How to Learn iOS

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by Sharon Wilfong

Published April 30, 2022

Reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

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Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
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If you want to learn iOS, now is an excellent time to start. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects demand for web developers and digital designers to grow faster than average. Moreover, mobile technology is driving much of this need, creating more iOS jobs for skilled professionals.

How to Learn iOS

What is iOS? iOS is the acronym for the iPhone Operating System. However, iOS capabilities go beyond the iPhone. iOS runs Apple mobile devices, including iPads, Apple TV, and Apple watches.

The iPhone operating system provides multitasking features, social network integration, and internet-based cloud data storage. Developers can create in-app purchase options, subscription plans, and premium content. Two coding languages are required to learn iOS: Swift and Objective-C.

Swift is a robust, intuitive open-source programming language that provides real-time feedback. Apple created Swift specifically for building iOS apps. Objective-C is object-oriented and adds new language features in the C programming language.

iOS features an interface that allows users to manipulate iPhones and other Apple mobile devices through a multi-touch screen. The operating system uses a layered architecture, including:

Xcode is essential software available as a free download. Xcode is an integrated development environment for code writing, editing, testing, debugging, and uploading an iOS app to the Apple App Store. Xcode allows team collaboration and development. Its features allow feedback in real time.

It takes time and commitment to learn iOS. The good news: There are various pathways for students to develop their skills, including online courses and bootcamps. Many are even self-paced to help busy students fit class and study time into their schedules.

Online Courses

iOS jobs often involve collaborating with team members and working directly with clients. Mobile app developers need soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, creative thinking, teamwork, and flexibility. Students also need an Apple Xcode account and a Mac.

While bootcamps can be expensive, there are less costly and even free options for beginners who want to learn iOS. Here are a few examples:

Coding Bootcamps

Learners should consider format and platform when deciding how to pick an iOS bootcamp. Platforms include online, in person, and hybrid.

Full-time iOS bootcamps are intensive, short-term training programs that typically take 4-6 months to complete. Part-time and self-paced formats may take more time to finish.

Some bootcamps accept beginners. Others require a foundation in coding or a coding challenge as part of the admissions process. iOS bootcamps may offer prep courses to learn programming basics. The best online coding bootcamps provide career services and even job placement after graduation.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Online Courses
Pros Cons
  • Free or inexpensive
  • Self-paced
  • Can start with no experience
  • No student services
  • Staying motivated
  • Typically no access to an instructor
Pros and Cons of Bootcamps
Pros Cons
  • Fast-paced
  • Instructor and peer interaction
  • Student support services and career services
  • Intensive workload
  • Specific time commitment
  • Can be expensive

Coding Bootcamps to Learn iOS

Code Fellows

  • Location: Remote, Seattle
  • Programs Starting At: $12,000
  • Technical Disciplines: iOS, cybersecurity, software development
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • Time Commitment: Full time, part time

Accepts GI BillŪ
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Code Fellows offers multiple class levels: beginner, foundation, intermediate, advanced, and continuing education. The iOS bootcamp is a 501-level course through which students learn to create mobile apps in Swift. This bootcamp best serves working professionals with software development experience.

Beginners must start with foundational courses at the 100-level before started the iOS bootcamp. The program features real-time remote classes with professional industry-leading instructors. Code Fellows also provides tutoring services and holds networking and recruiting events.

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DigitalCrafts

  • Location: Remote; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Tampa, FL
  • Programs Starting At: $9,950
  • Technical Disciplines: iOS, cybersecurity, UX/UI design, web development
  • Learning Format: Online, hybrid
  • Time Commitment: Full time, part time

Accepts GI BillŪ
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

DigitalCrafts offers part-time and full-time bootcamps in web development. Full-time bootcamps covering cybersecurity and UX design are also available. In UX design, students learn to design products such as apps. Front-end web development courses explore CSS and JavaScript.Web development bootcamp students learn about responsive design, APIs, frameworks, and debugging.

Learners can also take advantage of free introductory courses to prepare for the bootcamps. DigitalCrafts offers online and hybrid formats. Additionally, they hold regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

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Fullstack Academy

  • Location: Remote; New York, NY
  • Programs Starting At: $15,881
  • Technical Disciplines: iOS, software engineering, cybersecurity, data analytics
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • Time Commitment: Full time, part time

Accepts GI BillŪ
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Fullstack Academy offers online, on-campus, and hybrid bootcamps. In addition to full-time and part-time coding bootcamps, the school provides prep courses, including an introduction to coding and bootcamp prep. Students with some coding experience can take the full-time software engineering bootcamp, a 17-week intensive.

Learners gain experience using popular developer tools such as Git, Github, Chrome Dev Tools, Sublime, and Bash. Graduates from the software engineering bootcamp finish with a portfolio of projects and open-source code. Fullstack Academy also offers mentors, a career services team, and an event where employers visit to look at student portfolios.

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General Assembly

  • Location: Remote; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Washington, D.C.
  • Programs Starting At: $3,950
  • Technical Disciplines: iOS, data analytics, data science, software engineering, UX/UI design, web development (full stack)
  • Learning Format: Online, in person
  • Time Commitment: Full time, part time, self-paced

Accepts GI BillŪ
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

General Assembly features a beginner-friendly coding program with no prerequisites. Online and on-campus options offer the same access to learning resources, plus expert instruction and a support network. The curriculum helps students develop skills in popular programming languages, frameworks, and libraries.

