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    How to create iPhone apps

    Who I am
    Llu铆s Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
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    Preliminary information

    Prima di enter the live tutorial, walking to spiegare how to create iPhone apps, there is some preliminary information that it is my duty to provide you to allow you to have perfectly clear ideas about it.

    To begin with, know that, as I told you at the beginning, if you want to develop apps for iOS or iPadOS (i.e. the operating systems of the iPhone and iPad, which share the same basics), you need to know some programming languages: the most popular at the moment are Swift (language launched by Apple in 2014) and Objective-C (historical language on which the apps for iOS / iPadOS were based from the beginning).



    If you want to learn more, you can refer to my tutorials focused on how to start programming and how to create a program; you can also get other useful information by doing some research on Google and visiting specialized sites on the subject, such as HTML.com. In addition, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the online (or even offline) programming courses available in the city, naturally verifying the degree of reliability and the concrete results obtained by those who hold them.

    After learning programming languages, you can use them to develop your apps, using software used for this purpose, such as those you find reported in my guide, which are divided into two categories: the SDK (acronym for "Software Development Kit") and the independent commercial solutions.

    The former are made available directly by the operating system developers (in this specific case Apple) and allow you to take advantage of the reference platform at 100%, guaranteeing a rather detailed management and allowing you to carry out multiple tests, while the latter are released by companies third-party, are generally quite easy to use, allow you to develop apps within an integrated environment and, depending on the license held, allow you to create a project compatible with multiple platforms.



    Once the development of an app has been completed, in order to publish it on theApp Store (the digital store of iOS / iPadOS devices), you must have a Apple developer account. The operation costs $ 99 per year and must be performed through the appropriate web page on the website Apple Developer Program.

    The publishing process of the developed app requires the use of Xcode (of which I will go to talk to you in more detail in the following lines) and of App Store Connect. The first is the software that allows you to develop apps and that allows you to send them to App Store Connect. The latter is Apple's web platform to enter all the information on the app which will then go online on the App Store.

    The discourse must also be addressed monetization. The developed apps can be made available completely free, but they can also become a source of income: making them available paid, allowing free download with advertisements or, again, proposing in-app purchases to unlock additional content. For further details, I refer you to the consultation of the website dedicated to the Apple Developer Program.

    How to create a free iPhone app

    At this point, I would say that we are there: we can finally take action and go and find out how to make an iPhone app for free. Below, therefore, you will find those that are reported programs which you can use to do so and the relative instructions for use.


    Xcode (macOS)

    The first tool I suggest you consider is obviously Xcode. This is the software made available directly by Apple for the development of apps for its mobile devices. It is therefore part of the SDK category, it is free and only works on MacOS. It also integrates an emulator with which it is possible to check the operation of applications and Internet sites by simulating the working environment of iOS / iPadOS.


    To download and install Xcode on Mac, visit the relevant section of the Mac App Store and click the buttons Get e Install. If necessary, authorize the download using password dell'ID Apple o touch ID (if the Mac you are using supports the above technology). Next, start the program by clicking on the button apri comparso sullo schermo oppure selecting l 'Xcode icon ask the Launchpad.

    Once the Xcode screen appears, press the button Agree, enter the Mac admin password and wait for the installation of the components necessary for the software to work. Then choose the option Create a new Xcode projectselect il template which you intend to use and type the project name.

    After completing the above steps, you will finally find yourself in the presence ofeditor of the program, which is organized as follows: on the left there is the structure of the project, in the center the section for entering the code, on the right the viewer and at the top and at the bottom there are buttons and menus with other functions and commands that may be useful.


    When finished, save the project by clicking on the menu Fillet at the top left and selecting the appropriate item from the latter. For more information, I suggest you consult the web page dedicated to Xcode on the Apple website.

    Swift Playgrounds (macOS / iPadOS)

    Swift Playgrounds is another tool made available directly by Apple that presents itself as a convenient and simple solution to learn how to program applications for iPhone, iPad and Mac with the language Swift, in a fun way, as if you were playing a video game. Obviously, it also integrates an editor and a whole series of templates to proceed with the "real" development of the apps. It is free and suitable for beginners. On a computer, it can only be used on macOS, but eventually it is also available in a version for iPadOS (but only with iPadOS 15 and later it is possible to upload apps to the App Store).


