My iOS programming resources 3/9/16

By Chris Johnson

I recently launched two iOS apps, Long Day and Second Browser. These were my first forays into the world of native app development after years of exclusively programming for the web. Aside from the official Apple developer documentation, I relied on a number of resources to go from idea to a working app available on the App Store.

Here are the resources I found invaluable:

Apple Swift language book

If you’re going to program in Swift, you shouldn’t skip out on the official book on the language. It’s available free from Apple.

Big Nerd Ranch Objective-C book

My projects were new enough that I was able to develop them in Swift, but it’s still valuable to be able to read and understand Objective-C code if you’re in the Apple development ecosystem. Lots of libraries and code examples have yet to be converted to Swift.

Bitfountain iOS video courses

The structure of these video courses have changed a bit since I originally purchased them, but they were indispensable for getting me up to speed with the basics of actually putting an app together in XCode. The courses come broken up into small 5-10 minute videos that are easy to watch, even if you’re short on time.

Stanford Swift iOS iTunes U course

A bit more rigorous than the Bitfountain courses, and they are free to watch1.

WWDC Videos

If there is a framework you want to use, it’s a good idea to check to see if there is a WWDC video on the subject.

NSScreencast videos

High quality guidance for using specific frameworks or techniques you might want to use in your apps.


Unless you’re working with a designer, you’ll need to create graphics for your app. I used Sketch. I’m more familiar with Adobe’s suite of tools, but Sketch got the job done, and it’s a lot cheaper if you’re just dabbling.

Script to generate app icons in different sizes

There’s literally2 a million app icon sizes you have to generate before you can submit your app to the store. This script from Smallmuou on Github did the trick.

  1. I haven’t seen all of these, but I do highly recommend the Auto Layout tutorial in Lecture 2.

  2. Not literally.