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Getting Started with iPhone Development


O.K. I am no expert iPhone developer. I’m not even an intermediate level programmer.  To be perfectly honest, I’m as close to the bottom of the food chain as you can get, save “what’s this shining box in front of me” kind of iPhone developer. I own an iPhone and a Mac, as a start, and that’s about it.

What then can I offer someone interested in iPhone app development? A lot, actually. This article is a compendium of materials and resources I’ve found in the past few days that I’ve found immensely helpful.

I’m all about the free. Everything you’ll find here is available to you right now, for free. While these things are not going to match a master class in getting started, I think it’s pretty darn close.

First thing first: Download the iPhone SDK.

What is the iPhone SDK? It stands for iPhone Software Development Kit and it contains applications you’ll use to write your apps, extensive documentation and a library of templates to get you started today.  There are a bunch of other resources as well like videos, manuals and forums.

Now that you’ve downloaded and installed the iPhone SDK what next?

1. Stanford University CS193P

This course offered by Stanford University is a good place to start.  Download all of the course materials as well as the lecture videos and follow along as if you were really taking the class.  I’m having a little bit of difficulty with it, but that’s a good thing.  The lecturers are good and they explain things well.

If this is too hard, then I suggest taking a step back and going to your public library.  Here in San Francisco, the public library offers books for checkout ONLINE, and for FREE.  When I’m really stuck I’m going to check out “Learn C on the Mac”by Dave Mark.  That’ll give me a grounding in C, essential for understanding Objective-C and Cocoa.

2. Learning Objective-C on the Mac

The next book in the series is “Learn Objective-C on the Mac” by Mark Dalrymple and Scott Knaster.  Also available through the public library, it has a pretty good grounding for iPhone app developers.  If you haven’t already pick this up, the library has a bunch of free books that’ll help you out.

3. iPhone Development Central

I haven’t extensively used this resource, but it seems like there are a lot of good videos to watch that give you a decent background in iPhone development.

Hope these three resources help you get on your way and excited about iPhone development.  Onwards and upwards!