No one can ignore the importance of iOS app development as Apple is bringing new devices every year. It has become one of the essential parts of iOS software development. So, it’s still worth learning, and it will still be an excellent job for the upcoming years. Let’s start this journey with new opportunities and new markets. 

Apple Inc. recently announced that they would be moving their whole Mac line into ARM-based devices. It means all their devices will use the same architecture for Macs, iPad, iPhones, Apple Watch, and even Apple TV. That means making apps for iOS, iPod OS, and Mac would be much easier. 

Apple is also unifying the UI for every device. They are trying to deliver very similar feelings between all platforms. Recently, they also announced Swift UI. It is a new tool that is much more accessible for developers to write and design apps. 

Keeping all these in mind, I have outlined this ultimate guide as a road map to iOS app development. If you are building a new iOS app, then this guide is for you. 

When beginning your iOS app development, select essential developer requirements. Select the correct programming language and other necessary equipment too.

And learn everything you need to know from this step-by-step guide. This roadmap will help you to develop your desired iOS application for any Apple device. Let’s get started.

iOS App Development Summary

I will discuss every aspect of iOS development in this guide. These include different stages, types, technology, and everything, including the combined costs. It will make the guide much longer. So, you can see a summary of the whole process here at the beginning. And I have tried to present the summary through a table to make sure that you can easily understand it.

Apple’s devicesiPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iPod Touch, and Apple TV
Step-by-Step ProcessPlanning Stage → Development Stage → Testing Stage → Publishing Stage → Supporting → Stage
PlatformsXcode, Appery.io, GameSalad, Mobile Roadie, Appy Pie, Xamarin
Programming LanguagesObjective-C and Swift
FrameworksApple Xcode IDE, Cocoa, Cocoa Touch, Apple UIKit, ARKit, Core Graphics, Core Animation, Core Audio, Core ML, React Native, Sencha, Native SDK, Xamarin, etc.
Development CostAverage cost around $50,000 (depends on the country)
Chart 01: iOS App Development Summary

What is App Development?

App development is a process of making computer programs to perform specific tasks. In this process, developers make apps that work on PCs, cell phones, tablets, and other devices. 

To perform personal assistants, enterprise assistants, and mobile functionality, you need app development. Some apps can be pre-installed during manufacturing, or they can be web-based software.

There are different platforms for developing apps such as iOS, Android, Windows, etc.
In this app development guide, I will only discuss Apple’s iOS app development. So, keep patience until the end of this roadmap.

What is iOS App Development?

Well, what is iOS app development? iOS application development is the process of creating software for Apple hardware. These include iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Apple Watch, Apple Tv, etc.

iOS developers use Swift or Objective-C programming language to develop iOS applications. Then they deploy those applications only in the App Store for users to download. In that case, a developer needs to have a developer ID.

Why Need iOS App Development?

The macOS App Store was not very popular in the past. Then most of the developers focused on writing apps for iOS or iPad OS. Right now, they will have an extensive and easy opportunity to port those apps and deliver them for Mac users.

So, there will be massive work to port those apps from iOS and iPad OS to macOS. Because, the architecture is the same, but still, it’s different screen size. Also, different tools are used to interact, like we use a touchpad or Mouse instead of our finger.

Reasons for iOS app development. The image showing some specific reasons why you should choose iOS app development.
Figure 01: Reasons for iOS App Development

Many companies are still needing native iOS app developers, and that’s a crucial fact. So, there is not a big problem with finding a job as a native iOS app developer if you know something. Have a look at the reasons why you should learn iOS app development.

Increasing Demand of iOS App Developers

Since Apple’s App Store opened in 2008, more than 2m (Two million) jobs have been created in iOS app design and development. In addition, it has created a new economy worth 1.3 (One point three) trillion dollars worldwide by 2021. So, it is evident that the demand for iOS app developers is increasing day by day. Reference: Jobs and opportunity created by Apple app store

iOS App Development is the Future

Apple Inc. is producing budget iPhones and other devices, especially ARM-based gadgets, every year. And more developers are getting into the iOS ecosystem. In simple words, the Future of iOS app developers is brighter than we can assume.

iOS app development covers both the creative and technical aspects. As a result, it becomes the ultimate beauty among software development services. It means that if you are an iOS developer, you are most likely to work on both coding and designing. And iOS development allows you to do both seamlessly.

Besides, iOS software developers get a higher salary than other platforms. According to Glassdoor, iOS developers get the highest salary in the world. And the average starting salary for an iOS Developer is $84,000/year (Eighty-four thousand dollars per year)!

