Sep 23, 21

iOS Development Learning Curve: All You Need to Know

Regardless of your background, there will be a learning curve in iOS development. Even if you're an experienced programmer, learning XCode and the "Apple way" takes time and might be irritating.

What is the learning curve of iOS development? 

Here are some of the most important elements to consider when assessing the learning curve of iOS development…

1) Apple Developer Program & Services

The Apple developer program necessitates a significant amount of "administrative" effort on your part. You'll need to learn about developer accounts, provisioning profiles, and the app approval process, among other things.

The Apple Developer program is an unavoidable obstacle when it comes to iOS programming. You'll need to go through this learning curve in addition to Swift if you want to publish your apps on the app store.

2) XCode

For iOS, XCode is the most popular interactive development environment (IDE). Without XCode, developing iOS apps will be difficult. At the same time, Xcode is a blessing and a curse. It's a powerful IDE with a slew of helpful self-correcting capabilities, but it takes YEARS to master.

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3) Swift

Swift is a revolutionary approach to creating iOS apps. While Objective C is still supported in today's world, the environment is rapidly evolving towards Swift.

SwiftUI is supported in newer Swift versions. SwiftUI simplifies the UI component of iOS development by using a simplified approach to creating user interfaces.

Swift (and SwiftUI) is both a boon and a bane. While it can significantly minimize the amount of time you spend on UI-related chores, it's yet another thing to learn.

How Long Does It Take To Learn to Design Apps for iOS?

It can take 3-5 years to get to an intermediate level in the software development learning curve if you're fresh to the field. Starting with the iOS development learning curve isn't the worst place to start your programming career.

If you've worked with other programming languages like Java, you'll be familiar with concepts like unit testing, compile steps, build tools, and other software development essentials.

Of course, answering the issue of "how long" something will take is never easy. It's a blend of your prior experience and a desire to learn new things. Having a software engineering background will save you at least 2-3 years of frustration.

iOS vs Android Developer

Today, one of the most lucrative fields for developers is mobile app development. With Android and iOS accounting for more than 95% of the mobile market, almost every mobile developer must choose between the two platforms for their projects. This article compares and contrasts the major differences between Android and iOS for your project.

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iOS Development Learning Curve on Platforms

If you've never worked on a mobile app before, you'll find that both platforms have a comparable learning curve. While iOS has a more well-known IDE (XCode) than Android (Android Studio), it is still written in Objective C and uses an interface builder that requires some practice.

Apple's version of Java is called Objective C. Both are verbose and have a strong focus on the object. Objective C, like Java, is primarily reliant on boilerplate code and is strictly typed.

If you're coming from a JavaScript background, getting used to the more verbose syntax of Java and Objective C may take some time.

How is the Learning Curve on Swift?

Swift is a new programming language for iOS that was created to overcome the shortcomings of Objective C. Its grammar is more like that of a dynamically typed language (like JavaScript) and may be easier to learn if you've never written Java, Objective C, or any other programming language.

Obvious Parallels in iOS & Android Programming

Despite Swift's less verbose syntax, iOS and Android have a comparable learning curve. Both are MVC in nature and have a similar project structure.

This means that once you grasp the relationships between views and business logic, switching between the two platforms will be much easier. Similarly, once you've mastered one of the languages, you'll find it much easier to move on to the other.

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Inequalities of iOS & Android App Development

Null pointer exceptions are handled more elegantly in Swift/Objective C than in Java. This means that if your function returns a null value, your program will not crash. Null pointers in Java will crash your project without revealing its source. Because Java faults are more difficult to track, this can significantly slow down development time.

Java's stricter debugging, on the other hand, allows you to identify things like memory leaks earlier.

Another significant distinction is the representation of the view. While XCode includes a powerful drag-and-drop interface designer, Android relies primarily on XML for layouts and rendering.

If you're comfortable with CSS, this shouldn't be too difficult. It's simply a matter of learning Android's equivalents of padding and margin and applying them to your layout components. However, it will be difficult to appreciate Android's XML approach once you've experienced the convenience of dragging a UI widget into a screen canvas and having all the code prepopulated.

iOS Development Learning Curve & Benefits

Despite the fact that there are more Android devices on the market than iOS devices, research shows that the iOS App Store produces over 75% more money than the Google Play Store for Android! This indicates that iPhone and iPad users are more likely to pay for apps than Android users.

If you're an independent app developer hoping to make a lot of money, iOS might be the way to go.


Developers that want their program to run on as many devices as possible should constantly consider cross-platform development. When it comes to iOS development, there are many fewer devices to choose from than when it comes to Android.

The interface builder in XCode also makes views more responsive than on Android. Because you have more potential devices operating on more conceivable versions, it may take longer to make your program responsive for Android than for iOS.

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App Features

Android's ability to manage the device it's operating on is a byproduct of its more fragmented environment. You can use Android to access app sharing, launchers, and other features. While iOS provides a more performant sandboxed environment, you are severely limited in your ability to interact with the device's native technologies.

Sure, you can interact with the camera and other features on the device, but iOS significantly limits your engagement with other apps and functions.

iOS Development Learning Curve: Approval Process

With iOS, getting your app into the store is far more difficult. To begin, you must first register as a developer, which costs $100 per year. This is in stark contrast to Android, which demands only a $25 setup cost. To become an 'authorized vendor' with iOS, you must also download certificates and link them to your account.

Your builds are submitted, and they are reviewed within 2-7 days. Your apps may be denied for a variety of reasons, which can be aggravating because you have to go through the approval process again each time you submit a build.

Android is less expensive and less restrictive when it comes to publishing. You upload a few screenshots, pay the price, and your app will be available in the app store within a few hours. It's not the most pleasurable process, but it'll seem like a breeze when compared to iOS!

Conclusion: Is iOS Development Learning Curve Steep?

The learning curves for iOS and Android are comparable, but for different reasons. If you've worked with Java previously, you'll find that getting started with Android is much easier than getting started with iOS. Swift may be a great place to start if you have more front-end experience.

In general, revenue-wise, iOS app development is more profitable, but Android allows you to reach a broader audience and faster.


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