What you need to know about iOS app development: A step-by-step guide

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Whether you want to build an app for business or personal purposes, the iOS app development process can sometimes feel complicated.

Fortunately, you can use a mobile app development service to streamline the process. Further, this step-by-step guide will provide more detailed information about what you need to know and do to develop an iOS app.

1. Decide on What App to Make

Brainstorming ideas for your app is the first step in the development process. Think about what problem you are trying to solve and decide on a concept that has potential. For example, Cash Readerhelps visually challenged individuals identify paper currencies.

Either way, consider user needs, testing feasibility, and cost-effectiveness when choosing your concept.

You should also determine the following:

  • Team. Do you need a development partner or a team to help with the project? Should you outsource some of the tasks or keep everything in-house?

  • Budget. How much money do you have available for iOS app development? Usually, you spend more money as you go along, so make sure to budget properly.

  • Technology. What technologies do you need for the app? Do you have to purchase licenses or can you use open-source solutions?

  • Timeframe. When do you like to publish or sell the app? On average, you need at least 3 months for a basic app.

2. Understand the Basics

You should know a few basics if you’re looking to get into iOS app development. For starters, you’ll need to decide which programming language you want to use.

The three most popular languages for iOS development are Objective-C, Xcode, and Swift.

  • Objective-C is the older language, but it is still widely used.
  • Swift was introduced in 2014 as a more modern and accessible approach to app development.
  • Xcode is an integrated development environment that you can use with either language.

Objective-C and Swift are both Objective-C derivatives. They share many similarities, but Swift is more concise and easier to learn. Xcode supports both languages.

Once you’ve chosen a language, you’ll need to learn the basic syntax and how to use the latest SDKs, which are software development kits that Apple provides for you to use when creating iOS apps.

You can get them from the Apple Developer website or from third-party websites.

Finally, learn the design principles and guidelines. Designing for iOS is different than designing for other platforms because of Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG).

This document outlines the design principles and guidelines that all apps must follow if they want to be approved by Apple and listed in the App Store.

These guidelines include topics such as how to design an app’s navigation, how to use colors and fonts, and how to create a user interface that is intuitive and easy to use.

It’s important to understand the basics of these guidelines to create a successful iOS app.

3. Design Your App

After understanding the basics of iOS development, it’s time to start designing your app.

Before writing any code, create a prototype that you can use to test the app’s features and user interface. It will help you identify any potential flaws or issues before you put too much work into coding the app.

You’ll also need to plan out the structure of your app and the way users will navigate through it. Decide what type of content you want to display, such as text, images, or videos. Further, consider what type of data you will need to store, such as user accounts or preferences.

4. Build Your App

Once you have a clear idea of how your app should look and function, you can build it.

You’ll need to write code that follows the principles of your chosen language and comply with Apple’s design guidelines. Xcode can help you write the code and create a working app prototype.

You should also use testing tools such as Apple’s TestFlight to ensure that your app functions correctly on different devices and in different environments. It will help you identify any potential bugs before submitting your app to the App Store.

Alternatively, many software development teams offer testing and quality control services. These services can help you find and fix any issues more quickly because they have more experienced testers on staff and expertise.

5. Submit Your App

Once you’ve tested your app and made sure it functions as expected, you can submit it to the App Store.

You’ll need to fill out a submission form on the Apple Developer website and attach screenshots and other supporting materials for review. Apple might take a few days or weeks to review your app, so be patient.

Once it’s approved, you can begin advertising and selling your app on the App Store. On the other hand, Apple may reject your app for various reasons, such as not following the design principles or having too many bugs. Apple will give you feedback on what you should change or improve before you can submit it again.


Developing an iOS app is a complex process that requires time, dedication, and good planning. This concise guide should help you start your journey and understand the basics of iOS development.

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