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Why Many iPhone Apps Suck

I have been downloading many different iPhone apps lately and have noticed that many of them suck.

When I say they suck, I’m not necesarily referring to the content of the app. What I am talking about is the programming of the app. But Brandon, how do you know the programming sucks. Well, frequent crashing is an obvious indicator. Also, taking too long to do various computations as well as overall awkwardness.

This is because many non-programmers or hobby programmers decide they want to make an iPhone app without first learning the objective-c language. People just use jank copy and pasted code frankensteined from different examples, close their eyes and pray. This is the architecture of many iPhone apps.

So, who’s fault is this? Well, at first I wanted to say Apple for their lack of tutorials/explanations. After thinking about it, I feel it’s simply lazy programmers driven by trying to make money rather than the desire create a solid and useful applications. It’s quite sad actually.

One challenge here is the iPhone is a terrible platform to learn programming with. The forced program design assumes you have a solid understaning of object oriented programming design patterns as well as many other advanced programming topics. Many CS students don’t even get this until their second year in college! So how can a novice programmer jump right in and make an iPhone app? They code a pile of crap.

So what’s the solution to this? Well I’ll tell you. Teaching people objective-c from the ground up (that, and Apple being more selective when approving apps). I intend to write a whole series of beginner objective-c tutorials (using the mac as a platform rather than the iPhone). I’m not sure yet if these will be posted here or on icodeblog.com. I have yet to decide.

So stay tuned for the first Mac Application Development tutorials.