So You Want To Become An iPad Application Developer? Introduction
By now, just about everyone in the world will know what the Apple iPad is, and if they are unsure what it is, they will have seen an advert. This is one thing Apple are good: marketing their products!
If you have an Apple iPhone or iTouch, you will have undoubtedly seen some of the apps that are available, and there are thousands! Many, many thousands! So who makes all of these? Is there money in it? Is it worth learning?
Quite simply, yes, it is!
How to start developing on the iPAD
OK, so you have decided to delve into the world of developing for the iPad. But where do you start? Well, as it goes, here is a good bet as we will guide you through the process to get you started without making it sound too daunting.
First step: iPAD Development Kit. SDK 3.2
What is an SDK? This simply stands for a Software Development Kit and contains everything you need to get yourself started as an iPad Developer. You can download SDK 3.2.
Second Step: Understanding what you are working with – The Basics
If you have ever programmed applications on the iPhone, then you will understand a lot of the basic differences between that and the iPad. The most obvious is the size of the display! At 1024×768 pixels, it is now possible to create some iPad applications that can utilize more fully the extra desktop that you have to play with. No more restrictions because everything would be so small!
You still have the same Multi-Touch screen allowing for multiple actions to happen on the screen at once. For example, a 2 player game could be made where both players interact at the same time.
The screen might be multi-Touch, but the iPad does not support more than one application running at the same time.
Every application on the iPad will run in its own virtual memory space. This just means that memory will not be used from other possible system resources. The application will only be limited by the size of the memory on the device.
You can only work with what you are given. You cannot use any form of 3rd party or custom plug-ins.
Understand the Sandbox. Every app on the iPad has its own Sandbox; an area devoted just to that application. Every file and all data that is created by that application are stored in this area.
Third Step Making a start
OK, so you understand that the iPad is essentially (for this purpose) just a large iPhone. You also understand that with the larger screen, a whole new world of application opportunities arise. The limits here are your mind what do you want to make?
To program on the iPad you will be working in one of the most popular languages around C! But this can be Objective-C, C or C++. All are more than capable to let you start and continue your life as an iPad Developer.
It is understood that for the iPad, all applications will run in both landscape and portrait modes. On the iPhone, you could do either. You must understand about how to design applications for running in multiple orientations.
You must understand how the memory is based on a retain & release model on the iPad. This will prevent premature crashes in applications further down the line.
Graphical operations must always (without exception) be run on your applications main thread. The same goes for many view-based operations.
Next we will look at how to develop a user-friendly interface.
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