Course Outline for Mobile App Development

Week 1

Lesson 1- Writing Programs for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Computers, smartphones, and tablets may look nice, but they're essentially useless without software to make them work. Today, the Mac is one of the hottest computers around, the iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones, and the iPad is one of the most dominant tablets in the market. With so many people buying these products, there's a tremendous opportunity to write and sell software or applications for all these millions of users. In our first lesson, you'll learn the basics of how programming works for any computer. Then you'll find out how to use a programming tool called Xcode to create programs or applications for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Lesson 2- Getting to Know Xcode

Just like a lot of trained professionals—from surgeons to car mechanics—computer programmers need certain special tools to help them write programs. In this lesson, we'll go over the types of tools you'll need to create programs. Then you'll learn how to use Xcode, the free programming tool that Apple provides for writing Mac, iPhone, and iPad programs and applications. By the end of this lesson, you'll feel a lot more comfortable using Xcode because you'll know what it can do, how it works, and how to use it to write your own programs.

Week 2

Lesson 3- Understanding the Three Parts of a Typical Program

Today we'll look at the three basic parts of any program and how to create them. First, we'll explore the user interface or View that allows users to control a program and view information. Second, we'll talk about the Model—the code that tells your program to perform a calculation. And third, you'll find out how a Controller links your View and your Model. When you have a feel for these three elements, you can understand how to create any type of program you wish.

Lesson 4- Creating Classes and Methods

Programming boils down to writing commands in a particular language. To create Mac, iPhone, and iPad programs, you'll use a programming language called Objective-C. The bigger your program, the more complicated it can get—so today you'll learn how to divide a large program into smaller, more manageable parts.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Learning the Basics of Writing Objective-C Code

What's the main feature of any program? The commands that tell the program what to do and how to do it! To create Objective-C commands, you need to learn how to read, write, and understand Objective-C code . . . and that's what we'll talk about today.

Lesson 6- Using Variables, Constants, and Math

Every program needs to hold data temporarily, and today you'll see how this works. First, you'll discover how programs can hold data in a storage unit called a variable or a constant. After that, you'll find out how Objective-C manipulates data to make decisions.

Week 4

Lesson 7- Making Decisions With Branches

Every program needs to make decisions based on input. In this lesson, you'll learn how to compare values and choose between sets of instructions, allowing your program to react to different data and calculate new results. You'll learn about True and False values known as Boolean values as well as branch structures in programming known as if and switch statements.  

Lesson 8- Repeating Commands With Loops

If you need a computer to run certain commands multiple times, you can write the same lines of code over and over . . . or you can use a loop, which lets you write code once and have it run as many times as you like. Today you'll master three types of loops.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Working With Objects

One of the most useful features of modern programming languages like Objective-C is the ability to create objects. The main idea behind objects is to divide a large program into independent parts that you can paste together like building blocks. By learning the advantages of objects and how to use them in Objective-C, you can create programs faster and more reliably than ever before.

Lesson 10- Creating a User Interface With Interface Builder

Objective-C code tells your program how to work, but the user only sees the interface—the screen on which your program displays information for the user to view or manipulate. Designing a user interface is easy because Xcode provides common elements, including buttons, check boxes, and text fields. Then you can connect your interface with your Objective-C code to make the whole thing work.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Applying Different User Interface Objects

To design a user interface, you need to understand not only what different elements you can use but also when to use them and how to incorporate them into your own program. In this lesson, you'll continue learning about designing a user interface. You'll also get acquainted with using Apple's documentation to find out more about some of the most popular user interface elements.

Lesson 12- Putting Together an iPhone Program

Congratulations—you're ready to create a basic iPhone program! By applying what you've learned throughout this course, you can get a rough idea of how to develop your own programs for the Mac, the iPhone, or the iPad.

What do others think?

‘I want to thank you for teaching this course. It was exactly what I was looking for and I feel like I now know enough to get started on some serious study of iPad app development. My next stop is Safari Books Online, where I hope to deepen my knowledge. I particularly appreciated your very clear instructions.’

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