21 Online Courses to Jumpstart Your Mobile App Development Career

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Considering which direction to take your coding career in? Mobile app development is an area well worth considering.

In 2015, mobile apps generated $69.7 billion in app store sales and in-app advertising. By 2020, that figure is expected to reach $188.9 billion.

Online courses are a great way to test the waters and start building your skills. Today, I’m excited to share my top 21 online courses for aspiring app developers.

Whether you prefer learning from videos, articles, challenges, assignments, or lecture slides, and whether you’ve dabbled in app development before or are a complete newbie, there’s a course for you.

Before you choose, consider which platform will best suit your needs. Android has the largest market share, while iOS users tend to be willing to pay more, and Windows apps are multi-platform across Microsoft devices. So there are pros and cons for each option.

Once you’ve decided, have a look below to find the right course for you! I’ll also be highlighting some useful feedback from past students of these courses so you can read their insights and experiences.

Table of Contents

Because this piece is such a big list of resources, here's a little table of contents so you can easily move around. Simply click one of the links to jump ahead.

IOS Courses

Android Courses

IOS and Android Courses

Windows Courses

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iOS

Try Objective-C (Code School)

Try Objective-C

If you’d like to build iOS apps using Objective-C, Try Objective-C will give you a foundation in this language and teach you the basics of iOS mobile app development. Among other things, it will teach you how to create and log common objects, how to create your own classes, and how to learn from your mistakes.

This course comes in the form of 5 levels like Ice World and Lava World; and each level consists of lots of challenges. You should expect to spend 6-8 hours on this course. When you finish it, you’ll get a course completion badge.

Platform: Code School
Course URL: https://www.codeschool.com/courses/try-objective-c
Instructed by: Eric Allam
Price: Free
Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
Format: Challenges in different “worlds”
Length: 6-8 hours
What past students say:

“Having dabbled in trying to learn Objective-C many many months ago, I thought I might hit the same walls as before. Rather than worrying about what I was doing in Xcode, the course allowed me to focus more on the thought and specifics on the actual code itself. I feel like I came away with a much better understanding of why things are done the way they are in Obj-C. Definitely worth it for those that are looking to branch out into iOS and Mac OS programming.”

– richardnewell

Try iOS (Code School)

Try iOS

Try iOS is an ideal course for anyone who has a bit of Objective-C experience and wants a guided introduction to the world of iOS mobile app development.

It’s one of Code School’s 6 iOS Development With Objective-C courses. Not sure if you have enough Objective-C knowledge? Code School’s Try Objective-C program (described above) is a recommended prerequisite.

Try iOS reviews mobile app development from the ground up and helps you create your first iOS apps. It takes you through six levels, covering topics such as app anatomy, putting buttons and labels on a screen, and fetching data from the internet.

Platform: Code School
Course URL: https://www.codeschool.com/courses/try-ios
Instructed by: Gregg Pollack
Price: Code School costs $19-29 per month for access to all its courses
Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
Format: Videos and challenges
Length: 6-8 hours
What past students say:

“Try IOS is a great introduction to programming for iWhatever devices. It's to the point, it takes the participant (and we do have to participate) deeper and deeper into the architecture of IOS development, peeling back the layers as we progress. The coding exercises are well explained and re-enforce understanding, without inhibiting progress by making exercises overly burdensome. At all times there is a helping hand with notes, and even hints. This is a faultless approach to teaching programming, encapsulating gentle humour, teaching and participation. Try IOS is the Tina Turner of development courses – simply the best.”

– ipauland2

One Month iOS (One Month)

OneMonth iOS

A quicker alternative to Objective-C, Swift is a modern programming language that many aspiring developers find relatively easy to learn.

Over 30 days, One Month iOS with Swift will teach you how to build an iPhone app from scratch using Swift. More specifically, it’ll teach you how to build a basic video app, using Vimeo’s API. You’ll need an Apple computer and OSX.

The course covers (among other things) Apple Cocoa Touch, fetching data from a server, and JSON parsing. It consists of six hours of video and comes with downloadable code samples and a certificate upon completion.

Platform: One Month
Course URL: https://onemonth.com/courses/ios
Instructed by: Alfie Hanssen
Price: $99 or free with membership (which costs $29 per month or $299 per year)
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Video
Length: 6 hours of video

Developing iOS 9 Apps with Swift (iTunesU)

Developing iOS 9 Apps with Swift

Stanford’s free mobile app development courses come very highly rated, and its iOS course is no exception. Updated to work with iOS 9 in April of 2016, this course is free and available via iTunes U.

