The Ultimate Guide to the Development of iOS and iPhone Apps
The iOS Application Development Landscape
Apple’s iOS mobile operating system is popular with both users and developers. If you are project manager or a business professional in need of an app, it can be hard finding the right resources. This guide will show you all your development options as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
The fundamental driver of iOS application development continues to be the business value of such investment. The iOS platform remains one of the two leading mobile operating systems not just in the U.S. and Europe, but globally. This is good news for iOS development in light of the continuing growth in mobile phone use.
While it plays the second fiddle to Google’s Android operating system in terms of number of users, iOS is still the second biggest mobile platform. It has proven to have a staying power higher than other mobile operating systems. For example, Apple’s share of the market is much higher than that of Microsoft, whose Windows operating system has failed to make headway on mobile. The duopoly of iOS and Android creates a high demand for the two leading mobile operating systems.
What Technologies Are Used in iOS Programming
Developing for the iPhone involves an entire ecosystem of technology. This begins with the choice of programming language used and extends to development tools.
This it the traditional language for all iOS and Apple-related programming the Apple iOS developer uses frequently. Objective-C is distinguished from other programming languages due to its low-level features and support for objects. Objective-C uses static typing and message typing that resembles that used in the much older Smalltalk programming language. Due to its position as the historical iOS programming language, many important iOS frameworks and libraries still rely on Objective-C.
Swift Programming Language
Swift was introduced by Apple in 2014 as the future of iOS programming. Since then, the community has adopted the language for all tasks where iOS application development is needed. It has some advantages over Objective-C due to its simpler syntax. Swift also brings simplicity to app programming at a conceptual level. It uses smart type inference and other features that make the programmer’s job easier.
XCode is indispensable for iOS development. This integrated development environment handles coding, compiling, and building iOS apps from source code. It also integrates additional features such as code testing, user interface design, and device emulators.
Indispensable for creating apps that look good, Cocoa Touch is a mobile UI framework for iOS. Designers and developers can use it to create interfaces for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, as well as AppleTV.
App Development Solutions
Just as there are multiple programming languages you can use to develop iOS apps, there are multiple development solutions as well. Generally, these fall into four broad categories.
The first solution is to do it yourself inside your business. If you have a large I.T. staff, there may be programmers who have experience with iOS and can lead the app development effort. Alternatively, you may look outside the organization for help. Here are the best solutions for getting external help.
Outstaffing for iOS App Development
Outstaffing involves building a complete dedicated team that works on your project remotely. With outstaffing, you control the process much like you would with in-house employees. Outstaffing agencies help solve the talent search problem by providing you a team of experts ready to complete the work you need done. For many projects, outstaffing is the most profitable development option. This is because it lowers development costs while allowing to maintain a very high product quality.
Outsourcing to a Programming Studio
Another alternative is to outsource app development entirely to an external programming studio. Since you are trusting the entire process to an outside entity, you will likely have to conduct more vetting to be sure the studio can deliver a quality product. Still, this approach is popular because you can offload some of the management responsibilities.
Working with Freelancers
Yet another option for iOS app development is to work directly with individual freelancers. This is an attractive solution for very small projects that do not justify having an entire team to do the work.
Examples of Successful iOS Projects
Determining if developing an iOS app is right for you can be a hard task. There are so many business issues to consider. At the minimum, an app gives you another outlet to potential customers or for interaction with business stakeholders. This group includes clients, employees, and investors.
In addition, there are numerous examples of businesses that have successfully developed iOS apps. The examples indicate that an app can be a viable business proposition regardless of iOS app development company size or industry. Below, we explore some of the businesses that have deployed successful projects on iOS.
- WhatsApp – This popular messaging app has been a hit on the iOS platform. This led to Facebook acquiring the startup for $19 billion in 2014. Whatsapp is a good example of an app that addresses a clear need (easy communication) for its target market.
- AngryBirds – This app proved one of the most popular apps to be released on the iOS App Store. It tapped into the large casual gaming market to drive big download numbers.
