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Best Courses Guides

10 Best iOS Development Courses for 2024: Into the Walled Garden

Ready to unlock the gates to Apple’s Walled Garden? Learn to develop iOS apps with these top free and paid courses on Swift, SwiftUI, and UIKit

Apple’s ecosystem, often referred to as the “Walled Garden” by fans and haters alike, is renowned for its seamless integration, high standards, and lucrative opportunities for developers. Despite iOS devices comprising less than a third of global smartphones in 2023, iOS accounted for two-thirds of consumer spending on apps.

However, starting in iOS development can be daunting. That’s what this Best Courses Guide (BCG) is for!

From a pool of 800+ courses from our catalog and the web, I’ve carefully narrowed down the best courses for learning iOS app development, suitable for both complete beginners and experienced programmers. The overwhelming majority of my picks are free. These courses are updated to cover the latest iOS versions (15, 16, and 17) and Xcode versions (13, 14, and 15). Selection criteria included positive reviews and recommendations from the iOS developer community, especially r/iOSProgramming.

Please note that you’ll need to own a MacOS device for the courses in this BCG.

Click on the shortcuts for more details:

Here are my top picks. Click on one to skip to the course details:

Courses Overview

  • Around 51K people are following the iOS Development subject on Class Central
  • 9 of the courses are free, while only one course is paid
  • The most represented provider is YouTube with 5 courses.

Best Free Project-Based Course for Absolute Beginners (Hacking with Swift)

If you’re a complete beginner to programming, 100 Days of SwiftUI is a must for you to check out!

Created by Paul Hudson, 100 Days of SwiftUI is one of the most beloved and recommended courses by the iOS developer community, thanks to the following reasons:

    • It’s kept consistently up-to-date:
      • In 2024, it uses the latest iOS 17 and Xcode 15.3 versions
  • It’s long-term:
      • By tackling concepts one day at a time for a hundred days, anyone can become a developer, especially if they have limited time on their hands
      • Or you can also challenge yourself with multiple modules or skip ahead. It’s up to you, really
  • It’s project-based:
    • Taking the hands-on approach, you’ll learn by building lots of apps (19+), either with templates provided by the course or completely on your own!
  • It has a fantastic learning community:
    • Paul has a Slack channel for beginner developers to ask questions and grow a sense of camaraderie with fellow developers.

Through a mix of articles, videos, and even interactive app-based learning, by the end of this course you’ll be familiar with programming in Swift and building user interfaces in SwiftUI.

You’ll learn:

  • Basics: variables, data structures, conditionals, loops, and functions
  • SwiftUI: build apps with Apple’s modern UI framework, starting with simple projects and progressing to complex features
  • Data Storage & Privacy: manage user data efficiently, understand local storage, cloud sync, and data privacy considerations
  • Advanced Topics: explore user interface control, integrate additional frameworks, handle user interaction, and learn best practices for building great apps
  • Bonus: optimize your apps for iPad, including split-view layouts and text formatting.


  • Build a check-sharing app, a flag-guessing app, and projects involving machine learning and animation
  • Work on data-based projects focusing on sending, retrieving, and storing data.

Paul Hudson has written many books and published courses for Swift. He discusses all things programming, especially Swift and iOS development, on his YouTube channel.

Institution Hacking with Swift
Instructor Paul Hudson
Level Beginner
Workload 100–200 hours
Mode of learning Lecture videos, course articles, writing code, and quizzes
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free University Course for Developers (Stanford University)

The best iOS Development university course, Stanford’s CS193p, is now freely available to all!

If you’re a programmer or developer looking to dive into iOS development, then I recommend that you start with CS193p – Developing Apps for iOS. Why?

  • In-depth:
    • The course’s syllabus comprehensively covers iOS development using SwiftUI, from basics to advanced topics like MVVM architecture, custom views, animations, and multithreading — almost everything a junior iOS developer should know (UIKit is missing, but it’s better to learn one UI framework in detail first anyway)
    • Additionally, the course uses iOS 16 and Xcode 14, and thus remains compatible with the latest versions of iOS
  • Lectures:
    • Paul Hegarty is an amazing lecturer who has been teaching CS193p for 14 years now
    • Video lectures consist of slides that explain each theoretical concept step-by-step, followed by code demonstrations to show theory in action
  • Exercises:
    • No serious course is complete without hands-on exercises! You’ll encounter numerous reading and programming assignments to reinforce what you’ve learned and help you apply theoretical concepts to real-world applications
    • These are ungraded. However, you can find student-submitted solutions on GitHub.