This course provides an introduction to Swift and covers interface design for mobile devices, memory management, multi-threading, and much more. It consists of 43 lessons, with the majority of them presented in video format.

Platform: iTunesU
Course URL: https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/developing-ios-9-apps-swift/id1104579961
Instructed by: Paul Hegarty / Stanford
Price: Free
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate
Format: Video, lecture slides, and readings
Length: 43 lessons
What past students say:

“I have been learning iOS development for roughly 9 months now, and even though this is beginner stuff the way he explains is spot on, he writes his code to run into problems on purpose, but in such a clear way. Great job Professor and thank you Stanford.”

– Cmaher92

Master iOS Bundle (Bitfountain)

Master iOS Bundle

Starting from a beginner level, you’ll learn how to build a WhatsApp clone and submit it to the app store with Bitfountain’s Master iOS Bundle.

This bundle is made up of 7 different courses – iOS 9 Immersive, Create a WhatsApp Clone, Core Data Immersive, Auto Layout Immersive, iOS Design Immersive, Submitting to the App Store, and iOS 8 with Swift Immersive.

With over 1,200 videos at your disposal, you’ll learn the syntax of Swift 2.0, the language used in iOS mobile app development, best practices, and lots more. By the end of the bundle, you should be able to create lots of the features you see in iOS applications and use them to create your own apps.

Platform: Bitfountain
Course URL: https://www.bitfountain.io/p/master-ios-bundle
Instructed by: Eliot Arntz
Price: $199
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Video
Length: 7 courses and 1200+ videos
What past students say:

“Can't reiterate it enough how this course is helping me with my iOS dev skills. I think using protocols and delegation is finally becoming second nature. Fingers crossed :-)”

– Alex P.

The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course – Build 21 Apps (Udemy)

The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course

With The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course, you’ll use Xcode 8 and Swift 3 to make apps like Uber, Instagram, and Flappy Bird. You’ll start with the basics, cover everything from accelerometers and motion feedback to online storage with Parse, and finish with the ability to build mobile apps using animation and geolocation.

This course consists of 30 hours of content in the form of videos and articles. It also comes with cool extras like free web hosting, over 1,000 assets such as buttons and icons, and the ebook How To Earn $10,000 While Learning To Code.

Platform: Udemy
Course URL: https://www.udemy.com/complete-ios-10-developer-course
Instructed by: Rob Percival
Price: $200
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Videos and articles
Length: 29.5 hours of video
What past students say:

“Excellent course. Nice that mistakes are left in to show the kind of things people might do themselves. It is difficult to target a course at all experience levels. This course is suitable for those with very little experience of Apple and of programming but it isn't long before experienced programmers start learning things also. Rob has a very welcoming style that is very easy to listen to and the videos are good quality also.”

– Scott MacLeod

Saving Data in iOS: Introduction (Ray Wenderlich)

Saving Data

Ray Wenderlich courses also come very highly recommended. This one focuses on one very specific but important aspect of apps–the ability to save data. It’s no good building an app with great functionality and design if the user can’t access their data after their initial session.

In this course, you’ll learn the many different ways you can save data with iOS apps. You’ll cover working with property lists, encoding and decoding objects, using XML, and lots more.

This is an intermediate course, but it goes quickly, with around two hours of video content.

Platform: Ray Wenderlich
Course URL: https://videos.raywenderlich.com/courses/saving-data-in-ios/lessons/1
Instructed by: Brian Moakley
Price: $19.99 per month or $228 per year for access to the full video tutorial catalog
Skill level: Intermediate
Format: Video
Length: Just under 2 hours

Implementing In-App Purchases in iOS 1 with Swift 3 Share (Lynda)

Implementing In-App Purchases in iOS 10

If you’re hoping to make money from your mobile apps, you’ll definitely want to use in-app purchases. This course will teach you how to set up in-app purchases for paid content, virtual goods, and subscriptions.

You’ll work with Swift 3 and the new StoreKit framework, and you’ll cover creating products in iTunes Connect, presenting products in your storefront, requesting payments, processing transactions, delivering products, and lots more.

