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Minnebar: Intro to iPhone Development with Jesse O'Neill-Oine

iPhone Development Session

Jesse O’Neill-Oine from Refactr presented on development for the iPhone at Minnebar (his slides can be found on the Refactr blog).

O’Neill-Oine opened by explaining how he was turned onto iPhone development: “I’m into iPhone development because I frickin’ love my iPhone.” This seemed to be a shared perspective among the audience.

Apple takes a 30% cut on your app’s cost. You can only distribute through the App Store, which is both a weakness and a strength. You must be part of the developer program to be eligible to publish applications to the App Store.

Current versions of iPhones have only 128mb of RAM. Apple does not allow any background processing within apps. Plus: you get access to the whole machine when your app is running. Weakness, can’t run an always-on application. This could be hackable, but that would prevent your app from distribution through the App Store.

Development Requirements: You have to be on a Mac (maybe an Intel based Mac)? Within Organizer, you can manage iPhone settings, firmware upgrades/downgrades, and capture screenshots among other things.

iPhone OS is derived from 10.5. Cocoa Touch is where developers will spend most of their time. Windowing, graphics support, buttons, sliders, and event handling such as touch events will happen at this layer.

The media layer is where core animation is done. Allows you to go beyond what can be done at the cocoa layer.

The core services layer is where SQL Lite is found. If you’re writing a data-intensive application, this is recommended. XML and XLST are also supported at this level.

You can access both Edge and WiFi from the the iPhone Simulator during development.

Apple provides a lot of example applications that demonstrate functionality of iPhone coding.

The developer’s site has great documentation but no community. Cocoa Dev is a pretty good site, but still looking for a strong iPhone development community. If you know of one, please drop it in the comments.

Where are the Women?

Amazingly, there was not a single woman in the standing room only discussion of iPhone development. That’s pretty of scary considering that the iPhone is a universally popular device. While the guys in the room seem perfectly capable of building apps, it seems like there is a huge opportunity for iPhone development with a woman’s perspective.

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