Thus, if you’re a complete beginner to programming, this course isn’t for you, as the course certainly moves fast.

In the latest 2023 delivery of CS193p, you’ll build two sizable applications: a card game and a drawing software:

  • Memorize, a card-matching game
    • Design and create a custom card view using SwiftUI’s View protocols
    • Understand Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) architecture and manage the game’s state using SwiftUI’s state management tools
    • Implement tap gestures to flip cards and add buttons to restart or shuffle the game
    • Add smooth animations for card flipping and other visual effects using implicit and explicit animations
  • Emoji Art, an iPad app for making art out of emojis
    • Work with many MVVMs
    • Implement Drag and Drop functionality
    • Handle multitouch gestures (zooming and panning Emoji Art documents)
    • Multithreading with actor-based async programming, and handling errors
    • Support multiple documents and undo/redo.
Institution Stanford University
Instructor Paul Hegarty
Level Beginner
Workload 25–50 hours
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free Official Tutorial (Apple)

If you’re more of a read-and-follow-along kind of guy or gal, then Apple’s official app development tutorial might be just up your alley, especially if you’re an experienced developer.

Requiring only basic knowledge of Swift programming, this 17-hour long tutorial aims to get you introduced to the basics of Xcode, SwiftUI, and UIKit through hands-on experience building applications. Plus, as this is an official tutorial, it is guaranteed that everything here will be up-to-date!

The three iOS apps that you’ll build are:

Scrumdinger, an SwiftUI app that helps teams track and manage their daily scrums

  • UI Layout and Design: Learn to use stacks (VStack, HStack, ZStack) for arranging views and creating custom card views.
  • Navigation and Data Flow: Implement navigation hierarchies, manage data flow between views, and create edit views
  • State Management: Utilize ObservableObject, bindings, and SwiftUI’s state management techniques to handle app data and lifecycle
  • Persistence and Concurrency: Adopt Swift concurrency for asynchronous tasks and learn techniques for data persistence and error handling
  • Advanced Features: Create custom drawings (timer view) and implement audio recording with speech-to-text transcription.

Today, a UIKit productivity app for iOS that presents daily reminders with a muted, calm interface

  • UIKit Essentials: Learn to create and configure list views for displaying data
  • Collection Views and Navigation: Implement collection views and navigate to detailed views
  • Editable Views: Set up and manage views to allow editing of reminders
  • Adding, Deleting, and Filtering: Add functionality to create, delete, and filter reminders
  • Custom Views and System Frameworks: Create custom views with animations, ensure accessibility, and handle loading and saving of reminders.

Earthquake, a SwiftUI iOS app that queries and presents earthquake JSON data from the United States Geological Survey

  • Customized decoding: Swift has built-in data decoding features that automate common decoding tasks and simplify complex ones, such as JSON
  • Managing structured concurrency: Concurrent programming often comes with hard-to-debug errors, such as data races. Swift actors help you easily avoid this type of error
  • Testable components: Network operations can be difficult to test. Generics are a way to decouple dependencies and improve your app’s testability
  • Caching network data: Implement strategies for storing and retrieving network data locally.
Institution Apple
Provider Independent
Prerequisites Basic experience with Swift
Workload 17 hours
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free Video Course for Absolute Beginners (Sean Allen)

The Swift Programming Tutorial is poorly named, in my opinion, as isn’t only about Swift. Rather, it aims to give you all the necessary tools to become an iOS Developer, from programming to app development, version control, career choices, and more.

By the end of this previously-paid, now-free YouTube course, you’ll be comfortable enough to start exploring the landscape on your own. And though the demos were recorded for iOS 15, the topics taught are fundamental to the language and remain relevant to the latest versions.