So, if you’re looking to earn money through in-app purchases, iOS app development is the best option to go for. Reference: Average iOS App Developer Salary

The Programming Language is Easier to Learn

Once Objective-C was the most popular programming language for iOS app development. Then Swift came into play and replaced Objective-C in 2014. It had been the industry standard up until then. From the beginning, most iOS developers quickly adopted this platform for coding.

Swift is a powerful and more accessible programming language platform for iOS development. Anyone who knows a little about app development can adapt to this software on their first try. This software also has educational purposes for beginners.

Developers get the most advantages as Swift reduces the learning curve for real. So, it helps you to focus on the idea you’re working on.

More Sophisticated Tools

IDE or Integrated Development Environment is Apple’s world-class tool. It makes iOS development super easy for the developers. Besides, it’s easy to use and stable.

Apple’s products like iPhone or Macbook are designed for these tools to make your job easy. 

Again Xcode is for designing and developing your iOS application. It has been around for more than decades, and its maturation is higher than on Android platforms.

Developers use this software from building to launching the App. Xcode also comes with all of the tools you need in all-in-one software.

iOS App Development for Various Apple Devices

From the beginning, Apple has been creating more unique devices than any other brand in the world. It means that these devices are still gaining popularity and dominating the tech industry.

One of Apple’s most popular devices is the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Each device is powered by Apple’s operating system and can only be run on these devices with the iOS application.

Moreover, according to the recent announcement, Apple will bring more Arm-based devices to the market. And starting from iPhone, every device will run by the same application and the same operating system.

So, in this guide, I have discussed app development separately for different Apple devices. Because if you want to know iOS app development, you have to know all the issues related to it first.

iOS app building for Apple's devices. Apple's most popular devices such as iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple Tv need iOS software development.
Figure 02: iOS Software Development for Apple’s Devices

iPhone App Development

Every iPhone user has tens of apps already installed on an iPhone. And please keep in mind that every single year Apple is adding something to the ecosystem. App clips, widgets, and many changes every single year.

So, those apps that are widely used have to be maintained. If you are not installing new apps, tons of apps still need to maintain or write new features to existing apps on the iPhone.

Another critical thing to keep in mind is that if you have any smart device in your home, you probably have an app for that. We can say that iPhone app development will be on demand for every iPhone every year.

iPad App Development

Tablets are the most popular media consumption device. So it’s no secret that Apple’s iPad as a tablet is the most popular among users. Since its release, more than 250m (two hundred and fifty million) iPads have been sold in the United States alone. And the demand for this popular device has created countless demands for iPad-specific apps.

Unlike the iPhone, the iPad allows reading and sending emails, surfing the web, and playing games on a larger screen. In addition, the iPad provides specific features and it is a multitasking device too.

So, iOS development needs for the iPad’s application. Here are some iPad app developments that are going to dominate soon.

  • e-commerce iPad Apps
  • iPad Game Development
  • iPad Home Automation App Development
  • Enterprise iPad App Development
  • Education Apps for iPad
  • Multimedia iPad Apps
  • Lifestyle iPad apps and more

Apple Watch App Development

We are in an era of Nanotechnology. And the technologies are getting smarter, smaller, and sleeker. Once there were big computers, but now you are seeing revolutionary inventions.

Yes, I’m talking about simple and more efficient devices like laptops, the iPad, and smartphones. Another gift of technology is the Apple Watch which has become very popular over the years.

Every time you use these fantastic gadgets, you may have ideas to implement and show the world. And as an Apple Watch App developer, you have the tools to reach for.

Xcode made this process easy and accessible. Making an app for Apple WatchOS is getting easier with Apple’s newest tech, like Xcode. And having basic ideas of iOS development, a beginner developer can make an app in an hour with this.

Apple TV App Development

Developers can finally make apps for the Apple TV. The new Apple TV looks great, and all the software on it is fantastic, and you can be a part of that. All you have to do is download Xcode and start developing apps for Apple TV.

Before that, you may want to know two things about this process. And that is, the TV OS is the new operating system for Apple. The apps for TV OS needs iOS programming.

If you’ve never done any iOS programming, you may have to struggle for the first time. But don’t worry, you’ll soon be more proficient at Apple TV app development with giving it time. 

Besides, the demand for TV apps is growing in line with other Apple apps. So, this type of iOS development is going to create new possibilities for the developers.

Industry-Specific iOS App Development

Industry-specific iOS app development means making iOS applications for specific industries and businesses.

The world’s most developed industries use specific Apple devices to transform business processes and transactions. And the reason is to provide improved communications, streamlined transections, and enhanced business processes to improve customer connections.

