10 of the Best iOS App Development Courses [Paid and Free]

Many consider Snake, that basic arcade game of the late 90s, to be the first mobile app. Since then, we’ve come a long way. Nokia is hardly a contender anymore. And, as for apps, there’s basically an app for everything. While Android holds nearly 90% of the global market share, don’t be quick to dismiss iOS devices. Apple ranks as the most valuable tech company across the world, boasting a brand value of about $612 billion in 2021. While some say that they focus more on design than function, they’re clearly doing a lot right. The Google Play platform might account for the bulk of app downloads, but the Apple App Store beats when it comes to revenue generation, as revealed by data shared by Statista.

Seeing that Apple has such a devoted following of creatives, there are many leading apps for iOS that influencers have added to their toolkit. And, if you don’t find an app for your needs (which is highly unlikely, why not develop it yourself? After all, necessity is the mother of invention. Whether it’s for your own use or perhaps a desire to start a new side hustle, here are 10 top iOS development courses that you can check out. We’ve made sure to include courses for app development that will fit any budget and skill set. So, with just a few hours per week to spare and a Mac laptop, you too can become a mobile app developer.   

10 of the Best iOS App Development Courses:

1. iOS & Swift - The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp (Udemy)

iOS & Swift - The Complete iOS App Development

This bestseller Udemy course was created by Dr. Angela Yu, a lead instructor at the London App Brewery, the top programming bootcamp in London. In addition to programming, her other great passion is teaching and she’s taught thousands of students and employees at Twitter, Google, and Facebook how to code. This specific course has been completed by nearly 300,000 students already and scored a rating of a whopping 4.8 out of 5. In fact, according to the course description it's the highest rate iOS course on the platform. 

Whether you’re a complete beginner to coding or an experienced programmer, you’ll be able to learn something. All you need is a Mac computer with at least macOS 10.15 (Catalina). 

The course includes nearly 60 hours of on-demand video, 12 downloadable resources, and over 110 articles. There are also 12 coding exercises. So, you’ll have enough practical exposure too and end up with a portfolio of apps that you can use to apply for a junior dev job.  

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Xcode (Apple’s programming environment for app development)
  • UIKit
  • SwiftUI
  • ARKit
  • CoreML
  • CoreData

Price is about $100 and you’ll receive a certificate of completion. 

2. Become an iOS developer (Udacity)

iOS Developer Course I Become an iOS Developer Udacity

If you have more free time available to upskilling, you can check out this course offered by Udacity. It’s a nanodegree program (a project skills-based educational credential program) that will teach you everything you need to know about Swift programming language. In addition to the theory part, it will also give you the chance to build a portfolio of iOS apps for iPad and iPhone. 

No prior programming experience is needed, but, as mentioned, it’s rather time-consuming. You’ll need to devote about 10 hours per week for six months. So, it calls for a good dose of eagerness to learn and self-discipline. 

Topics that will be explored include:

  • The basics of Swift (the programming language used to create iOS apps)
  • Xcode 
  • The basics of UIKit (Apple’s front-end framework for developing web interfaces)
  • Network requests and GCD

With regards to payment, you have two options. You can use the pay-as-you-go option where you pay about $360 per month or pay approximately $1800 in full for six months' access. Whichever payment option you take, it doesn’t come cheap. 

3. Building an App for All Apple Platforms (LinkedIn Learning)

Building an App for All Apple Platforms

The Building an App for All Apple Platforms course has been completed by thousands of students. It’s a project-based course, presented by Brian Advent a software developer and educator, that will teach you how to build an app that will run without hitch across all Apple platforms (macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS) and fit the unique function and user experience of each of these devices. 

The course includes a sample project that will teach you how to set up a multiplatform template and create UIs that use a single set of APIs and tools. It will also teach you how to take into account the navigation requirements and design principles for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. 

Topics that will be covered include:

  • An overview of the Apple platform
  • SwiftUI
  • Navigation

While it’s a more advanced course, It’s very short and requires fewer than two hours. After successful completion, you’ll get a certificate that you can display on your LinkedIn profile under the “Licenses and Certificates” section.

