Software application development is an evolving world, with those who choose such careers pursuing a wide variety of different specialties within. There are some developers focused on specific platforms, such as Apple iOS, Google Android, or Microsoft Windows. Other developers are focused on building a platform-agnostic foundation on Web and mobile Web. To get a good sense of respect for the development world, it’s important for you to be aware of the distinction between these different approaches and standards, and how they might come together.
The iOS development track prepares you to create apps for the iPhone and iPad using a set of Apple-specific tools and the programming language Objective-C. It generally starts by having you familiar with the SDK from Apple, and setting up XCode on your Mac. You build on a foundation of Objective-C, including building objects, classes, methods, and managing app data. From there, you’ll progress to integrating with iCloud, and create a universal project that allows you to make customizations for the different iOS devices.
Android developers go about a similar sequence. You download an Android SDK, setup up an IDE (Eclipse is a go-to IDE for you), and download additional tools through the SDK manager. Android Apps are usually created using Java, though with Android there is more flexibility with tools and approaches than with iOS.
In comparison, platform-specific apps tend to be of higher quality, since they can be customized more precisely for the environment they are developed in. The flipside is that they only work on that one platform. That said, there is a growing synergy between these two camps in the form of tools that allow you to take the work you’ve done creating a Web or Mobile Web app and further customize the app for your particular platform. By doing so, you can position yourself as a multi-faceted developer, steeped in the intersection between the two worlds.
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