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App development for iPhone and iPad (iOS)

Since 2007 the iPhone has made a huge impact on the way smartphone technology has advanced, but most importantly it introduced the concept of an "app store" - a place where anyone could create applications for users to download and use on their phone. This instantly provided great new opportunities for advertising, user engagement and customer service - giving businesses the ability to access millions of people all over the world.

Today, there are a huge number of iPhone and iPad owners who download and use the apps available for iOS every day from the app store - carrying their devices, and their apps, everywhere they go.

When we create apps for devices such as the iPad and iPhone we use the Apple development kit for iOS, which allows us to create an app that can access features built into the device. We recommend that apps designed for iPhone and iPad take advantage of these features when appropriate to provide a great experience to end users.

Push notifications

When you want to get a message to users quickly and directly, you can use the iOS push messaging service. This allows you to send customized messages to all or some users of your app. You can even send messages directly to individual users. Push messages appear on the phone in a similar way to text messages, but they're much cheaper to send and can link directly to content within your app when a user taps on them.

Push messaging is useful for developing iPhone and iPad apps that need to inform users about an important event. That could be anything from a notification that only applies to them, to a special offer or new service that needs to be communicated to everyone who's using the app. The message can be generated automatically or composed manually.

Here are some examples of the usages of push messaging on iPhones and iPads:

  • Promotional messages, such as a special offer nearby.
  • New message or a notification from the app or another user.
  • Reminder to complete a task in an app or game before a certain time.

The possibilities are endless, making push messaging a very powerful feature.

Geolocation

Your app can use the geographic position of an iPad or iPhone to offer enhanced services and a high value feature set to users. The user's location can be established very accurately using the built-in GPS device, which receives signals from geostationary satellites in orbit to triangulate an accurate position.

If a GPS signal isn't available, devices connected to WiFi may be able to determine a less accurate location using nearby WiFi networks. Devices that connect to mobile phone networks, such as the iPhone, can approximate a location by identifying the nearest cell tower they're connected to.

Airdrop

This feature, introduced in iOS7, allows users of apple devices to share content between them easily. This includes files, photos, apps and more. Your app can take advantage of Airdrop if it handles documents, pictures, or needs to share information with nearby users as quickly and easily a possible.

Developing apps for iOS

We use a design and development process for iPhone and iPad apps that allows you to see our progress by installing test versions of your app so you can provide instant feedback.

1 Design

We will work with you to find out exactly what the specific requirements are for your app. We define clear design objectives, including the goals for the project and what end users will experience when they use your app.

If your app is being created for multiple platforms, such as Android and Windows Phone, we can advise on the best technologies to use for development. We have experience in both native and cross platform app development.

2 Build

Your project is assigned to a dedicated and experienced app developer. You can contact them directly with any queries you might have.

Depending on the nature of your app, development of apps for Apple devices such as the iPhone can

take anywhere between a few weeks and a few months.

Developers who are working on your app will be in contact with you regularly, and they can provide test builds for you to install on your own device. This allows you to provide instant feedback, and help us fix any issues before your app is released.

3 Test and Refine

Apps need to be thoroughly tested before they can be published in the app store. There are a number of tests we'll perform to make sure your app passes all the conditions for being accepted by Apple when we submit it.

It's important your app works well, otherwise people won't keep it installed on their device. To do this, we will devise a test plan for your app and make sure it works as it should.

It's great to find things wrong at this stage, because every problem we find is one that your users won't. We make sure we get bugs fixed and refine your app before it's released - we like to make sure it's both reliable and a pleasure to use.

4 Publish

Most of our customers prefer to publish their apps themselves. This way, the app is listed in the app store under their own name or company name. To publish an iPhone or iPad app in this way you'll need an Apple developer account, which costs around $100 USD per year. Its very easy to set up and we'll provide your app's code along with all the files required to publish your app.

5 Host

Some apps need to talk to a hosted service, or have access to centrally stored images or data that can be changed without releasing an update to the app. This is usually the case if your iPad or iPhone app uses push notifications, requires user registration or provides access to remote services.

If your app needs an API, we'll design, build and test it at the same time as your app. We're happy to integrate with existing services, but if we're working on both the app and the API it communicates with, you can be sure they'll be compatible and completed without delay.

We can offer reliable, fast and affordable cloud hosting solutions for your app's API. Alternatively we're happy to provide advice about hosting it onsite or with a third party.

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