The iPhone is one of the most popular mobile devices on the planet. A good deal of this popularity can be attributed to the astounding number of applications available. These applications have been downloaded over 3 billion times since the launch of the App Store. There is a large market for these applications, and anyone can develop one of them on their own.
The first thing you need to know about getting an iPhone application developed is that it is not free. Eventually, you will have to shell out some money in order to get the application in the App Store. This may seem unfair at first, but in terms of the potential amount of money you could make on an iPhone app, the investment could be favorable in the long run.
Now, let’s begin with the steps to getting an iPhone application developed.
1. You need a Mac. The iPhone development tools are only available for Mac OS at the moment. The cheapest possible way would be to get a Mac Mini. Picking up a used one on EBay is a viable option if you don’t want to invest a lot of your money into a new Mac machine.
2. Register as a Mac Developer. You need to register with Apple at http://developer.apple.com/ to set up your developer account.
3. Enroll in the iOS Developer Program. This program gives you access to the resources you need to develop an App. The cost is $99 per year.
4. Download the iPhone SDK. This will be available as a download once you are enrolled in the iOS developer program. This is a rather large download and could take quite a long time to complete.
5. Download the XCode IDE. This is where you will be developing your iPhone app. It also contains an iPhone simulator where you can test your applications before you submit them.
6. Learn to program in Objective-C for Cocoa. This is the language that is used for applications on the iPhone. If you have no experience with programming, you might have a lot of work cut out for you. But, if you already have some programming experience, you shouldn’t have much of a problem picking it up. There are many books available on the subject. Additionally, there are also resources like http://cocoadevcentral.com where you can go to learn the language.
7. Design the appearance of your App. There are many templates that come bundled with the XCode IDE that you can use as a template for your application. There are also a wide variety of them available on the Internet that you can start from.
8. Code your App. Once you feel like you have developed a good grasp on Objective-C you can begin programming the application. Depending on the complexity of your application, this can take hours, days, or months.
9. Test the finished application. As previously stated, the XCode IDE is bundled with an iPhone simulator where you can run your applications. This will help iron out any bugs before you decide to move forward. You can also have others test the application as well.
10. Submit to the App Store. Once you feel confident in the stability of your app, you can submit it for final approval. Some people have no problem with this process, but many developers have run into roadblocks with Apple. As long as you follow the guidelines(which aren’t as strict as they originally were) you shouldn’t run into any problems getting the application approved. Once it is approved, it will immediately be available on the App Store for other users to purchase or download.