My first iPhone app

February 25, 2010 | Author: | In: Anime Blogs, Everyday Life, Miscellaneous, Programming

One of the great things about being a programmer is that you can pick up skills in a variety of technologies. Starting off with ColdFusion I learnt many things about web development and that it is much more easier than application development. Then moving into PHP I start to find even more challenges in the web development path. Of course I prefer web development over application development as I was never any good at it in the first place, as proven in back in the days of uni.

However before the Christmas and New Year holidays, which I of course never had any time off, my bosses decided to throw a bit of a challenge to me. And that challenge was to develop an iPhone application. At first I was quite stumped by the proposal but given the popularity of iPhone applications and the proposed idea behind the app I decided to give the challenge a go.

Just a bit of quick description on what I actually do: I work for a company that provides online event management solutions for events around Australia, Asia, and the Middle East. My role is to maintain and develop one of the existing online application solutions that was built in PHP. The iPhone app that I will be developing over the coming months will be hooking into the PHP web application that I currently look after as well as be a stand alone application. So with the scope laid out I started off learning about iPhone application development.

The days coming up to Christmas last year the office is practically closed until the New Year. However I decided not to take any leave and thus had to be in the office. This gave me the grand opportunity to start learning and I started by signing up for an free developer account on the Apple website. Downloaded the SDK and installed it on my Macbook, then started reading through the online documentation. But with pages upon pages I was getting overwhelmed. So instead I watched Standford University’s iPhone Application Development lectures that are available from iTunes. At that point it was getting much easier to understand about developing for the iPhone. Hungry for more I even decided to purchase a book to help me:

iPhone SDK Application Development: Building Applications for the AppStore is a book I recommend to get if you want to start learning to develop for the iPhone. Along with the lecture videos I managed to pick up the basics in a matter of days. This book also contained some useful examples especially when building lots of parts programatically. Of course Google searching for examples and various forums helped as well as the things I was trying many others have already documented.

So over the next 6 weeks I basically delved into the process of creating my first iPhone app, whilst juggling between PHP work in the office and ColdFusion work that is still a part of the contract work I signed on for. So for those wondering why I haven’t posted anything, this is the reason. Doing so much work related things in my free time that I’ve had nearly no free time at all. But once the end of January arrived, the bosses wanted something available for an event: AIME (Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo) 2010. They wanted to showcase this app and the pressure was really on as I now given a tight deadline.

So with many sleepless nights I finally managed to produce something that I am quite proud of: the AIME2010 app.

It is a tab bar based application that has information about AIME; such as an exhibitor list, seminar details and a floorplan. it also contained promo information about my company and our other product solutions. A lot of the ideas I got came from another app that is similar, but has a lot more advanced features. I hope to be able to have my app at that kind of level one day.

I have learned a lot from building this application that I did learn back in uni, but could never understand the concept at the code level. Such things as object oriented programming and MVC (model view controller), but I now have learnt a new programming language: Objective-C. I am actually surprised myself that I managed to produce something like this in a matter of 6 weeks and working straight from scratch and this is only just the beginning. Hopefully in the near future I can start developing apps for the AppStore and for me to make some extra money. One of the things I may look at making is an app that links with MyAnimeList. How many of you would be interested in such a thing?

If you wish to have a look at the app I wrote, it is currently available on the AppStore:

At the time of posting this, it’s currently on version 1.0 and there’s a few things I still want to implement which will hopefully come in version 1.1. So download the app if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch as it’s free. Let me know what you think.



7 Responses to My first iPhone app

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Merun

February 26th, 2010 at 4:04 am

iPhone development is really interesting. I’m also following a course for IT and web development and decided to take the challenge of developing a 2D space shooter game on the iPhone in less than 2 weeks for a school project. It was a very good experience, though I skipped lunches. It’s an encouring one and make me want to develope more on it.

For an app on myanimelist, might be a good idea to ask on their forum, no? I don’t use it so it’s moot for me.

Merun’s last blog post..Scan: Baby doll biscuit

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phossil

February 26th, 2010 at 6:49 am

Cool, I visited the WEB link and there are some good comments.
I heard that you need to buy some kind of membership or a fee for developing Iphone apps or for getting your app hosted in Itunes store, is it true??

phossil’s last blog post..Is cosplay a girlie thing?

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A.R.M.

February 26th, 2010 at 10:27 am

I would definitely be interested in an app linking with MyAnimeList. A nice quick way to update my list after watching shows on my iPod touch would be great.

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Adun

February 26th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Merun: I’m sort of looking at the prospect of game development for the iPhone but whether I have the time to research and develop a prototype is one ff the major things holding me back. But its good to hear that you’re getting more interested in it as developing apps for the iPhone will also mean that you can develop apps for Mac OSX as they are both the same int he core. The only exception is that there are a lot more available resources for Mac OSX.

phossil: Yes you do need to pay a yearly membership fee of $99USD to have your app published on the AppStore. But by having a paid developer account you have access to much more resources as well as access to beta toolkits so you can even start developing for the iPad.

A.R.M.: It’d be quite a simple thing to create as I know I’ve done about 30% of what would be needed in my AIME2010 app. But it’s whether I can find the time to start working on it.

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Zeroblade

February 26th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Now that you mention it, an app for MAL would be ingenious. I suppose you’ll want to get in contact with the guys who manage it, however.

Zeroblade’s last blog post..Happy Valentine’s!

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cleondann

March 4th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Iphone app developers are really getting lots of opportunities day by day. All major and big companies nowdays searching to hire iphone app developers those have huge experience and any idea to have to work in a large firm. Thanks for this post. I really get some informative points and tips to recommend before buying r using iphone applications.

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Cindy

July 15th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I have worked closely with some iphone app developers before as their GUI designer, so I do iphone design mock ups only in Photoshop. There was a company (which I cant name for now because we had an NDA project) that already made a software thats compatible with Mac and Windows that made it easier to develop apps for the idevice. The software is a bit pricey though, $399. I’m not sure if its worth getting that software or just learning to code from scratch just like you did, your accomplishment is actually an inspiration to get me started making one.

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