iOS App Development
The mobile app market is growing fast as companies target customers with handheld devices. Mobile devices cater to several user needs and are critical work management tools at home, in the office and virtually any workplace. There is a big market for iOS app development since millions of people use iPhones, iPods and iPads globally. Stoke Ventures is a reliable software development company that handles iOS app design, development, and lifecycle management.
What resources and skills does one require to develop iOS applications? Do developers need specific software and hardware resources to build these apps? Let us take an in-depth look into the iPhone app development lifecycle and break down the procedures Stoke Ventures adopt to create reliable, safe and productive mobile applications.
iOS apps are specifically used on Apple devices
What is iOS Software Development?
Customers prefer Apple products for their reliability and luxury. These devices run on iOS software that is available for download on the App Store. Before uploading these applications to the App Store for download, they undergo a rigorous development process.
iOS app development begins with specifying user needs before designing, coding and testing applications for usability.
iOS apps, like other mobile applications, are designed to run on Apple mobile devices. These devices have limited computing power in comparison to desktop or server devices. Some iOS apps leverage internet connectivity to access computing resources remotely.
iOS app development involves all planning and deployment activities related to Apple software. The applications are written using specific programming languages before deployment to the App Store. The programs include:
- Swift programming language
Objective-C and Swift are programming languages used for iOS app development
Objective-C and Swift are the most popular iOS app development software. Objective-C has existed since the 1980s and is a derivative of the C programming language. It is an object-oriented programming language that organizes app development around data instead of functions or logic.
Swift is a newer language that was introduced in 2014. It bears several similarities with Objective-C but has better security than the former. Swift utilizes simple syntax and is easier to learn. A react native developer uses Swift programming language to develop different iOS apps faster.
iOS app development requires a seasoned mobile app developer who understands the stringent quality requirements applications must meet before distribution on Apple App Store. A client should enlist the services of an experienced Swift Developer who owns Apple’s Mac computer. Stoke Ventures is a recognized Enterprise Software Development Company with the right resources and personnel to guarantee the timely delivery of iOS apps for diverse clients.
Requirements for iOS App Development
The quality of iOS apps is controlled. Apple establishes guidelines for building, deploying and managing these apps. Developers must possess specific technical skills and utilize approved programming platforms and hardware. Before starting the iOS app development process, ensure you have:
- A Mac computer running on the latest OS version
- Apple developer account
- The latest version of Xcode. One can download Xcode from the Apple website. Xcode is Apple’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that enables developers to create multiple iOS apps. Xcode is a graphical interface that contains all the requisite tools for managing app development activities. The integrated development environment consists of SDK tools, frameworks and compilers that help iPhone app designers to write and debug programming codes. It also contains a testing engine to allow app developers to validate the reliability of codes.
Individuals with active developer accounts have permission to update iOS apps on the App Store. The online store accepts applications developed on Apple’s proprietary development environment, Xcode. The IDE contains all the necessary resources to build iOS apps from scratch.
The good news is that Xcode offers much more than just the ability to sign and publish your completed app. The IDE contains a user interface designer, code editor, testing engine, asset catalog, and more—virtually everything you need for iOS app development.
iOS Software Development Kit
Downloading the latest Xcode version allows the developer to access the powerful capabilities of Apple’s Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK simplifies the iOS app development process by providing multiple frameworks required to manipulate iPhone or iPad hardware devices. The SDK contains several frameworks like:
The latest STKs have additional capabilities that include machine learning and augmented reality to enhance user experiences when interacting with the latest devices from Apple.
Additional Skills an iOS App Developer Should Have
To qualify as an iOS app developer, one should possess strong technical skills in Swift or Objective-C programming languages. A react native developer requires more than programming skills. Here are some soft and technical skills one should acquire before engaging in iOS app development.
- Critical reasoning: App developers interact with different objects, codes and structures when designing iOS apps. The developer visualizes how these elements interact and thinks of options to improve the relations and adjust them to accommodate inputs or controls on different devices. The developer has to empathize with the users, and visualize how the apps will affect their interactions. Will they like the user interfaces? How will the iOS app influence their workflows?
