How to build a native iOS App

Native App


A native app is an application developed for a particular platform or device. In mobile development, the main two platforms for native apps are:

  • IOS 
  • Android


IOS(Iphone Operating System)


History/Generation

The Birth of the iPhone [2007] iOS, then known as iPhone OS, was introduced by Steve Jobs at the Macworld event in early 2007. At the time, the iPhone was feature-limited and had no app store. However, the main attraction of the iPhone at the time was that while other devices still used resistive touch screens, Apple revolutionized its iPhone with capacitive touch capabilities. This made the entire smartphone experience smooth and fast for users. The first iPhone was a "magical" product that was 5 years ahead of any mobile phone at the time. After that, many other generations have developed.


  • iPhone 3G: July 11, 2008 iPhone 3GS: June 19, 2009
  • iPhone 4: June 24, 2010 iPhone 4S: October 14, 2011 
  • iPhone 5: September 21, 2012 iPhone 5S & 5C: September 20, 2013 
  • iPhone 6 & 6 Plus: September 19, 2014 iPhone 6S & 6S Plus: September 19, 2015 iPhone SE: March 31, 2016 
  • iPhone 7 & 7 Plus: September 16, 2016 
  • iPhone 8 & 8 Plus: September 22, 2017 
  • iPhone X: November 3, 2017 
  • iPhone XS, XS Max: September 21, 2018 
  • iPhone XR: October 26, 2018 
  • iPhone 11, Pro, Pro Max: September 20, 2019 
  • iPhone 12, Mini, Pro, Pro Max: November 13, 2020 
  • iPhone 13, Mini, Pro, Pro Max: September 24, 2021 
  • iPhone SE 3 (2022): March 18, 2022 
  • iPhone 14, Pro, Pro Max: September 16, 2022
  • iPhone 14 Plus: October 6, 2022


What is IOS

iOS is considered the most advanced mobile operating system in the world, due to its unparalleled features, user-friendly interface, and rock-solid stability when managing iOS-compatible devices including iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV.



Features of iOS Native App

  • Interface with device’s native features, API, information, and hardware
  • Closed Source code
  • Multi-layer security
  • Error-Monitoring
  • Stability

Benefits of Native iOS App Development

  • The applications are simple and fast to run compared to other operating systems and application types, such as web or cross-platform applications.
  • Native iOS apps take full advantage of the hardware and internal features of devices
  • Native apps get full support from the App Store as soon as they are accepted
  • App Store support brings complete security and protection to iOS consumers
  • Customers can easily discover apps on the App Store once approved and featured
  • Native app developers are more comfortable with the availability of unique iOS software development kits (SDKs) and development tools.
  • iOS apps are closed source.
  • The App Store can handle your transactions on your behalf.

Disadvantages of Native iOS App Development

  • Native iOS projects are significantly more expensive for developers compared to web and cross-platform apps.
  • If the app is compatible with a variety of iOS devices, the update and maintenance cost is higher for the developer.
  • Being closed source, Mac OS X is required to develop applications; they cannot be configured for any other operating system.
  • The process of getting an app authorized on the App Store is long and laborious; updates must also be authorized by the App Store to be included there.
  • Guarantee to accept or add your app to the App Store database is zero.
  • There is also no guarantee of quick popularity of the app among iOS users.
  • Apple's global market share has shrunk to just under 11%.
  • Due to the variety of iOS device types, versions, and app versions, it is a challenging process for developers to fully support all app users.
  • If the app incurs spending, 30% must go to the Apple App Store, which consists of all in-app purchases.

DEVELOP AN IPHONE APP

1. Cost on developing a iOS App

A mid-tier iPhone app costs an average of $75,000. This includes design, development, testing, and pre-release maintenance.

Here's a more detailed breakdown of iPhone app development costs:

  • A standard iPhone app costs between $30,000 and $50,000.
  • A multi-function iPhone app costs between $60,000 and $100,000.
  • An advanced iOS app compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch costs between $110,000 and $200,000.
  • An iOS business app built with native iOS tools costs more than $200,000.


2.Time Frame to create an iOS app

Mid-level iPhone app development can take an average of 8 months, including testing and QA procedures.

