Guide to Learning iOS Development, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
25 items | 495m read

Ultimate Guide To Learning iOS Development

6m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Learning iOS Development

Originally known as the iPhone Operating System, iOS is a mobile operating system for Apple-manufactured gadgets (exclusively on the part of hardware) such as iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. It was first unveiled in 2007 and much of it has changed since then. iOS was extended to back up other Apple devices; the iPod Touch in September 2007 and the iPad in January 2010. iOS is popularly known for its underlying user interface that enables users to use multi-touch gestures such as swiping to move to the next page, pinching your fingers to zoom in and out, or tapping.

What is iOS application development?

The iOS App Store was launched on July 10, 2008, with only 500 applications available initially. By January 2017, these apps have grown to an amount of 2.2 million. These apps have been unanimously downloaded more than 130 billion times.

Before iOS was brought in the market, Steve Jobs was determined not to let third-party developers design native apps for iOS. However, harsh responses from developers forced the Apple Company to reconsider their decision. Therefore, Steve Jobs announced in October 2007 that the company is going to introduce a software development kit (SDK) by February 2008 for commoners.

There are several companies located all over the world that provide complete services in iOS app development covering the entire development cycle, from contemplation to distribution. Also, many people choose it as a career; iOS app developers have always been in a lot of demand. It’s a hot skill that is sought after by major app developing companies that pay you a handsome salary. This article will cover all the details about how to make an iOS app.

How to make an iOS app?

The first step is to devise an idea; sketch it out with pen and paper. Do good enough thinking about the app and how will it work or what features would it have. It’s convenient to categorize the app features, on a notepad, into ‘must-haves’ and ‘optional’. This ensures that your app is going to be considered a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which will have a shorter development duration and more flexibility. Also, focus on a single main purpose for your app to succeed. As tempting as it is, several features in a single app will only make it confusing for the users.

The second step requires you to do market research so one can plan on implementing a missing link that needs to be developed into an app. You should be asking questions like:

  • What alternative apps and competitors exist in the market? 
  • What are the requirements and needs of potential customers according to recent times and their demands?
  • What must be the cost of a new app and what kind of graphic designs should I use? 

This will give you an insight into what customers desire and whether your app would be attractive to them or not. Also, the loopholes that competitors are making will give you an advantage over them. Getting answers to all these questions would require extensive market research. Moreover, get done with mockups, app design and a landing website for your app’s marketing.

The third step is to initiate a professional building of your app. Either you hire an iOS app developer or learn to do it yourself. For an iPhone OS application, the developer needs to have an Apple-manufactured device or Macintosh laptops/personal computers. These devices must be running the latest version of macOS as it is certainly not possible to work on iOS applications with Microsoft Windows PCs.

The most important stage is to learn to code and learning a programming language owned by Apple Inc. called Swift 3.0 can do this. It is a universal language that is commonly used for all iOS mobile app developments. In the beginning, you just have to gain know-how of its functionalities such as:

  • Basic Syntax
  • Classes, Inheritance, and Initialization
  • Control Flow
  • Error Handling
  • Optionals

Swift Programming is an easy and powerful language and a lot of fun with tons of features that help in productive coding. Besides, it’s easier than Objective-C, which is another programming language, used for iOS development.

You would also need a Mac Xcode IDE (the integrated development environment) for macOS. It is the Mac app used to create apps that offer a magnificent user experience. It contains code editor, compiler, debugger, project organizer, testing engine, asset catalog and many more important tools to make an excellent app. Apple’s Xcode IDE is highly integrated with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks which makes it a primary app-building environment for devices such as Apple TV and Watch, iPhone and iPad. Build a user interface (UI), which is made up of buttons, navigation, labels, views, images, controls and much more. Draw application architecture for a better foundation. 

iPhones come with in-built memory which is sufficient enough to store most data that you consume on a daily basis. But for high-end tasks that require extreme loading, it is recommended to store your data to a cloud. You simply need to connect the app to your favorite cloud service and all major functions of yours will be managed successfully. You can throw huge amounts of GBs to your cloud as storage, you can use it to manage your database and you can even use it for app caching of yours.

To build iOS apps, highly recommended tools would be the following:

  • You can use the Parse Platform or Firebase for efficient storage. A few other good platforms could be added to this list but I have kept the number short to avoid any confusion for you.
  • Xcode would be the best tool for iOS development.
  • For beta testing of your app, TestFlight will be your default platform.
  • If you wish to gain insights on multiple iOS components, ADD would be the best source of information for you. ADD would be short for Apple Developer Documentation.
  • Use Sketch for User Interface and even Graphic Designing.