Apple device management announced that iPads would make enormous growth in strategic business on Mar 8, 2016. First, they talked about 1000 (one thousand) businesses globally that this device and iOS apps will leverage globally. But now the scenery is way bigger than that. Reference: Next Generation of iPad Use

Now, you can’t imagine how big this industry and the demand for industry-specific devices are increasing with the adoption of Automation in the industries.

Besides, the most developed countries are already facing the 4IR (Fourth industrial revolution).  So, from that point of view, the role of industry-specific iOS app development is undeniable.

In this guide, I will discuss each step of iOS app development one by one, but before that, get some idea about different types of industry-specific iOS app development.

And this is to explain why you get inspired to create an iOS app. I will make it easier for you to understand the importance of learning iOS app development.

Let’s learn about different types of industry-specific iOS app development.

Industry-specific iOS app making. This image visualizing the list of industries that need iOS development.
Figure 03: Industry-specific iOS App Development

iOS App for Travel and Hospitality

We all probably know a bit of why travel and hospitality applications are needed. Travel-thirsty people use this type of application the most. And iPhone users are at the forefront in this case. First, however, we will try to see the essential things that a developer must keep in mind when creating an iOS Travel and Hospitality app.

  • Travel Planning
  • Maps and Navigations
  • In-app Booking
  • Reviews & Recommendations
  • Local Information (Language, food, map, culture, and unique places)
  • Hotel and Restaurant Booking
  • Food Information
  • GPS Tracking
  • Expense Tracking
  • Currency Converter
  • Voice Search
  • Local Language Translating Feature

iOS App for Sports and Teams

The sports that are so popular right now have made a billion-dollar industry. But, especially cricket, football, soccer, tennis, baseball, rugby, basketball, and other sports have taken this industry to another level.

So, it would be a great idea to build a sports application for startup businesses. And most of them are leaning towards iOS sports and team app development.

Apple’s App Store is already full of numerous sports apps. If you want to make your sports App more prevalent among those apps, you have to give great features and a better user experience.

Here are some exceptional features and functionalities you must Include in your App to make it better.

  • Make your app AR and VR friendly
  • Social media integration is a must
  • Gamification in the App will continuously hook your users
  • Use AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the App
  • Keep live streaming features
  • Ticket booking option
  • Chat option for team management 
  • Keep Sports related news section

FinTech iOS App Development

Fintech apps are web apps that deal with financial services. It can be a mobile app too. Fintech is no longer another buzzword as it is an integral part of our life.

Most of the financial work is now done digitally on the online platform. So, such applications have become essential in everyday life.

Moreover, the iOS platform-based financial apps are becoming the most popular, and many uses are much higher.

The primary goal of such software is to make complex financial activities easier for people. There are also some crucial things you need to keep in mind when creating an iOS fintech app that is the best of all. 

Let’s find out about them here.

  • Your Fintech app should be simple.
  • Push notifications help effective communication among bankers and customers in a Fintech app. 
  • Personalization feature
  • You must ensure High-level security
  • Use Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Include Microservices

iOS Apps for IoT (Internet of Things)

The Internet of Things is a new tech concept that can control things through the internet. iOS app development is the best way to achieve this feature in any circumstances.

It involves tools like sensors, smartwatches, home appliances, smart AC, lights, and more. Installing IoT in iOS is more than connecting a range of devices via the internet.

When it comes to iOS app development for IoT, there are some essential facts that you need to consider. These facts include-

  • How can you control things on iOS?
  • How to create things that have a specific range of hardware
  • And how to connect the IoT devices with your iOS devices

iOS Application for Healthcare

In the previous years, there has been a lot of development happening in the health industry. IoMT (Medical Things Internet) is one of the best examples of them. 

Wearable medical devices have introduced new digital solutions for healthcare too. And we indeed need a robust digital ecosystem for health.

So, here comes health application into play. Health apps are the solution for doctors, patients, nurses, prescription vendors, administration, and lab technicians in this world’s present situation.

To provide seamless medical support for the patients, the development of health apps is increasing. iOS healthcare apps are keeping a significant role in this case over the years.

Initially, the market size of the health app was estimated at $12.4 billion by 2018. But in 2020, it rose to an incredible $50.4 billion. As a result, it is expected to cross $213 billion by 2025. And most of it is occupied by iOS based healthcare apps. Reference: Mobile health apps market forecast

To develop iOS healthcare apps, you need to include some must-have features to stay top in this field. 

