iPhone Development Guide: Creating Xcode Projects and UI Overview

Previously in our iPhone Dev 101 series, which is dedicated to iPhone development, we explored useful Cocoa development resources. Today, I’ll guide you through the basics of Xcode and how to start your first project.

Begin by launching Xcode, which you can find under /Developer/Applications/ after you have the SDK installed. Xcode is Apple’s IDE, designed for coding, debugging, testing, and building applications for both iPhone and Mac. Upon opening Xcode, you might see the welcome center, which you can choose to disable from appearing at startup.

To start a new project, go to File > New Project. Choose iPhone OS Application > View-based Application and click “Choose.” Next, you’ll need to name your project and select where to save it.

In the Xcode interface that opens, you’ll find that much of the initial setup is already complete.

You now have a basic application. Test it by clicking the “build and go” button. This compiles the app and launches it in the iPhone Simulator. Although the app doesn’t do much yet, it’s a functional piece of software that you created without writing any code.

When you close the iPhone Simulator and go back to Xcode, you’ll see that the application is organized into several sections. The “Groups and Files” pane on the left contains all the project-related files; this includes classes, frameworks, and resources.

The top right pane displays files from the selected folder on the left. Clicking on a file opens an editor in the bottom-right pane where you can write your code. Files can also be opened in a larger, separate editor window by double-clicking.

The toolbar features various icons. On the far left, there’s a drop-down menu with options like “Simulator – 2.2.1 | Debug,” which are the development SDKs/configurations available for use. We primarily use the mentioned configuration as it simplifies compiling code to run in the simulator.

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Joshua is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Joshua covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates in macOS. His articles are a go-to source for Apple enthusiasts who want to stay informed about their favorite products, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Joshua’s straightforward and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics easy to understand for everyone.