Mobile Application Development and Its Roots
Mobile Application Development is still a new technology. The first iPhone was released on June 29 2007. iPhones, iPod touches, and later iPads, have now a large number of functions, especially connected to their touch screen operation. The devices have internal tilt sensors, most have an inbuilt camera, have Wi-Fi, 3G connectivity, Sensor Development Kits and a virtual keyboard.
Mobile Application Development and The App Store
In mid-2008 Apple introduced the iOS App Store for mobile application development, an online store of available application software maintained by Apple. The range of apps available for the iPhones and iPads (iPod touch uses any apps that the iPhone uses) range across many genres, from games, to GPS, reference, social networking, online books and audio books to name a few.
As well as using the App Store through the device, apps can be managed through the iTunes software of the computer. Most modern computers can run iTunes, with workarounds having been developed for older operating systems. Updates to the iOS are provided free through iTunes, as long as iTunes itself is up to date.
Around the same time that Apple released the App Store, they also released the software development kit (SDK). This kit allowed third party apps to be developed using the Objective C programming language. The apps were to share the way the iPhone looked and felt. Understanding the basics of Objective C is probably the most limiting part of learning how to make an iPhone app.
The SDK allowed third parties to develop software for the iPhone and test it using an iPhone simulator. There is an associated cost to releasing an app onto the App Store, with Apple requiring developers to pay an Apple Developer Connection fee.
Once an app has been submitted to the App Store, Apple has control over its distribution. The developer is able to charge any price they choose for an app (up to $1000 USD), and they receive 70% of the profits. If the developer chooses to release the app for free, they do not pay any costs associated with the release beyond the developer fee.
Apple retains the right to ban any app that it chooses, without giving a reason. In the past it has banned third-party apps that enabled a functionality of the iPhone that they did not want public at that point, or planned to profit off. For example, an app that allowed the direct download of podcasts was rejected, as was one that would allow internet tethering.
Mobile Application Development – Easier Than Ever
As of January 2011, more than 10 billion apps have been downloaded through the Apps Store. Since the development of the SDK, mobile application development has got considerably easier, with many tools available that help you build apps without any knowledge of the coding behind the interface.