As far as programming is concerned, there is so much to know and learn, that a programmer can’t even hope to master a single language, not to mention a lot of them. Given that there is so much to learn, specializing in a single language is often the way to go, but being able to understand more than a single language will help every developer to evolve.
Apple’s iOS is an interesting operating system, made for mobile devices, namely the iPhone and the iPad. It is a system that demands a lot of developer support, mostly because it is so popular and there are many users who use Apple mobile devices.
Here is everything you need to know about iOS as a developer.
Developing for iOS Means Ties to Apple’s Ecosystem
This is probably the biggest problem with developing anything Apple-related, particularly iOS. iOS apps have to be built on Macs, so owning a Mac is mandatory. This isn’t a problem if you plan to develop for iOS only, however, if you plan on working on multiple platforms, then you might have to own multiple machines, which means more expenditure in the beginning.
But, developing for iOS has its perks, and they are that the job pays well and that it is very unlikely that Apple will be going out of business any time soon, or ever, for that matter. From a financial standpoint, developing for iOS makes a lot of sense.
iOS Programming Languages
The main programming language for mobile Apple devices is, of course, Swift. Swift was designed to replace Objective-C, which was the main programming language up to that point. Objective-C can still be used, however, Swift makes most things easier and it would be almost a waste of time to use Objective-C, unless you want to do something oddly specific, or optimize your code in ways that are outside the domain of Swift.
However, Swift has multiple libraries, one of which allows Objective-C code to run within, as well as C++ and C. With C and C++, you could make an entire operating system (because most of them are written in C and C++), let alone simple applications. Focus on Swift and C and their derivatives, namely C++ and Objective-C, as your main iOS languages.
Xcode – Apple’s Free Sauce
When you own a Mac device, you can download Xcode, which will make iOS development much easier. Xcode is an integrated development environment, which makes building apps for iOS much easier. This is where you can do all your coding and testing, even. Yes, you don’t need Apple mobile devices, because Xcode has a simulation option for iOS. It is the bread and butter of tools when it comes to iOS development. You can get it on the Apple website or from the App Store.
Developing for iOS is a lucrative job that requires owning a Mac and knowing Swift and some of the C languages, as well as lots of effort and inspiration. It is a straight path when it comes to learning but success is not guaranteed.