About

iOS is an operating system developed by Apple. It is the platform that powers iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. After Android, it is the most widespread mobile operating system in the world. iOS' focus is on tactile input with support for multi-touch gestures.

Apple releases major versions of the OS annually, with the current major version, iOS 10, having been released in September 2016. Version 10 currently powers a bit under 80% of all iOS devices, with version 9 taking care of an additional 13%. On iPhones, iOS 10 does even better with approximately 90% of users having upgraded, and with iOS 9 down at only 5%.

Apple released the iOS SDK in 2008, which made it possible for developers to submit their applications written in Swift (recommended) or Objective-C to the curated Apple's App Store. There are also options for developing for the iOS platform using cross-platform frameworks like React Native.

Technology

Development

Developing for iOS with the goal of publishing the products in the App Store requires joining its developer program, with an associated cost of 99.00 USD per year.

The default developer environment is Xcode, which includes everything required for developing apps for iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs. It is highly customizable and offers a powerful memory debugger and runtime issues alerts, which can even alert you to memory leaks.

Developing in Swift

Swift has appeared in 2014 and has quickly become one of the fastest growing languages, with it topping Github statistics for new watchers per repository and taking third place for new forks per repository.

Swift is a general-purpose language, which was created for everything from systems programming to mobile and desktop apps, and even for cloud services. It is safe, with low tolerance for undefined behaviour, fast, with consistent and predictable performance which is intended to rival that of C, C++, and Objective-C, and expressive, with a programmer-friendly syntax and modern features.

As many modern languages, Swift also incorporates elements from both Object-Oriented and Functional programming paradigms. Some of its most important parts are closures with function pointers, tuples and multiple return values, generics, structs with method, extension, and protocol support, advanced control flow, map, filter etc.

Having been designed to be safer than C-based languages, it provides automatic memory management and array and integer overflow checks. It does not allow nil objects; where those would be necessary, however, it provides optionals, which, put simply, demand you declare to the compiler that you know what you are doing.

Swift became open-sourced under the Apache 2.0 license in December 2015, and anyone can earn the right to lead an area of Swift language development.

The most complete support for Swift is offered on Apple platforms, but building Swift libraries and applications is also possible in Linux, where the Swift compiler and standard library, REPL, debugger, and the core libraries are offered.

Developing in React Native

Contrary to many other cross-platform options, React Native lets you build a real mobile app, indistinguishable from an app built with the platform's native technology. It uses the same UI building blocks, the only difference being that the programmers use Javascript and React to bring them together. As Javascript is not a compiled language, it also offers a bonus perk, which is the absence of compiling. This has benefits like hot reloading with state preservation. Finally, React Native can also interface with native components written in native platform languages.

Conclusion

iOS is one of the two of the world's most popular mobile platforms, and it is hard to imagine a successful mobile application which does not also target that piece of the market. You can pick among several choices for how you would like to have your app developed, and we have experts that can handle any and all of them, so do not hesitate and get in touch, before your competitors catch up!

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Top iOS Developers of August 2017

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Check out how a few of our iOS programmers have grown recently:

  • Gianluca Esposito
  • Gianluca Esposito
  • completed "Building React Applications with Idiomatic Redux" course on Egghead.
  • attended ReactEurope in Paris with 10 other X-Teamers.
  • submitted a pull request to, GatsbyJS, a React static site generator.
  • Szymon Michalak
  • Szymon Michalak
  • completed the Webpack course on Egghead.
  • attended SmashingConf in Barcelona with 15 other X-Teamers.
  • read "SurviveJS - React", a top resource on mastering React.
  • Michal Kawalec
  • Michal Kawalec
  • hosted Monadic Warsaw, a functional programming meetup.
  • attended Lambda Days 2016 in Krakow.
  • open sourced IMAP, an IMAP library for Haskell.

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