Recently, I’ve been delving into the world of iPhone app development – well, perhaps ‘delving’ is a bit strong… dipping my toes tentatively in is probably a bit more accurate.

I was under the impression that to develop of iPhone, you needed to use XCode, in fact initially I thought that was all you could use! Then I remembered you can use Flash again as of last year. And then I found out there were even more options, so I thought I’d share them here, in a quick post!

Not everybody is fortunate enough to own a Mac, and Xcode will only run on a Mac. Bit harsh, Apple, I must say. However, if you’re on a Windows machine it’s not the end of the world, there are work arounds – DragonFireSDK, for one, lets you develop and test your app on Windows, lets you code in C++ (or C) and from what I have read, is compliant enough to allow for apps to be distributed through the App Store.

Another alternative is to install a Mac OS on your PC, and work using XCode from that. A little tricky for newbies though, and those who may have limited disk space available may balk at the idea of splitting it.

A midway point between the two, is Flash, which I mentioned earlier. You could also use Flex or Air (two other Adobe programmes), and Adobe programmes run on both Mac and Windows systems.

All these methods require coding that your average web designer may not be comfortable with – Objective C, C++, C, ActionScript 2, ActionScript 3 and so on.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way you could use HTML and CSS, the basic tools of web designers everywhere?

Oh wait.. there is! Combine HTML, CSS and Javascript and there are several, in fact. I’ve been dabbling with Titanium recently and so far, like what I see. Long term, I’ll be learning Objective-C, but to get to grips with styles, I like meeting Apple half way. Apps seem to compile and be accept by Apple for the App Store just fine (look at Wunderlist, which was built using Titanium!). There’s also Sencha Touch, which utilises HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript and also compiles and is accepted just fine by Apple.

Thanks for reading today’s blog post at The Small Screen, although we’ve shied away from mobile web design this week, we will be getting back onto that combination of HTML5 and CSS3 for a basic template soon!