The first and the most important thing is, the App needs to be user-friendly. Secondly, you need to make it time-effective for the patients. And lastly, provide actionable information for facilitating accessible communication with medical professionals.

iOS App for E-commerce

iOS is the most popular mobile OS platform worldwide by sales. iOS eCommerce apps have been in demand for many years. E-commerce apps running on devices powered by iPhone operating systems are robust eCommerce solutions for online shops.

The world’s best marketplace, such as Amazon, eBay, etc., uses the iOS platform for its security. 

Everyday people launch thousands of e-commerce stores on the internet. As a result, the market is increasing, and to dominate the eCommerce industry, you must develop a high-standard app. That is why developers choose the iOS platform to develop e-commerce applications. Here are some more things you shouldn’t forget to include in your App to make it stand out. Here, read more about eCommerce Application Development if you need more information.

  • Easy and Uncomplicated Registration Process
  • Multiple Payment Gateways
  • Effortless Navigation
  • Product Listings
  • Product Details
  • Enable Precise Analytics
  • Feedback System
  • Uses of AR & VR
  • Push Notifications
  • Social Media Accounts Log in
  • Loyalty Programs

iOS App for Automotive

The number of vehicles and their intelligent features is increasing in this fast-paced world. In many modern vehicles, you can sync your smartphones. It will allow you to provide GPS tracking, music, and much more.

With the increasing popularity of car apps, high-end iOS automotive apps are growing. In that sense, Apple CarPlay is a fantastic app to manage your cars. In addition, you can now unlock and start your car with your iPhone.

Not only in cars, but developers have also started making iOS apps for drones and other vehicles. So, there is no doubt that iOS automotive app development is going to create more business opportunities.

iOS App for Education

iOS hardware like iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad have changed the learning environment. The students with special needs get education through different iOS apps. 

In this Covid-19 situation, almost every educational institute is closed. And children are far away from school. But mobile applications are making up for that loss. Every student can now experience the fun of education on a mobile phone from their home.

As an iOS educational app developer, you must ensure fun and powerful learning features in the App. In addition, you need to remember that the students with attention deficits and disabilities. Here are some ideas that you may follow to make an iOS education app.

  • Guided Access to help students with autism
  • Speak Selection to help with comprehension for a wide range of learners
  • eBooks/iBooks to create customized learning materials
  • Dictionary
  • FaceTime- students can make video calls over Wi-Fi
  • Word Prediction Game to help students improve their vocabulary and word-building skills

iOS App for Photo & Video

Taking selfies, making videos, and sharing on social media has become a kind of addiction. It is said that a person takes an average of 12-14 (Twelve to fourteen) selfies a day on his mobile phone. Again many want to save pictures of their favorite moments in video format. Reference: Average youngster clicks 14 selfies a day

As people are nostalgic, they want to take care of their good memories. That’s why they keep them on digital devices by arranging them nicely.

Besides, the demand for mobile photo and video management apps is also increasing day by day. And iOS photo and video applications are the most advanced and popular among the people in that case.

When it comes to slideshow maker apps, the first popular App that comes to mind is Vimory.

It is an excellent app for iPhones and iPad. It is also available on the Android platform. Anyone can create a video slideshow, starting with photo editing. And they can share those on various social media too.

Step-by-Step Process of iOS App Development

iOS app developers focus on quality and security the most. Like other platforms, the first step of iOS app development is research and planning. And after making a perfect plan, the designers start developing mockups and wireframes. 

But, iOS app development is not as easy as it seems. Since the developers have to follow many rules set by Apple, the process can be tricky.

Most of the iOS development company tries to ensure a secure user experience. Therefore, they need to apply all the best practices to deliver a great app.

And in this step-by-step guide, I’m going to discuss all the necessary processes and tech-stacks to make it easy. By following this guide correctly, you will be able to do it by yourself.

Keep patience and have confidence as you will be fine and will make a great iOS application.

The complete process of making iOS app. Here, the image is showing every steps for developing iOS application.
Figure 04: The Process of iOS App Development

The Beginning Stage or Planning Stage

The beginning stage of iOS software development includes four significant steps. They must be appropriately performed one by one before you approach the development stage.

There are many works you need to perform, from analyzing basic requirements to create a basic design. But don’t worry, I will make it straightforward for you and what you need to do at this stage.

The first one is that you must analyze your basic requirements for an iOS application. So let’s discuss that one by one. 

Analyze the Basic Requirements

There are millions of iOS applications competing with each other on the App Store. So, in this competitive platform, you must ensure that your App gets downloaded many times. That’s why you must conduct market research to see what apps are already out there.

