Welcome to our final installment of the Top 50 Series: The Top 50 Websites to Learn Mobile Development.
Before diving into the list of 50 resources for learning mobile app development, you should be familiar with a few important statistics.
Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the world own a smartphone? And 1 in 17 people in the world own a tablet. And both phones and tablets heavily rely on mobile apps.
Furthermore, in the US alone there are 224 million monthly app users who are active at any given time. You get the point: mobile is hot, and it’s in high demand.
That’s exactly why it’s a great time to learn how to create mobile apps. Of course, the most difficult part will be pinpointing which mobile app platform to focus on. There is Apple and iOS, Google’s Android — across a whole slew of different devices — Windows Phone and even Blackberry. Android and iOS are the two obvious choices to pursue since they’re the most widely used.
Whichever platform you choose, however, you’ll need to learn a different language. Luckily the fundamentals of programming largely remain the same no matter what you’re developing.
However, before diving into mobile app development, having a handle on programming basics will help.
What Language or Platform Should I Learn?
Objective-C is the primary language for Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. (However, Swift is up and coming.) The official language for Android development, on the other hand, is Java. However, you can create mobile applications for Android through the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) using C and C++ but it’s not recommended or promoted by Google.
Windows Phone apps are designed in multiple ways: XAML is used for the UI and C# or Visual Basic is used for the programming aspect. With the latest version, Windows Phone 8, you can develop applications with C++ using Direct3D to take advantage of powerful graphics hardware. The latter is relevant if you want to develop mobile games.
We’re not going to explain Blackberry in depth because you can use a wide variety of languages with it. Moreover, the platform is no longer popular among mobile users.
As far as choosing a platform, your best bet is to choose the one you intend to use most. If you don’t have a variety of test devices then stick with the platform that matches the current device you own. This will allow you to test and prototype your work on an existing mobile device.
Where Should You Start?
Unlike learning other programming languages, mobile app development takes more time and involves multiple layers.
Nonetheless, it is very possible to teach yourself mobile app development. You don’t have to spend tons of money going back to school, or even invest in one of the more exclusive coding bootcamps.
You can easily hone your skills through hands-on practice.
To help you get started in the world of mobile app development, we compiled a huge list of resources. Some are free, and others costs money. Either way, they all hold value in some way.
Top 50 Websites to Learn Mobile App Development
The following list is broken down into three sections:
- Android Development and Resources
- iOS (Apple) Development and Resources
- Other Mobile App Development Resources
We’ll explain which options are more suitable to your tastes — whether you’re at a beginner, intermediate or expert level.
Android Mobile Development Resources
1. Learn Java for Android Development
This paperback book is ideal for beginner to intermediate programmers. If you have absolutely no prior experience coding then don’t fret, this guide will walk you through getting started, as well. Since Java is integral to Android app development, that’s what you’ll be focusing on.
Price: Starts at $25
2. Android Development Community Forums
Anddev or the Android Development Community is dedicated to mobile app dev on the Android platform. It’s primarily a forum where like-minded individuals can discuss mobile dev related topics. However, there is also a great deal of useful tutorials available. It’s a great place for developers of any skill level.
3. Official Android Developer’s Community Portal
You won’t find tutorials or coding advice on the official Android Developer’s Community portal managed by Google devs. However, you will find plenty of information about the Android platform as a whole. This is where they announce software updates, new features and discuss important development information.
4. Official Android Developer’s Training
This guide is hosted on the official Android Developer’s Community, but it’s definitely something you’ll want to bookmark as a mobile dev. Experienced coders might not want to visit the guide often, it walks you through getting started and building your first app. That said, it’s great as a resource when you want to know how to do something specific.
5. Learn Android SDK from Scratch by Tuts Plus
If you’re a newbie to coding you should check out the Tuts Plus Android SDK tutorial. It’s free, and it walks you through using the Android Software Development Kit, which can be a pain to setup if you’ve never handled something like it before. It’s also a great resource for intermediate level coders. Experts might not find anything worthwhile.
6. Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps on Coursera
This course for beginners is a great place to learn the basics of computer science and programming. First it will walk you through the introductory material and then it will move on to Android specific lessons using Java and standard software development tools. You do not need any prior coding experience to get started.
