The last couple of months upgrades were needed to run the latest version of Mac OS X (“Mavericks”) and the latest Xcode (5.0). This seemed to stress my 2007 MacBook Pro. Problems included computer not booting, fan suddenly revving full speed nonstop and shutting down the computer, tending to overheat, and occasional other weird behavior. With various internet-search aided troubleshooting, problems were “solved” (for now?). Then suddenly (it seemed) the hard disk was full, and I had to work at freeing up a lot of disk space…supposedly should have at least 15 GB free…Omnidisksweeper (a free program) was a major help to accomplish this, and I should run it periodically. So the MacBook seems to have settled down fairly well, though I probably should get a new one next year.
Xcode 5, needed for programming for iPads and iPhones using iOS 7, has been less problematic. It’s actually a big improvement, with some things being much easier. Like “autolayout” and “code signing.”
Next came HeartCharts 2.0. I just submitted it to the App Store today. I hope it gets out before Christmas, but might not, since Apple is closing the review process for a week. 2.0 looks a little different because of iOS 7 (which is required), but not much. I added chart for myocardial ischemia and infarction, and an image for clot in the left atrial appendage, as well as some aids for navigation. Next blog post will come after this version is approved and available! At that time I will also update the page describing HeartCharts.
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 That was a 2011 edition, and Xcode evolves quickly, so this type of book get out of date very fast.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.