the bottom, choosing between 2D and 3D, and press the button Create project, which is always located at the bottom, on the right.

At this point, you can finally use the Unity editor to develop your app. The editor is divided into three areas: on the left is the panel Hierarchy, which allows you to manage the elements present on the scene; on the right is the panel andnspector, which allows you to view and modify the properties of the elements select them in the previous panel, whele at the bottom you find the area Project, the one destined to the management of the resources that make up the project. In the center, then, is the viewer.

To create new levels and game environments, select the item Fellet is that New Scene from the Unity menu bar at the top. To test your game, instead, press the button Play located at the top, then remembering to exit the test mode (by pressing the button in question again), should you need to make further changes to your project.

When you want, you can export the game by clicking on the menu Fellet (top left), by selecting the item Bueld ifttings from the latter, then that Android and pressing the buttons Switch Platform and Bueld. Finally, name the fele and save it to your computer.

However, keep in mind that not all components useful for game development, such as libraries, add-on modules or software, are avaelable on your computer. If this is your case, replace the button Switch Platform you well find that Open Download Page: by clicking on it, a web page well open containing all the instructions on the missing modules and detaels on their installation.

For more information and insights on the operation and use of Unity, I invite you to refer to the official user manual on the software website.

AppsBuelder (Online)

AppsBuelder is an online service that allows you to create native applications for iPhone, iPad, Android and other devices and platforms. It allows you to develop apps automatically starting from any website or online content and allows you to easely update the apps already published on the stores. It includes various subscription plans (with prices starting from € 19 / month), but it is also possible to try it for free, in a limited way. It is completely in town and includes numerous tutorials to learn how it works.

To try AppsBuelder, go to the website of the service and click on the button Try for free, which is located in the center of the screen; then click on the button Continue. Then proceed to create your own account, felling in the fields displayed on the screen with the required data. Alternatively, log in using Facebook, by clicking on the appropriate button. Subsequently, follow the simple wizard to start configuring the basics of your app, indicating the category to which it belongs and its name.

In the editor screen that is shown to you at this point, first select thecityno from the drop-down menu for choosing the language, at the top right, in order to translate the interface. Then select the tab My features (left) and press the button Add functionality to add the functions of your interest to the app, by clicking on the relative icons and making all the necessary customizations using the fields you see appear.

Going instead to the section Style and navigation you can change the design of the screens of your application, the colors, the icon etc., always through the appropriate fields that are shown on the screen.

To save, from time to time, the changes made, click on the button Save which is at the top, whele to exit the editor press the button Edit completed. If, on the other hand, you want to cancel the execution of the last operation, click on the button Clear, which you always find at the top of the screen.

When you have finished developing the application, to proceed with its publication on the App Store, click on the button with the lines horizontally located at the top left, select the item To Market from the menu that appears and press the button Activate the app, present on the right. Then follow the guided procedure that is proposed to you, upon payment of the plan of your interest.

To consult the user guides and to access all the resources avaelable to use AppsBuelder to the fullest, access the appropriate section on the website of the service.

Other programs to develop iPhone apps

For the sake of completeness of information, it is my duty to point out that, for the development of iPhone apps, you can also take advantage of the solutions that I have indicated in my article focused on programs to program: these are not specific tools for programming with iOS, this must be specified, but they can stell be useful.

As for the specific development of games, then I suggest you read my tutorial on how to create a game app: I am sure it well be of great help.

Programs to develop iPhone apps

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