7. Developing Android Apps Udacity Course
Udacity is yet another online coding school, but their Developing Android Apps course was actually built by Google. If you make it through the course, you can continue learning more in depth topics in regards to Android development. It’s great for beginner to intermediate coders.
Price: $199/month after free 14-day trial
This website offers a wide variety of high-quality Android development tutorials, and they all happen to be free. Coders of all skill levels can find something here. The tutorials are well written, provide in-depth tips and information and include a bunch of useful code snippets and exercises. There are links to more resources too, if you need them.
This website is run by Paresh Mayani, a popular Android developer, who specializes in mobile dev tutorials. Technotalkative is essentially where he compiles all his guides and writes about his experiences with Android development. After you’re done, you can head to the main blog where he addresses working with various aspects of Android.
10. Android Hive
This blog is by Ravi Tamada another renowned Android developer. Many of the posts are step-by-step guides on working with Android development tools. He also details some specific functions that you can use with your own projects.
11. Made in Android
This website is yet another blog or online publication that offers a wide variety of Android app development tips, tricks and guides. It’s great for all skill levels, especially if you’re looking for help with something specific like making a custom listview in your app with a search box or creating a Google Map enabled application.
12. Codelearn Android Tutorial
Codelearn specializes in a quite unique form of teaching. Their lessons show you how to build applications — with a number of different programming languages — right in your browser. They recently launched an Android-centric portal which is more than useful.
13. Android Example
Used to working with Android and want to know how to handle some of the more advanced features and functions? Android Example is a blog focused on the niche topics. There are step-by-step guides on using SharedPreferences, opening the file browser with the camera application and much more.
14. Android Begin
This is another great resource for intermediate to experienced coders. It’s a blog — updated regularly — that discusses a great deal of topics related to Android development.
15. Mybringback Android Development for Absolute Beginners
This YouTube series by Mybringback is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a bit dated now but there are still a lot of useful concepts particularly when it comes to working with the fundamentals. It will have you up and running in a matter of days.
16. Learn Android Dev the Right Way by Kevin Darty
Kevin Darty is a developer, but he put together this list for his wife that wanted to break into the world of programming. He believes that every coding newbie should start with Java in order to build a strong foundation in the basics of Android mobile app development. This list of resources include a bevy of tutorials, books, articles and more that will help you learn to code.
17. The New Circle – Android Bootcamp Series 2012
Obviously, the Android Bootcamp Series video tutorials are way out of date by now. However, they cover a lot of topics that what help newbies get into Android app development. Check it out if you need still something more after sorting through this list.
18. My Life with Android
Gabor Pellar, an active Android developer, has created a diary of his experiences with the dev process. It’s not meant to be a tutorial or guide of any kind, but it can definitely serve as a great resource. Pellar documents many of his thoughts along with his working process. If you’d like to know how the average developer thinks and operates, give it a whirl.
19. Udacity Android Developer Nanodegree
This Udacity Android dev course takes up to a year to complete. Coursework includes building apps for movies, Android wear watch faces, and construct an app of your own. The tuition may seem steep, but you can get half of it back if you complete the course in under 12 months. This nanodegree is recommended for programmers with 1-2 years of development experience, but a beginners course is available too.
Price: $200/month after free trial (1 week or 14 days [for beginners course])
20. Android App Course by Professor David Janzen of Cal Poly
These Android development labs go along with a course offered by Prof. David Janzen of Cal Poly. The labs are exercises that will help walk you through working with Java.
iOS (Apple) Mobile Development Resources
21. iOS Dev Center
Apple maintains a free online resource for those interested in iOS app development. It contains starter guides, tutorials, videos and important documentation. Coders of all skill levels would do best to keep this portal in mind.
22. iPhone Dev Forums
This is a community forum for iPhone developers. You’ll find lots of resources, tutorials, guides, helpful advice and, of course, an active community of iOS developers.
