It’s no secret that mobile applications are popular – just last month Apple hit the 25 billionth download milestone on its App Store. Two recent headline-making events highlight the meteoric rise of an application space that was essentially nonexistent prior to the launch of the original iPhone just five short years ago: (1) Facebook’s recent purchase of the 10-person company Instagram for $1 billion in stock and cash; and (2) Angry Birds Space’s recent launch with 10 million downloads in just three days.
Today, there are lots of companies creating applications for mobile devices and lots of independent developers hoping to come up with “the next big thing” in mobile applications. To help our students prepare for either path, the Dale Mabry A&S Division’s Computer Science department began offering a new class this semester – COP-2654 iOS Application Development (iOS is the operating system that runs all Apple mobile products, such as the iPhone, iPad, and IPod Touch).
Getting this class off the ground was a team effort, with Perkins funds (thanks to Dean Beth Johnson) helping with instructor training and development hardware, augmented by CITT funds (thanks to Richard Senker) for procurement of target hardware (iPads and iPod Touches) to support application testing. An inaugural class of dedicated and enthusiastic students has served to complete the new educational endeavor this spring.
The class is focused on developing “native” iOS applications – that is, applications written using the Objective-C programming language with Apple’s Xcode software development kit. We have an ambitious group of students, each of whom is developing an iOS app this semester. The apps under development are diverse: one app will be used to track and create reminders for personal beauty appointments and treatments; another is an estimating app for a family-run auto body repair business; one student is developing an app to let a user choose house paint colors by applying colors to a picture of the area to be painted; yet another student is creating an app to help keep track of time left on a parking meter.
If you happen to be browsing Apple’s App Store this summer, you might just see one of these student-developed apps. If one of them becomes a hit you can say, “Hey, I know where that app came from!”
Article written by: Cameron Spears