My First iPhone Application

I started out with iPhone Development for Dummies and after reading half of it, I realize I did feel like a dummy, and moved on to the Apple documentations online, as a few people recommended. After digging through text after text of Objective-C documentations, I decided to look up a trusty Peachpit Press visual quickstart guide book. Those books, I could never go wrong.. that’s how I started out learning my HTML, CSS, XHTML, Javascript, PHP and PERL, without having to read much or read the book from left to right. It has screenshots of the code and screenshots of what the output looks like. Absolutely awesome. In a book store, you can easily identify those books by its bright colors, (two colors and a running rabbit in between).

I found a visual quickstart guide on iPhone SDK published late 2009, bought a copy (I recommend searching inventory 1st because they are really limited in-stores, and often sold out online). I read/skimmed through a portion of the book, following their examples, to get a grasp of the language and features, and then used the book as reference (like documentation); that’s what’s great about these books. I also discovered that what the Dummies book explained in half the book, was explained in the 1st two pages of the visual quickstart guide. The guide also has TONS of different examples to play with, verses only about 2-3 applications the Dummies book revolved around.

The Objective-C language itself was at first really hard to get my mind used to because it’s very unusual. Even my former co-workers going through reading the documentations and just decided to not bother because it appeared to be too complicated. Eventually I got used to it, thanks to the Peachpit book, which made it MUCH easier. To give you a general idea, [propertyClassHere propertyValue] e.g. [UIColor black]. You also have to take into consideration of memory management.. when you create an object, you have to alloc and then release it RIGHT after you’re done with it. UILabel objectName =? [UILabel alloc] … [release objectName]. But you don’t have to worry about array memory like other languages and guessing how much space is needed and updated. Objective-C also a strong type language, so you have to define the datatype and cast them if you want to convert.

As for the iPhone app I created, my website is called Bizarre, so my iPhone app theme is “bizarre.” I created something like the more like familiar childhood toy Magic 8 Ball… except it doesn’t look anything like it, is called BizarreAnswers; you ask a question and tap for a bizarre answer. I’m expected to launch it sometime this year for free, supported by Ads. So be on a look out. Subscribe to this blog via rss feed. Check out Bizarre and follow on twitter http://www.twitter.com/bizarreXpress. So far I only tested it on the simulator. I’m hoping to create a few more apps before I invest that $99/yr iPhone Developers’ program fee and release this app. Then I’ll try it on my old 2nd generation iPod Touch and hopefully be able to borrow someone’s newer phones. Hopefully the Ads would help fund this and my other projects.

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