iOS

Apple's Mobile Platform Should Be On Your Radar

Although Android has a massive advantage on the global stage with a global market share of 72.21%, Apple’s iOS dominates in certain strategic markets. In the United States, iOS holds a 57.33% market share of mobile users, and in Japan, that number holds steady at 68.71%. Those are 2 of the top biggest consumer markets in the world with the U.S. being t #1 with 29% and Japan at #2 with 8.51%. 

If you consider the US alone, that market share is staggering. And with iOS being at the top of the biggest market, you can’t ignore the power of Apple’s platform. That is precisely why your company should already have iOS development in the pipeline: those are numbers you can’t ignore. And if your business is serious about growing, the world of mobile apps should already be one of your primary targets.

What is iOS?

For those that don’t know, iOS is the mobile operating system that runs iPhones. At one point, iOS also ran iPod Touch and iPad devices. Eventually, the iPod line of devices was no longer produced and iPads welcomed their own OS, iPadOS. 

iOS was initially released on June 29, 2007, and has gone through no less than 14 iterations. The original planning of the iPhone started in 2005. This very soon led to the release of a Software Developer Kit (SDK) that enabled developers to create apps that could be installed via an App Store tucked inside of iTunes.

The iPhone OS was revealed on January 9, 2007, at the Macworld Conference & Expo and saw its initial release in June. At that time, Jobs announced that the iPhone ran OS X and could run desktop-class applications. Initially, third-party apps were not supported, with the intent of developers creating web applications that would run through Safari and would behave like native apps.

The iOS App Store finally opened on July 10, 2008, with only 500 available applications. By September of that same year, the number of applications had exploded to 3,000. As of now, there are over 2 million apps available for iOS.

iOS Layers

If you or your company is looking to start developing for iOS, there are certain layers every developer should know about, including:

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    Core OS – all of the iOS core functionalities, including Core Bluetooth Framework, External Accessory Framework, Accelerate Framework, Security Services Framework, and Local Authorisation Framework.
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    Core Services – including CloudKit, Core Foundation, Core Data, Address Book, Core Motion, Healthkit, Core Location.
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    Media – enable all graphics, audio, and video to function. This layer includes UIKit Graphics, Core Graphics Framework, Core Animation, Media Player Framework, and AV Kit.
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    Cocoa Touch – the layer which enables the touch interface and includes EventKit Framework, GameKit Framework, and MapKit Framework.

Of course, there are also the fundamental features you must consider when developing for iOS, which includes:

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    Connectivity – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VPN, and cellular.
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    Integrated Search – through files, media, applications, and email.
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    Gesture recognition – such as multi-touch and shaking the device to undo most recent actions.
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    Push email – to keep the email client up to date.
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    Integrated cameras – for both still and video recording.
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    Apple App Store – which allows installing applications, as well as purchasing music and movies.
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    iCloud integration – Apple’s cloud service.
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    Siri – the iPhone personal assistant.
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    AirDrop – cross-platform communications between various Apple devices.

How to Get Started Developing for iOS

At this point, you’ve probably come to grips with the need for developing iOS applications. But where do you get started? The first thing you must do is have a Mac and an iPhone. You’ll need these to use the development tools and to test your apps. Once you’ve taken care of the hardware requirements, here are the necessary steps you’ll take to start off your career with iOS app development:

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    You’ll need Xcode, which is the Integrated Development Environment used for iOS development.
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    The next step is to learn either Objective-C or Swift, which are the 2 primary languages used for iOS development. Swift is easier to learn, so your best bet is to start there.
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    You’ll then want to search out a few good tutorials for developing your first iOS application. If you’re a novice developer, it’s always best to start working with sample applications. Once you’ve mastered those samples, you can then start designing and developing your own, custom iOS applications.
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    Test, test, test. You don’t want to skip the quality control or bug testing stage of the development process. If you overlook this step, you could wind up submitting a buggy app to the App Store, which will promptly reject it.
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    Finally, publish your app to the iOS App Store and wait for users to download it.

One thing you should know, Objective-C and Swift aren’t the only languages you can use for iOS app development. You can also employ C#, Python, C++, and HTML5. Besides languages, there are other essential tools for developing iOS apps, recommended by BairesDev’s developers.

Conclusion

The iOS platform will continue to dominate major markets across the globe. And although you might be tempted to focus all of your mobile design efforts on Android, you should really consider developing for both of the major players in the mobile space. With both Android and iOS apps on the market, your company will be more likely to catch the attention of mobile users. 

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