Basic iPhone applications take about 5 months, multi-function applications take 6-8 months, and advanced applications can be completed in 15 months. Large and feature-rich merchant applications, multiple payment integration modules, AR and VR capabilities, and blockchain and machine learning integration can take even more than 18 months.


3.App Idea

This is an important consideration to keep in mind when launching an iPhone app. While Google Play has some decent rules to follow, Apple's App Store is more strict, putting every app through rigorous testing. Apple has a higher proportion of premium paid apps compared to the Google Play Store.

iPhone users value the experience, performance, navigation, and value for the money or time they invest. This means that any app you plan to launch should not be a replica of an existing digital solution. It must be original, inspired by creativity and focused on making a difference, whether through cost or experience.


4.MacOS Requirements

Developers can only create an iPhone app on a macOS device.

macOS Requirements

This is not possible on Windows. Some indie developers try to make remote connections and then download Xcode to develop iOS apps. This is not recommended and an application may end up with errors if it is still practiced.


How To Develop an iphone App


1. Assess of application Requirements And Development Goals

As we mentioned before, the success of your iPhone app idea depends on its originality, or a unique approach to presenting it. In order for you to be successful and profitable on the App Store, here are five key factors about your app that we recommend you consider even before you hire an iOS developer to build your product.


A. Competitor Analysis

Competitive analysis is the first step in your market research. When looking for apps for design and development inspiration, please list 3-5 apps, only rated 4.5 or higher. Then check to see if they have an Apple Watch version, when they released the app, what their app does, etc.


B. Target Audience

Ultimately, the audience makes a difference in the design and features of your app. If you are launching an app for kids, it should have specific branding and attractive colors. If your app is for adults, let's say in the education sector, you should have a strong brand with easy navigation. Likewise, if it is for business users, it should follow a minimalist style.


C. Platform

This is a factor that you will already have in mind when you start your project. You know you want to create an app for iPhone users, and you also need to design screens for iPad. Don't keep the layouts to iPhone-specific if you have plans to scale your business and release an Android version in the future.


D. Revenue Model

Now when you have the list of apps, take a look at their monetization strategies. Apps provide money through some methods. These are:

  • Get free apps through sponsored ads. They will earn through in-app purchases.
  • Premium apps charge a one-time download fee or a monthly subscription fee to continue using the app.
  • Get free ads through a combination of ads, in-app purchases, and premium subscriptions.


E. Ratings And Reviews

Add a level of originality or uniqueness in the app, even the given idea is inspired by an existing solution. Go to the official App Store listings for specific apps and read user reviews. See the comments and filter the general. Critically examine if the app has 1 and 2 star reviews and check the nature of the complaints.Now you need to go one step further and create a development strategy for your app. Write down everything you want your app to do, each task you want it to do, and how well. Write down all the business and financial goals you want to achieve with your application.


2. Control the function of iPhone App


Once you have a rough idea of ​​how your app will work and your app's target audience, it's time to decide "how" you'll technically do everything you've planned. To do this, you need to figure out what features you want to add to your app.

From basic to intermediate to advanced features, you need a mix of them to make your app user-centric and successful in the app store.

These are some common features in iPhone apps:

  • Sign up via email, sign up as a guest and sign up via social media
  • Personalized recommendations, push notifications and personalized settings
  • App analytics and screen time
  • Dark and offline modes
  • Security and data privacy
  • Multiple payment options included Apple as well as Amazon Pay and credit cards
  • Search with voice and images
  • Multi-device sync
  • multilingual support



Again, the features you add to your app will depend entirely on the scope of your project. Think about your target audience here and see which ones they need, which ones they don't, and which ones are nice to have without polluting the UI and user experience.


3. Create A Tech Stack For Your IOS App

Technology stack is a set of 

  • development tools and technologies
  • programming languages
  • software development toolkits
  • frames
  • environments
  • api

that developers use to create software.


A technology stack and its components depend on the digital product that you or your developer want to create. Here is the ideal technology stack used to develop an iPhone app Objective-C and Swift:

-Objective-C and Swift:

These are primary programming languages ​​that are used by global iPhone app developers to create beautiful iOS apps


A. Objective-C

Objective-C is the first major programming language used to code iOS and macOS mobile apps. It was developed in the 80's and has 2 blocks of code: header interface files and implementation files.