    When viewing the Swift Playground main screen, if you want to try your hand at developing your app, click on the entry Complete list located at the bottom right, locate the model you want to use among those in the section models and click on the relevant button Get.

    Then, open the chosen model by double clicking on it preview visible on the main screen of the program and use the sections attached to theeditor that appears to develop your app: on the left you will find the section where you can write the code and add new elements, while on the right there is the section to analyze and execute the inserted code, as well as to preview the final result.

    Any changes made to the app are automatically saved. However, if you wish, you can also export everything by clicking on the menu Export present at the top left and selecting the option you prefer from the menu that appears.

    Please note that since Swift Playground is an application also designed to learn the Swift programming language, you can use it for the purpose in question by selecting one of the playground that you find at the bottom of the main screen of the program.

    Solar 2D (Windows / macOS)

    Solar 2D is an excellent third-party program that allows you to create apps for iPhone (as well as for iPad and Android devices), offering its users all the tools and functions necessary to succeed in the business. It falls into the category of standalone commercial solutions and is free. The only thing to take into consideration is that to develop apps for iOS / iPadOS you must necessarily use a Mac, on which Xcode must also be installed.

    To download the program to your computer, visit its website and click on the button Download located in the center of the page, then select the macOS related link (Eg. Solar2D-macOS- [version] .dmg) that you find on the next page, to obtain the version of the program for Mac.

    A download complete, apri il package .dmg obtained and, in the window that opens, click on the button Agree, then move the program poster in the folder Applications on your Mac and click theCrown Simulator icon which has just been added to Launchpad, in order to start the program.

    Now that the Corona SDK window is displayed, start creating a new project by pressing the button New Project and, in the new screen that appears, type the name you want to assign to the app, specify the template you want to use, the folder in which to save the project and define the other settings related to the screen andorientation, then press the button OK.

    To proceed with app development, type the lines of code in the consul, while in the iPhone shaped window you are shown the final result in preview. All changes made are automatically saved. For further information, consult the official program guides.

    Other solutions to create a free iPhone app

    There are also other solutions you can rely on to create iPhone apps, like the ones I have reported to you in the following list.

    • Unity (Windows / macOS) - it is a software designed primarily to create 3D and 2D simulations, so rather than being used to create applications it is used for creating games. It works with Windows and macOS and is free (as long as the legal entity representing those who use it does not generate earnings or fundraisers over $ 100.000, otherwise you must use one of the paid versions, with prices starting at $ 25 / month ). For further information, you can read my tutorial on how to use Unity.
    • Visual Studio (Windows / macOS) - is a free program from Microsoft, compatible with both Windows and macOS, which allows you to develop applications by choosing between various programming languages 鈥嬧媋nd intended for various operating systems, not only iOS and not only for mobile devices .

    For more details about the solutions I have just reported to you and to find out what other tools you can possibly use to develop apps for iOS, consult my review dedicated to programs for programming.

    How to create iPhone apps without programming

    Knowing programming languages 鈥嬧媔s essential to develop apps for iOS, this is true, but there are also less demanding tools with which it is possible create iPhone apps without programming.

    This is the case of Appy Pie App Builder, an online service that allows you to create native applications for iPhone (as well as for iPad, Android and other devices and platforms) automatically, starting from any website or online content, also offering the possibility to easily update the apps already published on store. To use it you need to take out a subscription (at the basic cost of 14 euros / month), but you can try it for free for 7 days.

    If you want to use AppsBuilder, go to the website of the service and click on the button Get Started located in the center of the screen. Next, specify yours name membership category of the apps you intend to develop, the theme you want to apply to the editor and choose theiPhone as the target device, then press the button Save & Continue, type email address and password you want to use to login or use your Google account and register for the service.

    Once logged in, use thevisual editor proposed to define the characteristics of the app, the design, the fonts to use, the icon, the background etc. using the options and menus on the left, while on the right you can preview the final result.

    Once you have finished developing the app, save it by pressing the button Save & Continue located at the top right, then activate the trial version of the service by clicking on the button Try it and providing the requested data, so that you can then possibly proceed with its export and publication on the App Store. For more information, see the section of the App Builder website dedicated to FAQs and the community.

    How to create iPhone apps

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