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When you’re trying to pick a programming language to learn Which Programming Language Should You Learn For Software Development? Which Programming Language Should You Learn For Software Development? When starting on the path of programming, it’s important you invest your time wisely in choosing to learn something that will both benefit you in the immediate future with visible results on your platform of... Read More , it’s easy to gravitate toward the big ones that developers use to create masterpieces of digital content — things like Java, C++, Ruby, and Python. But there are a lot of programming languages out there (including some very weird ones 10 Programming Languages You Probably Never Heard Of 10 Programming Languages You Probably Never Heard Of There are some very strange and bizarre programming languages which have turned logic on its head and have still managed to stay true to the science of communication with a computer. You are going to... Read More ), and they each excel at different things. Why not try learning Swift How Does Apple's New Programming Language Affect Me? How Does Apple's New Programming Language Affect Me? From the get-go, developers knew Apple's new Swift was going to be big. But why should you care? Read More , the language that will let you create iPhone and iPad apps? These six projects will walk you through it.

Getting Acquainted with Swift

If you’re not familiar with Swift, it’s a language developed by Apple for creating iOS and OS X apps. It borrows ideas from a wide range of other programming languages, but is most similar to Objective-C. In fact, you can mix Swift, C, Objective-C, and C++, and your apps will still work. However, Swift was designed to be concise, making it a bit easier to learn and more efficient to use. It was also designed to be harder to derail with coding mistakes, another factor that makes it good for beginners.


For the tutorials listed below, it’s good to have some basic programming knowledge The Basics Of Computer Programming 101 - Variables And DataTypes The Basics Of Computer Programming 101 - Variables And DataTypes Having introduced and talked a little about Object Oriented Programming before and where its namesake comes from, I thought it's time we go through the absolute basics of programming in a non-language specific way. This... Read More , but very little is necessary. If you have any experience with C-based languages, you should have no problem. If you’d like to spend some time getting acquainted with Swift before taking on a project, you can check out a wide range of videos and guides, as well as sample code, at Apple’s Swift resources page.

If you think your knowledge is enough to get started, or you’ve taken the time to get a bit more familiar with the basic concepts of Swift, it’s time to move on to some easy projects!

What You’ll Need

To get started, you’ll need a Mac with OS X Yosemite What's New In OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"? What's New In OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"? OS X is evolving both in terms of looks and features, and just like last year's Mavericks update, Yosemite will be another free download. Read More or Mavericks OS X Mavericks is Free: Here's How To Get It & Why You Want It OS X Mavericks is Free: Here's How To Get It & Why You Want It Apple really outdid itself this time. The words "software sells hardware" never rung more true, and now that OS X Mavericks is free to all, isn't it about time you got on-board? Read More , and the latest version of Xcode 6. Beyond that, all you need is some patience and a willingness to learn!

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Say “Hello World”


The Hello World project is always the first thing a beginning programmer takes on, and Swift is no exception. This Hello World tutorial from AppCoda will show you how to create a very simple app that displays the words “Hello World” on the screen. It’s not super exciting, but it will give you a very basic idea of how Swift works. The entire project will only take you a few minutes, and it’s presented in an easy-to-follow video.

Create A Basic Task Management App


If you want to build something a bit more substantial and useful than a Hello World app, this walkthrough by Jack Watson-Hamblin on airpair is perfect. He takes you through each step required for building a very basic task management app Stop Organizing, Start Working: 3 Simple To-Do Apps To Speed Up Your Workflow Stop Organizing, Start Working: 3 Simple To-Do Apps To Speed Up Your Workflow Are you a list lover? Stop using your to-do list as yet another excuse to procrastinate. Switch to a minimal task management system and focus on getting things done. Read More using Swift, and will teach you a lot about the language and development on the way.

The tutorial is presented in three parts, with the first part being an introduction to Swift. Some of the things he talks about will make more sense to those who have some programming experience, but the tutorial can easily be completed by anyone who’s interested.

Fend Off Kamikaze Planes

This walkthrough, created by John Mullins, will show you how to create a very simple “Kamikaze” game in which planes spawn at the top of the screen and the user needs to tap them before they reach the bottom. Once five planes have reached the bottom, the game ends and the user receives a score. Motion and score-keeping are great concepts to be able to institute in an iOS app, so this is a good place to start if you’re interested in developing iPhone games Start Creating Games In No Time With Unity3D Free Start Creating Games In No Time With Unity3D Free Read More .

Build A Tetris Clone with Swiftris


If you want to really get into the cool things that Swift can do, you’ll want to try something more complex than the previous tutorials. This tutorial from Bloc will help you use Swift to build a version of Tetris 30 Years Of Tetris: A History Of The World's Most Beloved Puzzle Game 30 Years Of Tetris: A History Of The World's Most Beloved Puzzle Game This year, 2014, marks the 30th birthday of Tetris. In remembrance of its history, join me as I explore the past and future of the world's most famous puzzle game. Read More . It’s more involved than the previous projects, and there are a few places where the code isn’t explained quite as clearly as it could be.

However, all of the materials required are given to you in this tutorial, and the inclusion of screenshots and videos makes it easy to follow. And be assured that, although you have to enter your email address to get access, the whole thing is actually free.

Play War


Chris Ching has put together a 15-part series that will take you from the very basics, like an introduction to the tools used to create iOS apps, all the way through creating an app that lets you play the card game War. By the end of the series, you’ll understand a lot of programming concepts, some of the unique things you need to know about working with touch interfaces, and how to use images in an iPhone app.

