Getting started with Apple’s iOS samples

It all started with me seeing an original Mac in a computer store in West Lafayette, Indiana when I was going to Purdue University in the 80s. Playing with MacPaint was magical, and when I finally got a Mac Plus a year later, I spent the better part of three days in ResEdit, looking through everything to figure out how it was put together. This was followed shortly by a purchase of Lightspeed C and a volume or two of Inside Macintosh, and a picture of me working through a book on 68000 assembly language is below. Good times, and I still bleed six colors.

So, we come to 2018 and this iMac I’m sitting in front of, and I’m still at it. iOS is definitely where Apple is putting its hardware and software efforts these days, so let’s start going through the sample code for iOS. While Apple has an excellent new Documentation page which is great for getting an idea of all the frameworks, services, and tools at your disposal for application development, I’m going to focus on the iOS sample applications in this series of posts.

To get started

You’ll get a list of 233 samples (at the time of this writing), and sorting by date, we see they start in mid-2009, almost 9 years ago:

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 7.13.02 AM

There’s a lot to go through, so let’s get started!

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Back in Mac

Well, I’m back on OS X macOS and iOS, and pretty happy about it. While I’m very lucky in that I get to work from home and I have a pretty good boss and I like the people I work with, I still have an itch to go solo.

Before we moved back to Florida, I sold my underpowered MacBook Air, got a Surface 3, and toyed with the idea of getting an MCSD and building UWP apps, but honestly, nobody seems to be doing it. Look through job listings for UWP or WPF work and you’ll see what I mean. Crickets.

So, I decided to go back to the Mac, my first love. Admittedly, there aren’t that many macOS jobs either, but there are lots of iOS jobs, and while I don’t really want to work for someone else again, that tells me there’s at least a market there if I decide to build something.

I decided to run light (without overbyte? ­čśë), though. I wanted to get the cheapest minimal system I could get away with the learn Swift and iOS development, and after looking hard at Mac minis and iMacs and MacBook Pros, I settled on late-model MacBooks, specifically the white polycarbonate so-called CrackBooks (because of all the cracks which developed in their cases). I found one in beautiful condition for $330 on eBay (2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM), immediately┬áreplaced the slow 5400 RPM hard┬ádrive with a 1 TB SSHD I happened to have available, and bumped the RAM to 16 GB ($130 at OWC). I also bought a snap-on case in orange (shades of the original clamshell iBook) for $10 and a small laptop bag for $10.

Before adding the RAM, Xcode was struggling with simple playgrounds, but now the RAM is maxed out, Xcode and the simulator are working fine. I was worried that with only two cores, the simulator would be crippled, but so far, it’s working fine. So, I’m cranking away at learning Swift and UIKit (more on that in the next post) for under $500, and I’m a happy man. It’s good┬áto be back…