- Instagram – This photo-sharing app spawned off a high number of imitators. Instagram continues to define trends in the social media space but started out as an exclusively iOS app.
Beyond startups, there are many enterprise and B2B apps that have been very successful on iOS. Here are some of the leading ones to emulate.
- Microsoft Teams – One of the leading business apps on the App Store, Microsoft Teams lets business teams communicate and work together on iOS.
- Salesforce – This customer relationship management iOS app development company has taken its enterprise product successfully to the iOS platform. Business users can log on and access essential business data from the company’s mobile apps.
- VMWare Horizon Client – This app lets users access VMWare’s market-leading virtualization functionality on the go, from their iPhones and other mobile devices.
Benefits of Hiring iOS Developers
Now that we’ve looked at some successful app examples, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to hire iOS developer. The answer is that there are many advantages to hire iOS developer.
iOS Developers Are Highly Productive
The iOS application development stack makes developers highly productive. This is of particular importance when comparing iOS with Android development. On Android, for example, where Java rules, developers often complain of overly complicated coding conventions. In contrast, remote iOS developer, who rely on Swift or Objective-C, is able to solve technical problems quickly. The result is that your remote iOS developer are likely to be just as productive as, if not more than, developers using any other stack.
Remote iOS Developers Can Help Your Business Get Closer to Customers
Another key benefit to hire iOS developer lies in the usage of apps to promote your business. Having your own app can deepen your customers’ connections to your brand. For example, if you are a real estate business, your developers can create an app that lets clients inspect your inventory from their mobile phones. This can give you an advantage over other realtors who do not have a mobile app for clients. Over time, improved customer relationships can be very valuable for your brand.
Apple iOS Developer for Hire: Skills and Capabilities
When looking for an Apple iOS developer for hire, there are core skills you should be looking for. The best developers in the market will have several years of experience coding iOS applications. In addition, they will be experts at wielding core programming libraries and the languages in which iOS apps are developed.
The SDK is important for developers to understand since it defines the backbone of an iOS application. The candidates you consider for any iPhone development role have to be adept at using the mobile operating system’s software development kit. This involves understanding how to pass data between different layers of an app.
Swift and Objective-C Programming
Developers for the iOS platform need to be skilled at one or both of the main languages used for iOS development. What you will typically find is that older candidates who have many years’ experience coding iOS apps are likely to have knowledge of Objective-C. In contrast, candidates who have entered the field in recent years might only know Swift. That said, a good number of older candidates have learned Swift. Likewise, many younger candidates have made an effort to learn the older Objective-C programming language. A good number of programmers, however, have chosen to stick with just one or the other of the two.
REST and Backend Integration
Mobile apps frequently require integration with a server backend. This creates the need for developers who can tie in mobile app code into the functionality of a remote server. As a result, your developers must be skilled at REST and potentially SOAP-based web services as well. They will need to be able to work with JSON-encoded data and, where necessary, integrate with external application programming interfaces (APIs).
Tricks to Hire iOS Developer
To help you to select and find iOS developer for your iPhone or iPad apps, there are some tips that will come in handy. For example, you should plan to spend a good amount of time on the process to find and hire iOS developer. If you are happy to work with a local developer, you can procure the services of a talent recruiter. Many businesses have found success looking beyond their immediate vicinity. This is because programmers around the world may, sometimes, offer better value. In some cases, these developers will be more skilled than developers close to home.
Cost Differences Around the World Affect Development Choice
Variations in remote iOS developer cost levels around the world have an effect on costs for iOS app development as well. This is an area you will need to take into account for any app development you may wish to conduct using a global sourcing model.
For example, remote iOS developer cost for technology talent in Silicon Valley or London are among the highest in the world. Unless you need niche skills that are only available in these areas, it might be better to look elsewhere for app programmers.
Being aware of price differences and variations in the cost of living can help you make optimal development choices. If your iOS app development company is a small startup with a small development budget, you could benefit from sourcing iOS talent from regions of the world where costs are lower.