Learners also build portfolios of solo and group projects in each unit. They complete a team-driven capstone project as well. General Assembly provides one-on-one career coaching and networking opportunities. Graduates receive a certificate, as well.

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The Tech Academy

  • Location: Remote; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT
  • Programs Starting At: $11,600
  • Technical Disciplines: iOS, data science, mobile app development, UX/UI design, web development, cybersecurity
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • Time Commitment: Full time, part time

Accepts GI BillŪ
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

The Tech Academy offers various coding bootcamps, including mobile app development, website development, and computer programming. Students can complete a bootcamp in 22 weeks when studying full time or 40 weeks part time. The software development bootcamp starts with the basics of computers and technologies.

Learners build on their skills each week with classes that cover programming languages, including HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Toward the end of the bootcamp, students complete a two-week coding project as part of a team. The last lesson in the program is a course on job placement.

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Get the Qualities You Want in a Bootcamp

We use icons to make browsing bootcamps easy for you. Use this breakdown to quickly identify program qualities you are looking for.

Accepts GI Bill®

Accepts the GI Bill® as funding for tuition.

Also Available In Person

This online bootcamp also offers in-person options.

Career Services

Offers career services to help you land your dream job after graduation.

CIRR Member

This bootcamp is a current member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting. Learn more at cirr.org.

Evening & Weekend Options

Bootcamps are offered during convenient evening and weekend hours.

Job Guarantee

Employment is guaranteed as soon as you finish your bootcamp.

Money-Back Guarantee

Tuition is refunded if you don't land a job within a given time frame after graduation. Visit the bootcamp website for terms and conditions.

Start for Free

No deposit is required to get started. Begin your bootcamp for $0.

Methodology

Bootcamp Ranking Guidelines

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

Our Methodology

The Bootcamp Team at BestColleges has collected data for over 150 bootcamps to help you find the best bootcamp.

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

At this time, our recommendation round-ups feature only immersive bootcamps designed to prepare students for job placement upon graduation.

To be included on our lists, bootcamps must meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer at least one bootcamp in the United States.
  • Must offer at least one bootcamp that is a minimum of 4 weeks long.
  • Must require at least 15 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is part time.
  • Must encourage at least 10 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is self-paced.

Pricing disclosure: The prices listed were collected from product websites in 2022. However, given the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the tech space, prices are subject to change throughout the year. To get the most up-to-date information about pricing, contact providers directly.

Methodology for Recommending Cheap Bootcamps:

  • The bootcamp must meet all of the general criteria listed above.
  • The bootcamp must cost less than $8,000 if it is offered full time, and less than $5,000 if it is offered part time. These numbers were chosen based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 that determined the average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,580.

iOS Jobs

iOS Developer

These developers may create apps for Apple products with a variety of purposes, including social media, banking, and commerce. Developers also maintain their creations. These professionals often collaborate with other IT workers to troubleshoot problems and create user manuals.

Average Annual Salary (April 2022)
$93,310

Mobile Applications Developer

These mobile application software developers create applications and systems that run on mobile devices. They have strong programming skills and foundational knowledge of multiple coding languages. Mobile applications developers who specialize in iOS create apps for Apple smartphones and tablets.

Average Annual Salary (April 2022)
$74,800

Frequently Asked Questions About iOS

Is it difficult to learn iOS?

Learning iOS with no previous programming experience will take time and patience. It's easier for those who already have some programming language skills. That's because many of the concepts from other languages are transferable to Swift and Objective-C for iOS.

For beginners, Objective-C has a steeper learning curve than Swift. Swift allows learners to start applying basic concepts right away. Additionally, it's essential to build the app inside the Xcode environment. It's free to open an Xcode account so beginners can learn the platform.

Is iOS worth learning in 2022?

It's worth it to learn iOS if you want to create apps for Apple products. There's a high demand for professionals with Swift and Xcode skills. For those who already have coding experience, it's a matter of learning new languages and frameworks.

However, if you're going to be an iOS developer and just getting started, it takes time and dedication. Bootcamps typically have a rigorous onboarding process to ensure that students have the technical abilities they need for the program. Remember, you can take free or inexpensive courses to get started before you head to an iOS bootcamp.

Is an iOS developer a good career?

For those who want to put in the time, iOS development can be a great career. The job requires continuous education to keep up with advancing technology. Still, iOS jobs are in demand. Between iPhones, iPads, and other popular Apple products, the need for app development is likely to continue to increase.

As demand for iOS developers increases, so do salaries. Another consideration is that these positions can be flexible, enable you to work remotely, and offer many creative opportunities. However, iOS development is a fairly niche field. There are many other options in mobile development, such as Android development and hybrid mobile app development.

What's the difference between an iOS developer and an iOS engineer?

The titles software engineer and software developer are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. These professionals perform different tasks during the development process. Developers design applications and create custom software, databases, and programs.

On the other hand, software engineers plan the scope of a project. They typically oversee the work of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.

Feature Image: SOPA Images / Contributor / LightRocket / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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