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Getting serious about iPhone and iPad development

Ever since I bought the first generation iPhone I was toying with ideas about what one could do with the device. After all the iPhone is a computer that can make phone calls amongst other things. If the screen were a bit larger ... Recently Apple introduced the iPad with that larger screen. Then while traveling from Panama to Germany someone during a security check of our luggage stole my older Macbook Pro. So there I was without a portable device and left with my desktop computer. Instead of buying a new laptop right away I opted for an iPad to figure out in a self-experiment how far that device would get me.

However, being a software developer and curious by nature leads to the desire to explore how one can write programs for the new toy. While I'm in between projects and kind of on vacation I'm using the free time to get a bit more serious about iPhone and iPad development. Some years ago I wrote a prototype for a menu bar application while working for a client. That got me in touch with Objective-C and Cocoa. Unfortunately this did not evolve into an opportunity to really get deep in this area.

First I used Apple's documentation and the howto and getting started documents available there. Then I discovered the iPhone programming class at Stanford University which is available at iTunes U. I can really recommend this class as one of the best ways to learn about the subject. The teachers are actual software developers working for Apple which makes this course even more relevant as they can point out solutions to common problems based on their non-academic work experience.

So far I've learned quite a lot and been writing some small programs. It's now about time to get into the details of Core Data and the unit testing tools that are available for Objective-C.

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