Over the weekend, Chia and I headed down to Mountain View to speak at the iOS 4.0 Developer Training Camp, put on by the Silicon Valley iPhone/iPad Business Meetup group. Ansca was also one of the day’s sponsors, and the main topics for my session were iPhone provisioning and App Store submission.
The turnout was quite high, and it was a great audience: mostly experienced developers who were new to the iPhone, but all highly engaged by the subject.
Apple’s iPhone Provisioning Portal, along with the general problem of setting up your environment and signing certificates, is a notorious trouble spot for new iPhone developers. In fact, a good chunk of our customer support here at Ansca consists of resolving Apple setup issues that technically aren’t our fault!
But this comes with the territory for a mobile tools company. I think Apple’s consumer products include some of the best interface work performed by humans today, in both general polish and abstraction of complex tasks. But Apple’s developer interface has none of this refinement — it’s an endless and confusing series of similar-looking consoles and dialogs. It’s an interface designed by engineers, for engineers.
And assuming you get that worked out, the other notorious trouble spot is App Store submission. This process has fewer moving parts than the Provisioning Portal, but there are still a lot of assets and information that you need to gather ahead of time, and Apple’s acceptance procedures remain shrouded in fear and mystery, illuminated only by anecdotes and snippets of folk wisdom passed down by fellow developers.
To help navigate these two topics, I prepared the largest slide deck I think I’ve ever made for anything. I believe this is currently the most complete and detailed walkthrough of the iPhone Provisioning Portal and App Store interfaces that you’ll find anywhere, so if you’re still stuck in either one of these areas, you can view the slides below.
And as I said in the talk: working in Apple’s mobile ecosystem is peculiar in many ways, but mobile development as we know it basically didn’t exist before the iPhone, and I think the Appleverse is a massive improvement over the days when the carriers ran the show.