Objective-C Features

  • It is a more mature language, which is why it has become an industry standard for iOS app development.
  • It is a stable programming language. For reference, Objective-C doesn't have as regular updates as it does in Swift.
  • Connecting to private APIs is much easier in Objective-C, making custom code changes during mobile app development easy and less time consuming.
  • Objective-C is compatible with the C and C++ specifications.


B. Swift

Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language, according to the official Apple developer website. It is easy to learn and use and modern enough for the convenience of programmers. Swift gives Apple developers more freedom to create apps for iOS, macOS, and portable devices.

Completely developed by Chris Lattner in 2014, Swift is open-source, based primarily on C++.

Swift Features

  • It is a modern language, the result of recent research and development activities.
  • It is faster and more powerful than Objective-C. So developers can build fast-loading, full-featured apps with Swift.
  • Swift eliminates garbage collection through automatic memory management and reference counting.

By comparison, 8% of developers have experience with Swift, while 7% have experience with Objective-C. Because Swift is modern, developers are rapidly switching to the Swift programming language for mobile app development, but popular app development agencies still offer both.


C. Xcode

Xcode is an official integrated development environment for creating digital products for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Since Apple itself released this programming environment, it is considered a holistic tool for creating apps found in the Apple Store.

Given the primary importance Apple has placed on frameworks and libraries in Xcode, beginner and experienced iPhone app developers prefer to use this environment when coding iOS apps.


D. SwiftUI

As the name suggests, SwiftUI has root associations with application UIs. Just like Swift, SwiftUI is also an official user interface creation framework from Apple. The UIKit recently replaced it with SwiftUI after learning its programming and design lessons from UIKit.

SwiftUI is modern, more stable, and easier for developers to use, helping to create unified yet versatile user interfaces.

In addition to these tools, iPhone app developers use cloud services, databases, and test libraries at various stages of API development and integration. Python is also a strong programming language that has become a back-end framework that has played a vital role in supporting the most successful iPhone apps we use today.

Know that these are recommended tools and technologies commonly used for iPhone app development. Your developer may use additional libraries, frameworks, or others, depending on the technical requirements of your project.


4.Hire A Team Of IOS App Developers

You need a team of professional iOS developers to create an iPhone app. If you have a business background with limited knowledge of Swift coding, you need at least these five professionals to complete your project:

  • Project Manager: A PM works from the start as a business analyst, research and development professional, cost controller, coordinator, and in some cases product manager as well.
  • UI and UX Designer: This creative (or a small team) designs the app screens. They take the approved app flow and user journey, user profiles, and ideal user personas from the project manager and turn the sketches into high-fidelity prototypes of the app.
  • Frontend Developer: This person creates the client side of the iPhone app, the part that communicates directly with the user.
  • Backend Developer: This person creates the server side of the iPhone app, the part that processes and retrieves data, powers the interface, contains the functions, and makes the APIs work in the background.
  • QA and Testing Professional: This person (or a team) makes sure that the app is digitally correct, technically bug-free, and free of bugs or viruses in major builds. From loading time on various iOS devices to crashing, this department takes care of everything related to quality.


5. Complete Design And Technical Specifications

A. CREATING A NEW PROJECT 

After installing Xcode, you'll want to create a new project. Choose "Create a new Xcode project" on the welcome screen or via File → New Project in the menu.

xcode-new-project-500

For a simple app like this, "Single View" is adequate. After clicking "Next", you will be presented with a dialog where you can enter basic information about your application:

new-project-options-500

The value you enter in the "Class Prefix" option tells Xcode to add that unique prefix to every class you generate with Xcode. Because Objective-C doesn't support "namespace" as found in Java, adding a unique prefix to your classes will prevent name conflicts. The "Devices" setting allows you to restrict your app to run only on an iPhone or iPad; the "universal" option allows the application to run on both.


