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The landscape of mobile apps is always changing. Whatever you learn today might be outdated, or even obsolete, within a few months or years. The mobile space is so new that trends are constantly shifting and new insights are made every day. If you plan to develop mobile apps, how can you keep up without going mad?
This is one area in which blogs are extremely useful. As we’ve mentioned before, programming blogs aren’t the best way to learn the basics of development, but they are useful for news, research, and supplementing your programming education.
These blogs are targeted at mobile developers. If that’s your niche and you haven’t already subscribed to these resources, you’re doing yourself a disfavor.
We highlighted TutsPlus in our article on getting started with Android app development and it’s such a valuable website that it deserves another tribute here. Note that TutsPlus is NOT just for Android!
TutsPlus is home to over 16,000 tutorials spanning a wide range of topics, including web design, photography, digital graphics, and yes, all kinds of programming. It’s primarily a repository of tutorials, but the great thing is that it’s basically a blog at heart, making it easy to keep in touch with new articles.
You can subscribe to specific categories if you want — such as the section on mobile development — and keep up with new trends as they produce relevant tutorials. For example, Apple recently came out with a new programming language called Swift and TutsPlus just started a tutorial series on it.
It’s a wonderful game development resource as well, so if you plan on being a mobile game developer, this is the best blog for staying up to date on trends in both realms.
For those of you who are Android developers, the Android Developers Blog is a dense but infrequently updated blog that covers timely issues that may or may not affect your realm of Android development. On average, they put out 1-2 new posts per week, providing just enough food to fuel your brain.
Just in the past month, they’ve covered topics like Android TV and Google Cast, Android L and Android Studio, Google Play Services, and tools for Android game developers. That’s just scratching the surface of what this blog has to offer.
What’s impressive is that Android Developers Blog has been consistently active since 2007. If you’re sick of following blogs that taper off and stop updating after a while, have no fear. It’s reasonable to assume that this blog will be around for as long as Android remains a relevant mobile operating system.
One of our readers, Alonso Vega, recommended that we check out iOS Dev Weekly and what a worthwhile recommendation it turned out to be. It’s not so much an individual blog as it is a weekly publication that curates some of the best articles on iOS development throughout the said week.
Why should you follow it? Because it’s a holistic collection of all things related to iOS. At the time of writing this, the latest issue contains links to an in-depth history of the Apple App Store, an analysis of Swift’s volatile features, a spotlight on Ensembles, a free online book, a handful of code tutorials, and even some job listings.
You can follow in two ways: sign up with your email address (there’s a no-spam promise) or you can subscribe using Safari’s push notifications feature.
Another reader-recommended blog, NSHipster is an iOS-centric blog that leans more towards the advanced side of the programmer skill spectrum. As the tagline explains, NSHipster focuses on the “overlooked aspects” of Objective-C, Swift, and Cocoa and a new post is published every week.
One cool feature is the regular “NSHipster Quiz,” which is a collection of questions that cover everything from random Apple trivia to murky tech-related questions that few would understand. It’s a fun exercise that you can use to gauge your relative knowledge and motivate you to expand your understanding of iOS development.
Engrossed with Apple’s new programming language? Then the Official Apple Swift Blog is the blog for you. Every few days, a new post comes out with tips, tricks, and advice on how to best utilize the Swift language for getting things done. Moving forward, Swift will gradually become the language of choice for developing apps on iOS and OS, so there’s no better time to dive in than now.
There’s another section of the site, alongside the blog, with a compilation of resources that you might find handy as supplemental material. There are guides, videos, and code snippets that can help you learn how to use Swift in a practical way. Seeing as this is the official website for the language, it’s reasonable to expect more links to be added over time.
Windows Phone has yet to catch up with iOS and Android, but it’s definitely on the rise and worth keeping an eye on. If you’re interested in WP8 development, there aren’t many development blogs worth mentioning right now, but Building Apps For Windows is a notable exception.
This blog is updated a few times per week, providing a ton of content for you to chew on and digest. Interested in tips and advice for submitting to the Windows Store? Curious about trends in Windows Phone apps? Want to be notified of Windows Phone news? This blog is one of the better places for all of that.
What do you do after you’ve spent all that time developing your mobile app? The story doesn’t end there. You have to get the app out to the public. You have to build a userbase and a brand. You have to distinguish yourself from your competition and win the loyalty of your target market. All of that falls under marketing and this blog is all about that.
In many ways, this is the most crucial phase of mobile app development. It doesn’t matter if you create and maintain The World’s Best App if nobody knows about it. How do you find and capture users? What kind of preview videos work best in the app stores? How do you polish an app and elevate it from good to great?
Whether iOS, Android, or Windows, you’d do well to read this blog. Lessons can be applied across the board.
Which mobile development blogs do you follow? Are there any hidden gems out there that you love? If so, share them with us in the comments below!