iOS Application Development


iOS Application Development

iOS is a mobile operating system. It was created by Apple and presented under the name iPhone OS in 2007, when they released the first-generation iPhone. Initially, this OS was only installed on iPhones and iPod touches, and then later onto iPads and Apple TVs.

A key feature of iOS is that it can only be installed on devices manufactured by Apple, so all available applications can be found in the App Store. Today, the App Store has over 2.2 million applications on offer for Apple mobile devices. The number of users has already reached one billion.

Why is iOS so popular? First, it is easy to use. Second, new applications in the App Store go through a rigorous selection process, which guarantees a high quality of product for the user.

The process of developing mobile apps for iOS

Developing an iOS application is not just about creating it and adding it to the App Store. The process requires meticulous planning, thorough research, and a clear focus. Typically, the entire development cycle consists of 5 stages:

  1. Planning. Before starting development, it is important to define the target audience, purposes, and required functions of your iOS application. It’s also necessary to conduct comprehensive market research to ensure that your application has competitive potential. At this stage, the terms of reference for the development of a mobile app are being prepared.
  2. Design. This is where a mockup of the user interface, i.e. the application’s appearance, is created. After approval, a designer starts working with the mockup. He/she prepares the final look that users will see on their iPhones and iPads.
  3. Development. Programmers create an iOS application based on the design approved in the previous stage.
  4. Testing. Once development is complete, the application must be tested. QA engineers check the beta version thoroughly and make sure that it functions properly and without any errors.
  5. Launch and maintenance. After testing, you can safely release the application to the market by uploading it to the App Store. However, the work doesn’t end there. As for any other software, the application has to be maintained. You should provide ongoing technical support, improve its functionality, and regularly add new features.

iOS app development process

What the iOS app development phase includes

Development is about bringing your project concept to life. At this stage, the iOS development team will work on 3 main parts of the project simultaneously:

  1. Back end. This is the server side, thanks to which the iOS application functions. Back-end development includes working on the authentication of user accounts, setting up interactions with them, integration with social networks, push notifications, and other functions.
  2. Application programming interface (API). This is one of the main components when creating an iOS application. It connects the external and internal interfaces of a mobile app.
  3. Front end. This is the external interface, or the side that users interact with. Front-end development is primarily concerned with design elements. A well-designed external interface enables the application to be displayed properly on screens of any size and orientation.

Languages used for iOS app development

Native development of iPhone and iPad applications involves choosing between two programming languages: Swift or Objective-C.

Programming languages for iOS apps

Swift

Swift is an open compiled programming language created in 2014 to meet modern needs. Its developers took into account the shortcomings of its predecessor, Objective-C, to create a more reliable and easy-to-use language. One particular advantage of Swift is the strict typing of objects, which reduces the volume of code and frequency of errors. This significantly reduces the overall time and cost of creating an iOS application. Today, Swift is considered the most progressive language, both simple to use for beginners and functional for professionals. Here are its advantages:

  1. Easy code readability.
  2. Conciseness, lack of verbosity.
  3. Compilation speed.
  4. Interaction with code in Objective-C that allows for the use of both languages simultaneously.
  5. High security.
  6. Dynamic library support.

Objective-C

Objective-C is a compiled object-oriented language with an impressive history dating back to 1983. At first, it was regarded as an extension to the C language; however, it soon became popular as an independent language. Objective-C is still in use, as large projects that run on it continue to be supported. Furthermore, there are specific tasks that can’t be fulfilled using Swift, and in such cases Objective-C retains the upper hand. Despite this, Objective-C gave way to the newcomer as a result of the following disadvantages:

  • Poor code readability;
  • Low performance;
  • Dynamic typing;
  • Lower security.

C++ is also used in iOS development, but it can’t be used for creating applications on its own. It’s only used to solve logical problems and to write single modules or labour-intensive algorithms.

iOS app development environment

Xcode by Apple is considered the most common integrated development environment for iOS applications. It’s an editor that is equipped with extensive tools for developers. The core of the package is Xcode itself, containing a free set of compilers and most of the Apple developer documentation.

The package also includes Interface Builder, a software for building graphical user interfaces. It makes the layout markup visual: a developer can customise styles, fonts, and more. Interface Builder has emulators of all devices and tools for analysing performance. You can also test your product without leaving Xcode.

