When people talk about life altering inventions today, they do not talk about invention of steam engine, light bulb or the wheel anymore, they talk about life altering mobile applications/software which have influenced our daily lives in such manner that imagining our lives sans these inventions is impossible.One such revelation in the modern era has been the introduction of an array of “i” products ranging from iPhone to iPod to iPad and so on. Apple is now an indispensable part of millions of people around the world with people queuing up for hours before the launch of an Apple product to be the first ones to grab their dream gadget. So what makes Apple products so sought after? The Operating System!iOS or originally the iPhone OS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. and currently powers many of the company’s hand held devices.Apple Inc. provides opportunity to every individual to become an iOS developer with the Apple Developer Program to reach customers around the world. However, needless to say, becoming an iOS developer requires immense knowledge and technical understanding.Becoming a successful iOS developer requires fundamental understanding of programming concepts.Following is the list of fundamental programming concepts that are essential for an iOS developer:
1. Xcode and interface builder
Xcode is a powerful Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provided by Apple inc. for free of cost and is the most important tool for building an iOS App. Xcode helps manage the content of a project and works as a code editor with code auto completion assistance to type codes without typos.Interface Builder is a graphical tool inside of Xcode to build interface of your app in a visual way.
2. Cocoa touch
Cocoa touch is a UI framework for building software programs to run on iOS.
3. Table Views
Table views allow user to navigate through hierarchically structured data and give an indexed view of items.
4. View Controllers
View controllers constitute the skeleton of every iOS app. View controllers in iOS also manage auto rotation and perform resource management, receiving memory warnings from the OS when the memory starts to fill up.
5. Storyboards and Segues
Storyboard can be used to visually lay down the flow of screens of your app and the transitions between them in Interface Builder. As the size of the project grows, multiple storyboards can be used to contain all the flow of the app.Segues can be used to connect view controllers to each other inside story boards.
6. Auto Layout
Auto layout was introduced by apple to facilitate creation of dynamic interfaces that adapt to every screen size and orientation allowing the app to run not only on iPhone but all other Apples devices.
7. Key value coding and Notifications
Object on an iOS communicate one to one through the common design pattern of iOS. There are cases where two different kinds of communications are needed. For this, iOS two different mechanisms.
- Key Value Observing: The mechanism allows objects to be notified of changes to specified properties of other objects.
- Notifications: Notifications work through notification centres, which manage sending and receiving of notifications. Any object that want to register as an observer for a specific notification posted by other objects, does so through a notification centre.
Becoming a developer is a complex process, which demands concrete technical knowledge about programming concepts. In addition to the key programming concepts mentioned above, every developer should educate themselves about other critical concepts, which are essential to become an iOS developer.