With the upcoming release of iOS 11 in September 2017 and a fresh update for Apple’s innovative programming language Swift, it is a good time to start learning how to develop apps for the iPhone and iPad.
iOS 11 brings a number new updates to the OS, the most exciting for developers being ARKit, a new development platform to create incredible augmented reality experiences and Core ML, which allows the creation of more intelligent apps using the power of machine learning. To get all-new App Store redesigned from the ground up to make app discovery easier.
Here’s a full rundown of what’s new in iOS 11. While red hot demand for iOS developers has cooled in the last couple years, it still remains one of the most in-demand skills in the digital economy. Learning how to code and studying iOS development remains one of the best career paths to follow today.
The financial reward of becoming an iOS and Swift developer is potentially huge. The average salary in the U.S. for an iOS app developer is $101,000. So, if you’re ready to take on a big learning challenge, let’s get started!
How To Start Learning iOS 11 and Swift Development:
1. You will need an iPhone or iPad for development and testing.
2. It is preferable to also have a Mac using OS X Lion or later.
5. Take one of the free or premium iOS development courses listed below if you aren’t already familiar with iOS development.
6. You will need to join the Apple iOS Developer Program to submit your apps ($99/year).
7. You may also want to experiment with Apple’s new augmented reality toolkit by downloading ARKit.
Free iOS Development Courses:
The only free online course for developing iOS apps is a little out-of-date but it still covers many of the fundamentals. If you’re don’t want to spend any money, you can install iOS 11’s Software Development Kit (SDK) and Apple’s X Code 9 platform and start learning the fundamentals while studying this free course below.
If you’re going to go this route, you should also extensively study all the freely available glossaries and learning resources on Apple’s Developer Portal (plus what I’ve included below in this guide).
1. Developing iOS Apps with Swift (Stanford University)
This is the most popular free iPhone and iPad app development course but it hasn’t been updated since iOS 8 (the fundamentals remain the same). It’s provided for free on iTunes U and it is taught by the excellent professor Paul Hegarty from Stanford University. Many successful iPhone/iPad app developers have used this exact course to learn their skills.
2. Swift Playgrounds (Apple)
A new iPad app for learning Swift that Apple will release in the fall (available now if you have the beta of iOS 10 installed on your iPad). The app Swiftly is also an excellent introduction to learning to code in Swift.
Premium iOS Development Courses:
If you want to build a new career in iOS development, you will want to dedicate at least 6 months to learning the foundation for becoming iOS 11 developer. Considering that 2-month iOS bootcamps cost between $7000-$10,000 dollars, learning with an online course is an amazing deal if you’re a self-directed learner.
Affiliate Disclosure: We get a small commission from these links if you choose to purchase the full course. You still pay the same price and it helps us continue to make educational content like this.
1. The Complete iOS 11 & Swift Developer Course (Udemy)
This is the most comprehensive online training program I’ve found for learning iOS and Swift development. This best-selling course is taught by master teacher Rob Percival who has more than 100,000 students online (he previously taught courses in iOS 7, 8, 9 and 10) and he is always updating the course with new modules and information as iOS progresses.
This Complete iOS 11 training course will take you from the beginner’s stage to becoming a proficient iOS developer by building 20 apps, including working clones of Uber, Instagram and FlappyBird.
Most importantly, at the end of this program you will have an excellent digital portfolio to show what you can build with your new coding skills, which will be necessary to land an entry-level iOS developer job or internship.
2. Launch Your Career In iOS (University of Toronto)
A new iOS development curriculum from the University of Toronto on Coursera. It includes three University courses: Introduction to Swift Programming, iOS App Development Basics and App Design and Development for iOS, along with a captstone project where you build your own iOS app.
This is a slightly more expensive option but you will earn a more recognized credential from Coursera and the University of Toronto, which could be helpful for getting your first job as an iPhone and iPad developer. However, what really matters is the strength of your digital portfolio of iOS apps you have built.
iOS 11 and Swift Tutorials:
Here are some excellent tutorials for improving your skills in Swift.
1. iOS 11: Machine Learning for everyone – An overview of the powerful new features in Open ML.
2. Swift Tutorials – An excellent 22-minute introduction to Swift with beginners.
3. Swift For Beginners – An easy-to-follow introduction to Swift for people who haven’t programmed before.
4. Swift Resources – Online guides, references, instructional videos and sample code provided by Apple.
5. Learn Swift – A no-frills introduction to Swift for busy and/or curious people.
Other Useful iPhone/iPad App Development Resources:
I also recommend browsing these online resources creating by experienced iOS developers.
1. Design+Code – An exhaustive list of learning resources for iOS design and X Code.
2. iOS Dev Weekly – A hand picked round up of the best iOS development links sent out every week.
3. The Swift Programming Language – A free ebook on Swift provided by Apple.
4. RunSwift – Compiled and run Swift code directly in your browser.
5. What does it take to become an iOS Developer? – A good discussion thread on Quora to read if you’re considering becoming an iOS developer.
I hope this guide helps you learn iOS development and kickstart your career as an iPhone/iPad app developer.