Anthony J. Pennings, PhD


Developing Apps for Apple’s Mobile Devices

Posted on | March 25, 2011 | No Comments

While Android mobile devices like my Droid X are certainly gaining in popularity, Apple products still lead the pack in terms of popularity, if not user satisfaction, for mobile products. The key to Apple’s new mobility devices is the iOS operating system originally developed for the iPhone, but now the standard for an array of Apple products including Apple TV, the iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch. You can see a wide variety of applications developed for these Apple devices at the Apple App Store.

From idea to application

The iOS is notable for its user interface. Apple made history by commercializing the graphical user interface developed by Xerox Parc for the Apple Macintosh and continues to push development in this area with the haptic or touch user interface. Apple likes to call this the ‘Human User Interface” and they outline several Human Interface Principles that potential developers should take to heart.

  • Aesthetic Integrity
  • Does the design integrate well with the desired functionality?

  • Consistency
  • Does a design follow the iOS guidelines so that it fits the user’s expectations based on other Apple applications?

  • Direct Manipulation
  • Do users operate directly on onscreen objects and get immediate visual or haptic feedback?

  • Feedback
  • Do users get immediate acknowledgment of their actions and assurances that a process is occurring or has occurred?

  • Metaphors
  • Does the interface communicate directly and assuredly with the user through metaphoric symbols?

  • User Control
  • Does decision-making stay with the user as much as possible? Can they terminate an operation effectively and quickly?

Here Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak talks about the importance of the human in the user interface.

The iOS Human Interface Guidelines are a useful way to evaluate user interfaces and can give you ideas about ways to shape your ideas into a well-designed application. The next step is to start reading the iOS Application Programming Guide to help you prepare for coding and actually building the application.

Anthony J. Pennings, PhD has been on the NYU faculty since 2001 teaching digital media, information systems management, and global communications. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Comments are closed.

  • Referencing this Material

    Copyrights apply to all materials on this blog but fair use conditions allow limited use of ideas and quotations. Please cite the permalinks of the articles/posts.
    Citing a post in APA style would look like:
    Pennings, A. (2015, April 17). Diffusion and the Five Characteristics of Innovation Adoption. Retrieved from
    MLA style citation would look like: "Diffusion and the Five Characteristics of Innovation Adoption." Anthony J. Pennings, PhD. Web. 18 June 2015. The date would be the day you accessed the information. View the Writing Criteria link at the top of this page to link to an online APA reference manual.

  • About Me

    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, digital economics, and strategic communications.

    You can reach me at:

    Follow apennings on Twitter

  • About me

  • Writings by Category

  • Flag Counter
  • Pages

  • Calendar

    June 2024
    M T W T F S S
  • Disclaimer

    The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of my employers, past or present.