B. NAVIGATION DRIVERS AND DISPLAY DRIVERS 

The screen functionality of iOS apps is grouped into so-called view controllers. Our app has two display controllers: one for the main screen and one for the settings screen. A view controller contains the logic needed to interact with controls on a screen. It also works in conjunction with another component called a navigation controller, which in turn provides the mechanism for moving between display controllers. A navigation controller provides the navigation bar, which appears at the top of every screen. View controllers are pushed onto a view stack managed by the navigation controller as the user moves from screen to screen.


C. STORYBOARDS: VISUALLY BUILDING THE USER EXPERIENCE 

Starting with iOS 5, Xcode has storyboards, which allow developers to quickly organize a set of display controllers and define the content of each controller. Here's our sample app in a storyboard:

storyboard-overview-500

The container on the left represents the navigation controller, which allows the user to move from one screen to another. The two objects on the right represent the two screens, or display controllers, that make up our application. The arrow that goes from the main screen to the configuration screen is called a segue and indicates the transition from one screen to another. A new sequence is created by selecting the button in the original view and then, while holding down the Control key, dragging the mouse to the destination view controller. Apple documentation provides more details on this process.

storyboard-properties-500

In the example above, we can see that a text field is selected and the properties panel is used to adjust the various attributes of the controls. When this app was created, the "universal" app option was selected, which allowed the app to run on both an iPhone and an iPad. As a result, two versions of the storyboard file were created. If the app is running on an iPhone or iPod Touch, it will use the _iPhone version of the file and the _iPad version for iPads. This allows a different layout to be used for the larger iPad screen. The view controller automatically loads the correct layout. Note that if your storyboards expose different sets of controls for the iPad and iPhone, you'll need to account for this in your display controller code.

In addition to positioning elements directly at certain coordinates on the screen, you can also use the automatic layout system introduced in iOS 6. It allows you to define constraints on the relationships between controls in the view. The storyboard editor allows you to create and edit these constraints.

storyboard-constraints-500

Constraints can also be manipulated programmatically. The auto layout mechanism is quite advanced and a bit daunting to use at first. Apple has a complete guide to Auto Layout in their documentation.


D. Link Storyboards To Your Code 

To access storyboard objects from code, you must define the relationships between them. Linking storyboard elements to your code via Xcode isn't obvious if you're used to other development environments. Before you can do this, you must first create a view controller to hold these bindings. There are following steps for doing this:

1.Choose File → New File.

2.Select "Objective-C Class" in the dialog that appear:


3.In the next dialog, give your class a name and make sure it inherits from UIViewController:

file-new-options-500

4.When you click "Next", you will be asked to confirm where in the project the file should be saved. For a simple project, it's fine to choose the root of the application.

5.If you click "Next", you will see that a new set of files have been created for your display driver. Now bind that newly created view controller to the view controller in your storyboard.

6.Click on the view controller in the storyboard. In the "Identity Inspector" panel, choose the "Class" to associate this display controller with:

class-picker

7.Once this process is complete, the storyboard element will correctly reference your view controller code.


To reference the controls you dragged from your Objective-C code to a storyboard, you must define these relationships. The storyboard editor has an "assistant editor" view to help with this. It's basically a split-pane view that shows both the storyboard and the code. In this example, we are referencing a button already placed on the storyboard:

1.First, make sure you've completed the steps above to associate the view controller class with the corresponding view controller in the storyboard.

2.Choose the assistant editor by selecting the icon that looks like this:

assistant-editor-icon

3.A split-pane view opens, with the storyboard on the left and the view controller class on the right.

4.Select the button on your storyboard and, while holding down the Control key, drag from the button into the interface area of ​​your code.

create-outlet-500

5.The resulting dialog allows you to create an "output" for the button in your code. Just give the button a name and click the "Connect" button in the dialog. You can now reference the button in the view controller from your code.

6.Let's bind a method that will be called when a person touches the button. Select the button again and use the same Control-and-drag maneuver to drop a reference to the interface portion of your display controller.

7.This time, in the dialog that appears, we associate an 'action' instead of an output. Choose "Action" from the "Connection" dropdown and enter a name like this:

create-action-500

8.Notice that your class now has an interface with two elements:

@interface FFTSettingsViewController ()
@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UIButton *myButton;
- (IBAction)tappedMyButton:(id)sender;
@end


The IBOutlet item is used to identify anything that you’re referencing from the storyboard, and the IBAction is used to identify actions that come from the storyboard. Notice also that Xcode has an empty method where you can place the code to be run when the user taps on the control:

- (IBAction)tappedMyButton:(id)sender {
}

The above process takes some getting used to and can certainly be made more intuitive. After a little practice, it will become less clumsy. You may find it helpful to bookmark the section of the Xcode documentation that describes how to "Associate UI objects with your code".

