Hello World! Build Your First iPhone App
Update: This tutorial only works for Xcode 4.6 or lower. If you’ve upgraded to Xcode 5, please check out the updated Hello World tutorial .
I hope you have configured your development environment properly with Xcode installed. If you haven’t done so, check out our previous article about what you need to begin iOS programming. We’ll use Xcode 4.3.2 to work on the tutorial. However, you can also Xcode 4.2 to build the app in case you can’t upgrade to the latest version of Xcode.
You may have heard of “Hello World” program if you have read any programming book before. It has become the traditional program for first-time learner to create. It’s a very simple program that usually outputs “Hello, World” on the display of a device. In this tutorial, let’s follow the programming tradition and create a “Hello World” app using Xcode. Despite its simplicity, the “Hello World” program serves a few purposes:
- It gives you a better idea about the syntax and structure of Objective C, the programming language of iOS.
- It also gives you a basic introduction of the Xcode environment. You’ll learn how to create a Xcode project and create user interface with the built-in interface builder.
- You’ll learn how to compile a program, build the app and test it using the Simulator.
- Lastly, it makes you think programming is not difficult. I don’t want to scare you away.
Take a Look at Your First App
Before we go into the coding part, let’s first take a look at our version of the “Hello World” app. The final deliverable will look like this:
Your First iPhone App – Hello World
It’s very simple and shows only a “Hello World” button. When tapped, the app prompts you a message. That’s it. Nothing complex but it helps you kick off your iOS programming journey.
First, launch Xcode. If you’ve installed Xcode via Mac App Store, you should be able to locate Xcode in the LaunchPad. Just click on the Xcode icon to start it up.
Once launched, Xcode displays a welcome dialog. From here, choose “Create a new Xcode project” to start a new project:
Xcode – Welcome Dialog
Xcode shows you various project template for selection. For your first app, choose “Single View Application” and click “Next”.