How do I Become an iOS Developer?

This lesson explains the basic steps you need to follow in order to start up as an iOS developer and deploy your applications to an iOS device. System configuration information and screen captures are provided.


iOS is the first mobile device platform that was supported by LiveCode. The steps discussed in this lesson outline a process that allows you to set yourself up as a LiveCode developer for the iOS platform and successfully build and deploy test applications. The steps are set out in chronological order, first determining the hardware and software requirements, and then setting up your system.

The lesson focuses primarily on integrating the apple iOS components with LiveCode. You can find extensive documentation on setting up your Mac for iOS development at:

If you have already set your Mac up for iOS development and are ready to start creating your applications, you can move on to lesson: How do I build an iPhone application for iOS?

Software Requirements

Software Requirements

The iOS SDKS come as part of the Xcode app bundle. In order to build iOS apps in LiveCode, you must be using an appropriate version of the Mac operating system running on the intel architecture .You can determine what operating system you have installed and the hardware platform you are using by selecting Apple > About This Mac from the top of your screen:

1. This indicates the operating system you are using.

2. This indicates the hardware architecture of your Central Processing Unit (CPU). You should be looking for the word Intel.

Note: It is assumed that you are familiar with the installation process of an Apple operating system and LiveCode. Please make sure these are installed before you commence with the remaining steps of this lesson.

Joining the iOS Developer Program

Before you can continue with the installation, it is advisable that you join Apples iOS Developer Program. You can join by following this link: It is free to sign up and no payment is currently required if you are testing via the iOS simulator but is subscription based if you plan on testing your applications on physical devices.

Once you have signed up to  Apple paid for iOS Developer Program, you can go to the iOS Developer Portal and set up the required certificates (link is on the top-right of the page). Follow this guide for information on the process: Maintain Signing Identities and Certificates

Downloading and installing the iOS SDK

If you do not have the iOS SDK installed, then you can download it from the Mac App Store. (1)

Alternatively, you can download older revisions of Xcode via the "Downloads" section of your Apple Developer Account-

Configuring LiveCode for iOS Support

Configuring LiveCode for iOS Support

By now, you should have successfully installed the required software in your development environment. The next step is to launch LiveCode and configure it to interface with the iOS SDK.

Launch the LiveCode IDE and select LiveCode > Preferences to launch the Preferences menu. Then select Mobile Support and you are presented with the dialog shown in this step.

When you select "Add Entry", you will be prompted as to whether your installed version of Xcode is "4.2 or earlier" or "4.3 or later" - If you are using the latest versions of Xcode, you will want to select the later. You will then need to supply the location of your Xcode application bundle (for example, /Applications/Xcode). The rest of the filepath will automatically be populated for you.

Validation checks are made once you specify the location of the iOS paths. This ensures that you have selected a valid location and have the require iOS components installed.

The Standalone Application Settings... Window

Select File > Standalone Application Settings... from the LiveCode IDE. Then choose iOS from the list of deployment options. This raises the Standalone Application Settings dialog for iOS specific builds.

You can make a stack build for iOS by selecting the Build for iOS tick box and configure any other options you wish to include. You can select the name of your application by using the General option at the top of the pane and add files to your build by using the CopyFiles option at the top of the pane.

Note: Making a stack build for iOS disables building standalone mainstacks for any other non-mobile platforms.

Note: Inclusions, Copy Referenced Files, Bug Reports and Stacks features are not available when building for iOS. Use the CopyFiles feature if you wish to include multiple stack files in your application.

Running Under iOS

You should now have set up your development environment for iOS and are ready to test a LiveCode application in simulation or on a physical device, if you paid a subscription.

Select the a simulator from the LiveCode IDE from Development > Test Target. Your Test icon on the main pane of the LiveCode IDE should now be active and will allow you to deploy your LiveCode application to iOS.

In order to run an application on a physical device, you need to build a standalone app and load this onto your device using the Organizer window of xCode.

Further Reading

Depending on how experienced you are with LiveCode, you may want to review more of the numerous lessons and tutorials we have on developing for Android, iOS and broader lessons that explore the general concepts behind LiveCode. The release notes accompanying LiveCode releases with iOS platform support provide up to date development information and give you an overview over the features that you can access via Live Code.

The following lesson shows you how to test an application on the simulator: How do I build an iPhone application for iOS?


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