If you’ve ever wanted to build mobile apps then now is the best time to start. Programming languages have come a long way and modern IDEs are easier than ever to pick up.
If you prefer classic teaching styles then you might like these books on mobile app development. But if you’re a visual learner then video courses are the way to go.
The Internet makes it so easy to find these courses and dive right in. But it helps to know exactly what you want and the skill level you hope to achieve. That’s what makes iOS development so awesome: it’s easy to pick up and gives you a lot of leeway to program for popular touchscreen devices.
All of these video courses are well worth following if you want to build iOS apps. They aren’t easy and do require time, but if you’re dedicated then you can be writing your own apps in just a few months.
Swift 3 Fundamentals
There’s no better place to start than with the fundamentals. And Swift 3 Fundamentals by Pluralsight is one of the better courses on this topic.
Swift has become the main programming language for iOS since it replaced Objective-C a few years back. Now Swift is used exclusively for all Mac apps + iOS mobile apps, so it’s a requirement if you ever wanna build iOS apps.
Over 4 hours of video you’ll learn all the basics of Swift from setting variables to writing proper function syntax. You’ll also learn how to setup apps from scratch, structure your files properly, and organize everything into an Xcode environment.
Beginners likely have no idea how to use Xcode or how it operates. That’s the beauty of this course: you get to watch real videos of how you should approach new iOS projects.
Once you learn the ropes you can build on top of these vids and master the art of coding. But there’s no “best” way to code, only best practices, and that’s what you’ll get from this series.
Swift in Depth
To go a little deeper into this language you might follow-up with Swift in Depth, another great course from the Pluralsight library.
The level of mastery you need with Swift depends on how far you want to go with apps. If you plan to build custom games with your own graphics and user controls then you’ll need to dive deep into Swift APIs.
Granted this course is a few years older than the current version, but it covers the subjects very well. It totals over 5 hours with chapters that flow in a natural order. You work through operators, Swift commands, functions, type casting variables, setting classes, memory management, and so much more.
These are complex topics but they’re necessary to master iOS app development.
Doesn’t matter whether you wanna do this for a company or for yourself, either way this is a huge course with plenty of material to go around.
iOS Graphics and Animation Programming
Finally we get to some cool stuff for building custom graphics in your applications. You’ll find this in so many apps, most often the big ones like Facebook or Twitter.
With the iOS Graphics and Animation Programming course you’ll learn exactly how this works and how to do it yourself. The only trouble is that you really need to be comfortable programming for iOS before starting this course.
It’s a little dated so the code isn’t perfectly up to spec. But the concepts behind the APIs are still accurate with most of these “best practices” still being recommended for modern iOS programming.
Mobile games are some of the more complex projects with custom graphics and they’re covered in-depth with this video series. You’ll learn how to manage 2D canvas elements and build on UIKit graphics from Apple’s SDK.
Every Pluralsight account works as a full subscription so you gain access to all videos with a single signup.
This means you can work through all these videos without paying a whole lot. It’s worth following this course if you’ve got the time, but don’t worry much about the semantics. Programming language techniques change every year so you want to master the basic concepts while keeping your higher-level workflows up to date.
Design Patterns in Swift: Structural
I keep harping about finding your “workflow” and learning how to use basic concepts with proper code. This really boils down to structure and how you manage your Swift code.
The video course Design Patterns in Swift: Structural teaches you all about these structural processes and how they work. You’ll learn how to setup your own design patterns using Swift and how to plan iOS projects accordingly.
Note this is much more of an advanced course and it really helps if you know your way around the language. It’s not exactly an “expert” level course, but it’s definitely not a simple intro to the language.
Luckily this is one of the newest videos on Pluralsight covering the Swift language so you know the syntax is fresh.
This is also a pretty quick series with only 1 hour of video. But have a look at the course page and click through the table of contents to see what it’s all about.
App Evolution With Swift
I’ve recommended Code School many times in the past because their courses are superb. They cover a lot of ground and certainly aren’t as well-known as they should be.
One that I really like for iOS programming is App Evolution With Swift.
You can start that course totally free and work through the early lessons. But Code School’s free trials are very limiting which means if you really wanna pick up iOS programming with this course, you’ll want to subscribe for a premium account.
Luckily Code School works just like Pluralsight where one account gets you access to all their videos. And this isn’t the only Swift programming course on the site so you’ll have lots of material to work through.
I primarily recommend this as a starting point for new programmers. Pick up these lessons and see what you think. See how they feel and how easily you can work through the materials.
If you like this course and wanna continue with iOS apps then Code School is a nice library to get started.
Intro to iOS App Development with Swift
Here’s a strange course that might catch the eye of aspiring programmers on a budget. Intro to iOS App Development with Swift is hosted by Udacity, a free online learning program setup by professionals who record detailed lessons on everything under the sun.
You may be thinking: so this is totally free and the company hires this many people? How does it make money?
If you do a quick Google search you’ll realize many others have the same question. Right now it’s funded via venture capital and has many business plans in store for the future. But at the moment you can sign up for their iOS app programming course and work through it free of charge.