This intermediate course comes in the form of one video. It’s about an hour and a half long, so you’re not talking a long time commitment for this one.

Platform: Lynda
Course URL: https://www.lynda.com/Swift-tutorials/Implementing-App-Purchases-iOS-10-Swift-3/517448-2.html
Instructed by: Ron Buencamino
Price: $19.99 (Basic) or $29.99 (Premium) per month for access to all the Lynda courses
Skill level: Intermediate
Format: Video
Length: 1 hour 25 minutes

App Evolution With Swift (Code School)

App Evolution With Swift

App Evolution With Swift is designed to teach you how to build your first iOS app using Swift. It teaches Swift 3.0 with Xcode 8.0 and iOS 10.0 and it explores some of the most common parts of the UIKit framework.

If you choose to take this course, you’ll learn how to use storyboards to set out your app’s interface, how to use table views to display lists, how to use navigation controllers to link screens, and much more.

This course is made up of six levels, all of which include videos and challenges.

Platform: Code School
Course URL: https://www.codeschool.com/courses/app-evolution-with-swift
Instructed by: Jon Friskics
Price: Code School costs $19-29 per month for access to all its courses
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Videos and challenges
Length: 4-5 hours
What past students say:

“I went through John's App Evolution With Swift with no prior Xcode, Swift, or Objective-C experience, and did just fine! In fact, the only coding experience I have is through CodeSchool (I completed Js 1 & 2, HTML, & CSS). With that basic knowledge, I was able to follow along with John and build the GoodAsOldPhones app. Completing this gave me confidence in my newly acquired skills and I look forward to learning more!”

– Bishop341b

Android

Android N: From Beginner to Paid Professional (Udemy)

Android N

In this Udemy course, the emphasis is on teaching you underlying coding principles, to make sure you understand what you’re doing and that you can apply it to future projects. It aims to take you from complete beginner to professional Android developer (if that’s what you want), though you don’t have to be a beginner to take this course.

To start with, you’ll learn how to code using Java. Then you’ll cover Git and Android, object-oriented programming, using maps and GPS, and so much more.

You can expect the course to take you around six weeks if you spend 1-2 hours on it per day. You’ll also get 10 free app asset packs, live support in the online chatroom, and a course completion certificate.

Platform: Udemy
Course URL: https://www.udemy.com/learn-android
Instructed by: Mark Price
Price: $200
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Videos and articles
Length: 6 weeks, assuming you spend 1-2 hours on it per day
What past students say:

“Great course. I especially liked the impromptu debugging exercise. Too many courses gloss over this and it leaves students stuck for too long when they run into an issue. Also like the in-depth explanations of what and why that you give while doing the coding.”

– Jim Wasson

Android Basics Nanodegree (Udacity)

Android Basics Nanodegree

If you haven’t heard of Udacity’s Nanodegree programs before, they’re career- and outcome-focused courses built in collaboration with companies like Google, Amazon, and Mercedez-Benz. Other Nanodegree programs include Data Analyst, Full Stack Web Developer, and VR Developer.

There’s a monthly fee and you can take as long as you need to complete your course. However, if you graduate within one year of starting your program, you can get 50% of your fees back. There’s also the option of taking a Nanodegree Plus program, which guarantees you a job within six months of graduation or your fees back.

This particular Nanodegree program was built with Google to help people with no programming experience become Android developers. The focus is on equipping you with the real-world skills you need to build Android apps.

You’ll start by designing and building a basic single-page app to display information about a small business. By the end of the program, you’ll have progressed to building a stock inventory app.

Nanodegree programs come with personalized feedback on projects, coach-supported-forums, one-on-one appointments, and the verified Nanodegree credentials. Alternatively, if you’re willing to forgo the support that comes with the paid course, you can take individual courses for free.

After taking this course, you can progress to the Android Developer program.

Platform: Udacity
Course URL: https://www.udacity.com/course/android-basics-nanodegree-by-google–nd803
Price: $199 per month for full access to the support and the community, or free for access to the materials only
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Videos, quizzes, and projects
Length: 6 months
What past students say:

“A really well designed course. The instructional materials were well prepared and presented in a very entertaining way. The approach to learning was also to top notch; teaching you enough to feel confident to learn more on your own and careful not to spoon feed you longer than needed.”