The range of topics you’ll cover in this course are as follows:

  • Swift programming language:
    • You’ll start off by covering the basics of the Swift programming language, variables, loops, and all that jazz
  • Xcode:
    • You’ll learn how to use Xcode, the integrated development environment (IDE) provided by Apple for building iOS apps
    • Sean has a video on Xcode 15, which wasn’t available when the course was published
  • Building beginner apps:
    • Sean guides you through building a few basic iOS apps as you learn the fundamentals, such as a Colors App and Card Workout App
  • iOS development landscape:
    • You’ll gain an overview of the iOS development ecosystem, including career paths, pros and cons of different approaches, and recommended resources like blogs, podcasts, and books
  • Server-client architecture:
    • You’ll learn about the fundamental concepts of how iOS apps interact with servers to fetch and display data, including the role of APIs and JSON data
  • Version control:
    • Sean introduces the concept of version control systems, such as Git, which are essential for collaborative software development
  • Third-party libraries:
    • While Sean advises using third-party libraries sparingly, it’ll cover the basics of incorporating and managing dependencies in iOS projects
  • UI frameworks:
    • Sean discusses UIKit and SwiftUI, the two main user interface frameworks for iOS development. He’ll mainly focus on UIKit as most companies require that, but SwiftUI will also be taught.

Sean Allan is a senior iOS developer with over a decade of experience. He’s a prominent figure in the iOS development community, known for his educational content and resources to help aspiring and experienced iOS developers improve their skills. Some resources, like his Slack channel for beginners and courses, are paid. You can find them on his website.

Channel Sean Allen
Provider YouTube
Instructor Sean Allen
Prerequisites None
Workload 10–11 hours
Views 475K
Likes 12K
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free Project-Based Course for SwiftUI (Sean Allen)

Master SwiftUI from scratch with this free YouTube course by Sean Allen.

Updated for iOS 15 and iOS 16, you’ll learn how to designs apps with SwiftUI by developing 4 apps, from simple to complex:

    • Weather: Learn the absolute basics of SwiftUI by building a weather app.
      • Working with text and SF Symbols in SwiftUI
      • Structuring the UI using VStack and HStack
      • Understanding state management with @State and @Binding.
    • Apple Frameworks: Develop a handy reference app for Apple Frameworks
      • Creating a grid layout
      • Building detail views and introduction to MVVM pattern
      • How to integrate SwiftUI with UIKit.
  • Barcode Scanner: Create your own type of user interface for a Barcode scanning app
    • Setting up the camera for barcode scanning
    • Handling errors and setting up coordinators
    • Refactoring the barcode scanner code.
  • Appetizers: Put together everything you’ve learned by building an appetizer ordering app.
    • Understanding the app lifecycle, creating models, and building list views.
    • Managing network calls, connecting the UI, and handling errors
    • Implementing image downloading, using @AppStorage, and making async/await network calls.
Channel Sean Allen
Provider YouTube
Instructor Sean Allen
Prerequisites Basic Swift experience
Workload ≈12 hours
Views 264K
Likes 7K
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free Dev Interview Prep with UIKit (Sean Allen)

While SwiftUI has been the Apple-preferred UI framework for half a decade now, most existing iOS apps are built using UIKit, and thus many companies expect you to be familiar with it.

In this free YouTube course, Sean Allen will show you how to implement your UI and functionality 100% programmatically using UIKit. You’ll need some basic knowledge of UIKit first. You can refresh your knowledge by viewing this section of Sean’s Swift beginners course.

What is your take-home project? It’s a GitHub follower app that:

  • Allows you to search for a GitHub user
  • Displays the user’s profile information using a Safari view controller
  • Fetches and displays the user’s followers
  • Allows you to customize the app’s appearance and layout.

Through this, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set up and organize the project structure upfront, using folders and custom views/view controllers
  • Lay out views and constraints programmatically
  • Creating custom UI components like a button, label, and alert view
  • Implement network calls and handling errors using async/await
  • Refactor network code using a singleton network manager and using completion handlers/closures for asynchronous network calls.

The course has been updated over the years for iOS 15, 16 and 17. As a side effect, you’ll also learn how to keep your app compatible with older versions of iOS.

