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29 iOS Development Tips From the Experts

May 30, 2019

Whether you’re new to programming or have years of experience, there’s always something more to learn.

There are over 2.2 million iOS apps in the App Store, and that number is expected to grow considerably over the next few years. Want to join the party?

Best iOS development tips

We asked 8 pros for their advice when it comes to iOS app development. From ideation to post-launch, they had an answer for everything about building for this mobile operating system. Let’s dig in!

1. Before you write a line of code do your research. Find some of the people who you think will use the app and talk to them to make sure your app idea is one that solves their most important problems.

2. Keep it simple. Think of the simplest version of the product that you can build and launch that meets the biggest needs of your users. This is often called a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

3. Developing an app is not about a perfect 1.0 version. It's a continual process of shipping, listening to customers, adding the next most important feature, and then releasing an update. To support this, make it really easy for customers to send you feedback.

4. If you choose to hire an iOS development firm, make sure you communicate with the developer on a daily basis on progress. Prioritize all of the things that need to get done, communicate these priorities clearly to the developer, and make sure they get properly finished before moving on to the next item in the list.

TIP: See the top iOS Developers, ranked by real people that have used their services.

Find the highest-rated iOS Developers →

5. Don't forget to market your app. ‘If you build it, they will come’ is not a viable strategy. Think about how you are going to tell people about your product long before you launch.

6. Build a great app. The standard on iOS is very high. Users have high expectations of easy-to-use apps with attention to detail in the design and interactions. Apple makes this easy to do if you follow their guidelines and use their frameworks.

- David Brittain, Co-founder of TopHatch, Developer of Concepts

7. Apple also does a much more rigorous quality control than Google Play for Android app development. Accordingly, I would recommend thoroughly testing your new app before submitting it to Apple for the app store. This includes testing on a variety of devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

8. Learn various methods for making their code more efficient, like object pooling or compressing graphics or sound. Try not to use more CPU or memory than absolutely necessary. Nothing is worse for a new user of your app than having the app crash or act sluggish.

9.Be aware of intellectual property, regardless of whether they are developing for iOS or Android. Be aware of how to license images, music, and sound effects for your app.

- John Sepúlveda, Developer at Illusion12x Games

iOS app development tip 10

10. Make use of storyboarding. This is a great way for developers to gain an understanding of how the transitions between various screens will work. Storyboarding also allows developers to realize what goals they want the app to achieve.

11. Understand the fundamentals. Take the time to dive into the algorithms, data structures, inheritance, and polymorphism. Software fundamentals carry over from platform to platform, language to language, library to library.

- Aleksandr Sharaev, Director of Engineering at Clearbridge Mobile

12. Learn the hotkeys. No matter what tool you use, once you start using it, you are going to save so much time. Everything has shortcuts, including XCode.

13. Cocoapods is your friend. Cocoapods is a great package manager for iOS that allows you to plug existing libraries to extend your app. Most of the pods even come with an example. (Apparently, it’s everyone’s friend because it’s rated 4.4 stars out of 5 on G2!)

Browse CocoaPods user reviews →

14. Use crash reporting from the start. Most crash reporting services are free (Firebase Crashlytics, Visual Studio App Center, etc) and the sooner you have it in the app the better for you and your users.

15. A new language can be overwhelming. Find a cheat sheet and print it out to have it on hand.

16. Start using Git early. Git would give you a huge benefit - you will be able to rollback if you break something.

17. Invest time to really learn. Sometimes at the beginning of a career, we rush to get things done.

18. Ask questions! Some questions we believe are silly are not silly at all.

- Alex Sorokoletov, Co-founder of DreamTeam Mobile

19. Devote additional attention to your user interface and the various functions of your app. In other words, be user-friendly. It is wise to avoid difficult menus and a high level of complexity.

20. Test and retest your app before submitting to the App Store. This way you’ll catch and remove any bugs or errors before which might cost you first position.

- Ollie Smith, CEO of ExpertSure

21. Take risks and spend the money. We invested in sales, for one. We have plenty of inbound marketing material, but we had never ‘knocked on doors’ distributing that material.

ios development tip 22

22. Participate in a hackathon. It’s a great exercise in innovation and creativity. Teams have access to the newest platforms and try to build proofs of concept utilizing the latest technologies.

- Andrew Greenstein, CEO of SF AppWorks

23. Beginner coders who apply what they learn in small-scale iOS projects are the most successful learners. Don't try to build the next Facebook app as a first project, though!

24. Should you learn Swift or Objective-C? I recommend new coders to learn Swift, because it's easier and more intuitive compared to Objective-C.

25. It's smart to start with fundamental iOS development topics, such as variables, functions, object-oriented programming, arrays, and dictionaries.

26. A great first project is building a Contact Info app, with a table view controller and detail view controller that has more information. If you spend an hour a day, or a few hours a week, and if you're having fun – you'll master iOS development in no time.

- Reinder de Vries, Senior iOS developer at LearnAppMaking

27. If you’re building an app that you plan to bring to market for your product or service, avoid third-party libraries like the plague. While they may save time in the development stage, it will cost you later when your app or feature stops working because the library changed or is no longer supported for the latest hardware or software update.

- Diane Hamilton, Cofounder & Managing Partner of Binary Formations

28. Don't underestimate the power of animations even if your app is an enterprise app. Smooth and simple animations make a huge difference in the overall UX of the app.

29. Crashes are a big NO. Make sure you integrate a crash reporting tool like Fabric to immediately notify you in case there are any.

- Abdul Aleem, Engineering Director Mobile Apps Division, Folio3 Software Inc

Beginner’s luck? Try again.

Practice makes perfect. There is a lot to take in at first. Don’t worry! If you’re having second thoughts, check out these app statistics and trends for 2019 that will have you reinspired in no time.

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