General Question

afghanmoose's avatar

How can you learn to program an app?

Asked by afghanmoose (554 points ) March 18th, 2009 from iPhone

I have been inspired by the maker of trism to come up with ideas for the iphone/ipod touch. Is there a class to take in order to understand how to program an app or a video tutorial?

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10 Answers

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

i know that you can do it, one of my friends did it by just finding a tutorial. a Google search will probably give you a good one.

phoenyx's avatar

What programming experience do you have? If you haven’t done any programming before you might want to start with the basic classes first.

dynamicduo's avatar

First off, it costs $100 to get access to the SDK.

You need to have traditional programming knowledge. Do you have this?

One intermediary I’ve found is to build a website themed for the iPhone/iPod Touch. There is a framework called iWebkit that starts you off with a pretty great looking traditional app. Since people can make bookmarks to your site just like an app, this can be a good way to put your content on the iPhone without actually developing an app.

The_Englishman's avatar

@dynamicduo It doesn’t cost $100 to get the SDK, you can download it for free. The $100 allows you to transfer your apps to your phone for testing and things and then eventually allows you to submit it to the app store. If you just get the free SDK you can write your program and try it in the included iphone emulator, but thats as far as you can go really.

But as phoenyx and dynamicduo have said the programming knowledge is essential, if you don’t have this you should start with the basics in an Object Oriented language such as Java. iPhone apps are written in Objective-C, which you could start with, however I am not sure how good this is for a first language, probably just as good as any other, but someone else with that experience will have to tell you.

dynamicduo's avatar

@The_Englishman – thanks for the correction. I rephrase my comment to be “You will have to pay the $100 ransom fee if you intend to do ANYTHING with your application once you’ve built it, and even then you are at Apple’s whim whether they delete or allow it to exist in the App store.”

afghanmoose's avatar

Where can i download the SDK for free?

dynamicduo's avatar

You need to get it from Apple, which requires enrolling in the iPhone Developer Program. Here’s a link.

I am not sure, and would doubt, if there was a free way to get the SDK without enrolling. Apple is usually very tight about things like this.

The_Englishman's avatar

If you have an Apple login, go to http://developer.apple.com/iphone/ if not create one. There is a link somewhere on that page usually, to the SDK to download without enrolling and paying the $100. You should be able to get the 2.2.1 SDK, as I have, without actually paying. It is a good way to try it out. Currently the 3.0 SDK (that they showed the other day) looks like its for paying members only, but not sure about that havn’t really checked.

The_Englishman's avatar

And, as I have just remembed, you need to be using a Mac to install the SDK. No windows version as far as I know. Saves you the massive download if your not on a mac.

cwilbur's avatar

There is a great book called Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X. The iPhone development environment is very similar to the OS X Cocoa programming environment. If you don’t have any prior experience with programming at all, you may want to look for a book called Programming in Objective-C which will introduce you to programming and to Objective-C at the same time.

(Objective-C is the language that you write iPhone programs in. Cocoa is the set of class libraries that you use to interact with OS X; I’m not sure that they use the same name for the iPhone environment, but that’s just a marketing issue.)

If you don’t have any programming experience, it will probably take you at least two and probably more like four to six years to become professionally competent—there’s no royal road to programming success.

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