The Rise of Eastern Europe and Asia as Tech Centers
Two of the best regions for outsourcing iOS programming and other technical work are Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. The two share commonalities such as highly skilled work forces, but there are important distinctions as well.
Eastern Europe has a big advantage for clients from Western Europe or North America due to shared cultural values. This is reflected in the close affinity between countries in Eastern Europe such as Poland and Ukraine with others in different parts of the European Union.
Working with Ukrainian or Polish development teams will, thus, be easier to navigate for many Western clients. Communication tends to be clearer since cultural norms are much the same in such arrangements. Likewise, language differences are less pronounced. Many Eastern Europeans speak English, French, or the language of choice of their Western clients, making business dealings easy to facilitate.
Balancing Cost with Product Quality
Besides taking the dollar cost of development into account, you should also assess the quality of app development you are likely to get. The cheapest app developers are not always the best ones. Indeed, in some cases, hiring the cheapest development firm can leave you with a shoddy product that has to be reworked. In the end, you will spend more time waiting for bugs to be fixed. You may lose business or clients as a result of these development bugs.
A good approach balances cost against code quality. You may not be sure how to assess code quality, but there are multiple ways to determine this. For example, you could look at talent rankings from assessments such as the HackerRank Country Rankings. This assessment helps shed a light on how programmers in different countries fare on common skill tests, on average. This can give you a statistically valid estimate of the quality of code you might be able to obtain from working with developers in a particular country.
According to HackerRank’s testing of developers around the world, some of the best developers can be found in parts of Eastern Europe and Asia. In its tests, Polish and Czech Republic developers performed exceptionally well, as did Ukrainian developers. They ranked well ahead of developers from North American countries such as Canada and the US.
Comparison of Remote iOS Developer for Hire in Ukraine and Whole World
Ukrainian developers, in particular, are some of the most highly skilled in the world. In addition, working with Ukrainian developers typically results in cost-savings for Western businesses. Recent momentum in the Ukrainian technology ecosystem make it a great setting for sourcing talent for not only iOS, but other types of software development as well.
Well-Educated Developers in Ukraine
Ukraine enjoys very high education levels, with some of the highest literacy rates in the world. At the university level, many of the country’s students study hard sciences and mathematics. This reflects well in the software development occupation, where many programmers have studied science subjects. At a time when Western Nations are lamenting the shortage of STEM (science, technology and mathematics) talent, countries like Ukraine are ahead of the curve.
If you have highly technical work that needs a well-trained development team, Ukraine’s talented developers can be an invaluable asset. For instance, this will be valuable for apps of a mathematical or engineering nature.
Compared to other regions of the world, the level of education in the developer community in Ukraine is outstanding. It results in developers who hold degrees in some of the most intellectually challenging fields. The years they spend in university prepares them to contribute immense value to highly complex work and projects. As a result, they compare very well to developers in Western tech centers such as Silicon Valley or London. In fact, Ukrainian developers are sometimes able to accomplish superior results than teams in Silicon Valley.
Ukraine Development iOS Developer Cost Savings
Another significant advantage of working with Ukrainian developers is the potential for big iOS developer cost savings. Unlike tech centers in the West, developer salaries in Ukraine are much more affordable for businesses in need of essential tech talent.
Cost of Living is Lower
One of the driving factors for lower hiring costs in Ukraine is that the cost of living is lower than in most parts of the West. For example, renting a 1 bedroom apartment in London costs around $2,116. In Toronto, Canada, the Apple iOS developer cost is around $1,409, based on data from Numbeo. For Washington DC in the US, that Apple iOS developer cost rises to $2,121. In Paris, the remote iOS developer cost is $1,334. Contrast this with Kiev, Ukraine, where the cost would be around $442.19.
As you can see, Ukrainian developers face lower living costs. This directly affects a iOS app development company’s labor costs when looking to outsource work around the world. In particular, locating development work in Ukraine will be much more competitive than Western technology centers.
