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Clarke Apps is a small start up group dedicated to delivering fun and/or useful applications to the iOS user base. We have a number of apps already on the iTunes App Store so why not check us out? Just search for D Clarke to find out more.

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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Getting started programming for iPhone and iPad

Well as I've got a new blog starting here I thought as a first step it'd be nice to offer some friendly advice to those looking at starting their own app development setup.

I suppose the first thing to mention is really kind of the obvious, and this is that if you don't know what you're going to make into an app, it's probably not worth shelling out the hundred bucks to join the developer scheme, that is unless you have the money to throw away and just want to do this as a bit of fun, in which case go right ahead. This leads directly into another point and that is that Xcode (the iPhone development environment) is actually available free from Apple, this is rather handy as it lets you learn and develop the code for free, get an application up and running, then pay to play so to speak - check out here for downloads
Registration is free, but if you're looking into this you probably have an iTunes account already, in which case you're already registered - smart eh?

The second thing is that it isn't easy - Apple are really helpful in some ways, and terribly restrictive in others, and it's a funny balance. Apple offer loads of free resources out there, lots of sample apps, example code, reference materials and the like, yet sometimes they get funny about certain methods being used that they'd rather you didn't, now these are (apparently) documented somewhere, but for whatever reason you can't use them. Take for example NSHost, a simple little utility involved in networking, you can use it in a Mac app, but not in an iPhone app - why? You tell me - but it makes for fun and games that's for sure.
If you're getting started with programming for the first time I'd like to recommend a book that I bought that I found extremely helpful, it's not a tell you everything guide, but it gives a good go. The only downside is that it's written for OS 3.X which is now outdated, but to be honest it's still quite valid.
The book is simple to understand and easy on the eyes and mind. Take a look at Amazon's preview page if that helps, I believe there's an updated version coming out for iOS 4.0 but I've not seen it myself yet so time'll tell.

I'll come back in a bit and post links to one or two of my apps to show you what we've done, along with a possible sneak peak at one of our upcoming projects.

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