– Android Basics Nanodegree student

One Month Android (One Month)

Design And Build Your First Android App

Over the course of 30 days, One Month Android will guide you through the process of building a to-do-list mobile app using Java and the Android Studio.

Among other things, you’ll learn the fundamentals of Java, how to work with the Android SDK APIs, how to fetch data from a remote web server, and how to debug your Java code.

This course consists of five hours of video and is designed with advanced students in mind. You’ll need have some familiarity with both programming and Java to take this class.

Platform: One Month
Course URL: https://onemonth.com/courses/android
Price: $99 or free with membership (which costs $29 per month or $299 per year)
Skill level: Advanced
Format: Video
Length: 5+ hours of video

Build Your First Android App (Project-Centered Course) (Coursera)

Build Your First Android App

This intermediate course is built for those who have had some previous experience with Java. You’ll use Java to design, build, and distribute your own Android mobile app. You’ll be given a set of building blocks that you can customize and piece together however you like to build lots of different types of apps.

This course is made up of videos and readings. You should expect to spend 10 hours studying and 10 hours on project work to complete it.

Platform: Coursera
Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/learn/android-app
Instructed by: Dr. Virginie Galtier and Michel Ianotto
Price: $49 or free for the Audit option (which includes access to all the course materials except the graded items)
Skill level: Intermediate
Format: Videos and readings
Length: 10 hours of study and 10 hours of active project work
What past students say:

“Build Your First Android App (Project-Centered Course) is a well organised course with good introductory material covering the basics of Android development. I recommend this course to anyone who is new to Android development or anyone who wants to brush up their Android development basics. You'll need to work throughout this 5 week course. The course material is consolidated with quizzes. By the end of the course you will know how to prototype, design and code an Android application with the best practices in mind using a rubric. Instructors of this course are good too in terms of knowing their stuff and being able to convey and explain it in simple terms.”

– Build Your First Android App student

Build a Simple Android App (Treehouse)

Build A Simple Android App

While Treehouse has lots of beginner mobile app development courses, this particular one is focused on teaching you the basics of Android development.

You’ll build a basic fun-facts app, learn how to use Android Studio, and learn the basics of the SDK. Topics covered include creating the screen layout, refactoring your code, and testing and debugging.

This is another video course, with three and a half hours of content.

Platform: Treehouse
Course URL: https://teamtreehouse.com/library/build-a-simple-android-app-2
Instructed by: Ben Deitch
Price: $25 per month for access to 1000+ videos
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Video
Length: 3.5 hours

Building Flexible Android Apps with the Fragments API (Lynda)

Building Flexible Android Apps with Fragments API

This intermediate course focuses on dealing with the many different screen sizes Android devices can have. It looks at the Fragments API, which enables you to create layouts that adapt to all screen sizes, dynamically, at runtime.

You’ll learn how to define a layout, add fragments to activities with Java or XML, create different screen sizes for different devices, and use resource folder names to make sure the correct layout is used.

This video course contains two and a half hours of content.

Platform: Lynda
Course URL: https://www.lynda.com/Android-tutorials/Building-Flexible-Android-Apps-Fragments-API-Revision/487934-2.html
Instructed by: David Gassner
Price: $19.99 (Basic) or $29.99 (Premium) per month for access to all the Lynda courses
Skill level: Intermediate
Format: Video
Length: 2 hours 28 minutes

Java for Android (Coursera)

Java For Android

With Java for Android, you’ll learn how to program core features and classes from Java. You’ll learn and apply Java programming language features to provide access to structured data, group operations, and data into classes and interfaces, customize existing classes, and much more.

You’ll need to put aside 4-6 hours a week to complete this course. This time will be spent working through video lectures, doing quizzes, and writing solutions to assignments to reinforce what you’ve learned. This course is suitable for beginners and anyone who’s new to Android.

Platform: Coursera
Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/learn/java-for-android
Instructed by: Dr. Jerry Roth, Dr. Julie L. Johnson, Michael Walker, and Dr. Douglas C. Schmidt
Price: $79 or free for the Audit option (which includes access to all the course materials but the graded items)
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Videos and readings
Length: 4 weeks of study, 5-6 hours/week
What past students say:

“A useful course, with clear explanations of the main features of Java programming language and Object Oriented Programming. I found the teachers competent and I liked the approach of the course, especially aimed at understanding the logic of Java and the logic of good software development. Finally I found very useful peer review assessments.”