Adding an application to the App Store

Adding an application to the App Store isn’t a quick process — moderation typically takes 10–15 business days. Candidates are selected carefully and many are rejected. To be added to the App Store, your application must meet strict requirements. According to Apple’s terms, your application must:

  • Be stable;
  • Use only public APIs;
  • Match its description;
  • Use push notifications correctly;
  • Get user consent prior to determining their location;
  • Be a final version (not an alpha or beta one).

A new application may not be accepted if it contains obvious errors or uses hidden features. It may be rejected if it is considered to be useless, not unique, or if it is just a mobile version of a website.

If you intend to make the application paid, you should take into account that the more expensive it is in the store, the more carefully Apple checks it. According to the requirements for paid products, your application must not:

  • Use mechanisms for selling content, providing services, and expanding features that are different from in-app purchases;
  • Sell real goods or services outside the application through the in-app purchase mechanism;
  • Provide paid access to functions and hardware of a device;
  • Contain links to external websites with their own selling forms;
  • Provide access to new features without App Store mechanisms.

Finally, once the App Store has accepted a functioning application, you shouldn’t try to upload different versions of the same application. This will lead to blocking.

The best applications and games in the App Store

In December 2021, Apple announced the top apps and games of the year as per annual tradition. Some of them made our life more convenient, others added more fun to it, and together they set trends for the rest of the store’s products.

Apps of the year for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch

Toca Life World for iPhone📱
Toca Life World by Toca Boca AB is the best for iPhone in 2021. It’s a game-learning app for children, in whose universe they can create their own world, invent characters, and write their own story. It combines the entire Toca Life series of 11 other apps. Toca Life World is free and is monetised via in-app purchases of locations (over 8 free) and characters (over 39 free).

LumaFusion for iPad💻
LumaFusion by Luma Touch LLC is the best for iPad in 2021. It’s a multi-track video editor with professional features and special effects. LumaFusion costs $29.99 (€35.99) and is additionally monetised via paid access to a full library of music and clips, as well as paid export to Final Cut Pro.

 

CARROT Weather: Alerts & Radar for Apple Watch
CARROT Weather: Alerts & Radar by Grailr LLC is the best for Apple Watch in 2021. It’s a weather app with cool forecasts prepared by a personal bot with 5 characters to choose from. CARROT Weather is free and is monetised via paid subscriptions of 3 levels: Premium, Premium Ultra, Premium Family.

 

Games of the year for iPhone and iPad

League of Legends: Wild Rift for iPhone📱
League of Legends: Wild Rift by Riot Games is the best for iPhone in 2021. It’s a multiplayer online battle arena where 2 teams of 5 players fight. Although the mobile game is considered a shortened version of the desktop LoL, it was created from scratch on the Unity engine. League of Legends: Wild Rift is free and is monetised via in-game purchases of content and game currency, Wild Cores.

MARVEL Future Revolution for iPad💻
MARVEL Future Revolution by Netmarble Corporation is the best for iPad in 2021. It’s an open-world action RPG about superheroes. The plot is based on the Secret Wars comic book series of the Marvel universe. The game was created on the Unreal Engine. MARVEL Future Revolution is free and is monetised via in-game purchases of content and game currency, Crystals.

Ordering an iOS application

A high-quality iOS application will help your company bring joy to existing clients, attract a new audience, and increase brand loyalty. A successful application can not only become a useful advertising tool, but also grow into an independent income-generating business.

How much iOS app development costs

Our qualified team is ready to take on projects of any complexity. We approach each task with skill, competence, and efficiency. We will create a unique business model and a convenient, user-friendly interface in addition to assisting with marketing promotion and placement in the App Store.

Creating an iOS application consists of the following stages:

  1. Writing terms of reference (if you don’t already have them) — from 18 hours.
  2. Business analysis and specification — from 20 hours.
  3. UI and UX design — about 35 hours.
  4. Back-end development — over 40 hours, depending on the required functionality.
  5. Front-end development — over 30 hours.
  6. Testing — about 20 hours, depending on functionality.

Based on this data, the cost of developing an iOS application starts at $20,000. This is the cost of the MVP, and it could be higher depending on the level of the application’s complexity. Please note that after the development is completed, the application must be maintained, and this service isn’t included in the initial development cost.

Polygant has been developing iOS applications for 10 years. Each project is unique, because we work from the wishes of customers and adapt to the activity specifics. Submit a request, and after a detailed consultation, we will get started on your project!

Your Message has been succesfully sent. We will contact you soon!