- Keen attention to details: iOS app development follows strict guidelines and rules. The apps are vetted before being uploaded to the App Store for users to download and install. The developer should evaluate user needs against Apple’s approved app deployment requirements. As such, the developer must understand how specific patterns will affect app compliance and usability. They should also know how to troubleshoot and debug problematic app codes.
- Knowledge of Core Data: Core data is a framework that handles data storage on Apple devices. The developer should have basic knowledge of Apple’s data handling criteria to enable them to customize iOS apps for optimum data security.
- Grand Central Dispatch (GCD): Users run several apps at once. When designing iOS apps, the developer must ensure the apps can run concurrently without slowing down the performance of other installed apps. The developer must devise ways to ensure resource allocation for various apps is optimal on different Apple devices or firmware.
Leveraging APIs and Libraries for Apple App Development
iOS app development is standardized. It implies consumers are guaranteed high-quality products. The iPhone app development team has access to an extensive resource library. Apple continuously releases APIs and kits to ensure iOS apps are functional and reliable. When releasing the libraries, Apple places quality control measures to ensure the APIs contain advanced, easy-to-use features. iOS app developers leverage these resources and libraries to integrate new applications into Apple’s infrastructure.
These libraries allow developers to improve the performance of iOS apps. The developer can customize third-party apps to perform functions like remote control of home entertainment devices by phone.
Typical iOS App Development Process
At Stoke Ventures, we have standard procedures for designing and deploying iOS apps following Apple standards. Perhaps you wish to develop the first iOS app. Which process should one follow?
Preparing iOS app development environment
The first step is to assemble the right tools for the job. In this case, a Mac computer running on the latest OS version. Download Xcode and launch it to initiate app development. Xcode enables you to create a new project. The developer should familiarize themselves with Xcode.
The iPhone app designer should create a user journey map to simplify the design process and identify all features to include in the app. Xcode contains several tools to allow designers to simulate iOS apps while making amends to design codes for superior functionality. The developer can simulate app performances on several iOS versions and hardware devices.
Test iOS apps before deployment
After completing the design and coding, the iOS app development team should test the product before release. Developers leverage Apple resources to access different testing tools and frameworks.
The testing frameworks allow them to perform usability tests on the development environment. Apple apps are tested using the XCTest framework or the iOS unit test. Completing the preliminary tests prepares the product for release to a selected group of users to collect feedback on the reliability of the iOS app.
Beta testing is conducted on TestFlight. The platform connects app developers to internal and external testers. The developer uploads the beta build of the app on the platform from where testers can download and install them on Apple devices. The developer has permission to automatically update the beta builds to ensure the testing groups have access to the latest test versions.
The beta build is accessible for 90 days after uploading on TestFlight. The platform is flexible and allows the testing of up to 100 apps at once. iOS app development teams can upload multiple app builds for simultaneous tests. As we have mentioned, developers can test the iOS beta internally or externally.
For internal testing, the developer can designate 100 members of their in-house product development teams as testers. The testers are selected from app managers, developers, admins or Apple account holders.
When conducting internal testing, the developer may create several groups who will evaluate varying beta app builds. The developer may assign specific roles to diverse groups that will focus on exploring the strengths and shortcomings of the beta build. Each internal tester can analyze the beta iOS app build on 30 devices. The iterative testing process ensures every app feature is tested and validated.
iOS app development teams and agencies can invite 10,000 external users to install and test beta builds before release. The beta build must pass the TestFlight App review process before distributing it to external testers. External testing is advantageous as it enables iOS app developers to collect feedback from users with different devices and preferences.
App developers use two methods to reach external testers. These are:
- Sending invites via email
- Using a public link that is generated on the TestFlight page. The developer activates the Public Link sharing option, copies it and shares it on different social media platforms. It is a practical way to reach testers if the iOS development team does not have personal email addresses for the target testing groups.