– Java for Android student

iOS and Android

The Complete React Native and Redux Course (Udemy)

The Complete React Native and Redux Course

With The Complete React Native and Redux Course, you’ll learn both Android and iOS mobile app development from scratch. The course aims to get you using React Native quickly and to teach you the foundations you’ll need to understand and build React components for mobile.

You’ll start with the basics of React, which includes JSX, “props”, “state”, and event handling. You’ll also look at React versus Reactive Native, styling, HTTP requests, authentication with Firebase, and so on.

This is another intermediate course and it consists of 17 hours of video, with some articles. Each lecture comes with source code.

Platform: Udemy
Course URL: https://www.udemy.com/the-complete-react-native-and-redux-course
Instructed by: Stephen Grider
Price: $95
Skill level: Intermediate
Format: Videos and articles
Length: 17 hours of video
What past students say:

“You'll learn all the basics of react, redux, navigation, data retrieval, usage, creation, update and deletion (firebase) and the basics of authentication with an email. Styling and good coding frameworks and practices are also discussed and Stephen is an easy to understand and follow teacher with real experience. You'll also get some great advice on some npm libraries available for use for http requests, styling and other ‘make life easy' repos. My only criticism is I wish there was more!”

– AlihWonderland Haire

Windows

Developing Universal Windows Apps (Lynda)

Developing Universal Windows Apps

If you like the sound of breaking into cross-device mobile app development, building apps using Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform might be for you. With the Universal Windows Platform, you can create a single app that can be used on a range of Windows devices, including the Xbox.

If that sounds good to you, this course will teach you how to create Universal Windows apps using WinJS, which is Microsoft’s open-source JavaScript framework. You’ll learn how the Universal Windows Platform works, how to store and share, how to use APIs, and lots more.

This video course is just over two hours in length and is suitable for beginners.

Platform: Lynda
Course URL: https://www.lynda.com/Windows-tutorials/Developing-Universal-Windows-Apps/427855-2.html
Instructed by: Stacey Mulcahy
Price: $19.99 (Basic) or $29.99 (Premium) per month for access to all the Lynda courses
Skill level: Beginner
Format: Video
Length: 2 hours 13 minutes

Universal Windows App Development (Udemy)

Universal Windows App Development

Udemy’s Universal Windows App Development claims to make you a “job-ready, employable Windows developer.” Its goal is to teach you to make universal apps for any devices that use Windows 8.1 and upwards using Visual Studio, which you can use for free. The course is suitable for all levels.

On this course, you’ll learn how to define XAML elements, include version control, integrate HTTP requests, and much more. This is another video course, and it contains over 12 hours of content.

Platform: Udemy
Course URL: https://www.udemy.com/windows10/
Instructed by: Eduardo Rosas
Price: $20
Skill level: Videos and articles
Format: Videos and articles
Length: 12.5 hours of video
What past students say:

“The material in this course is just in-depth enough to get you to see how XAML and C# work together to make universal Windows apps, while at the same time try not to get overly technical to be boring. I personally feel like I am getting to a point to where I can make basic apps on my own thanks to this course.”

– Derik Taylor

Developing Windows 10 Universal Apps – Part 1 (edX)

Developing Windows 10 Universal Apps

Developing Windows 10 Universal Apps is the first part of a three-part course. In this part, you’ll learn to use C# and XAML to create Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform apps. You’ll cover responsive UI, XAML data binding with SQLite, app lifecycle management, and so on.

Expect to spend 10-12 hours per week for four weeks to complete this video course. This is an intermediate course so you'll need experience programming with C# and XAML before you embark on it.

Platform: edX
Course URL: https://www.edx.org/course/developing-windows-10-universal-apps-microsoft-dev209-1x-1
Instructed by: Chris Howd, Sage Franch, and Daren May
Price: Free for the audit option or $49 for the verified enrollment track (which includes a certificate)
Skill level: Intermediate
Format: Video
Length: 4 weeks, with 10-12 hours per week

Now It’s Your Turn

Here’s a recap of the top online courses to help you jumpstart your mobile app development career:

IOS Courses

Android Courses

IOS and Android Courses

Windows Courses

Now there’s nothing stopping you from embarking on a career in mobile app development. Go and kickstart your career with one of these 21 courses!