5 Books to Help You Become an iOS App Developer

With each new iOS version, there are significant amount of changes that are being brought to the table, but not only for the typical consumer, also for developers – who’re the ones building applications, and in fact the future of Apple as we know it.

Guess what, as an iOS developer in New York (or anywhere in the US), you can expect to earn a salary ranging from 100,000$ all the way up to 150,000$ when you become proficient and more experienced. Now, that’s definitely something I’d think twice about, considering that a book from which you can learn iOS app development is going to costly somewhere in the 30$ range.

iOS Developer Salary

In this post you’re going to learn about five of the most recognized and admired books that are currently available to the public, for learning iOS application development. I’ve made sure that all of them are beginner friendly, and will advance you to intermediate / advanced level with a couple of weeks. They’re also all fully updated for the new iOS 7.

iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide

iOS Programming - The Big Nerd Ranch Guide

Updated and expanded to cover iOS 7 and Xcode 5, iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide leads you through the essential concepts, tools, and techniques for developing iOS applications.

It’s a top-quality book, with each of the chapters containing meaningful and useful information, nothing feels out of the ordinary and you’re hardly looking up on the web, for solutions to problems you couldn’t find solutions for inside of the book itself. Now, its important to note that there are only two chapters on Objective-C in this book, and so you might find it a little bit difficult at first, but nothing that practice wont be able to even out.

iOS 7 Programming Cookbook

iOS Programming Cookbook

iOS 7 changed the way customers use their phones. Everything is now animated; things are subtly moving around, sometimes without the user noticing these shifts and turns and twists.

What’s important to note here that this is a cookbook, which in other words means that it will be looking mostly at new functionality that has been implemented in iOS 7, and so previous knowledge of Objective-C might be necessary in order to fully understand it. It should be however purchased for future reference, as the author of this book is a great developer himself.

iOS 7 Application Development in 24 Hours

iOS Development in 24 Hours

In just 24 sessions of one hour each, learn how to build powerful applications for today’s hottest handheld devices: the iPhone and iPad! Each lesson builds on what you’ve already learned, giving you a rock-solid foundation for real-world success!

It’s not a bad book at all, the fact of the matter is – its built to help you do everything step-by-step, nothing you couldn’t do yourself with other books. Its 900 pages, and inside of it there is everything you could possibly learn about iOS and its development. On-going book series that are worth having in the shelf.

Programming iOS 7

Programming iOS 7

If you’re grounded in the basics of Objective-C and Xcode, this practical guide takes you through the components you need for building your own iOS apps. With examples from real apps and programming situations, you’ll learn how to create views, manipulate view controllers, and use iOS frameworks for adding features such as audio and video.

This is a book to pick-up once you’re at intermediate level, as it will take you to advanced within a few chapters. It has been recognized as one of the best and simplest books on iOS 7 (or any other version) development there is. Has quite an edge, but some say its starting to lose it.

iOS App Development For Dummies

iOS App Development For Dummies

iOS 7 represents the most significant update to Apple’s mobile operating system since the first iPhone was released, and even the most seasoned app developers are looking for information on how to take advantage of the latest iOS 7 features in their app designs.

If none of the above books felt good enough, or practical enough – this one definitely will. Its aimed at those who’re complete strangers to iOS, and want to pick up the pace and their own rate. Its full of documentation and other practical things, will take at most 6 weeks to build a proper app from the ground-up.


Its a great thing to learn – programming. Its also one of the most awarded job industries in the world, and the pay itself is a huge attraction for those who’re still considering to begin their journey. I hope these books were of help to get you in the right direction.


  1. mnoga

    Hi Tope,

    I’m currently a soft are engineer but only dealing with web and backend systems. I’d love to get in to mobile apps and start working for myself.


  2. Scot Woodyard

    I’m a full time IT admin who LOVES to code. My dream is to build a portfolio of apps and to become a full time programmer.

  3. Timothy

    Although I have been a programmer for a long while, I’m still a newbie in iOS programming. I get most Objective-C examples I need from stackoverflow.com, but I do like books which explain larger things like storyboards, multiple views, etc. Still have a lot to learn. 🙂

  4. chillbumps

    Hello! My name is Lawrence, and I’m an independent iOS developer. My developer company name is Pledge Geek. My favorite app types to develop are educational, and kids apps. My 6 apps include Anisound and Keep It Simple. In the future, I’d like to produce video games for mobile devices. I also love to produce and edit video events. The best part of production is incorporating music…I love music. Of course, I love programming also!

  5. Scott Jann

    I’m a software engineer that has a few apps in the app store already, always looking to learn more. I am surprised I have read none of the books on your list and also that you didn’t include any of Erica Sadun’s books, her Developer Cookbook is great and Pitch Perfect is the standard book on marketing apps.

  6. Aladar

    I’m a web designer but more and more interested in UI/UX design. Adding iOS development would be a great step forward.

  7. Gregg

    Hi Tope – I’m already your customer, and I’ve used the Newsstand Template to create a successful Apple Newsstand Magazine App. I’m continuing my education, creating more magazines, and also simple games and Quiz Apps with your Quizmaker Template. Thanks for making inroads for me, as a non-programmer, towards publishing my own apps. I’m looking to keep learning to customize my own apps and also help others publish their own digital magazines, by offering educational materials. These books look like a great resource for my education! Thanks, Gregg

  8. James Kuang

    I recently just got out of college and picked up some basic iOS development. It has helped me tremendously both in job searches and conversations. Looking forward to learning more advanced iOS development.

