The HeartCharts iPad App Version 1.0 is in the App Store for review as of 7/3/2013.
In anticipation of approval (!) information about the App has been added to this site. Choose “HEARTCHARTS APP” from the menu and take a look. There is a video, as well as screenshots and some explanation. The plan is to add more charts regularly in future versions.
I had to learn Xcode, the Apple program for developing apps. Some books and the internet provided good sources of information. I did basic reading about Objective C (the programming language), then moved on to more practical stuff.
iPad Application Development for Dummies was good. That was a 2011 edition, and Xcode evolves quickly, so this type of book get out of date very fast. I notice the same author has a new edition for 2013: iOS 6 Application Development For Dummies, which I would recommend.
Even better was Sams Teach Yourself iOS 5 Application Development in 24 Hours by John Ray. The 2013 edition from the same author is Sams Teach Yourself iOS 6 Application Development in 24 Hours. This book is extremely well organized and well written. Maybe you could read the book in 24 hours, but it probably took me about a month to work through it, since each chapter is a project. You can only learn by doing. The explanations were excellent…I finally could really see how to implement what I wanted in my app.
The next level up would be Ray Wenderlich’s tutorials on the internet. These are deeper, a little more difficult, but excellent. I downloaded the pdf’s for iOS 5 and iOS 6…well worth the money.
There are many other tutorials and discussions on the internet, including YouTube videos. These were useful when I came upon some issue in implementing what I wanted. Searching about the problem would usually provide an answer.
My favorite things in Xcode to do what I wanted: Storyboards, Auto Layout, Tab Bar, Collection Views, and Animating Images.
I decided an iPad app would be an excellent way to implement some patient education ideas. And I wanted to do the design, content creation, and coding myself. This was all new to me, and I wanted to remember what I was learning and doing, so I am keeping a hand written notebook, now up to 129 full pages and counting.
Artwork and animations were done with a program called Animate from Toon Boom Animation. This is a high level, very sophisticated, and somewhat expensive program, but it turned out to be a great choice. Each scene is created in vector format, so I could then easily export bitmap images at any resolution, which was very helpful to experiment with how different sizes might fit best on the screen. This also makes it easier to duplicate images at different resolutions for standard vs retina display screens. A Wacom tablet is essential to get the most out of Animate.
I used a program called Acorn for manipulating bitmap images, creating custom buttons and labels, etc. Acorn is a very nice substitute for Photoshop, much less expensive and easier to use. Every Mac user should have this app.
The content creation for the iPad app is mostly done. However, my plan is to add more in future version.