You Can Fill Open Positions More Quickly
Another advantage of sourcing talent for iOS application development from Ukraine is that you can find iOS developer for your team much faster than in the West. Due to the highly competitive nature of the labor market in the West, it can take months to fill talent requirements for iOS developers. The labor market in Ukraine is substantially better. When you work with a Ukraine outstaffing agency or hire iOS developer directly, you can have a team ready within a mere couple of weeks. If you talk to the right team and have a match with your needs, you can find iOS developer within days.
Ukraine Talent Lets You Expand Project Scope
Since talent remote iOS developer costs is lower in Ukraine than in many Western capitals, this allows you to expand the scope of your iOS projects. This means you can focus on improving the final product in various ways, for example
- Including more features to address more of your customers’ needs
- Hiring more graphic design talent to get a better looking product
- Adding unique product upgrades you might not have been able to afford
These possibilities are all available thanks to the flexibility you obtain by working with Ukrainian professionals.
A Highly Developed Tech Ecosystem Offers World-Leading Skills
Ukraine offers an advanced technology ecosystem not always available in other regions of the world. This is, in fact, one of its biggest advantages. Ukrainian cities like Kiev and Kharkiv have very highly sophisticated tech ecosystems. A good amount of VCs are active in the Ukrainian ecosystem. Many large technology companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung, and IBM have R&D centers in Ukraine. What this means is that new technology and ideas spread in the Ukrainian ecosystem before they become commonplace elsewhere. The large research centers in the country help spread cutting edge technologies throughout the Ukrainian tech community.
Cost of an Apple iOS Developer for Hire by Experience Level
Like with many other technology skills, the remote iOS developer cost of hiring largely depends on experience. Entry level iOS developers tend to have the least experience and, thus, Apple iOS developer cost the least. On the other hand, assembling a team of veterans will require a bigger budget.
Junior iOS Developers
Junior developers will typically have implemented few iOS projects. Even at this experience level, however, you may request to see live apps in the Apple App Store that the junior iOS developer has worked on. A sample resume or CV for a junior iOS developer is listed below, indicating the type of experience which would help to make a positive hiring assessment.
Mid-Level iOS Developers
Mid-level iOS developers have anywhere from 3 years to 7 years of experience on the job. They have learned to solve all common problems and to implement robust app designs into defect-free code. A mid-level developer’s sample looks as below.
Senior iOS Developers
Senior developers will typically have handled a variety of responsibilities, including leading teams and technical departments. They can oversee the entire development process and keep teams on track to achieve development goals.
Apple iOS Developer Cost Around the World
Below, we compare the cost of hiring an Apple iOS developer in different countries around the world.
|Junior iOS Developer Salary||$67,407||$51,000||$7,656||$26,886|
|Mid-Level iOS Developer Salary||$97,293||$60,273||$21,600||$44,810|
|Senior iOS Developer Salary||$131,124||$71,864||$36,000||$71,696|
As you can see, there is immense variability in the prevailing salary rates from junior to senior iOS developer across countries. Even within the same country, the salary rates can vary widely. This is primarily due to differences in experience levels. However, from country to country, we observe big differences in salary rates as well, with the highest salaries in the sample of countries above observed in the US. What this means is that it pays to look abroad to countries like Ukraine which have managed to achieve some of the most competitive rates for hiring talent. In particular, hiring remote iOS developers in Ukraine, even the most expensive ones like senior iOS developer, makes a lot of economic sense for the business looking to gain an advantage.
Should You Use Swift Programming Language for Your Apps
Nowadays, Swift along with the position of a Swift iOS developer have become a popular choice for developing iOS apps. Not only do experienced Apple iOS developer likes it, but the language is loved even by newcomers to iOS development.
Advantages of Swift
The first big advantage of using Swift iOS developer enjoys is its conventional, C-inspired, syntax. This is a notable departure from the Objective-C programming language, which had a very unusual syntax. By copying the syntax of the widely used C programming language, Swift presents itself in a way that the typical programmer can understand.