Also, see which types of apps get more attraction from the apple users. Then you need to decide what are the basic requirements you need before writing a single line of code. Well, here I have listed the most basic requirements you will need for iOS app development.

You will need-

  • Apple computer with the latest version of macOS.
  • Xcode with IDE (Integrated development environment) for macOS. You will be able to download it for free from the Apple App Store.
  • Most importantly, an active Apple Developer account. If you don’t have one, then get it with an annual subscription fee of $99.

Build the Right Team

Usually, for developing an iOS app, you need a skilled team of 5-6 people. They must have specific skills for app development. Categorize their positions, responsibilities, and qualities. Different app development platforms need different skills.

To develop an iOS app, you will need a project manager, 1 or 2 designers, developers, and QA specialists.

Before selecting iOS developers, make sure that they have the following skills:

  • Good knowledge of Objective-C and Swift 
  • They should know the basics of the Xcode IDE. It is the primary development environment for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.
  • And the basic ideas about previous versions of iOS.

The team structure needs to consist of the following experts to develop an iOS application.

  • App Strategist
  • Visual designer
  • App Navigation planner
  • And Content planner

Prepare Technical Documents

The development team will need a technical design document (TDD). It is necessary for coordination with the marketing team. Many call it a Software Design Document or SDD. In this document, make sure you have prepared the following features. The information you will need to include in technical documents are:

  • How will the general user interface look in the App?
  • What would the screen layout look like?
  • The places for the buttons
  • The color palette
  • What will be the Input/output data structure
  • The types of data units 
  • What are the limitations
  • The OOP specs
  • The function methods, attributes, dependencies
  • The system architecture

Create a Basic Design

It is the pre-stage before you go to the main development stage. Here, use all the necessary information from the planning stage and create a basic design of the App. For example, it could be a draft of the application. 

In this phase, the design team develops the user interface and user experience: the looks and the navigations. Then the design is sent over to mobile app developers. Finally, it is the stage where developers and designers start working on sketching the wireframes, mockups and developing the user interface.

The wireframe is the blueprint of your application. Here, you will need to visualize the App’s appearance by sketching the whole idea. You also make it clear in the wireframe how the App will function. 

Wireframing, Mockups and Prototype. It is all about how to create a basic design for iOS application.
Figure 05: Wireframing, Mockups and Prototype

Development Stage

The initial process of the iOS development helps to get all the basic requirements. Then, after having the design ready, developers go for the development stage. And it is the most critical phase in the whole process.

In this stage, app developers work hard to bring the App to life. They have to work with 3 (three) different but crucial developments. The first one is the back end, then the API, and finally the application’s front-end development. 

I will discuss these 3 (three) crucial developments later. But first, let’s discuss the relevant user methodology and the platforms.

Use Relevant Methodology

The relevant methodologies mean the systematic ways you need to follow. These include all the relevant topics like answering the questions of what, why, when, etc. 

For example, right now, you may be asking yourself, “why can’t I just start writing the App? Why do I need to follow the process?”

But app development is tricky and complex, and that’s why we need effective processes. And following the proper methodologies help us achieve functionality, capability and reduce time.

You will gain the below achievements if you follow the correct methodologies.

  • Repeatability is a process that works like a cooking recipe. By reaping the same process, you will get better predictions.
  • By doing standardization, you can ensure the high quality of the App. 
  • Making Continuous updates and improvements will benefit you to make a great app.
  • Arrange training for the new developers for better maintenance of the App. 
  • Traceability is important. So, record every step of the process to know the source of each software artifact.

iOS Development Platforms

The only integrated development environment (IDE) you can have is Xcode. Apple provided this great platform to build high-performing iOS native apps. Developers can write code in both objective-C and Swift in the Xcode. In addition, the platform has a rich collection of apps in the libraries.

iOS development in Xcode. The image is showing codes in Xcode interface.
Figure 06: iOS Development in Xcode

Except for Xcode, expert iOS developers also use some other platforms as per requirements. I have listed the top iOS development platforms here. Have a look at those.

  • Appery.io – a cloud-based app building tool for iOS
  • GameSalad– developers can create and launch iOS, OS X and HTML5 games
  • Mobile Roadie– Allows developers to build and manage both the iOS and Android apps
  • Appy Pie– another cloud-based mobile software making tool
  • Xamarin– owned by Microsoft and allows to develop of iOS apps using C# codebase

Back End Development

Many say that iOS developers are afraid of server-side coding. As an iOS developer, you should learn how to write server-side code. Also, don’t be afraid of it. Be open-minded and try to learn new frameworks like Node.js or .Net core.

You should also be learning different things like different frameworks. It can be Ruby on Rails or Dotnet Web API, etc.