Create a Custom Keyboard


One of the biggest changes brought about by iOS 8 is the ability to use non-system keyboards iOS 8 Lets You Replace Your iPhone Or iPad's Keyboard – Here's How iOS 8 Lets You Replace Your iPhone Or iPad's Keyboard – Here's How With iOS 8, you can finally to change your iPhone's keyboard, and you have some awesome options. Read More . Why not create your own keyboard using Swift? This tutorial walks you through the process of creating a calculator keyboard that can be used as an alternative to the standard one included in iOS.

I’d recommend saving this tutorial for last. While it is suitable for beginners, it doesn’t go into as much detail as the others regarding the principles behind the programming that’s going on. Even so, it’ll help you get a better understanding for using Swift and creating app extensions for iOS.

Go Learn Some Swift!

These six tutorials will give you a solid understanding of how to use Swift, and they’ll help you create some real apps along the way. Remember to read the comments for each one if you come across a problem, as others have probably dealt with it, too. And above all, have fun with it! Programming can be tough 6 Signs That You Are Not Meant To Be A Programmer 6 Signs That You Are Not Meant To Be A Programmer Not everyone is cut out to be a programmer. If you aren't completely sure that you're meant to be a programmer, here are some signs that may point you in the right direction. Read More , but learning through examples like these should be enjoyable.

Swift not your thing? You can learn to develop apps for Android So, You Want To Develop Android Apps? Here's How To Learn So, You Want To Develop Android Apps? Here's How To Learn After so many years, one would think that the mobile market is now saturated with every app imaginable to man - but that's not the case. There are plenty of niches that still need to... Read More  instead.

Have you learned to use Swift? Were there any specific tutorials that you found to be useful?

  1. Been Sand
    March 13, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Hello there,

    Well written post and well described as well. I am an iOS app developer and have developed more than 50 apps till today which are successfully run on Apple Store.

    I have tried various mobile app development platform to develop apps such
    as Phonegap, Telerik, Configure.IT, Cordova etc. As per my experience, Configure.IT, a complete mobile app development platform is the best among all.

    This tool provides automatic coding, app preview facility, one click API
    connect and many more features as well. Visit the website, you will get
    all the ideas about this tool. It's available at free of cost which is
    the best thing. :)

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I hadn't heard of Configure.IT, but it sounds like a really good option for app development. Maybe I'll have to check it out.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Tanisha LeDoux
      March 23, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Hello, I have recently been looking into ways to make my app idea take off, but I need a little help starting things off. Would u be willing to email me and kind of walk me through the idea?

  2. victor
    January 25, 2015 at 12:23 am

    i try and it was super easy it took me 15 minutes to make my app

    • Dann Albright
      January 26, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      I've never heard of that one . . . how does it compare to the sites above? What's involved?

  3. Venus Vavadiya
    December 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I have a Ubuntu 14.04 Linux pc, can I still develop apps using OS X Yosemite using virtual machine?
    Thanks in advance...

    • Dann Albright
      December 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      While I don't have any experience in doing this, I don't see why not. Give it a go and let us know how it turns out!

  4. Venus Vavadiya
    December 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks.. It will help me a lot... :)

    • Dann Albright
      December 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      I'm glad you found this helpful! Thanks for reading!

  5. Akshay
    December 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks ! I hope someones comes up with something good.
    I do have Snow Leopard on my VMware, I tried to learn the old programming language. But then Swift came along.

  6. Akshay
    December 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I really want to learn Swift. But, I don't own a Mac, I have win7.

    I tried installing Maverick on VMware as a Virtual Machine but it is too much for my laptop to handle.


    • Dann Albright
      December 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

      I did a bit of research on your question, and I didn't come up with much. A number of people suggested trying to get your hands on a second-hand Mac. Beyond that, I don't have many suggestions . . . looking for an online tutorial (like the ones they have at Codeschool) for Swift might be a good way to go. I'm not aware of any at the moment, but I would imagine that they'll be appearing soon.

      Hopefully someone else can chime in with something more helpful!

  7. Myke Robinson
    December 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    i tried to learn swift, i thought it wouldn't take long but i was wrong, but patience is key

    • Dann Albright
      December 20, 2014 at 10:47 am

      I'm glad that you found it easier than you expected! Yes, patience is key—that's true of learning any language. Any skill, really. Keep at it!

  8. DonGateley
    December 18, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    "Why not try learning Swift, the language that will let you create iPhone and iPad apps?"

    Because Windows, Android, Linux and Windows Phone.

    With C# and the Xamarin development framework all are covered, including iOS and OSX, with the seeming exception of Linux. Cross platform apps become a real possibility.

    I don't mean to criticize your excellent article, just throw out a comprehensive alternative.

    The C#/Xamarin combo deserves some serious attention from MakeUseOf.

    • Anonymous
      December 19, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Sorry but Xamarin can not match up to native development.

      Keep drinking that C# cool aid.......

    • Dann Albright
      December 20, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Yes, you certainly could learn another language to create apps for other platforms . . . but the article, as made clear by the title, is about learning how to make iPhone apps. And Swift is best for that. Also, because of the fantastic resources that are available for Swift, it serves as a good introduction to programming, from which you could jump to another language if you wanted to.

      I'm not disagreeing with you—you certainly could learn another language to make iPhone apps. Swift is just (in my opinion) the best option.

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