7 Great Ways to Learn iOS Development

If you’ve never written a line of code in your life, then jumping straight in to iPhone and iPad development is going to be a hell of a shock, which is OK, if you’re the type of person that can handle it. Since you’re reading this, my guess is that you’re not afraid of rolling your sleeves up and getting to work.

If that’s not you, then I recommend taking a step back and learning a simple web language first, such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, or JQuery, before jumping into Objective-C, which is the language iOS apps are written in.

If that is you, then get your trigger finger ready, because there are several links (including the link to this post) that you’ll want to bookmark and save for later.

1. Treehouse


Learn iOS Development with Think Vitamin

Treehouse (Formerly Think Vitamin) is a membership/tutorial site managed by Carsonified, who also happens to run the Future of Web Apps (FOWA) conference, and the Future of Web Design Conference (FOWD). I originally  joined to learn a bit of Ruby, Rails, and some advanced CSS, but there is so much fricking material inside that I got lost for months on end…emerging with newfound development skills I never thought I would obtain.

Originally, they lacked iOS tutorials, but since they’ve hired Amit Bijlani (@paradoxed) to pick up the slack, they’ve been cranking them out like Y Combinator cranks out successful startups.

I’ve been through every iOS tutorial they’ve released, and they are the most solid beginner tutorials I’ve found. If you’re looking to jump in and get started, then Treehouse is a great place to start.

2. Design then Code


Design then Code iOS Apps

Mike Rundle, of Flyosity, created this site to teach new developers how to create both great user interfaces (UI’s) and great iPhone apps. The site features a fantastic free tutorial, as well as a full premium lesson, including test code and a PSD to work with. It’s very inexpensive, and is a great way to connect the dots between design and development.

3. Peepcode


Learn iOS Development with Peepcode

Peepcode is a goldmine of development screencasts on almost every language imaginable. Some of them are simple, some are extremely complex, and some are fantastic live views of programmers solving live problems, but the common thread between all of them is that the production quality is fantastic, the detail is extraordinary, and better yet – most of them come with source code to analyze.

Within Peepcode you’ll find a few great tutorials on iOS development (I own both) that you can use to help bridge the gaps between the basics and the juicy stuff. Oh, and they are only $12 each.

4. Ray Wenderlich


Learn iOS with Ray Wenderlich

Ray’s blog is full of free iOS development tutorials that range from simple to complex. Some of my favorite tutorials here are those on Cocos2D, which teach you how to create simple, yet addicting, iPhone games.

It’s rare you find so much information in one single place, especially for free, and Ray has a lot of street cred amongst the development community, so check it out before he wises up and starts charging for it.

5. Mobile Tuts


Mobile Tuts to Learn iOS DevelopmentMobile Tuts generally publishes several tutorials on Android, iOS, Corona, Titanium, and a mix of other mobile engines, but most of their work is in the iOS category. They have great free tutorials that include source code, and usually the authors are available to answer questions via the comment section. What I like about Mobile Tuts is that they cover things you won’t easily find elsewhere, such as user defaults, UI design, and external frameworks, and they publish new stuff almost every day, so you’re guaranteed to find something you need if you wait long enough.

6. Stack Overflow


Stack Overflow iOS Development

Stack Overflow isn’t necessarily a tutorial site, but it’s one of the best places to find answers to development problems on iOS or any other platform for that matter. It works like Yahoo Answers, but for developers, and with more intelligent answers.

If you ever need to solve a small but nagging problem, then Stack Overflow is the place to do it.

7. Apple

Learn Objective C

Learn Objective C

This is the home of everything you ever wanted to know about Objective-C, straight from the horse’s mouth. On this page, you’ll find links to the simple stuff, such as setting up XCode, and the complex stuff, such as memory management and class declarations. This isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s the most complete library of iOS development information you’ll ever find.

Wrap Up

These are seven of our favorite places to learn iOS development, but they aren’t the only place you can learn. That being said, if you start here, and turn over every rock, stone, and brick in the process, then you can’t help but walk out with some serious iPhone programming knowledge.