Channel Sean Allen
Provider YouTube
Instructor Sean Allen
Prerequisites Basic Swift experience
Workload ≈16 hours
Views 45K
Likes 1.3K
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free Resource for SwiftUI Projects (SwiftfulThinking)

To see SwiftUI in action, look no further than SwiftfulThinking’s free courses!

Nick Sarno runs the SwiftfulThinking YouTube channel, offering educational videos on Swift and SwiftUI for beginner to intermediate developers. With an emphasis on short, 20–30 minute long videos, developers will find his content to be easily-digestible and straight-to-the-point. He offers a watch order to his courses for complete beginners, though you can take his courses in any order.

His latest SwiftUI series is SwiftUI in Practice, where Nick recreates the complex user interface of Netflix, Bumble, and Spotify iOS apps in SwiftUI. Along the way, you’ll learn how to utilize reusable components, create beautiful animations, and follow good UX design. And these aren’t basic clones either — you’ll make use of third-party libraries often used in production such as SDWebImage instead of AsyncImage.

He also produced free series on other aspects of iOS development, such as:

  • SwiftUI + Firebase: Become an expert at using Google Firebase. Set up user authentication, connect to a remote database, and track your app’s performance in real-time
  • Swift Packages: How to use popular third-party Swift packages in SwiftUI apps (SDWebImage, Kingfisher, Lottie). Learn how to customize implementations for your app
  • SwiftUI Advanced Learning (Advanced Level): Learn how to build custom views, animations, and transitions. Get familiar with coding techniques such as Dependency Injection and Protocol-Oriented Programming. Write your first unit tests and connect to CloudKit.

Need help? Join his Discord server.

Channel SwiftfulThinking
Provider YouTube
Instructor Nick Sarno
Prerequisites Varies by course
Workload N/A
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free Resource for SwiftUI & UIKit Projects (iOS Academy)

Interested in creating stunning and functional iOS apps from scratch? Check out iOS Academy’s free YouTube courses.

Taught by Afraz Siddiqui, a long-time iOS developer who worked at Capital One, Microsoft, and now Facebook. Intermediate developers will gain valuable insights from his extensive experience, such as understanding iOS internals, following best-practice software engineering patterns, and crafting beautiful UIs with SwiftUI and UIKit.

  • Build Full iOS App (Rick & Morty) 2023
    • Aimed towards beginner-intermediate developers, you’ll use Rick and Morty API to fetch and display data on the characters, locations, and episodes
    • The app will be built programmatically using a combination of UIKit and SwiftUI, without using a storyboard, and follow the MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) design pattern
    • By the end, you’ll also prepare it for a potential App Store submission
  • Build BrightSky Weather App With Subscription In App Purchases
    • As the title suggests, you’ll build a weather app called “BrightSky” using Apple’s WeatherKit framework
    • You’ll use UIKit as your UI framework, while following coding best practices such as using the delegate pattern, closures, and the MVVM architecture
    • Additionally, you’ll focus on integrating in-app purchases, creating a paywall, and handling successful purchases to unlock premium content
  • Building FaceTime Video Calling App with Stream (iOS)
    • Create a video calling app similar to FaceTime using Swift, the Stream SDK for video calling, and Firebase
    • Stream SDK will be used to handle the video calling functionality, including connecting to calls, observing call state, and displaying the call UI, while Firebase for authentication, allowing users to sign up and sign in with email and password.
Channel iOS Academy
Provider YouTube
Instructor Afraz Siddiqui
Prerequisites Intermediate
Workload Varies by course
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Free Learning Path for Complete Beginners (Kodeco)

Kodeco, formerly RayWenderlich, is a popular online learning platform that’s well-known among the iOS and Android mobile developer community for its top-quality educational content.

By the end of their free iOS and SwiftUI for Beginners learning path, you’ll have familiarized yourself with iOS development tools (Swift, SwiftUI/UIKit, and Figma) by building two fully-functional iOS apps: a Todo list and a Bull’s Eye game.

