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What does iOS SDK mean?

When working with payment applications on iOS devices, one term arises as a fundamental component to understand – iOS SDK.

In the following sections, we explain in detail what an iOS SDK means, how it works, and how to create one in iOS Swift. We also explore when an iOS SDK is needed.

What is the iOS SDK?

Originally launched as the iPhone SDK, the iOS SDK, or the iOS software development kit, represents an assortment of tools designed for app development on Apple’s mobile operating system. 

It allows developers to access a collection of frameworks, application programming interfaces (API), and libraries essential for creating iOS apps. 

While the iOS SDK can help build an app for an iPhone device, it can also be used to develop apps for other iOS devices and platforms, like iPadOS or Mac desktop computers with Apple Silicon. 

In most cases, Apple announces a new iOS SDK version once the iOS and iPadOS operating systems have been updated. 

The kit provides access to different hardware and software attributes in addition to the functions and services of iOS devices. It features an iPhone simulator or an iOS simulator that lets developers get an idea of the device’s look and feel throughout the development phase.

How does iOS SDK work

How does the iOS SDK work?

To understand how the iOS SDK works, it’s fundamental to become familiar with the role of APIs.

As noted above, SDK features an API that acts as a link between software apps and their corresponding platforms. These APIs and frameworks allow users to access the features and functionalities of iOS devices. 

This can mean access to areas such as interface design, networking, multimedia, data storage, location services, and others. 

In combination with Xcode (Apple’s interactive development environment), the iOS SDK empowers developers to build iOS applications using popular programming languages like Swift and Objective-C. 

However, the main language used for the development of iOS apps is Swift

Once an iOS app has been created, it follows a specific lifecycle. This lifecycle has diverse phases, including launching, running, background execution, suspension, and termination. Developers use the iOS SDK to manage these lifecycles and the overall behaviour of the app. 

It’s important to note that Macintosh users can download iOS SDK for free, but it’s not available to Microsoft Windows users

For testing applications, receiving technical support in addition to the built-in support, or allocating applications via the App Store, users must register and subscribe to the Apple Developer Program

Another essential fact to mention is that iOS does not support Adobe Flash. This is mainly because Flash is considered too slow to be used on the Web.

How to create an SDK in iOS SWIFT?

As mentioned above, Swift is the main language used to create iOS apps. 

But how can you create an SDK in iOS Swift?

This process involves several steps, like packaging reusable source code, resources, and documentation into a single framework that can be integrated into iOS projects

Although the creation process may differ, the general steps to follow are:

  • Identifying the project’s scope – outline the main goal and necessary functionalities of your SKD and think about the components that developers will interact with while utilising it. 
  • Set up a new Xcode project – open and start a new one. Select the “Framework” template under the “iOS” category.
  • Make sure you’re well organised – keep the public interface separate from the implementation details, and make sure to set up individual directories for headers, implementation files, resources, and other valuable assets.
  • Start coding – using Swift, implement the functionality of your SDK. Outline the public interfaces developers will use via your SDK (including classes, structs, enums, and more).
  • Add resources – if there are any resources that are part of your SDK, make sure to include them (these include images, nib files, localisation files, or others). These assets should be included in the Xcode project and linked to the framework.
  • Documentation – generate an easy-to-understand documentation for your SDK to help developers install, use, and test it. 
  • Create and test – create your framework target and ensure no error messages or warnings. It’s also advisable to set up unit tests to authenticate that all functionalities of your SDK are working as expected. 
  • Package and distribute – finally, once the SDK is created, ensure it’s in a distributable format and reaches developers via repositories like GitHub or other platforms. 

These steps are at the heart of creating an iOS SDK via Swift. However, they can change based on your specific requirements, expectations, and goals.

When do you need to integrate the iOS SDK?

When do you need to integrate the iOS SDK?

Integrating an iOS SDK into your project makes sense if you want to take advantage of a pre-built functionality, specific features, or services a third party offers. 

For example, in the payments industry, integrating an iOS SDK is a must in cases where your application needs to facilitate transactions, process payments, or communicate with payment gateways

Imagine you’re looking for ways to improve the online checkout experience for your shoppers via secure and convenient payment options. By integrating payment SDKs, you can support diverse payment methods, like credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and more. 

In addition, payment SDKs usually come with security and compliance features. These are especially useful, guaranteeing that sensitive payment information remains secure. 

Integrating iOS SDK is also a great idea in cases where you’re looking to boost the user experience, as it can allow access to push notifications, in-app messaging, multimedia playback, and more.

Wrapping up

Overall, iOS SDK is central to creating and managing iOS apps on Apple devices. 

We hope that this article will help you better understand this term and acknowledge its importance for the digital world, including online payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

In short, iOS SDK is a combination of tools, frameworks, and resources created and packed by Apple for developers to build native iOS applications.

The main programming language used in iOS SDK is Swift. However, Objective-C is another supported language.

To get started, you’ll need to download and install Xcode and create a new project. You can begin writing code using Swift or Objective-C.

Yes, Apple’s iOS SDK is free for developers building iOS apps. However, you must subscribe to the Apple Developer Program to use and distribute apps on the App Store.

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