Apps on Apple

To learn how to create an app for iOS, I started my journey on the Apple Developer website with the “Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift)” online tutorial. Why not begin with the company that actually developed the IDE and programming language (Xcode and Swift)?

The app within the online tutorial is a FoodTracker app. This app allows the user to add an image of a meal (or restaurant), use a rating system to rate the meal, and provides the basic functionality of editing, adding, and deleting data. Pretty cool stuff!

I encountered some errors while progressing through the tutorial and accessed Google to find explanations of the errors and locate solutions. This was successful most of the time. Thankfully the tutorial provided a lot of screen shots and thoroughly explained things along the way. One of the great things about online tutorials is that you can refer back to a particular section if needed. And in my case, it was needed. My errors occurred when I tried to be fancy and venture out on my own. Quickly I realized that since this was completely new to me, I had better stick to the plan that Apple provided.

After completing the FoodTracker app, it was now time to deploy the app to my phone. During the creation process, I used the built-in Simulator in Xcode, but it’s always best to test on the actual device. The tutorial didn’t have directions for this, so I turned to Google once again. I came across a great resource Launching Your App on Devices and voila! But it wasn’t that easy, sort of. I ran into a few setup errors and it was back to Google. I found another great resource on the stackoverflow discussion forum that solved my issue. Once I corrected the errors, my iPhone connected, and all was well!

I wanted to extend my journey, so I located a fantastic 17-episode series on YouTube called “How To Make an iPhone App with No Programming Experience”. I strictly used YouTube for my second app based on the popular card game “War”. I added a twist to my app and created it with a baseball theme (you think I would have learned my lesson about trying to be fancy). While progressing through the videos, I realized how much I had learned from the online tutorial and how the YouTube videos were reinforcing skills as well as teaching new techniques and concepts. The combination of the two made for a rewarding learning experience…well worth the extended journey.

Both resources that I used to learn how to create an iOS app played an important role in the overall learning process. Each resource complemented each other. I made errors along the way and had to re-watch videos and re-read sections of the online tutorials, but that’s part of the learning process and I embraced it. When I ran into a “sticky” part, I jumped to Google in search of answers and solutions. One of the challenges that I did encounter, aside from learning a new IDE and programming language, was finding the additional time to sit down and learn something new. Once I built time into my schedule to accommodate learning a new skill, I was able to better focus on the task at hand.

Before and after screen shots of the Baseball War Game app.
Before and after screen shots of the Baseball War Game app.

I do have a few bugs in my Baseball War Game app that I will try and resolve over the next week (fingers crossed). So, it’s back to watching YouTube, searching help forums, and Google of course.