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iPhone Open Application Development, 2nd Edition by Jonathan Zdziarski

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Chapter 2. Getting Started with Applications

If you’re new to Mac, you might be surprised to find that applications don’t come in the form of .exe files. The excellent design for which Apple is known in its hardware and graphics extends into its software architecture as well, and includes the way applications are laid out in the file system. The same strategy used in Apple desktop systems carries over into the iPhone.

Apple has adopted the practice of creating modular, self-contained applications with their own internal file resources. As a result, installing most applications is as easy as simply dragging them into your applications folder; deleting them as easy as dragging them into the trash. In this chapter, the structure of applications on the iPhone will be explained. You’ll also get up and running with the free open source tool chain used to build executables, and you’ll learn how to install applications on your iPhone. Finally, you’ll be introduced to the Objective-C language and enough of its idiosyncrasies to make an easy transition from C or C++.

Anatomy of an Application

Apple came up with an elegant way to contain applications in their operating system. As OS X is a Unix-based platform, Apple wanted to make it adhere to basic Unix file conventions, and so the resource forks of olde were no longer sufficient (or efficient for that matter). The challenge was to design a structure that would allow an application to remain self-contained while surviving on a file system that ...

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