About This iOS Development Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about iOS development from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

8 items | 56m read
7m read | Basics

What is iOS App Development?

If your organization’s employees, customers or partners are among the hundreds of millions of Apple iPhone users around the world, you have obvious reasons to develop for iOS. And despite potentially high barriers to entry, developing an iOS app can be as easy as (in some cases easier than) developing for Android. With proper planning and the right resources, you can join the ranks of iOS developers.
10m read | Basics

The History of iOS

iOS is the name of the operating system that runs the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It’s the core software that comes loaded on all devices to allow them to run and support other apps. The iOS is to the iPhone what Windows is to PCs or macOS is to Macs.

Here you’ll find a history of each version of the iOS when it was released, and what it added to the platform.
3m watch | Basics

What is Xcode?

Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS containing a suite of software development tools developed by Apple for developing software for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Watch this 3-minute introduction video.
7m read | Basics

A Beginners Guide to Xcode

Are you interested in developing your own apps for mobile? Then you’ll need to know what Xcode is. In this article, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about this development environment so you can get your foot on the ladder of a career in iOS development and start sending your apps to the App Store.
14m read | Basics

iOS Programming Languages: Objective-C and Swift

When it comes down to it, there are really just two languages used for iOS development. The primary languages that dominate are Objective-C and Swift.

Of course, you can use all kinds of different languages to code iOS apps, just like you can use a butter knife instead of a screwdriver to handle household repairs. But by and large, they require significant workarounds that aren’t worth the effort.
2m read | Basics

What is SwiftUI?

SwiftUI is a user interface toolkit that lets us design apps in a declarative way. That’s a fancy way of saying that we tell SwiftUI how we want our UI to look and work, and it figures out how to make that happen as the user interacts with it.
7m read | Basics

Why Does Apple's Swift Matter?

It’s an easy programming language to learn, which is why many students, entry-level developers, and long-standing Mac and iOS developers are focusing their development skills on Swift. In addition, Apple open-sourced Swift, making it available for developing on other platforms, not just those designed by Apple.
6m read | Basics

iOS UI Design Do’s and Don’ts

iOS raises the bar for excellence in user interface design and offers great opportunities for you to deliver engaging and unique user experiences. Consider these common design concepts before you start coding to enhance the usability and appeal of your apps.
10 items | 173m read
2m watch | Advanced

What is a View Controller in iOS?

View Controller (or UIViewController) is a fundamental part of your apps display. Learn more about it in this 2-minute video.
30m read | Advanced

Auto Layout Tutorial in iOS

Making apps that look good in any orientation across multiple devices can be a challenge. If you’ve experienced this kind of frustration, despair no longer! Auto Layout makes it easy to support different screen sizes in your apps. In this Auto Layout tutorial, you’ll learn all about constraints and how to apply them.
25m read | Advanced

UIStackView Tutorial for iOS

With UIStackView you can easily lay out a series of views horizontally or vertically within a stack view and set it up in a way that the views are automatically adjusted to the available space using properties such as alignment, distribution and spacing.
18m read | Advanced

The iOS Design Guidelines

Designing iOS apps can be difficult sometimes, but finding correct and up-to-date information about all of Apple’s devices shouldn’t be. These design guidelines will help any designer who’s building neat things for iOS get started within seconds.
32m watch | Advanced

Building Your First User Interface for iOS

In this lesson, you’ll use a combination of Stack Views and Auto Layout constraints to construct the War Card Game user interface. Furthermore, it’ll work on multiple screen sizes and both portrait and landscape orientation.
8m read | Advanced

Getting Started with Objective-C Development

Objective-C is one of two major Object Oriented derivations of C, the other being C++. Each language took the underlying language and implemented Object Orientation differently. More recent versions of C have followed the lead of C++, rather than Objective-C, in their implementation of object orientation. This has led to further divergence between C and Objective-C.
20m read | Advanced

Programming with Objective-C

Objective-C is the primary programming language you use when writing software for OS X and iOS. This document introduces the Objective-C language and offers extensive examples of its use. You’ll learn how to create your own classes describing custom objects and see how to work with some of the framework classes provided by Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.
30m read | Advanced

Start Developing iOS Apps with Swift

Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift) is the perfect starting point for learning to create apps that run on iPhone and iPad. View this set of incremental lessons as a guided introduction to building your first app—including the tools, major concepts, and best practices that will ease your path.

