iOS 6 Advantages: Developing Apps for iPad and iPhone - dummies

iOS 6 Advantages: Developing Apps for iPad and iPhone

By Neal Goldstein, Dave Wilson

One of the keys to developing a great mobile app for iOS 6 is taking advantage of what the device offers. In the case of a new platform with new possibilities, exploiting advantages is especially important. The combination of hardware and system software opens up design advantages that depart from the typical design approach for desktop and laptop applications. For example:

  • Multifinger gestures: Applications respond to multifinger gestures, not mouse clicks. If you design an app that simply uses a single finger tap as if it were a mouse click, you may be missing an opportunity to design a better user experience.

  • Movement and orientation: The iPhone and iPad have an accelerometer, so you can design apps that detect accelerated movement, as well as change the display for different orientations.

  • Split views and unique keyboards: You can use a Split view on an iPad to display more than one view onscreen at a time. Either device provides a special keyboard unique to the task, such as the numbers-and-formulas keyboard that appears in the Numbers app.

  • Internet access: Users can send and receive e-mail and browse the web; sync contacts, calendars, and notes over the Internet; and download content from Apple stores. With quick and easy access, your app doesn’t need to store lots of data — all it really needs to do is jump on the Internet and grab what it needs from there.

  • Television or projection system connection: Users can connect the iPhone or iPad to an HDTV or projection system to show content to larger audiences. With iOS’s AirPlay feature and an Apple TV, users don’t even need a physical connection.

  • Consistent system environment: The Home button quits your app, and the volume controls take care of audio, just like you’d expect them to. User preference settings can be made available in the Settings application to avoid cluttering your app’s user interface. And your native iOS apps can coexist with web services and apps created in HTML5.

  • Breathtaking imagery: Photos and video already look fantastic on this display, but the artwork you create yourself for your app should be set to 24 bits (8 bits each for red, green, and blue), plus an 8-bit alpha channel to specify how a pixel’s color should be merged with another pixel when the two are overlaid one on top of the other.

    In general, the PNG format is recommended for graphics and artwork that are included as part of your iOS app.