While Objective-C programmers might still prefer the unique syntax of their programming language, for many programmers Swift is much more palatable. If you have to maintain mobile apps long into the future, it’s more likely Swift will give you higher chances to find iOS developer at least familiar with the language.
Swift comes with helpful programming abstractions to enable high-level programmatic thinking while delegating the lower level thinking to the language developers. This makes it easy, for example, to create type-safe code that does not throw dangerous programming exceptions. Programmers appreciate these helpful features of the language.
Frequently Asked Questions to Swift iOS Developer
Many project managers and even iOS developers have doubts about if the Swift programming language is right for their situation. Below, we address some of the most commonly asked questions to Swift iOS developer.
Q. What are the advantages of using Swift over Objective-C?
This is a Quora question that reflects developers’ concerns over which choice of language gives them the most advantages. There are several points in favor of Swift. The first being the ability to quickly produce code that is free of bugs and is very readable. Swift allows type inference, a feature of the programming language that makes it less verbose. As a result, it’s somewhat faster to write Swift code than Objective-C code, though that depends on the developer’s expertise.
Q. What will it mean in practice that Swift is open source?
Apple made Swift Open Source in 2015 making it much easier for every Apple iOS developer. Since then, a vibrant open source community has built up around the programming language. This had a few advantages. For example, outsiders could submit bug fixes or feature requests for the language. Another advantage is that the evolution of the language would be more in line with what a broader cross-section of users really want. Open sourcing the language means no need to pay license fees for using the language or building innovations on top of it.
Q. Is Swift the mobile coding language of the future?
Despite being an older language, Objective-C is still very actively used in the iOS community. There are cases where your team might have no choice but to work with Objective-C. For instance, if you have legacy apps that need supporting, it might not be economical to do a full rewrite in Swift. Because of time and Apple iOS developer cost considerations, you might just hire iOS developer or some Objective-C programmer to maintain and update legacy iOS apps developed in Objective-C. Below, we look at some questions people have raised about Objective-C on Quora.
Using Objective-C for iOS Development
Q. What are the theoretical and practical weaknesses of Objective-C?
Q. Why is Objective-C more object-oriented than C++?
Both Objective-C and C++ are supersets of the C programming language. In other words, an Objective-C and C++ compilers can be used to compile C programs. In practice, this can be harder to do with a C++ compiler due to incompatibilities between C++ and C. Both languages, however, add object-orientation features on top of a C-like layer.
How to Hire an Objective-C Programmer
There are many avenues for hiring an Objective-C programmer. For example, you can post to online job boards as well as make use of the services of a tech recruiter to find candidates for you. However, if you are willing to work with remote developers, you can often find better and more cost-effective talent.
Locating Outstaffing Agencies for Objective-C
You can find outstaffing agencies through the internet on platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter. The best outstaffing agencies to hire iOS developer for Objective-C and iOS development tend to be located in top-rated technology centers. These include Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Poland, Czech Republic, and parts of Asia. You may also ask for recommendations from business colleagues who’ve had success working with outstaffing agencies in the past.
How to Interview Remote iOS Developer
Once you have identified a suitable remote developer for your project, you will need to conduct incisive interviews. You should make sure to look at past apps as part of the interview process. This will give you a good sense of the quality of work that the remote developers can accomplish. You may also ask iOS programming questions to the technical team, in case you will be hiring a development agency to do the work.
While many new projects in the iOS community use exclusively Swift, the reality is that there are still cases where using Objective-C makes more sense. Your choice of iOS programming language, therefore, will depend on your goals.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Objective-C
While many new projects in the iOS community use exclusively Swift, the reality is that there are still cases where using Objective-C makes more sense. Your choice of iOS programming language, therefore, will depend on your goals.
The longevity of Objective-C in the iOS apps market continues due to its strengths as a programming language. Some of it biggest strengths include interoperability with C and C++. This helps developers easily make use of systems libraries and other utilities written in these relatively low-level programming languages.