About Nathan Hangen

Nathan Hangen is a co-founder of Virtuous Giant, and when he isn't working, spends his spare time playing guitar, running, and studying ninjutsu.
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  • http://www.yahoo.com/ Paulina

    Thanks for the isnight. It brings light into the dark!

  • http://dawnpatrol.europespolitics.com/ Albina

    Thanks for making the effort to describe the terminlogy towards the newbies!

  • Aru

    Thank you! Exactly what I was looking for

  • Guest

    lynda.com also has goor tut videos

  • http://www.iOSbyNight.com/ David B. (iOSbyNight)

    Interested in giving some of these a shot. I have worked through the first two Stanford tutorials on iTunesU, and even though I’m a programmer using other languages, I found it moved a BIT to quick. The prof is good, but he bounces around Xcode pretty quick if you aren’t used to it. An online resource may be useful as I can read/code at my own pace.

    I guess I’m old fashioned that way!

    • http://virtuousgiant.com Nathan Hangen

      I know exactly what you mean. I too had some troubles with the Stanford class, but really dig the Think Vitamin (now Treehouse) and Peepcode tutorials. All of the books I’ve purchased became outdated within months.

  • Paul Vieira

    Hackrocket.com will soon launch an immersive three-month program to teach absolute beginners how to build iPhone and iPad apps

  • http://twitter.com/aellah1 amare

    Thank you, i really appreciate it. :D

  • S. Mark

    Thanks for the list! Objective C is super odd at first.

    Anyone with .NET experience might want to check out Josh Smith’s new book iOS Programming for .NET Developers
    I’ve read the first few chapters and it’s really good.

    Here is the link http://ijoshsmith.com/ios-for-dotnet-devs/

  • Andrew Rauh

    I put a ton of really great websites on this list. Check it out. https://mysocialcloud.com/#!/183235/learning_iOS

  • piot

    Everyone who wants to start in iOS developement there is a great bundle wich is perfect for beginners. theres a lot of tutorials, sprites, sounds and all kind of other data to help you out, here is the link its really great so i share it http://www.payloadz.com/go/jump?id=43490&aff_id=3459441

  • Rij

    Really helpful…cheers

  • Bharat Gulati

    I have tried many of these tutorials, apart from raywenderlich, I don’t loke the others. I had quite a few problems when i was learning about 2 years back and I noted down where all I had problems. So i started writing my own tutorials at http://www.codigator.com. Trust me I know issues faced by new coders which are not properly covered anywhere.

  • aamir khan

    how can i find a best ever site for ios development ????

  • Dave Zegher

    I’ve found submitting pull request to open source apps to be a great way to learn. The code base builds nicely, is a larger project, and best of all, an experienced iOS developer looks over your code before they accept the pull request.

    I’d suggest https://github.com/nothingmagical/cheddar-ios or https://github.com/Ink/ThatInbox

    • http://virtuousgiant.com Nathan Hangen

      Great idea!

  • Mark Petherbridge

    Great list, Also check out http://ios-blog.co.uk – They have some great tutorials and resources.

  • Megan

    Here is a free iOS development course from BrainCert – https://www.braincert.com/course/iOS-Development

  • TekSlate

    TekSlate is the E-Learning platform delivers IOS Development Free Tutorials with
    customized course learning strategy to develop applications which help students to enhance innovative skills and master the
    subject. http://tekslate.com/tutorials/iphone/

  • Justin M

    I attended Makeschool this past summer and I had barely any coding experience. After graduating the academy, I have two apps on the app store and more coming. The experience was amazing, learning things such as programming for iOS, startup life, and etc. I made so many new friends and amazing connections to the tech world that benefits me greatly!


  • Aman Aggarwal

    You can also visit http://www.amaniphoneblog.com fro IOS programming related stuff. This website mostly has tutorials and code samples that are fully tested

  • Harry Martin

    Thats good list. I have came across advanced tutorials @ http://learnsauce.com found to be one among the best tutorials with source code and videos available.