Firebase

When we talk about web development, we’re talking about apps that we’ll be communicating with a particular server. And this is what people replace with either Firebase or with some other service.

Xcode, Swift & Objective-C

If you are fluent in Xcode, Swift, and Objective-C, try to target this part and learn about server-side implementation. You should always consider creating your server and learn server-side skills. 

Now, the question is, where should you start learning the server-side framework? You can use Dotnet core, and inside Dotnet core, there’s also Web API.  If you’re doing iOS development on a Mac, it might be a little bit weird to use these things.

Node or JavaScript

The quickest way to start learning about server-side development is Express. It is a JavaScript framework built on top of Node.js.

Another framework is called Vapor. Again, it is an exciting framework, and it’s changing.

When you are using server-side frameworks, you want to use something more mature. It will be close to the Node or JavaScript community too.

So, whenever you choose frameworks for server-side development, look for the more mature framework. And look for the framework which has been around for a long time.

The platforms for Back-end development.
Figure 07: Back-end Development Platforms

iOS App Development Technologies

iOS app development tech-stacks are tools and languages to develop apps for iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Each tool has a unique purpose in the development of iOS applications.

The tasks include wireframing to designing and testing the App. Xcode is very popular as it is the only integrated development environment (IDE) by Apple. Let’s learn about more tools besides Xcode for iOS app development.

iOS App Development Frameworks

Mobile application framework, also known as a software framework. These frameworks allow developers to make apps using several sub-components. These include toolsets, code libraries, interfaces, and debuggers.

Frameworks are the starting base of any apps or software. But choosing the proper iOS framework is essential.

So, to make it easier for you, I have rounded up the best iOS development frameworks here. Let’s have a look below.

  • Apple Xcode IDE
  • Cocoa
  • Cocoa Touch
  • Apple UIKit Framework
  • ARKit
  • Core Graphics
  • Core Animation
  • Core Audio
  • Core ML
  • Titanium
  • React Native
  • Unity 3D
  • PhoneGap
  • Sencha
  • Cocos2d
  • Apache Cordova
  • OpenGL ES
  • Cocoa Controls
  • Native SDK

There are also some other and the most popular frameworks available. However, the frameworks I have discussed below are the best among the iOS developers.

Ext JS

In-app development flexibility is the key. Ext JS offers flexibility and allows both Javascript and HTML 5.

Ionic

It is an open-source framework that provides practical tools for cross-platform development. iOS developers love Ionic for its default UI elements, filters, action sheets, and more.

React Native

In 2019 it was a top iOS development framework. Still, now it is preferred among the iOS app development teams.

Flutter

It comes from the minds of Google and enables developers a faster coding process.

Xamarin

Its single shared codebase makes it the best framework. C# programmers love Xamarin as they can boost quality within the App with it.

Different frameworks for iOS app development
Figure 08: Frameworks for Developing iOS Apps

Tools and Solutions

Besides the above framework and platforms, developers need to know about some more tools and solutions. And just one platform may not solve all the problems.

Therefore I will discuss a few more tools for smooth development. Along with Xcode, these tools enable you to solve any problem from the beginning to the end of iOS app development.

  • Mockingbird
  • ASIHTTPRequest
  • Share-Kit
  • Urban Airship
  • Universal Analytics
  • Twilio
  • HockeyApp
  • Testflight
  • Wikitude
  • RedLazer API
  • Payment Systems (PayPal, DataTrans)
  • Social Networking APIs

iOS Development Languages

iOS developers can choose any of the two languages. One is Objective-C, and the other one is Swift. Objective-C is super great for the C language, but Swift is replacing it gradually. 

As Apple’s new programming language, Swift is popular among developers. So let’s see more reasons why you should use these two languages for iOS app development. First, it is more concise, sustainable, and safer for modern hardware units.

ORMs and Database

A database is a structure for collecting data. Every digital tool uses a database to manage data. ORMs allow a developer to write Python code instead of SQL to create, read, update, and delete their database.

The contacts in your phone can be an example of a database. Mobile apps depend on databases as well. Here are some tools for ORMs and Database-

  • SQLite
  • Core Data
  • Realm Mobile Database
  • RestKit
  • SQLite.Net
  • FMDB

Development of APIs and Libraries

Apple provides many developer resources for iOS app development. When you develop the API, there will be an extensive collection of resources available to you. 

Apple also has native APIs and libraries, and their kits are stable, feature-rich, and easy to use. So, to integrate your API into Apple’s existing infrastructure, you can use these iOS SDKs. 

