Best practices exist in every industry and iOS application development is no different. These best practices are developed by gathering tips from professionals with years of experience in the industry. Not only have these best practices enabled developers to create futuristic apps but also a valuable product.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at the best practices for iOS app development that have made it to 2020:
1: Create a Documentation and Follow It
Before starting the project, create decent documentation covering all elements of the project. Also, have a section that describes the outcome of the project to help you track it.
Document the code too. Later on, this will be an incredible source of information for you for future projects. This document should look like a roadmap telling developers everything about the project especially if some developer joins at a later stage. This will come in handy if years later the app is to be updated by a different team.
Proper documentation also helps during testing and quality assurance in the future. Having everything prewritten ensures that nothing is lost in memory. Documentation gets you more reliability today and in the future.
2: Get Familiar with the Rules of the App Store
Before your development team sits down to write code, it’s recommended to create a marketing plan for promoting your iOS application. An integral aspect of marketing is distribution. The most effective way of making your app available to users is by putting it out on the app store. This would give your product more credibility.
However, getting your app published on the app store is not as easy as it looks. This is something you have a plan out at the planning stage and even throughout development and release. If you don’t pay attention to it, you will have to spend a whole lot of time separately to make your app publish on the app store.
Ideally, read the Apple guidelines before working on the development. Consider safety, business, performance, design, and legal aspects in mind. This way, your team will be aligning the app according to the criteria set by Apple.
3: Consider Backward Compatibility
When you are making an iOS application in 2020, it’s important to ensure that it runs on iOS 13 smoothly. Don’t forget that iPhone 6S and 11 Pro Max all are compatible with the latest iOS release. Don’t just make your app accessible to this audience, target a broad range of users. For this, you would want to consider backward compatibility.
This ensures that your app operates on older versions of iOS, iPhones, and iPads. Sometimes, achieving backward compatibility is difficult especially when you are going to use the most recent iOS features. In that case, you can’t do much about it but discussing your options with the development team can give you a fair idea of what can and cannot be available for users who are not using the latest iOS.
4: Make the Most of Xcode
Xcode is one of the best environments for iOS application development. It is also the only development environment for iOS that Apple supports so it’s your only option. And if you are building a native app, it’s your first choice. It’s free and it comes with all the documentation a user might need.
Xcode offers an intuitive UI. Testing the app and identifying bugs is easy. It’s easy to connect Xcode with GitHub.
5: Create an MVP
MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is highly recommended. It’s the basic version of the app that constitutes core application features.
Plus, it’s a much better approach to create an app that’s brilliant in a couple of things. Or else, you will just have a mediocre app. With MVP, you get the edge by creating a version that’s also testable. It’s easy to upgrade or make modifications by getting user feedback. If you would like to stay within budget, you will glad to hear that an MVP is cheaper than a fully grown app.
6: Get the Benefit of CocoaPods
It’s a dependencies manager that boosts performance by keeping the third-party dependencies in order. Some clients wonder why to use dependencies in the first place? Your developers might be able to do everything manually but they shouldn’t.
CocoaPods also lets you write better code. Some developers prefer keeping configurations as constants in the code. This could create problems in the future. Use CocoaPods to keep the configurations outside the code.
7: Automate Certain Processes
Automation helps to maintain the quality of the code. Setup up a delivery process and continuous integration to squash all the bugs early on during the development cycle.
Continuous integration allows developers to integrate code into a repository that’s shared with the entire team. This helps detect bugs early on by using tools like Travis CI or Jenkins.
Continuous delivery ensures the team completes the project in the shortest cycle to ensure it’s released at the promised deadline. It aims at testing and releasing the app faster. Tools like Fastlane help set up powerful features to automate the build and the distribution.
8: Be Cautious About Security
If the iOS app has to store sensitive data such as authentication tokens, user information, etc., keep them in such a location from where they can’t be accessed outside the app. Don’t use core data or plist files on the disk because they are not encrypted. Use iOS keychain or wrapper library for security purposes.
9: Don’t Neglect the Design
Apple is admired by its minimalistic design. Therefore, don’t aim for a flamboyant User interface. Choose something simple. Consider reading the Human Interface Guidelines by Apple to learn more about the app interface design. It has all the information you need starting from animation, user interface principles, branding to bars, and buttons. Don’t focus on creating a nice layout only, make it purpose-driven.
These iOS application best practices are the golden rules for developing, testing, manufacturing, and launching our app. Getting on board with iOS can be intimidating but with the services of a reliable software development company, make it smoother.