In this chapter, you will lay out your path to success, learn the basics of the App Store, and get your Mac set up for iOS development.
iOS, Apple’s mobile device operating system, powers iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. The iOS App Store opened in 2008 with just 500 apps. Over the last six years, the App Store has grown to over 1,200,000 apps. These apps have been downloaded over 75 billion times to date. The App Store can be accessed via the App Store app on every iOS device, or via iTunes on a Mac.
The Featured section of the App Store in Figure 1-1 contains hand-picked apps by Apple. These apps are showcased for a variety of reasons, including great design, new ideas, utilizing a new device technology, and more. The Featured section shows an overall list of featured apps by default. However, you can see featured apps for each category by tapping Categories in the upper left.
The Top Charts tab in Figure 1-2 shows the most popular apps on the App Store. The Top Charts lists the top 150 apps in Free, Paid, and Top Grossing. Top Grossing apps are the apps that generate the most revenue. Most apps in the Top Grossing list are free and generate revenue through In-App Purchases. In-App Purchases are virtual goods that users can buy inside your app.
The Explore tab in Figure 1-3 offers a different way to browse the App Store. The Explore tab allows you to browse deeper into a specific category and find related apps. For example, in the Explore tab, the Finance category has many subcategories like Featured Finance, Money Management, and Banking. The Explore tab will also recommend apps based on your location. This could be an app for the subway in New York City or an app for the Muni in San Francisco.
The Search tab in Figure 1-4 on the App Store is where most users go to find their apps. When the Search tab is first opened, a list of trending searches is shown. This list contains popular searches by other App Store users. The search box at the top works like a typical search box. However, related searches or terms will be shown just under the search box as you type. Once your search is complete, a vertical list of apps will be shown. As of iOS 8, two screenshots will be shown for each app.
The Updates tab in Figure 1-5 will list all your apps that have recently been updated. As of iOS 8, the App Store will update your apps automatically. The top of this list also has a link to your previously purchased apps. Tap the Purchased button at the top of the list to redownload apps you have on another device or have deleted.
In order to develop apps for iOS, you must install Xcode. Xcode is Apple’s development software created specifically for building apps on iOS and OSX. Xcode is completely free to download and install, and it only runs on a Mac. You will not be able to develop apps using a PC, Linux, or iPad. Xcode is like Microsoft Word, except it is designed for programming instead of writing. It provides many helpful features to ensure your code is working properly. Make sure you have the following items before you get started.
You can check if your account is also the administrator account by clicking the small apple in the upper-left corner of your screen. Click System Preferences→Users & Groups. The window will show the current user logged into the Mac and will say Admin just below the current user’s name if it is the administrator.
Xcode is available on the Mac App Store and is a rather large download (over 4 GB). Make sure your computer has at least 5 GB of space free before you download Xcode. This process will likely take about an hour from the time you click download until Xcode is up and running.
If you haven’t already started the download, click this link to the Xcode website or type the following into Safari:
The Mac App Store should open up automatically. If yours doesn’t, just click the blue button that says “View in Mac App Store.” You will be redirected to the Mac App Store (Figure 1-6).
Click the silver button that says Free and then click the green Install App button. Then you will be prompted to sign in to your App Store account.
Your download will now start. Click the Purchases tab to track the progress of your download.
When you see Open next to the Xcode in the Purchases tab, the download is complete. Next, click Open, and Xcode will launch.
You may see a warning about opening a new program. Xcode will present the Xcode License Agreement. Read through this agreement and make your decision.
Next, you will be prompted to Install System Components; click Install.
You will then be prompted to enter your login and password. This is the password used to sign in to your computer, not the account used to sign in to the App Store.
The installation process will then begin. Once the bar is full, you are ready to launch Xcode.