In addition, Objective-C has a huge amount of existing libraries and utilities for just about any function imaginable in iOS programming. This makes it especially easy to find libraries to support functionality for your apps.
Finally, you may choose Objective-C due to it being a highly popular legacy language. If you are updating iOS apps with new features, for example, you might be working with apps written in this older programming language. In such cases, it might be easier to use Objective-C rather than to start using Swift in the code. However, this is down to your preference.
Weaknesses of Objective-C
Despite its strengths as a programming language, Objective-C has a few weaknesses. The first is the relative lack of modern features in the language. Unlike Swift, which has borrowed features from cutting edge languages such as Rust and Haskell, Objective-C is much more crusty. Its main influences appear to be Smalltalk and C. It therefore misses helpful ideas found in a variety of other modern programming languages.
In addition, the Objective-C community has not grown far beyond people interested in developing for the Mac or iOS operating systems. Objective-C did not embrace the open-source community in a way that other languages, such as Java and Swift, have done. Its community, therefore, is less broad than it might be if the language was open source.
iOS Development Using XCode
XCode is an integrated development environment for developing software for Apple operating systems, including MacOS and iOS. In addition to being an IDE, XCode contains a rich set of development tools to aid developers in creating mobile and desktop applications. Being an IDE, XCode is not a programming language, but is instead a tool used to program using different programming languages. Among the programming languages supported by XCode are Objective C and Swift, as well as other programming languages such as Java, C, C++, and Python.
An XCode developer is basically an Apple iOS developer, using either Swift or Objective C, who uses XCode as his/her IDE. Therefore, an XCode developer is responsible for the full development of an iOS mobile application. Moreover, the skill set of an XCode developer should include the mastery of either Swift or Objective C, in addition to the familiarity with using the XCode environment to make development easier and smoother.
Frameworks in XCode
One of the strengths of XCode is that it allows developers to quickly and easily create frameworks, blocks of code that you can use and reuse in multiple projects. You can create frameworks for various iOS functionalities using either Objective C or Swift, or any other programming language, export these frameworks to be used in other projects, or import frameworks that you or other developers have created. Therefore, XCode makes it easy for developers to collaborate and share their codes with each other.
Pros and Cons of XCode Development and Hiring XCode Developer
Development with XCode offers a lot of advantages. First, it makes iOS development a breeze with its organized and clean user interface. As mentioned earlier, it also makes collaboration and code sharing among the developer community a breeze, because it easily allows developers to export and import different frameworks. Moreover, XCode may be used for programming using different XCode programming languages, such as Swift and Objective C, as well as other languages. What’s more, it is developed directly by Apple, so developers can expect strong first-party support for the tool and relatively stable releases due to the intensive testing by the Apple team and Apple iOS developer.
However, XCode development also has its caveats. For instance, XCode is only supported on MacOS, so it cannot be installed on Windows or Linux machines. There is, however, a workaround for this: developers can install virtual machines on Windows or Linux machines on which they can run XCode. In addition, since XCode is developed by Apple, it only supports XCode development of applications for Apple operating systems like MacOS, iOS, and watchOS, and does not support other operating systems. Therefore, it is not a cross-platform development tool. Moreover, being limited to XCode programmers that use Apple machines, the XCode online community is also smaller than those of tools that are supported in non-Apple operating systems.
Tips for Hiring XCode Developers
When hiring an XCode programmer, you should bear in mind that you are hiring a full-blown remote iOS developer who should be seasoned with either Objective C or Swift. Therefore, when you hire XCode developer, you should ask technical questions to confirm the applicant’s mastery of either XCode programming language. This should include questions about both basic and advanced features of iOS programming. In addition to this, you should also make sure that the applicant is seasoned with using the XCode environment. This includes mastery of using the IDE for various tasks like creating a new files and folders, creating emulators for various iOS devices, testing applications on actual mobile devices, creating, importing, and exporting frameworks, using debug modes, and understanding the purpose of the various artifacts and accessory files created by the IDE.