23. Developing iOS 8 Apps with Swift
This course by Stanford is hosted through the iTunes online university. Obviously, the course has been updated for iOS 8 — the latest version of the OS — and Swift. To attend, or view the lessons, you’ll need to have iTunes installed on your computer. However, they are free. Due to the nature of the course material, it’s probably best left to those with prior coding experience. Intermediate programmers and up.
Ben Scheirman from NSScreencast has a great way to teach iOS development with XCode and objective-C, through what he calls “bite-sized” video tutorials. The videos are published on a weekly basis, and each one explores a new area or topic regarding iOS app development. There are a bunch of free lessons, but if you want access to more content you can subscribe for $9 a month and that nets you unlimited access to the entire library of videos hosted on the site.
Price: Limited selection of videos are free; $9/month for complete library.
25. Flatiron School iOS Development Prework
The instructors from Flatiron School compiled a collection of useful iOS development resources and order them in a lesson structure. It serves as the ideal starting point for beginner coders and offers plenty of resources even for the more experienced out there. Topics covered in the course include iOS basics, principles of object-oriented programming, iOS UI tools, customizing UI kit, mobile design, Map Kit and much more.
26. Geeky Lemon XCode 6 Tutorials
Geeky Lemon offers a series of tutorials on working with XCode 6, which is necessary for developing apps for iOS. This portal offers 3-full length courses.
Price: Starts at $99
An ex-Apple employee, Paul Solt, put together a comprehensive app development course for those interested in developing their first iPhone or iPad application. It’s actually a course bundle — with 11 courses total — that covers a wide range of topics from basics to more advanced stuff. Aspects of iOS development like code, app and UI customization, layout, interface design, and storyboarding. The course is $69 per month and you get access to the entire bundle.
Price: $69/month; individual courses start at $99
28. Avocarrot iOS Cheatsheet
This is a better resource for beginner to intermediate coders, but experts may still find a thing or two of use. It’s a cheat sheet of sorts for iOS app development with Objective-C and C related code. It’s a great reference guide if you’re actually working with code and need further assistance. It is a work in progress but there’s plenty of content available already, and since it’s through GitHub you can send pull requests if you want to add or edit anything in the sheet just like a normal project.
Despite the tongue-in-cheek name, NSHipster is an online journal that discusses many aspects of Swift, Objective-C and Cocoa development. It doesn’t exclusively offer tutorials, resources and guides either, there are a plethora of articles and features that are great for staying in the loop. That means it’s a suitable resource for developers of any skill level.
30. The Ray Wenderlich Blog
This blog is closer to a comprehensive collection of guides and tutorials for iOS app developers and gamers. There are well over 840 high-quality lessons available. Some content is free, while more in-depth content is accessible through a subscription to the site.
Price: Limited selection of content is free; $19/month for full access
31. OneMonth iOS
The OneMonth iOS course walks you through the process of creating your first iPhone or iPad application. If you follow the syllabus as directed, you’ll complete the project in a month. The project itself is a video app using Vimeo’s API. The course is $49.
32. CodePath iOS Development Courses for Professionals
CodePath offers two great courses for professionals. There’s iOS Bootcamp for Designers and iOS Mobile Bootcamp. You do have to be located in San Francisco to attend, and the course lasts for 8 weeks with two night sessions per week on Monday and Wednesday. The goal of the bootcamp is to allow professionals — already ingrained in the workforce — to learn app development at their own pace.
33. Code Fellows iOS Development Course
If you want to learn how to develop iOS apps — with Objective-C and Swift — using tools like Cocoa, Git XCode and UIKit, this is the course for you, with locations in Portland, Seattle, and Chicago. Due to the nature of the material, you probably don’t want to get involved with this course until you have prior programming experience, at least when it comes to the fundamentals. Topics covered by the course include asynchronous code, MapKit, CoreImage, NSURLSession and JSON, Core Data, Source Control, AutoLayout and submitting your app in the Apple store.
Price: $10,000 with scholarships available. Requires application to the course.
34. ManiacDev iOS 5 SDK Tutorial and Guide Page
iOS 5 is way out of date these days, but many of the tutorials offered on ManiacDev’s page are great if you’re just getting started with app development. The basics and fundamentals are pretty much the same no matter what version of iOS you’re planning to create an app for.