 4. Build Your Very First iOS App (edX)

Build your very first iOS app _ edX

Aimed at beginners, this course will teach you the tools, techniques, and concepts required to build a basic iOS app and after you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to build a basic iOS app from scratch. Your instructors are Dr David A. McMeekin, senior academic at Curtin University, and Tristan W. Reed, a software engineer and research associate at Curtin University. 

It’s only an introductory course and so the only prerequisites are that you have access to an Apple laptop or Mac that can run macOS10.15 and Xcode 12. 

Skills that it will teach you include:

  • How to use Swift
  • How to use Apple developer tools like Xcode, Interface Builder, and Documentation Browser
  • How to communicate with iOS developers

The course consists of seven lessons that are spread out over eight weeks. While it’s self-paced and you can progress at your own speed, you will need to devote between 8 and 10 hours each week for the duration of the course. 

The best part — it’s free. However, if you want access to graded assignments and exams as well as a shareable certificate upon completion, you’ll need to select the optional upgrade at $150. 

5. iOS App Development: From an Absolute Beginner to a Paid Professional (BitDegree)

iOS App Development Course BitDegree

The instructor of this course, Mark Price, is a veteran mobile developer and has created over 60 mobile apps for both iOS and Android. On top of mobile app development (specifically Unity 3D game development), he also loves teaching and is the CEO of Devslopes, a platform that offers educational material aimed at beginners who are interested in becoming paid professionals. 

This course, as its name suggests, is also aimed at beginners. Though, existing professional programmers will also find it helpful. 

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Swift
  • Xcode
  • Core data
  • Building with Firebase
  • ARKit
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Machine learning
  • Tables and data
  • In-app purchases

In total, there are 176 lessons that add up to just over 43 hours of content in total. There’s also a chatroom that you can join where a community of over 10,000 users, including senior iOS developers, answer each other’s questions.

After completing this course, you’ll get a certificate and have a number of apps to showcase in your portfolio. 

The normal price is $27, but there are generous limited time offers from time to time. 

6. iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs Specialization (Coursera)

iOS App Development for Creative Entrepreneurs Coursera

Offered by UCI Division of Continuing Education, this course forms part of a series of courses that help students to master a skill and includes a hands-one project. To complete the course and receive your certificate, you’ll need to complete this project successfully too.

This particular specialization course concentrates on the basics of iOS app development. Students will be equipped with the skills needed to build their own apps. 

The skills that you’ll gain include:

  • User interface design (UI design)
  • Objective-C
  • Swift
  • Xcode
  • Computer programming

While you’ll need no prior experience to enroll, you’ll need to set aside about three hours per week for the next seven months. That said, the schedule is flexible and as the course is completely online you can start immediately and learn at your own pace. 

As mentioned, this course forms part of a series of other courses that all form part of this specialization. While you don’t have to complete all other courses, you can subscribe to the following specializations too:

  • Foundations of Objective-C App Development
  • Networking and Security in iOS Applications
  • Best Practices for iOS User Interface Design
  • Games, Sensors and Media
  • Toward the Future of iOS Development with Swift
  • iOS Project: Transreality Game

7. The Complete iOS 15 / iOS 14 Developer Course - and SwiftUI! 

The Complete iOS 15 _ iOS 14 Developer Course SwiftUI

This Udemy course about mobile development was created by the Codestars team (that includes Rob Percival, a best-selling Udemy instructor) and Atil Samancioglu, another best-selling instructor who has taught hundreds of thousands of students via the platform). To date, nearly 10,000 students have completed it and you can read the 1,000+ reviews as more social proof. 

In short, the course will teach you iOS 15/iOS 14 development with Swift 5 and essential design skills. You’ll also get the chance to build an iPhone/iPad app and even add it to the App Store. All you need is a MacBook and access to the internet. No prior knowledge or experience is required and the course will transform you from a complete beginner to a confident developer. 

Topics that will be explored over the course of 360+ lectures include:

  • Push notifications
  • Firebase and Parse
  • Core data
  • Social media development
  • Machine learning
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Design essentials with Adobe XD
  • Widgets

One of the major pros of this course is that it was updated very recently and so everything is completely up to date. 