As we will see later, you can also add objects to the view and manipulate their properties programmatically. In fact, applications of moderate complexity often do a lot of manipulation in the code. For complex applications, some developers eschew the storyboard and use the code-based alternative almost entirely.


E. ENTER THE CODE 

For even the most basic applications to work, code must be written. So far in the storyboard we have described our user interface and the interactions between the view controllers. But no code has been written to do the calculations, to maintain the tip percentage settings, etc. You, the developer, do all of that in Objective-C.

When an application runs, its overall life cycle is handled by something called an "application delegate". Various methods in this delegate are called when key events occur in the application's lifecycle. These events discuss are:

  • the application starts,
  • the application moves to the background,
  • the application comes to the foreground,
  • the application is about to be canceled,
  • a push notification comes in.

The above events are handled in a file called AppDelegate. For our sample app, the default handling of these events is fine; we do not need to take any special action. The documentation provides an overview of the application life cycle and how to respond to changes in the state of an application.

The next point of interest is the view controller. As with the application delegate, the view controller has its own life cycle. The view controller lifecycle includes methods that are called when the following happens:

  • the view controller is loaded;
  • the view controller can be appear or has appeared on the screen;
  • the view controller also can be disappear or has disappeared from the screen;
  • the limits of the view were changed (for example, because the device was rotated) and the view was rearranged.

The main code for our application is in the FTViewController.m file. Here is the first bit of code that initializes our screen:

- (void)viewWillAppear:(BOOL)animated
{
    // Restore any default tip percentage if available
    NSUserDefaults *defaults = [NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
    float tipPercentage = [defaults floatForKey:@"tipPercentage"];
          if (tipPercentage > 0) {
               _tipPercentage = tipPercentage;
         } else {
                _tipPercentage = 15.0;
         }
    self.tipAmountLabel.text = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%0.2f%%", _tipPercentage];}

In this application, we want to use any tip percentage value that was stored in the past. To do this, we can use NSUserDefaults, which is a persistent data store for storing settings and preferences for an application. Note that these values ​​are not encrypted in any way, so this is not the best place to store sensitive data such as passwords. A KeyChain API is provided in the iOS SDK to store such data. In the code above, we tried to retrieve the setting for tipPercentage. If that's not found, we'll just use 15% by default.

When the user taps the “Calculate Tip” button, the following code is run:

- (IBAction)didTapCalculate:(id)sender {
    float checkAmount, tipAmount, totalAmount;
 
    if (self.checkAmountTextField.text.length > 0) {
 
        checkAmount = [self.checkAmountTextField.text floatValue];
        tipAmount = checkAmount * (_tipPercentage / 100);
        totalAmount = checkAmount + tipAmount;
 
        self.tipAmountLabel.text = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"$%0.2f", tipAmount];
        self.totalAmountLabel.text = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"$%0.2f", totalAmount];
 
    }
 
    [self.checkAmountTextField resignFirstResponder];
 
}

We are simply reading the value that the user entered into the "Amount" field and then calculating the value of the tip. Notice how the stringWithFormat method is used to display the tipAmount value as a currency value.

When the user taps the "Settings" button in the navigation controller, the sequence we set in the storyboard will push the settings view controller onto the stack. A separate view controller file, FTSettingsViewController, will now handle interactions on this screen. Pressing the "Done" button on this screen will execute the following code:

- (IBAction)didTapDone:(id)sender {
 
    float tipPercentage;
    tipPercentage = [self.tipPercentageTextField.text floatValue];
 
    if (tipPercentage > 0) {
 
        NSUserDefaults *defaults = [NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
        [defaults setFloat:tipPercentage forKey:@"tipPercentage"];
        [defaults synchronize];
 
        [[self navigationController] popViewControllerAnimated:YES];
 
