In today’s market, your business needs to be everywhere. Offering customers mobile purchasing options will not only increase sales but encourage growth, nurture customer relations, and significantly increase your visibility. There is only one way to really hit the mobile market where it counts, you need an App. More and more, consumers are researching products and making purchases using their handheld devices. In order to succeed, you need to understand iOS and develop an app that will take your business to the next level.
Map Your App
Before jumping into coding, first you need to determine how your business can find its niche with a mobile app. If you are a restaurateur you may want to offer your customers a chance to place and pay for orders online, allow them to reserve seating, or peruse the menu before they even leave the house. Having a general idea of what you want your app to look like can help you develop a focal point and goal to work toward. Mapping your app beforehand can help you get the most out of your final design.
Get Down to the Basics
If this is your first time working with iOS, there is much to learn. Before overwhelming yourself with the details, start out learning iOS development basics. Try first to get a handle on basic iOS fundamentals and frameworks. Here is a list to help you get started:
- Model-View-Controller: This app design pattern is basically the skeletal form of your app which defines its basic structure and foundation of use.
- Delegation: This controls how different elements of your app communicate and interact with one another.
- Target-Action: This design feature translates customer input into coding your app needs to execute functions.
- Block Objects: Blocks input asynchronous code and callbacks.
- Sandboxing: Sandboxing essentially protects apps and the operating system. How the sandbox is constructed will determine where certain app files are located and uses coding to back-up all app and app related features.
Understanding Objective C
Objective C is the object orientated language used in iOS programming and development. Objective C is derived from old school C prompt programming which makes it rather dynamic and relatively easy to apply and learn. Since apps are largely interacted with using a network of objects, this makes Objective C the most practical programming language for this type of iOS.
Honing your Objective C Skills
Learning programming language is just like learning any other language. It takes time practice and a basic understanding of its unique structure. If you are attempting to learn a programming language, remember these rely on understanding their building block structure. If one piece of code is missing, the code will not work; similarly, if certain aspects of the code are switched or added, it will change how the object looks and is interacted with.
What is Xcode
Xcode is an IDE or integrated development environment containing several app developmental tools created by Apple for building iOS applications. The latest version of Xcode is always available at the Apple Store, previous versions of Xcode are also available for those looking to improve already developed apps. Xcode is mainly used to construct graphical app features and also includes a GNU Debugger to help with back-end bug prevention.
Keep it Simple
The key here is to develop your skills, not build the perfect app right out of the gate. Do plenty of research to help you understand the above fundamentals. Having a solid foundation of understanding for the fundamentals will allow you to practice good iOS development skills from the get-go.
Take a Class
There are a ton of iOS classes available online. This is due to the fact that as a small business owner, you must be more versatile than ever before. In order to stay competitive, you must have at least some knowledge about how to build web sites, set up online stores, and develop iOS apps to increase business customer availability and convenience. In addition to online courses, you can also check out your local college or university for basic courses, these will usually range from a few days to a few weeks and often after you have finished the class you have a workable app up and running or just about ready to launch.
Join or Create a Group
Nothing helps business owners learn more than networking with other local business owners. If there isn’t already a group in your area, start one. Working together as a team can help hone each individuals iOS skills. Like taking a class, joining a group makes you more accountable. Create practice projects and work in teams, make sure that projects are challenging and force each individual to fine tune certain iOS developmental skills.
Getting down to the basics before begin plotting the course of your app will help you develop your iOS skills. Study, practice, and interaction with others during the process will help reinforce what you are learning and also aid you in gaining different perspective on app design, idea development, and skill building.
Image via App Entrepreneur