The normal price is about $70 and includes a certificate of completion. 

8. This Is How You Make iPhone Apps - iOS Development Course (Udemy)

Free iOS Development Tutorial Udemy

If you don’t necessarily want to spend anything on your first course about mobile and iOS development, you can check out this free tutorial created by The App Dojo. Their tutorials have been completed by 150,000+ students and are great resources for those wanting to get started with building their own iPhone apps. 

This particular tutorial includes 4.5 hours of on-demand video that will teach you all the steps in iOS app development. As it’s aimed at beginners, you’ll need no prior coding experience. In total, it will guide you to create four apps. 

Over the course of 23 online lectures, it will explore the following topics:

  • Writing code in Objective-C
  • Creating a tip calculator app
  • Creating a food journal app
  • Adding geo-location
  • Creating a multi-touch photo-based app
  • Submitting your app to the App Store

While it’s free, it also means that you won’t have access to everything that some of the paid courses offer. You, for example, won’t get a certificate to show that you’ve completed the course and you also won’t be able to send the instructors direct messages or participate in Q&A sessions. 

9. iOS (Swift, SwiftUI) - iOS App Development for Beginners (Udemy)

iOS (Swift, SwiftUI) - iOS App Development

Created by Deepam Sharma, a professional app developer with over seven years of experience, this beginner course is one of the highest rated on Udemy, with an impressive 4.9 score. It’s a great course if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to learning app development and the 93 lectures only add up to 5.5 hours of video that you need to watch. 

It mainly focuses on Swift and SwiftUI and topics that will be explored include:

  • Understanding Xcode (including tips and tricks)
  • Basics of iOS programming
  • Frameworks like Core Data and ARKit
  • Push notifications
  • Git commands
  • Unit testing
  • UI design 

While it’s aimed at newbies and no prior programming experience or iOS knowledge is required, more advanced iOS developers can also benefit from this course. At the end of this course, you will be able to add several fully functional apps to your portfolio for when you’re ready to apply for a junior developer position. Then, to get you even more market-ready, it will also help you to prepare for potential interviews. 

The normal price is $35, making it one of the cheaper courses on our list. 

10. Foundations of Objective-C App Development (Coursera)

Foundations of Objective-C App Development Coursera

This course forms part of the iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs Specialization that we’ve mentioned earlier. It’s actually the first course of six in this specialization and so it’s a good place to start. More than 30,000 students have already enrolled for this course and it has received over 500 reviews. 

The instructors are Don Patterson, Associate Professor in Informatics and Computer Science, and Sam Kaufman, a partner at Gradient where he develops mobile apps. Together they’ll introduce you to the Objective-C programming language, the main programming language used when writing software for iOS. 

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Read and write Objective-C
  • Organize code with the help of objects and blocks
  • Prototype entry-level apps

To complete this course, you’ll need about 15 hours and a Mac laptop or desktop. As with the other Coursera courses, it’s completely online which means that you can get things rolling immediately and learn at your own pace.

 Wrapping Things Up

Steve Jobs made a number of accurate predictions in the 80s and 90s. One of these predictions was about the future of software. In an interview in 1983, he shared that the way software was distributed was going to change considering that it’s digital and could be transferred electronically. Fast-forward to 2008 and the Apple App Store was born. It’s been nearly two decades and by the look of things, apps aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. While Google Play might have the market share, the Apple App Store has more paid apps. So, the opportunity to cash in via app subscriptions or in-app purchases is a reality. If you want to explore this multibillion-dollar industry, these 10 online courses about iOS app development will set you on the right path. All you essentially need is a computer, some free time, an eagerness to upskill, and maybe a few dollars to spend. 

About the Author
Koba Molenaar brings nearly a decade of rich experience in content writing, specializing in digital marketing, branding, SaaS, and eCommerce. Her passion for helping brands, from solopreneurs to established companies, connect with their audiences shines through her work. As a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Koba’s commitment to excellence is evident in her work, showcasing her as a relatable and knowledgeable voice in the industry.