It’s been around four months since we started working on the Writing Prompt iOS app. At first the thought was that we would be able to release it sooner, but it seems that was a mistake. We had to learn, create, change, and eventually redo a lot in the process of creating this app.
Today, we’re finally at a stage where we know it’s only a matter of days until we release it. And it’s looking good, if we can say so ourselves.
There’s a lot we learned during the development of this app, and we thought it right to succinctly jot down our few tips for app development. As novices in the world of creating and releasing apps, we find these notes useful – and we hope that they assist other beginners or professionals alike.
Here is a list of 11 valuable tips learned while making our first iOS app:
- Some objects like the SystemSoundID objects, mostly need to be released or de-allocated if you are not using ARC.
- Due to the iPhone 4S still being in use, along with various other iOS devices – it becomes difficult to arrange subviews programmatically. Sure, you can use Auto-Layout – but to gain finer control, placing the objects programmatically and using Auto-Layout goes a long way.
- You also need to design your UI for the aspect ration of 3:2. This is because iPhone 4S/4 have an aspect ratio of 3:2 while all other iPhones post 4S have an aspect ratio of 16:9. This does affect the UI at a larger scale, especially when you are trying to make some UI elements interact-able and placed exactly at the same place for all iOS devices.
- You should constantly keep checking how your app looks in the various hardware profiles of the iOS device emulator. It tends to get boring and repetitive, but it will save you time.
- The images should be sized keeping in mind that they will be rendered on different screen sizes with different pixel densities. Something we had to learn the hard way around.
- Prior understanding of the placements for the subviews, and images within subviews, helps you communicate better with your designer(s) and enables you to ask for creatives precisely the way you want them.
- One of the best sources for solutions on whatever problems you’re facing as a new iOS developer is – stackoverflow.com. About 99% of all the problems I was facing were solved by just searching and browsing stackoverflow.com. Something I’ve never done for any other language or framework.
- There are many ways to achieve the same result. The best is the simplest one, and the one that takes the least bit of resources. Don’t overthink, or try to learn all the ways there are to achieve the same results. You are trying to release an app – there will be circumstances and opportunities to learn those later.
- Be mindful of the resources you are using and try not to let the app bloat up. This is a constant struggle. Probably one of the best places you’ll learn to refactor your code is within Xcode while writing iOS apps.
- We learned this one earlier, through a link shared by a friend. This one’s simple – “Fuck it, ship it”. Don’t put every feature you’ve come up with in the first release of your app. We’re shipping our app with only what’s required, or what falls within the “business domain” of the app.
— Appathetic Studios