When testing iOS apps externally, developers should share relevant information with the testers. Tell them what and how to test specific features of the app. The developer adds this information on the Information Page available in App Store Connect. The iOS app development team should also provide channels for receiving and responding to tester feedback. Test information may not be necessary if beta testing is done internally.
Beta testing facilitates information gathering from various target groups to iterate and improve iOS app features. The TestFlight app enables testers to send feedback directly from the app. The tester screenshots the error message and sends it directly to the developer. The testing platform allows the user to share more details about the cause or context of the error or crash. The feedback is also available on the email address the developer provides when uploading beta builds.
In iOS app development, it is vital to design apps while considering unique consumer behaviors. The devices on which these apps will operate have different firmware versions which may affect their performances. Cloud testing is part of external beta testing initiatives. Developers gain better insights regarding the functionality and stability of iOS apps on different devices.
After a comprehensive testing process, the developers collect feedback and analyze it to identify usability issues. They also evaluate recommendations provided by the testers and use them to iterate the final app build. The final app build undergoes testing before deployment to the App Store.
Why Choose Stoke Venture As Your iOS App Development Agency?
Stoke Ventures is a renowned product development company. We specialize in iOS app development, having developed several apps for our clients and received recognition from experts and industry leaders in software development. Why should businesses consider Stoke Ventures as a product development partner when working on the next big product?
Stoke Ventures handles all facets of iOS app development
We undertake market research
Data inspires us to build remarkable products. We conduct market research before turning ideas into revenue-generating products. Our team of seasoned developers will evaluate the capabilities of the proposed app idea and perform a competitive market study. We want to ensure that demand for the new iOS app exists and break down all the market dynamics. Who is your competitor? What compliance issues will the client experience if the application targets global markets? How much revenue will the client earn from the app?
Once the team gathers enough information regarding the viability of the app, they initiate conceptualization. At this stage, our team confirms if the conceptual ideas conform with Apple’s app development specifications. The team checks if the proposed iOS app:
- Complies with security and privacy requirements
- Infringes copyright
- Is decent for public use
iOS app concepts that pass the preliminary in-house evaluations are forwarded to product development teams for implementation. The developers determine how the app is structured and ways to streamline user journeys. Our design process leverages different types of wireframes to explore app functionality, feature interactions and user flows. The dedicated team of iOS app developers collaborates to design and iterate UI and UX. Stoke Ventures expedites the design process by combining previous experience and advanced product lifecycle management tools.
Stoke Ventures will optimize every app detail to the user’s preferences. The layouts, graphic designs and information architecture guarantee the final product will pass Apple’s review process and be usable across different Apple devices.
iOS App Development and Testing
Stoke Ventures is a reliable product development agency that tirelessly works to deliver functional iOS apps in a short span. Our app developers have remarkable coding skills to ensure all facets of the proposed iOS solution are functional. The development process involves several activities for authenticating and managing app integration with other Apple services. Teams work simultaneously to optimize the app’s back end, front end and Application Programming Interfaces (API).
The iOS app development team leverages several resources provided by Apple to compile app codes and simulate their performances before releasing beta builds for testing. The process is crucial for determining the functionality and stability of the app on several Apple devices.
Stoke Ventures values user feedback. That is why our testing process enlists the help of thousands of testers across the world. We compile user feedback to iterate future beta builds to ensure users have enjoyable experiences.
Our relationship with clients does not end there. We manage iOS app deployment and lifecycle management. We help clients to scale up iOS apps in line with expanding business needs. We also handle app maintenance, creating reliable software updates to guarantee user security and app relevance in diverse markets.
Actualizing ideas and solutions in the form of functional iOS apps are incredible. Individuals and businesses go to great lengths to develop their first iOS apps. The entire process requires utter dedication and compliance with several regulations and standards established by Apple to protect customers and maintain the consistency of their products.
Ensure you have the requisite resources and skills before starting iOS app development. If in doubt, engage an experienced product development agency like Stoke Ventures who will guide you and actualize your ideas fast. Leverage Apple resources to expedite the design and deployment process. Do not forget to update iOS apps to suit emerging technological and firmware trends.