Each lesson contains a tutorial and the conceptual information you need to complete it. The lessons build on each other, walking you through a step-by-step process of creating a simple, real-world iOS app.
7m read | Advanced

Connecting the UI to Code

When we develop iOS app use Xcode, we design the app GUI ( graphical user interface ) in Main.storyboard file. And the swift source code is edited in ViewController.swift file. But how to use swift source code in ViewController.swift file to modify storyboard UI component’s attributes or process UI component’s action event? This article will tell you how to do it.
21m read | Advanced

iOS App Architecture Patterns andBest Practices

Every iOS developer is familiar with issues related to product testing, code refactoring and support via ViewController. The latter is also known as a Massive View Controller. In search for solutions, we’ve delved into profound investigation of programming patterns for iOS. At some point you realize even this is not enough and time comes for iOS architecture patterns. So we analyzed top-5 patterns putting them to test in real-life projects.
6 items | 260m read
15m read | Expert

Best Practices for Inclusive Design

People use Apple’s accessibility features, such as reduced transparency, VoiceOver, and increased text size, to personalize how they interact with their devices in ways that work for them. An accessible app supports such personalizations by design and gives everyone a great user experience, regardless of their capabilities or how they use their devices.
7m read | Expert

App Onboarding Best Practices

A user’s first session with your app can be a make or break moment. While the app onboarding best practices above are a great starting point, it is important to A/B test every step of the way so you know exactly how your efforts will be received. Though onboarding is only the beginning of a user’s experience with your app, it is your chance to effectively pave the rest of the user journey.
12m read | Expert

How to Create App User Engagement

Just because your app gained a bit of hype to begin with, which resulted in plenty of downloads, this does not mean that you’ve gained loyal app users for life. The same goes for when you notice an increase in downloads thanks to that free trial you offered. Don’t be surprised if those users disappear once their free trial ends. Unfortunately, downloads do not equal life-long customers.

In fact 20% of app users who sign up will use a product only once. And 60% of users who don’t return after seven days, never will.
206m watch | Expert

How to Make Your First App

In this iOS tutorial, you’ll learn how to get set up for iOS app development, how to use the tools required and how to write/read Swift code so that you can build your own app! By the end of this iOS development tutorial, you’ll have built your first fully functional app!
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best iOS Development Books

iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. After completing this book, you will have the know-how and the confidence you need to tackle iOS projects of your own. Based on Big Nerd Ranch’s popular iOS training and its well-tested materials and methodology, this bestselling guide teaches iOS concepts and coding in tandem. The result is instruction that is relevant and useful.

Beginning iOS 13 & Swift App Development: Develop iOS Apps with Xcode 11, Swift 5, Core ML, ARKit and more. You’ll start building your first iOS app within minutes. Every section is written in a bite-sized manner and straight to the point as I don’t want to waste your time (and most certainly mine) on the content you don’t need. In the end, you will have the skills to create an app and submit it to the app store.

Programming iOS 13: Dive Deep into Views, View Controllers, and Frameworks. f you’re grounded in the basics of Swift, Xcode, and the Cocoa framework, this book provides a structured explanation of all essential real-world iOS app components. Through deep exploration and copious code examples, you’ll learn how to create views, manipulate view controllers, and add features from iOS frameworks.

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. Serial tech entrepreneur George Berkowski gives you exclusive access to the secrets behind the success of the select group of apps that have achieved billion-dollar success. Berkowski draws exclusively on the inside stories of the billion-dollar app club members, including Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Candy Crush and Uber, to provide all the information you need to create your own spectacularly successful mobile business.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best iOS Development Courses

iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs. This course focuses on the basics of iOS application development. You’ll gain the skills you need to create your own app, including fluency in Objective-C and UIKit and SpriteKit user interface concepts, and you’ll learn to leverage networking, security, audio, video, location, and sensor frameworks.

Swift 5 iOS Application Developer. Through four courses, you will learn topics beginning with the absolute basics and ending with selling your apps on the app store. This program provides the skills you’ll need to advance your programming career and seek employment in Swift and iOS application development.

Build your very first iOS app. In this course, you will learn the tools, techniques and concepts needed to build a basic iOS app, from scratch. You will be introduced to the Swift programming language and learn how to utilise the Apple developer tools to build an app.

iOS 13 & Swift 5 – The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp. This course will take you step-by-step through engaging and fun video tutorials and teach you everything you need to know to succeed as an iOS app developer. The course includes 55+ hours of HD video tutorials and builds your programming knowledge while making real-world apps. e.g. Pokemon Go, Whatsapp, QuizUp and Yahoo Weather.

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