Composed of five videos, the topics covers include:

  1. Swift fundamentals: if/else statements, variables, constants, type inference, and the Swift standard library
  2. Swift advanced features: functions, closures, enumerations, properties & methods, protocols & inheritance
  3. SwiftUI: Designing apps with SwiftUI views, SFSymbols, SwiftUI Animation, Size Classes, all while following test-driven development principles
  4. Figma: Creating a low-fidelity (paper) wireframe for your app, with emphasis on layout, typography, and color.

Enjoy this learning path? Explore their huge library of free and paid videos, articles, and books. You can access all paywalled content by purchasing a Kodeco subscription.

Institution Kodeco
Instructor Catie Catterwaul
Prerequisites Basic programming experience
Workload 16 hours
Cost Free
Certificate None

Best Paid Course That Also Covers More Advanced Topics (Angela Yu)

In this paid Udemy course by Angela Yu, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of the Swift programming language. You’ll go from having no programming experience all the way to a proficient iOS app developer!

The course emphasizes on learning by doing, which means you’ll be making fun real-world apps like Pokemon Go, Whatsapp, QuizUp and Yahoo Weather. In addition, you’ll acquaint yourself with some of Apple’s latest technologies: SwiftUI, ARKit, CoreML, and Create ML. And since this course costs money, its 4.7 stars rating on Udemy and praises of the course by iOS Developers on Reddit should convince you of its quality.

You’ll learn:

  • Install Xcode and explore its interface
  • Create a new project, design an app with an image and text
  • Learn Swift basics like constants, variables, and control flow
  • Design a flexible layout for different screen sizes
  • Deep dive into object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts
  • Implement the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern
  • Create a choose-your-own-adventure game with clean code
  • Learn networking, data storage, and in-app purchases
  • Explore Git, GitHub, machine learning, and augmented reality.

Angela Yu is the founder of The App Brewery, London’s leading programming bootcamp. She is a popular Udemy instructor, having over 2.5 million students and over 770K reviews in all her courses combined.

Do note that the course is using iOS 13, which is 4 versions out of date (currently iOS 17). If you do not need to know these additional technologies, I recommend taking a more up-to-date course.

Provider Udemy
Instructor Angela Yu
Level Beginner
Workload 60 hours
Enrollments 380K
Rating 4.7/5.0 (91K)
Cost Paid
Certificate Paid

What Next?

Have you completed one or more of the courses? The developer journey doesn’t end there — here are some things you can do:

  • Build Your Own App: Start a project to apply what you’ve learned. Choose a simple idea (perhaps from the App Ideas Collection GitHub repo) and gradually add features as you become more comfortable with iOS development, and maybe one day, monetize it!
  • Join iOS Developer Communities: You’re in for the long haul, so why not make yourself comfortable? Engage with communities such as the Reddit’s r/iOSProgramming, Paul Hudson’s Slack group, the iOS Development Discord, or the Apple Developer Forums to seek advice and make developer friends
  • Stay Updated: Regularly follow Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) and other official announcements to keep up with the latest updates and best practices.

Why You Should Trust Us

Class Central, a Tripadvisor for online education, has helped 60 million learners find their next course. We’ve been combing through online education for more than a decade to aggregate a catalog of 200,000 online courses and 200,000+ reviews written by our users. And we’re online learners ourselves: combined, the Class Central team has completed over 400 online courses, including online degrees.

Best Courses Guide (BCG) Methodology

I built this ranking following the now tried-and-tested methodology used in previous BCGs (you can find them all here). It involves a three-step process:

  1. Research: I started by leveraging Class Central’s database and the internet. Then, I made a preliminary selection of 875 iOS Development courses by rating, reviews, and bookmarks.
  2. Evaluate: I read through reviews on Class Central, Reddit, and course providers to understand what other learners thought about each course and combined it with my own experience as a learner.
  3. Select:Well-made courses were picked if they presented valuable and engaging content. Selection criteria include comprehensive curriculum, affordability, release date, ratings and enrollments.

Ultimately, I used a combination of data and my own judgment to make these picks. I’m confident these recommendations will be a reliable way to learn iOS Development.

Best Courses Guides. Start Learning, Stop Procrastinating.

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Elham Nazif

Part-time content writer, full-time computer science student.

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