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Hello, iOS SDK: Introducing the iOS Software Development Kit

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This chapter details the first steps in learning to create applications for iOS: introducing the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK) and showing how to get the Xcode toolset installed on your Mac.
This chapter is from the book

Developing for iOS is a joyful and fun adventure in learning Objective-C and the Apple frameworks. Nowhere else is it so easy and quick to go from an idea to an app you can hold in your hand on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. With your code behind the glass touchscreen, you can turn these devices into anything you can think of. An iOS device can become a flight simulator, an interactive book, or just about anything else you can imagine. In this chapter, you take the first steps in developing for iOS by learning about the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK) and how to get the Xcode toolset installed on your Mac. (It is easy.) In the next chapter, you dive in, create your first iOS app, and get it running on the iOS Simulator.

The iOS family includes the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod touch. Despite their relatively diminutive proportions compared to desktop systems, they use increasingly powerful multicore CPUs to run iOS, a first-class version of OS X. iOS comes with a rich and varied SDK that enables you to design, implement, and realize a wide range of applications. For your projects, you can take advantage of the multitouch interface and powerful onboard features using Xcode, Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE). In this chapter, you learn about Apple’s various iOS Developer Programs and how you can join. Ready? Onward to the next step: getting the Xcode application installed on your Mac.

Installing Xcode

The first step in developing for the iOS platform is to get Xcode: the IDE from Apple. Xcode is the tool you use for writing Objective-C applications and compiling them for iOS devices. Apple has recently made installing Xcode as easy as possible by providing Xcode as a free download from the Mac App Store, as shown in Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1

Figure 1-1 Xcode in the Mac App Store

To install Xcode, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Mac App Store application on your Mac.
  2. Search for Xcode.
  3. Click the Free button to install Xcode.

While Xcode is downloading and being installed, you can read the rest of this chapter and learn about the iOS SDK. That is all it takes to install Xcode and get on your way. The rest of this chapter covers the iOS SDK, the devices, and the development programs Apple offers. In Chapter 2, “Objective-C Boot Camp,” you start your journey into the Objective-C language and application development in iOS.

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