One thing I don’t love about this site is that teaching styles don’t feel as thorough as competitors. When it comes to massive libraries like Pluralsight and Lynda there just aren’t many others that can compete.
However Udacity is another great place where you can test the waters and see what you think. May not be right for you, or it may be perfect, but there’s not much to lose by trying.
Create iOS Apps With Swift
I mentioned Pluralsight and Lynda as two major online learning libraries. And truthfully those are two of the biggest giants in this space.
However there’s another growing library under the TutsPlus brand that’s taking the eLearning world by storm. They’ve got plenty of Swift/iOS courses and they’re all worth your time.
But my first recommendation for anyone new to this subject is Markus Mühlberger’s Create iOS Apps With Swift. It’s a few years old but the contents hold up surprisingly well.
One thing I really like about TutsPlus is the quality. Their premium selection is top-notch which truly means they’re a true rival in the digital learning space. I’ve seen a lot of great stuff in their collection from design courses to art videos, and programming is right up their alley too.
You can sign up for a free trial to see what you think. Plus there’s a 30-day refund policy so no worries if it just doesn’t work for you.
Game Development With Swift and SpriteKit
Moving right into game design we have Game Development With Swift and SpriteKit. Granted this does get very complicated fast so it’s not the best choice for beginners.
However it does fit really well for anyone who wants to program video games for iOS. That process can feel like a totally different world compared to building regular mobile apps from scratch.
This is why it helps to learn the fundamentals of Swift and then move into whatever you wanna build. Usually the fastest way to learn is to do practice projects and just learn as you go. This means building your own mobile apps with SpriteKit, which means this course will prove immensely helpful.
Just note it does require some background with Xcode so if you can’t follow along don’t stress. Try to go through other TutsPlus videos on Swift until you get more comfortable with the basics.
What’s New in iOS 10
Granted this course may date itself in a few years after I write this article… but it’s worth mentioning here for two reasons:
- It’s one of the newest intros to iOS 10 features
- This proves that TutsPlus is dedicated to new content(which likely includes newer versions of iOS too)
The short but sweet What’s New in iOS 10 only spans about 40 minutes of video. Yet it’s one of the more comprehensive looks into the OS with a detailed look at all the hottest new features for programmers.
Yes, you do need some backgrind in Swift before starting. But this course will help you catch up on the newest trends without having to research everything yourself.
And be sure to check the iOS category for any upcoming courses on iOS 11, iOS 12, or any future versions as they appear.
This Is How You Make iPhone Apps
Udemy is always tricky because you never know which classes are good, which suck, or which are just popular because of the discounts.
If you do a search for iPhone app programming you’ll find a ton. But this is one of the best and it’s my recommendation for anyone new to the field.
This Is How You Make iPhone Apps doesn’t run too long or feel too heavy. It’s only about 4.5 hours of video with plenty of lessons aimed towards the beginning programmer. It won’t take long to master the content or to work through these exercises.
But you do need to have some self-starting initiative. These lessons don’t really hold your hand(at least not all of them) so you have to push through and be willing to research questions along the way.
Thankfully the course has tons of exercises for practicing and you can learn a lot with these videos. Beginners may do better with Pluralsight or TutsPlus, but if you like Udemy and see this course on sale it’s worth a purchase.
Swift 4 with iOS 11 & Xcode 9
Here’s one of the newest courses in the Udemy collection focusing on all the newest software updates.
Swift 4 with iOS 11 & Xcode 9 pushes the boundaries of everything iOS. You’ll be programming with the latest language, the newest features, yet still learning the fundamentals of app programming. And those rarely change.
You can always pick up the fundies through other courses but many programmers want the latest & greatest. That’s basically what you get in this 6-hour video series.
You’ll learn the inner workings of the Xcode software, how to program with Swift 4, and how to write awesome code for iOS 11 apps. Hard to find resources this detailed that’ll help you dive into mobile apps with all the latest tech.
Introduction to iOS Game Development with SpriteKit & Swift
Now here’s a real doozy for anyone who wants to master mobile app gaming. Introduction to iOS Game Development with SpriteKit & Swift teaches you the foundations of mobile games from the ground-up.
This is a newer course and it does run on Swift with the latest version of SpriteKit. This means you get all the classic features along with newer additions available only in the latest updates.
So is it worth the price? This seems like a course that rarely goes on sale(at least from when I’ve checked). That means you’ll wind up paying the $200 price most of the time.
I can’t really say it’s worthwhile at that price tag, mostly because other iOS game programming courses come at far cheaper fees. However this one is much longer than other courses totaling over 10 hours of video. Not to mention the 80+ extra assets from exercises to practice project code and finished games.
Anyone who wants to build mobile games should at least look into the course. Read through the reviews and see what you think.
But if you just aren’t sold then you’ll find plenty of iOS game programming courses in subscription platforms like Lynda, Pluralsight, and the ever-growing TutsPlus collection.