35. Make School Online Academy
Want to do something a little more fun for your first development project? Make School’s iOS dev course will walk you through building your first game. Along the way you’ll learn Objective- C, working with Cocos2D, view lectures from industry experts and more. You’ll also learn to build a Flappy Bird, Angry Birds, and Game of Life game clones as well as a game of your own. The best part is that you don’t need any previous coding experience to get started. The course is $99.
36. The Daleisphere Where to Start with iPhone App Development
Having trouble figuring out where to start? This guide, from an experienced app developer will tell you how to set everything up and then walk you through creating your first app.
37. What’s on iPhone Hello World Tutorial
The first application you create in any programming class, course or lesson is the infamous Hello World. This guide is exactly that, with iOS development tools.
38. Designthencode Motion Design for iOS Book
Once you know how to develop an application, it’s time to spruce it up. Designthecode’s Motion Design for iOS book (scroll down) will teach you everything you need to know about animation. Want to know how all those fancy iOS apps look so good when you interact with them? Then this is your guide.
39. Technobuffalo’s Introduction to iOS Development
Sorry expert coders, you’ll want to sit this one out. It’s yet another intro to iOS development guide. It’s not quite as comprehensive as some of the other resources on the list, which is why it’s being mentioned late. That said, if you’re looking for a quick tutorial, this is it.
40. Mobile Makers Academy
This online bootcamp and coding school is application based, so not everyone will be able to attend. Still, it’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of mobile app development. They also offer on-site bootcamps in Chicago and San Francisco. They focus specifically on iOS related content.
Price: Starts at $5,000
Other Mobile App Development Resources
41. General Assembly Mobile Development Guide
Don’t know where to get started? Want some help with the fundamentals and basics? Want to dive right in and get started with some hands-on guides and practice exercises? General Assembly’s Mobile Development section is your place. These courses offer face-to-face instruction in a variety of cities.
Price: Starts at $40
42. Alison App Development Courses
Don’t want to spend tons of money on an online coding school or university? Want a certified course that you can include on your resume? The Alison app development courses are completely free and they walk you through the entire dev process from beginning to end. It’s great for beginner to intermediate coders interested in Android, iOS and game development.
43. Xamarin Online University
Xamarin is a relatively inexpensive online coding school — if you choose the indie developers plan it’s $25 a month. You can also start a trial account if you want to sample their courses before paying any money. You’ll find lots of tutorials, videos and resources for learning mobile app development.
Price: Starts at $25/month with a free limited trial
44. Apigee Mobile App Development Videos
The Apigee YouTube channel is a great resource for all mobile app developers, beginner to experienced.
45. Coursera Mobile App Development Lessons
Coursera is another great online coding school, and their mobile app development lessons cover a wide variety of topics. All the courses you find on the platform are available for free.
46. Microsoft Virtual Academy
Like Google and Apple’s official learning resource sites, the Microsoft Virtual Academy offers app development training specifically for Windows and Windows Phone apps. You’ll primarily be working with C++ and Microsoft’s .NET framework.
47. Thenewboston tutorials
There are video tutorials on this site for absolutely any topic you can think of, even outside programming and computer science. That said, the iOS, Android and mobile app development lessons are exceptional. No matter what your skill level, you can find something useful here.
48. Building Mobile Applications with iOS, Android and HTML5
This is a university grade course — from Harvard — that was originally available in Spring 2012. It includes a bevy of resources including assignments, video lectures, exercises, and even a syllabus for each lesson. You’ll learn how to develop apps on both iOS and Android, or at the least the fundamentals for doing so. By today’s standards it is somewhat outdated, but it’s still a viable resource especially for beginners.
49. Luke W Mobile Blog
This blog focuses almost entirely on the business side of mobile app development. You’ll learn about basic design, UX elements, and popular business trends. There are a few listed publications you can use as additional resources too.
That’s a Huge List of Mobile App Development Websites and Resources!
After reading through the list, you should be able to find at least one website or resource to guide you in the world of mobile app development—whether it be iOS, Android, Windows Phone or another.
If you’d prefer to learn through a more educational or collegiate format, give one of the many online code schools a try such as Treehouse, Lynda or Code School.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
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