Where to start learning iPhone development

Apprentice
Posts: 13
Joined: 2008.08
Post: #1
Hello,

Please dont flame me if this is in the wrong place - it's been a really long day for me! Blush

I'm primarily a PC user - at least, I was until today. A few weeks back I got myself my very first iPhone and started pulling down bits from the app store which I liked. A couple of days ago, I decided that I wanted to start writing my own apps for iPhone and finally this morning, I decided to commit to the idea - and bought myself an iMac.

My question (after all that waffling) is : where is a good place to start with iPhone development. I've installed the SDK from Apple (very nice!) and I know roughly that its based around Cocoa and Objectice-C - but there are few resources for Objective-C in the form of books. I have a reasonable programming background which includes (but is not limited to) : AMOS (back in Amiga days), PHP, VBScript, a little bit of Javascript, lots of HTML, CSS and XML - and various other bits and pieces.

Would I be right in assuming that learning plain old C would be a good place to start? Followed by Objective-C?

Also, are there any good books / resources on the topics which i'd need to cover. I'm so convinced this is the path I should be following, im willing to invest everything I have into following it.

Any help or guidance is greatly appreciated,
JT
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Moderator
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Post: #2
JonnyThunder Wrote:Would I be right in assuming that learning plain old C would be a good place to start? Followed by Objective-C?

Yes. I can recommend Learn C on the Mac as a great place to start.

It'll be a long road starting from scratch, learning C, then Objective-C plus Cocoa to get to the iPhone, so you'll need lots of tenacity and patience. All the best of luck to you! Grin
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Member
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Post: #3
I'm not sure if iPhone support is complete yet, but by the time you've competently learned all the nuances of Unity, it certainly should be.

Torque game engine will also be iPhone savvy, but that seems like a long hard road through C++ to get anything effective out of it.

The idevgames front page also mentions Tilestack, which I've been waiting for a beta of for like a year.

I expect an iphone games book within a year, just because it seems like it would be easy money for anyone bothering to write and publish such a tome.

BTW, there's a job opening for a iPhone game developer for a studio moving some offices from Otttawa to Denver, job was posted this morning on Colorado Game Dev discussion list.
Just in case anyone is looking for a job making iPhone games.
Contact the executive producer of Fuel Industries: brobbins at fuelindustries.com
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Apprentice
Posts: 13
Joined: 2008.08
Post: #4
Thanks for the replies. I'm actually more interested at this point, in writing applications for the iPhone. I realise this is a game development site, but as this is a fundamental question - any help is wonderful.

I've bought the book mentioned above, and because i'm REALLY stubborn - I WILL be programming competently on an iPhone within the next 3 months!

If anyone else has other suggestions on topics I can cover which will fasttrak me towards my goal, i'd love to hear them.

Thanks again,
JT
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Moderator
Posts: 613
Joined: 2004.09
Post: #5
3 months is a completely reasonable goal for getting into iPhone development. Just remember to take it one step at a time.

Once you get C down pretty well you can move onto Obj-C & Cocoa, I recommend http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321503619

Don't hesitate to post any questions that you have along the way here.

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Moderator
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Post: #6
JonnyThunder Wrote:I'm actually more interested at this point, in writing applications for the iPhone.

Everything we've suggested so far is completely geared toward getting you to iPhone game development as quickly as possible, but it is equally applicable to applications. Definitely not trying to suggest you slow down and smell the roses along the way! Wink

There are, however, significantly complex things for you to learn along the way. The first step is C. Then Objective-C with Cocoa. Kodex's book suggestion is about the best there is for Cocoa. You will notice that it isn't about programming the iPhone. The reason that is, is because no one can publish about programming for the iPhone because of a restrictive NDA from Apple.

It is a LOT harder to do than you think. I'm not going to say it can't be done in three months, but to be honest, that's a mighty steep goal in the current NDA atmosphere.
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Apprentice
Posts: 13
Joined: 2008.08
Post: #7
I'm gonna push all my resources and time into this. Until saturday, I'd never used a mac (in my life). Today, I'm writing this post with xcode and "Learn C on Macintosh" in the background.

Thanks for all your posts - I think this is gonna be my regular spot!

Wink

EDIT: Im half way through learning C from the book mentioned above. It's been along day! Grin
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Post: #8
JonnyThunder Wrote:EDIT: Im half way through learning C from the book mentioned above. It's been along day! Grin

Make sure you are practicing what you are reading as well. Once you use it a few times it becomes much easier to remember. Give yourself little challenges while you are going through it like have the user enter 2 numbers and return the sum.

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Apprentice
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Joined: 2008.08
Post: #9
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm actually keeping a library of examples i've written for later reference (complete with commenting). So far, apart from some structural differences with declarations - it's not too dissimilar to PHP. Harder than PHP i'd say, but not as impossible as i'd originally thought! Smile
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Member
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Post: #10
The iPhone Developers Cookbook is available at Amazon.

Enjoy.
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Post: #11
igame3d Wrote:The iPhone Developers Cookbook is available at Amazon.

Enjoy.

This book along with all the other iPhone books is available in preorder only and will not ship until Apple has lifted the NDA

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Member
Posts: 185
Joined: 2005.02
Post: #12
kodex Wrote:This book along with all the other iPhone books is available in preorder only and will not ship until Apple has lifted the NDA

Yeah, I was wondering how anyone could write books about using the iPhone SDK when we aren't allowed to talk about it. Why is it that the NDA is still in place, again?
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Apprentice
Posts: 13
Joined: 2008.08
Post: #13
Well, since writing this original post - I've been through a 'learn C' type book, through Apples documentation on Objective-C and am currently working my way through Aaron Hillegass book "Cocoa programming for Mac OS X".

It's tougher than I thought, but i'm finally managing to write some small scripts in Obj-C for the first time. It's gonna take a while to orient myself to the object oriented style but I'm enjoying it!

I posted last on 10th August with a 3 month deadline to be writing iPhone stuff, so i'm happy with my progress (despite people on other forums making me feel like an idiot with simple mistakes in scripts) Blink
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Nibbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009.10
Post: #14
Hey JohnnyThunder,

We are few and thin on the ground, iPhone SDK Developers in Aberdeen (Scotland). I've just come across your post and hope you are 'getting there'. I found two publications useful 'Programming in Objective C - by Stephen Kochan' who suggests that experience in a procedural version of C could constrain understanding of object design concepts, consequently he assumes no prior knowlege of C at all. Also 'iPhone Application Development for Dummies' by Neal Goldstein has proved a useful introduction for me but it does seem to be a longer road than I thought. Both publications are available on Amazon.

My aim is to have one app on iTunes by Xmas followed by others in the first quarter of next year. This first one however will use a design pattern which will be used by the others, is proving difficult which is why around 3 months - similar to your own deadline - is a reasonable learning period. If its not ready by then, so what, I'll get there eventually.

Good luck.
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