Understanding iPhone app development
iOS development refers to the mobile app development explicitly done for the Apple hardware, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. iOS is the operating system that runs these Apple devices and is coded using Swift programming language or Objective-C. The iPhone developers are considered a separate breed and usually continue to focus on this category and rarely diversify.
The process of iPhone development is slightly more complex than other mobile app development as it needs a Mac computer to do the coding. Additionally, the developed app also needs to clear the stringent approval process of the Apple Play store. However, once you get into it, you will probably stick to it throughout and may not want to switch over. The challenges involved and the satisfaction of coding high-quality apps every single time will keep your intrigue intact.
Apart from a Mac computer, iPhone development would also need Xcode, the IDE, which can be downloaded free from the store. This IDE contains the iOS SDK, tools, compilers, and frameworks required for designing and compiling iOS apps. An iPhone developer would also need a paid App Developer Account, usually an annual subscription fee. Only active members are allowed to publish apps to the store. Also, the apps need to be signed and published by Xcode, which runs only on Mac computers.
Once iPhone developers submit the app to the store, it could undergo multiple iterations as part of a slightly lengthy process.
The iPhone app development languages
As mentioned above, iPhone development can be done using two languages, Objective C and Swift.
An object-oriented language derived from the C language, Objective C was developed in the early 1980s. It inherits the syntax of C and is now a legacy iPhone programming language, with the advent of Swift, which is dubbed as the official language for iOS programming. Objective C is a general-purpose programming language with added messaging capabilities to that of C programming. This is great for memory management and helps move objects like graphs or manipulate files easily. However, it cannot be used across all platforms; it has many features that made it one of the primary iOS programming languages.
Designed for a simpler syntax with more focus on security, Swift has many similarities to its predecessor, Objective C. Apple launched it in 2014, and its simpler English-oriented syntax makes it easier for other language developers to shift to iPhone development. It also easily allows the legacy code of Objective C to be incorporated into it. When time and security are the key issues, Swift makes it easier to learn, develop and deploy iPhone apps faster. It is a powerful and intuitive language, which is also modern and fun to use. Learning Swift as one’s first programming language is considered good, as it is not just easy to learn but also opens up a whole programming experience.
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Requirements - hard skills
- Proficient in the design and development of iOS/iPhone mobile apps.
- Extensive experience in Objective C/Swift-based development and Cocoa Touch.
- Excellent knowledge of Apple’s design principles and guidelines. Attention to detail and an eye for visual appeal go a long way.
- Experience working in iOS frameworks such as Core Data, Core Animation, Core Graphics, and Core Text is a significant advantage.
- Good understanding of iOS backend services and experience integrating with REST APIs.
- Good to have end-to-end experience in design, development, and publishing of apps to the App Store.
- Proficient with database programming concepts.
- A good understanding of code versioning tools like Git, SVN, etc.
- Awareness of the emerging technologies and trends, especially in the mobile landscape.
- Proficient in the software programming lifecycle, especially mobile app development lifecycle, in an Agile environment.
- Complete ownership of assigned work across programming, testing, status reporting, and guiding team members, where required.
- A team player attitude aiding collaborative delivery in coordination with various stakeholders.
- Ensuring high-quality code, app performance, benchmarking, and code optimization.
- Focused on innovative approaches, especially in design and app testing.
iPhone developers are a special set of people who focus on churning out the best quality apps for their users, meeting the various needs. They don’t just address the business needs but also maintain the quality and the highest standards of security set by Apple Inc. Junior iPhone developers start by developing mobile apps that may be simple in business logic and UI/UX. Then they progress to the slightly more complex ones as they learn to explore the multiple frameworks and libraries that come as part of the Apple IDE - Xcode.
The senior iPhone developers will be having enough experience in the whole design, development, testing, and deployment of apps in the app store. In addition, they are seasoned professionals who can guide their junior team members on many aspects, other than the technical ones.
An interesting thing to note is the shift in the iPhone development from Objective C to Swift programming language. Even though many of the latest iPhone development happens in Swift, it is a good idea for iPhone developers to understand and learn Objective C. This is because a lot of the legacy applications on the app store may need a makeover or constant updates. Also, Objective C has a lot of features that can really help an iPhone developer. Hence, to be a complete iPhone developer, it is good to know both these programming languages. This will make an iPhone developer versatile and give a lot of insight into the early app programming, so they will also appreciate the differences and advantages better.
- Focused, consistent, high-quality delivery that ensures app deployment in the Apple store with minimal iterations.
- Mentoring junior team members, when required, and also delivering independently to ensure team success.
- Coordinating with multiple stakeholders, if required, to ensure timely issue resolution and timely deliveries.
- A proactive problem-solving approach to team issues.
- Understanding and belief in the company’s vision, product roadmap and contributing to its success through active participation across all stages.
- Knowing the app performance trends ensures that the app is not taken off the store for any obvious reasons.
Because of the almost exclusive nature of the iPhone development, it is treated as such, and iPhone developers are not an easy-to-find breed. This is also evident in the salary structure of iPhone developers that have seen growth across the past few years. Many forums indicate that the salary difference between the entry, mid and late-career iPhone developers is not as vast, as is the case with other developers.
Since it is based on the Apple Developer Program annual subscriptions, freelance or remote iPhone developers are also available to take up projects. However, for convenience and IP, many organizations prefer to hire full-time employees as iPhone developers. In either case, it is not so easy to find good iPhone developers who can deliver consistently according to the stringent Apple standards. This is where a little professional help can go a long way in making the right choices. We at Skuad can help you hire iOS developer talent in the industry tailored to meet your requirements.
We cater to various sectors - Edutech, Fintech, Healthcare, Logistics & Transport, Retail & Ecommerce, Travel, Banking, Media, and more. From selecting to onboarding, invoicing, compliances, and taxation, we act as your local HR to manage the day-to-day operations related to your overseas employees.