Tips and programs to create apps for iOS and Android

Creating an app for Android and iOS is not a simple task, especially if you intend to achieve a convincing and not approximate result. It takes dedication and commitment, as well as time and great attention. If you can follow a complete guide, ready to illustrate the procedures step by step, then you're ready to go. Here's everything you need to know about creating your own app.

Creating an Android App

A programmer, whether an expert or not, won't need a guide to get started in this world. He just needs to practice and try to get satisfactory results to bring his idea to life for a successful app. However, app creation is not exclusive to experts in the field. Potentially anyone can get a foothold in this vast industry, have their say and maybe even get a good financial return.

Users who don't have any knowledge of the Java world and what is in fact the specific programming language, must rely on specific programs, which allow you to skip certain steps. A very popular example is MIT App Inventor. It's the ideal solution for those who want to create an app for free, but don't have any idea what to do. The way to go if you're armed with nothing but your own ideas.

The app is free to download from the Play Store. After launching it from your smartphone, click Allow, and then start the real work on your computer. You can't create an app on the small screen of your cell phone. You'll have to go to the official MIT App Inventor website, enter your email address to log in via Google, and prove that you're the same user who downloaded the app from the store earlier. The system doesn't require you to use Internet Explorer, just in case you're still using it. You need to download another browser, perhaps choosing from Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Once you agree to the terms of use, you will need to follow the instructions listed. From accepting or not accepting a survey, to explaining how to connect your computer to your phone. Once you have gone through these brief steps, you can go ahead and start the process. You must click on "Start new project". In order to see the progress in real time on the app, you need to complete the connection between the two means of work, your computer and your smartphone. After clicking on "Connect", a drop-down menu proposes the item Al Companion. A QR code and an alphanumeric code will then appear. On the smartphone app, click on "Scan QR Code" and scan the code that appears on the computer. At this point, if everything has gone well, the app will show a white screen, entitled "Screen 1", the same as on the PC.

In the column on the left of the screen we find the tools we need. In case you want to insert an image, you'll have to drag the Image icon to the white Screen1 page on the right. In the next column, after clicking on "Upload File" and "Choose File", you can select the image you like from the computer archive. If you want to add a button, click on "Button" in the "Viewer" section. In the "Properties" section it is possible to make modifications related to the text to be inserted, by typing any text element in the "Text" box. Adding buttons and text of various kinds, as well as background images, is part of the graphic management of the app. It is necessary that actions are carried out, that the click on the expected button corresponds to a reaction of the generated system. To initiate a response, following an action performed by the user, it is necessary to work within the "Blocks" tab. This is located in the upper right corner, next to the "Designer" tab.

After clicking, the section will be moved to the left column. Under "Screen1" is the "Button1" item. At this point there are several actions to choose from, all present in the "Viewer" section. In these first steps let's deal with "Button1", for this we select the first available action: "When Button1 Click do". To select a particular response you'll have to go back to "Designer", clicking on "Media". If you want to match a given click with a sound, drag the "Sound" block to the "Viewer" section. A new screen change then, by selecting the "Blocks" tab.

If everything has been done correctly, in this section we will find "Sound1" under "Screen1". By clicking on "Sound1", we will be able to select "call Sound1 play", going to embed it in the "When Button1 Click do" action. This is the basis of how an app works, with multiple variables and functions. The work done can be saved in two different ways: in .aia format or by creating a real app, in .apk format. For the first option, click on "Projects" and select "Export selected project to my computer". To create the app, click on "Build", followed by "App (save .apk to my computer)".

Create an iOS app

To create an iOS app that works on all iPhones and iPads made by Apple, you need to be able to use "Swift". This is the specific programming language used by the Cupertino company. Apple offers a specific program for the creation of apps. This is Xcode, official software to be used via Mac. Inside there is a code editor and a graphic editor. Two key tools to start this type of work. At the base there are always two basic programming languages. One is the aforementioned "Swift", the other is the more dated "Objective-C".

Xcode is certainly not a lightweight program. It is therefore advisable to make sure you have enough space before starting the download. Installing it will occupy 6.1 GB of memory. Once you start the program, you'll have various possible templates in front of you, divided by operating system. After selecting iOS, you'll be able to opt for "Single View Application". In the new window you can select the options for the project. Among them are the name you want to give to your draft app, as well as the language used. As said, you have two of them available: "Swift" and "Objective-C". You can then decide where to save the project. This will then be opened in the "Workspace" area, allowing you to work in the "Editor Area", where you'll have to edit the basic information of the app.

It's important to make sure you have "CocoaPods" installed, which is essential for managing the libraries. In case it is missing, you can get it by running the following command: [sudo] gem install cocoapods. You can then move within the project, creating a new Podfile. To do this you need to run this command: pod init. After indicating this directives: use_frameworks!, you will have to add the directives related to the login library. All this can be obtained with the command pod plus the name of the desired dependency. To install them instead you need to run this command: pod install.

Through the installation you will also generate a file, which represents a workspace, where you will find the project you are interested in, as well as the installed pods. All that Xcode provides is a workbook, which it's up to the user to fill with code, which will turn into a real app. The first real step towards creating an app concerns the interface. To do this you need to select the "Main-Storyboard" file. It is located in the left-hand column called "Project Navigator". Inside is "Interface Builder". This is a fundamental tool for building interfaces. This term refers to buttons, menus, images and other windows.

In the middle of the Interface Builder is a "ViewController". This is a container in which you can place all the elements of the app's interface. It is important to know that the interface in the "View" cannot perform any operation if there is no code to manage it. To be able to make this connection between the parts, Xcode offers a tool known as the "Assistant Editor", which allows you to work on two pages.

Now there will be the "storyboard" on the left side and the "ViewController.swift" on the right. After selecting the "Label", you will have to drag the line of the first window to the second one. To do it will be enough to click on it with the left key of the mouse, keeping pressed the ctrl key. It will be released inside the code, precisely between the curly brackets present in the "ViewController" class. Once released, a menu will open, where to set the name of the link that the label will have to manage inside the interface. At this point you can press "Connect". The executed connection should generate this code: @IBOutlet var nameLabel: UILabel!.

These are just the first steps to start creating an iOS app. In order to achieve satisfactory results, it is necessary to study the subject in depth. Alternatively, it is possible to rely on specialized sites that take care of shaping the ideas of others. The web is full of offers for those who have an intriguing idea and no programming skills.