Last month, I am very busy at my new iPhone and iPad project. This is my first to touch the Object C and IOS programming. From a beginner’s point of view, the iPhone and iPad programming is very hard to understand. For a beginner, it takes time to fully handle the storyboard development procedures, especially when you are using xcode 4.2 and above. There are very little tutorials for storyboard programming. All iPhone and iPad development guides are focusing on xcode 3+. For some reason, one book is really not enough to handle the IOS programming.
For one month searching, studying, and working on iPhone and iPad application development, I think it’s time to write down some notes and summarize the tips for learning IOS iPhone and iPad programming.
Xcode, the development environment for iPhone and iPad
This is my first suggestion. As a beginner, I know how hungry I am to handle this new programming technology. If it possible, I really want to master Object C in one night and finish my iPhone and iPad as soon as possible. However, learning new technology takes time. So we must be patient. The first task is familiar with the working environment. Currently, Xcode is the best choice for beginners to start Object C development. Since the latest Xcode is free, we can download it from Mac App Store. To get familiar with the Xcode, the best way is following the “Hello World” programming guide to finish your first iPhone iPad application. For beginners, I suggest the Apple official programming guide. Apple develop site provides a very good IOS programming guide for beginners, Start Developing iOS Apps Today. In this guide, it will help beginners to introduce the basic requirement for iPhone iPad application development. It guides beginners to setup the working environments. Let beginners to get ready for starting the first IOS app development.
The First IOS App Tutorial
Even through I have five years application development experience, it is also my first time to touch IOS App development. The fastest way to know about the development procedures is writing the “Hello World” app. The Apple’s “Hello World” guide, the first IOS App, lead us to go through the whole process to build an iPhone iPad app. It will introduce the whole xcode UI, the storyboard working window, and the basic IOS components such as UITextField, UILabel, UIButton. In this step, we don’t need to be hurry. I suggest a beginner need to go through the “Hello World” programming several times till you can fully understand every learning point. To test if you fully understand the processing, you can create your own “Hello World” app without any tutorials. If you cannot, please go through the “Hello World” guide one more time and try again.
Why do beginners need to try the Hello world app so many times is because xcode storyboard programming is too hard to handle in a short period of time. For beginners, there are too many steps to finish one simple app. A beginner need to understand how to drag and drop, how to use ctrl drag combination to bind UI component reference with Object C code, and how to create and trigger event from UI compoents. From my real learning experience, these steps will take a beginner at least three working days to handle. By the way, I have Flash, Flex development experience, and I also know Java programming in Android platform.
Object C Programming Language
After the first IOS app tutorial, you may find that there is another tutorial, Creating Your Second iOS App. Actually, I don’t suggest beginners to jump too fast. I am not kidding. As a beginner, if you start the second app tutorial now, you are too fast.
In current stage, my advice is reading a Object C programming language book, learning the basic of Object C. My suggestion is Programming in Objective-C 2.0 and The Objective-C Programming Language. To test if you understand it, please open the source file of your first Hello World App project and ask youself what it is for each single line code, each keyword, each sign. To fully understand the very basic Object C principle, it will take 3 to 5 days, depending on your background knowledge about programming language.
Creating Your Second iOS App
After yo handle all basic knowledge for xcode storyboard and Object-C programming, it is time to go deeper to practice your iPhone iPad application development skill.The seconde tutorial will introduce more advantage IOS development technologies such as UITableView, UINavigationController, Push Segue and delegate. After you handle all these programming skills, you are able to solve 60% iPhone and iPad application development issue. But the progress is not that easy. You will spend more time on the second IOS app tutorial.
From my learning experience, the most difficult part is getting familiar with the whole process of IOS application development and Object-C programming language. They are also the most important part. When you are learning IOS programming, Youtube video tutorials are very helpful, especially for learning storyboard programming. For example, I was stuck by transition from one view to another view with Segue. I search the video tutorial in Youtube and there are lots of video examples to teach you how to create a segue transition step by step.
Learning new technology is a tough experience, but it is also a valuable skill when you handle it. I hope this post will help beginners who want to learn iPhone, iPad app development. In future post, I will post some problems I have met when I am learning Object-C programming and paste the Video tutorials from Youtube, which I feel is helpful.