An Introduction To iPad Application Development

Design & Media Technology

It is widely perceived that the role of PC will be minimized in the future due to the tablets such as iPad. iPad application development is a booming industry as there is a great room for developing apps related to this gadget.

For developing these applications you need to have a basic understanding of programming. Then it is imperative to have strong concepts related to Objective-C programming language if you are to develop complex applications. However, to get a start you will need to focus more on other aspects such as iOS SDK, working with the human interface and then test and distribute the iPad App. To follow are the major steps and an introduction of the tools to help you get going:

Introduction to Xcode

Mind you iOS is the operating system on which iPad runs. iPad apps can be developed on both iOS and Mac OS. The collective development environment that we use to build these apps is called Xcode. It is Xcode which contains the iOS SDK. iOS SDK contains the programming interface. Therefore, if you want to get iOS SDK you need to install Xcode first. Xcode also contains the simulator through which you can test the app on a virtual iPad. To download Xcode from Apple’s website you need to get registered by paying a fee of $99/year to Apple.

Running Xcode

The first part is to start Xcode and create a new Xcode project. You will be asked for a few choices. Choose single view template if it hasn’t been selected by default. Most of the settings will remain the same. From the drop down of the project folder in the left pane you can see a few files. Three of them are important. These are with the extension of .m, .plist and storyboard file.

Purpose of These Files

The main source file which is seen with the extension of .m , has got a few important functions and function calls. The application building process and its interaction with the windows server is made through this main file. Objects are instances of classes. Class is an outline for creating the instance of the object.

It has the view controller that manages the contents of a view. If you had not chosen single view template you would have got segues as well. Segues represent how transition from one view to another takes place.

The property list file contains some features of the app such as its icon and name.

Further Steps to Learn

After getting the basic understanding some of necessary steps you should know are some more concepts like changing the background color. This is done by clicking on the right most tab of the view controller toolbar, under which Simulated Metrics and View Controller boxes are shown. Click on the 4th symbol which is from the set of symbols that have replaced the one button that was seen earlier before clicking. This 4th symbol is the attributes inspector. Here you can change the back ground color of your view.

Adding Controls to The View

You can add more elements and arrange them to your liking by clicking the helloworldviewcontroller in the second pane from the left shown below. You will get a view tab just under it and then find many elements to customize the view. If you click on this view there are further in roads to the text, button and label which gives more leverage to customize these elements. Note that helloworld is just due to the application name here. It will change with the application name you have mentioned at the start.

There are some other steps that are common among most of the apps but that will need an understanding of the Objective-C language. This mainly deals with the implementation of the view controller.