    } else {
 
        [[[UIAlertView alloc] initWithTitle:@"Invalid input"
                                    message:@"Percentage must be a decimal value"
                                   delegate:nil
                          cancelButtonTitle:@"ok"
                          otherButtonTitles:nil] show];
 
    }
 
}

Here we retrieve the value of the text field and make sure that the value entered is greater than 0. If it is, we use NSUserDefaults to preserve the setting. Calling the synchronize method is what will actually save the values ​​to storage. After saving the value, we use the popViewControllerAnimated method on the navigation controller to remove the configuration view and return to the previous screen. Note that if the user does not fill in the percentage correctly, they will be shown the standard iOS UIAlertView dialog and remain on the settings screen.

In the previous section on view controllers and storyboards, I mentioned that controls in a view can be manipulated programmatically. While that wasn't necessary for our app, here's a code snippet that creates a button and adds it to a particular location on the screen:

CGRect buttonRect = CGRectMake(100, 75, 150, 80);
UIButton *myButton = [UIButton buttonWithType:UIButtonTypeRoundedRect];
myButton.frame = buttonRect;
[myButton setTitle:@"Click me!" forState:UIControlStateNormal];
[self.view addSubview:myButton];

In general, all controls that you put on a view extend from an ancestor class called UIView. As such, buttons, labels, text input fields, etc. are all UIViews. An iGoalsYounstance of UIView resides in the view controller. This can be referred to in the view controller code as self.view. The iOS SDK places elements in a frame-based view known as CGRect, a structure that contains the element's x- and y-coordinates, as well as the object's width and height. Notice in the code above that the button is instantiated and given a frame (location and size) and then added to the view controller's view.


F. RUNNING AND TROUBLESHOOTING AN IOS APPLICATION


When Xcode and the iOS SDK are installed, so is the iOS Simulator, which simulates an iOS device right on your computer. Xcode has a dropdown menu that allows you to select different device settings. Pressing the "Run" button in the upper left corner will create the application and then run it in the chosen simulator.


device-chooser-500


Using the menu above, you can switch between iPhones and iPads of various sizes, as well as between Retina and non-Retina versions of any device.

Clicking in the left margin of the code editor where the line numbers appear, the debugging will be done. When your application execution reaches the breakpoint, the application will stop and the current variable values ​​will appear below the code editor:


breakpoint-variables-500-opt


Some things, like push notifications, can't simply be tested in the simulator. These things require testing on a device, which requires you to sign up as an Apple developer for $99 per year. After you become a member, you can connect your device with a USB cable. Xcode will ask for your credentials and offer to "provision" the device for you. Once the device is recognized, it will appear in the same menu that allows you to switch between device simulators.


In Xcode, by going to Window → Organizer in the menu, you can open a tool that allows you to manage all visible devices in Xcode and view crash logs and more. The Organizer window also allows you to take and export screenshots of your application.


Overview

So far we've covered the basics of developing a simple native iOS app. Most apps are more complex than this, but here are the basic components:

  • Xcode. The development environment
  • Storyboards. To organize and configure the user interface
  • See controllers. Provide the basic logic to interact with each of the views defined in the storyboards.
  • Navigation controllers. Allow the user to navigate between the different views


6. Test The App And Publish


There are dedicated teams for testing iPhone apps. These teams have access to special tools, old and new iOS devices, frameworks, and penetration technology stack to ensure the quality of an app. All app testing is done to ensure user experience, functional accuracy, and data security. Here are the 8 key standards that testers and QA professionals assess during application testing phases:

  • Combination of app screen layouts, back-end development, and UX
  • Loading time and speed of the application.
  • Function operation
  • Navigation and performance in the application
  • bugs and viruses
  • Sign in, login and app crash
  • Functional digital payment methods


Data protocols and retention


Data protocols and retention


This phase identifies the technical and experiential triggers in your application. Once those are resolved, your app is ready to be submitted to the Apple App Store. To do this, you need an Apple developer account, which costs $99 per year. For NGOs or government organizations, you must submit a request and Apple may choose to waive this fee.


Wrapping Up…

This complete guide to developing an iPhone app ends here. And this is where your practical part of making business decisions begins. You started with an idea and now it's time to realize it with MCSS.