For game development, you will have SDKs like-

  • SpriteKit
  • GameplayKit
  • And ReplayKit

Besides, Apple has API SDKs for health apps, maps, cameras, as well as Siri. Siri is Apple’s virtual assistant. An excellent AI feature and is very popular among iPhone users.

By utilizing these great tools from Apple, you can benefit your iOS development. Again the integrated third-party apps will allow you to create apps that connect to social media, use the camera or native calendar app, and more.

iOS Front End Development

It is one of the secrets of iOS development. Of course, most apps integrate a web API, but you can make it prettier by adding a few iOS native capabilities. Which is also known as the development of the device-end. But generally, Front-end development is client-side or client-server development.

When iOS apps communicate with a server for data storage, then it would be front-end. But an iOS device can also serve as a host for all kinds of devices. 

For example, your remote-controlled lights and coffeemaker. There’s the situation where your coffeemaker connects to your iPhone. And your iPhone connects to a server. On that server, there’s a calendar that determines when you want your coffee from the machine. So then the App is both back-end and front-end. Thus, it can be either or both or none at all.

Finally, it can say that it depends on your project. In many cases, it will be front-end. Except, the terms front or back end are related to web development, and your App must be browser-based. In most cases, they are not.

It is tough to say it’s front-end since it doesn’t use HTML. You can still call it a front-end, though. In general, call it iOS development.

Expanding Into the Cloud

Apple’s devices are powerful at handling loads. But you should be careful about the heavy lifting to the cloud. When you connect your App to the cloud, you can take the storage advantage from the cloud. 

There you will also get facilities like database management and even App caching. Moreover, with the help of next-generation services, you can also augment your App. 

To develop web apps and iOS back ends, you use Kitura and REST APIs within the iOS App. If you carefully look at the below image, you will find the proper direction to expand your App into the cloud.

Perform Testing

You will need to test your iOS app before you publish it. iOS is an Apple-owned platform and runs only on Apple devices. That’s why you will need to test it on several generations of iOS operating systems.

But, testing the App in Xcode itself will be the first step. Xcode features automated UI testing for the standard unit tests. Write a test that can navigate through the UI. So the users can find different issues when interacting with the App.

The UI testing requires real user interaction with the App. However, you’ll also want to let humans beta test your software.

Use the TestFlight App before submitting your App to the app store. Apple will make it easy for your friends, family, or the user base to preview your App when you do that. In addition, with TestFlight, developers and members can perform internal testing.

Again, you can invite up to 10,000 (Ten thousand) users to download a test version after Apple approves your App.

Then, divide your external testers into custom groups. And provide specific builds to them. This way, users can submit feedback about any issues they encounter.

iOS app development testing processes
Figure 09: Testing Processes of iOS Application

Deployment Stage

After working for days, weeks, and months to develop your App, now it’s finally time to set it free. So, once you’re done with iOS app development and testing, submit the App to the App Store.

Xcode will allow you to submit and sign the App. But then you will face a lengthy process of submission. 

Be patient until it finishes the review process. App store will need many iterations of rejection-revision-resubmission-rejection. After completing all the processes, it will finally approve the App. 

Keep in mind that you will need to pass all the approvals. Then, when your App is on air, build the App Store page by using a program called App Store Connect. Then push it to the App Store. 

Some developers plan to sell the App to the buyers. In that case, Apple will cut 30% (Thirty Percent) of your sales. Besides, they will charge a $99 (Ninety-nine dollars) annual fee to participate in the Developer Program.

Publishing apps to the App Store, you need to be in Apple’s developer program. But remember, if you do not renew your membership, Apple will remove your apps from the App Store.

Publishing the App to the App Store

So, finally, you are about to launch your App. But there are still few things you may want to double-check first.

Every iOS app developer must follow the app store guidelines. Make sure that you are following all the rules set by the app store. 

The next thing is the app certification process. Don’t worry; it’s just an essential process that you must follow. Here, I posted a screenshot of the documents and the link where you will find them. Read all the instructions carefully, then publish your App.

App store guidelines. The image is showing the page of Apple's app store review guidelines.
Figure 10: Apple App Store Guidelines

IOS App Development: Supporting Stage

During the support stage, the first issues come with bugs and teething. Though you have performed many tests before, still something unexpected can occur. So, you need to fix these issues in the supporting stage.

Every year Apple announces a new device and updates the OS as well. And when the significant devices come, provide updates in your App to support the new devices. 

In the maintenance stage, you can do all the work step by step. Here, follow the steps that I have mentioned below.

