Writing Apps for Apple’s iPad

Guest post by Jeff Norman

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be Mark Zuckerberg to craft an app for the iPad to which people will gravitate. We repeat—you do not need to be featured in an Oscar-nominated film in order to create infectious, useful iPad apps! I understand how difficult it must seem though. The iPad is incredibly sophisticated, and it’s easy to believe that a similar level of complexity and technological savvy is required to make apps that are just as techno-glammy as the iPad itself. Not so, my dear. Here are three tips that will help you, at this article’s conclusion, head out and get started on your own dream iPad app.

To C or not to C. The most frequently used programming language for the iPad is Objective C, which is somewhat similar to C++. Computer programmers familiar with C++ will have very little trouble adapting to Objective C. But for those without a clue, here is a link to a primer on how to understand Objective C’s most elementary components. Note to the weary: computer language is just as nuanced as French or Chinese, but does present some initial challenges, so take care to be patient with yourself when just starting out. You can also completely skip the challenges of Objective C with Runtime Revolution, a system that can convert into Objective C yet utilize dramatically less computer verbiage.

Learn from the masters. Admittedly, I’m no expert when it comes to creating mind blowing apps, or apps of any nature for that matter. However, what I am good at is ferreting out the Web’s absolute best and most valuable resources for helping me to do so. I turn my head to the computer programming masters. But in my search for iPad gurus, I wanted to take extra special care to locate honchos who made me feel like even a non-techie like myself could get in the iPad app-making groove. In that spirit, I would definitely steer you, app-hungry reader, to iPadAppsPlus. This handy dandy page walks you step-by-step through the process of creating a noteworthy app, from scratch.

Reconnaissance and resilience. The most important edict in creating an iPad app, all matters of programming and comp language aside, is a whole lotta recon work. Rumor has it that at least a dozen new apps are appearing daily for the iPad, which means you’ll need to get ahead of the contemporary trends in apps you’re seeing right now. Anticipate what will be needed for a few months from now—that’s the only way to make sure your app idea isn’t someone else’s current brainchild. The other skill you’ll need in this journey is tenacity, tough skin. The sheer profundity of apps out there makes it extremely unlikely that your first app (which may take weeks or months to fine-tune to perfection) will hit a home run right out of the gate. Think of this first app of yours, successful or not, as a test run. The next app you helm will benefit from the savvy gleaned from this experience, and it might just take off as a bona fide hit.

Bio: Jeff Norman is a recent college grad, currently writing from New York City.
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