  • Monitor servers continuously
  • Allocate team for bugs fixing
  • Provide general support

Best Practices in iOS App Development

If you don’t want to fall behind, you should follow some best practices during the development. The best practice helps you improve your learning curves.

Otherwise, you may make many mistakes that will ultimately make you fall behind. Applying the best practices will help you avoid most of your mistakes. So, let’s discuss some best practices that you should follow in your iOS app development.

Proper Documentation is the Key

You will need to make easy documentation that covers all the necessary aspects of the system. The project goals, descriptions, outcomes all need to be described in detail to keep you on the right track.

Follow the App Store Rules

Always follow the rules from the app store. Because if you don’t, you will face many issues after submitting the App to the app store. 

Getting your App published may seem simple, but you can’t imagine how tough it could be. At the planning stage, you should think of it. Then you can approach the development process. So, make sure you have read all the guidelines from the app store to save time and avoid issues.

Focus on the Security from the Beginning

Apple devices and software are considered the most powerful among all the available technologies. But, without enough security, the app store may not allow your App to publish. So, you must focus on security from the beginning.

Access to data stored on mobile devices is a significant security issue. So, make sure you do not keep a chance for the scammers to steal data through your App. 

Start with Minimum Viable Product

MVP or the minimum viable products are crucial for an app. No developer can overestimate the MVP features. So, focus on the essential features that will benefit your App in many ways. You will get feedback sooner if you add MVPs. Increasing user satisfaction will be more accessible by using MVPs.

Aim for Great designs

Apple is famous because it has excellent minimalistic designs. Clients who buy iPhones, iPads, or Macs think about the design first.

As Apple provides User Interface guidelines, it will be easy to develop a great design. In addition, it can be your first place where you can get ideas about iOS app interface design.

Do Not Compromise with Accessibility

You should think about the people who are struggling with disabilities. Follow the accessibility principles. It will make you design better applications and help different users.

iOS App Development Cost

Many iOS developers and clients have a confusion about the cost of iOS app development. Moreover, many do not know the exact reason why such an app costs more than others. But here I will try to give a proper explanation of these reasons.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an iOS application? Well, the average cost of iOS app development depends on the complexity and functionality.

A standard location-based social app took years and around $250K to develop. You will need this amount of money for back-end infrastructure and custom engineering like Facebook.

But when you build an iOS game app, it will cost more than a utility application. So when selecting an app development team, people usually prefer developers from the USA, UK, India, Bangladesh, and Ukraine.

Clutch is an extensive software review company. According to their data, app development companies based in the USA and the UK demand an average of $50,000 (Fifty thousand dollars) on Swift development.

But it can vary based on an advanced architecture, technology stacks, and scalability plans. For example, the average cost in Ukraine is much lower than in the US and the UK. Their app developers work at $50 per hour, which is much less than the developed countries.

On the other hand, it is even lower in India and Bangladesh. So, for example, you can hire a good-quality iOS app developer in Bangladesh for $10-20 per hour. Reference: How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App

Conclusion

I hope you found almost every aspect of developing an iOS application here. If you follow these guidelines correctly, every stage of iOS app development should be easy for you now.

But there is nothing more effective than practicing. Practice coding for at least one hour a day. Then coding will never seem complicated for you.

iOS development is more involved than simply having an idea for an app. However, the complete process of building an iOS app requires correct planning, processes, and resources.

Following the best practices in iOS app development is another habit and will help you create a fantastic iOS application. One of the good practices among those is reading app store guidelines before you plan for an app. 

Creating a complete iOS app from scratch requires a lot of patience and good knowledge and skill. And a lot of practice is needed to enrich the skill. So to avoid stumbling at the beginning, you should do better research on iOS app development and gain skills.

You can share with me any of your confusion about iOS development. If you want to know more after reading the complete guide, please comment below this post. I will try to make it understandable for you. 

iOS App Development FAQs

FAQ means answers to frequent questions. Many of us have the same questions and confusion about iOS app development. That is why I have just made the answers ready for your frequent questions in this section. The two most common questions people ask about iOS app development are below.

Can I build an iOS app on Windows?

You can build an iOS app on Windows. But all we know is that it is not possible for iOS development on Windows. If you need to, then there is a way for that. In that case, you will need Microsoft’s Xamarin to deploy, run and test only the iPad app from Windows.

Where can I find iOS development tutorials?

You can watch several online tutorials and courses for iOS app development. Here are some links. There you can learn the basics of iOS app development.
App Development Training
The Basic Language Guide
Ray Wenderlich Tutorial
GitHub iOS Tutorial

Originally published August 22, 2021 - 9:41 pm, updated October 8, 2021