  9. Herman

    Hi Tope,

    Thanks for the info! I would like to add that I get a lot of value from Ray Wenderlich’s site. I recently subscribed to their video feeds and bought most of their e-books. Great value with all the example code.



  10. Anil Mahadev

    A great collection.

    I would really love to have these books as I would like to get into iOS development from my existing Windows Enterprise App development.


  11. François

    I’m a math student having learned to code for a school project back in the iOS 5 time and I’ve decided to keep building apps on my own. Later I’d like to keep coding in my free time. Anyway, I’d love to receive any of the o’reilly books to keep me updated with iOS 7.

    Good luck everyone!


  12. Richard

    I’m an eye doctor working in a university, and I’m trying to create iOS teaching apps that would train opthalmology and optometry residents on difficult to understand topics.

  13. robert olesen

    Your site is excellent, and your blog provides extremely helpful guidelines. One of the best ways to learn IOS is to learn from example, Github is very good for this. I am constantly looking for practical IOS books which teach by example.

  14. Marc

    Hi Tope,

    I’m a VFX artist and iOS development is a second income source for me! Working for it to become my main income source 😉


  15. William Ukoh

    Hello Tope.

    I start by appreciating your passion to share your knowledge and expertise in iOS app development. I am web developer currently residing in Lagos, Nigeria and recently begun my journey in mobile app development. In this part of the world, the opportunity is huge and platforms like iOS are gaining traction especially with the rapid adoption of smartphones. I want to be at the fore front of this momentum, by not only acquiring, but sharing the technical knowledge for the purpose of building quality apps and solutions

  16. Brandon


    I’m currently developing a few in-house apps for our company and would love to learn more!


  17. Danny Pimienta

    I am a long time web developer making the transition into mobile app development. I love to read programming books rather than .pdfs on a computer. I absorb the material better.

  18. Duncan

    I am a developer that is always trying to learn new and exciting things. I am very much interested in mobile development and my hope is to develop some amazing applications. So far the templates offered by Tope have been amazing in helping me launch apps as well as inspiring new ones. Thanks

  19. Nikunj Bhagat

    Hello Sir,

    I am very much passionate about iOS development and along pursuing graduation in Computer Science & engineering, I started learning iOS development from Internet & Stanford’s CS193p videos as we never had such classes at University. I am shortly going to upload my first app on the store and it would be great if I am one of the lucky guys to get the book and I could get cool ideas from the book for my first app.

    Thank you,
    Nikunj Bhagat

  20. Anne

    Hi Tope,
    I am Anne, French but living in the UK. Your blog does a lot to help new and “old” developers and it is one of the first I subscribed too after discovering the Ray Wenderlich web site, so thank you for your hard work, you can be sure it is valued !
    I am a relatively new iOS developer (18 months). I learned on my own, from the web mainly, through free tutorials and blogs like yours. My first app is in the store and it is all about Sleep Disorders.
    I would love getting a free book, as they are kind of expensive, and before I can retire from one of my apps revenues (what doesn’t seem to be happening soon), I appreciate any financial help I can get from any side :-).
    Thank you for inspiring us !
    Have a great day,

  21. David

    I used to write code then moved into management. After having done that for about 8 years now, I am getting the itch to get back into development. Previously I worked with microsoft technologies and I’m just not interested in going back to that experience.

    I’m really enjoying my experience with Xcode and Objective-C and want to go farther with this.

  22. Jeremy

    Thanks Tope! Trying to learn to code in iOS first time programmer so everything is new to me, altered two apps for a previous developer already but still learning, love the site/tips and base apps you provide!

    • Jeremy

      I am currently a junior mobile developer helping out another senior develope rmostly on setting up storyboards and do support for the apps in the majority of my time. , etc but I’d like to dig in more and look forward to doing ios development full time within the next couple years.

  23. Shelley

    Great collection of books! I’m a freelance graphic designer by trade, but I’ve been starting to try to learn app development, because designing interactive experiences is such a joy and good app developers are hard to find! 🙂

  24. Phillip Beazley

    Nice set of resources. Always good to see and read what others are recommending on the journey to enlightenment. 🙂

  25. Mario

    Hi, i’m a surgeon and right now i have a lot of ideas to develop some apps for my practice and my patients. In the nextfew months I would love to know how to program in iOS and make these ideas real.

  26. Susanna

    I really like your work and have used your ideas and designs in a couple of my apps. I would love to read these books to expand my skill set. Thank you.

  27. Angelo Maggio

    Hello Tope,
    years ago I was a programmer and now I’m a system engineer freelance who’s still trying to develop and publish my first app, Obj-C is very different than the ones I’m used to so I really need to learn it, preferably at a high level.
    I’d like to develop iOS apps as a full time job, so thank you very much for this chance!


  28. billa

    hi i like to learn a lot but i can’t read a book a copy of one off you templates will be great
    i know you will not give it to me but hey i can’t force you Lol
    great work you keep it up

  29. Bill

    I started down the learning path but have gotten side-tracked having to learn other technologies. My current books are 2 IOS versions ago, and I really want to get back on track. I even have a couple of your templates. Time to get my behind in gear!

  30. Stephane Paul


    I’m the founder and CTO of kwirk software been looking at your designs and code and bought a couple of templates. They made me want to learn mote about ios being a backend developer for the past 12 years I have decided to follow my dreams and become a full time ios developer. Good work and keep it up !

  31. Dave Baxter


    Currently learning iOS and x-code with my 2 sons. We want to have enough knowledge to put some of our ideas to work, such a great feeling for us when seeing our apps working on devices.

    We have used Corona SDK but couldn’t renew our license due to lack of funds. Last week we never renewed our Apple developer license either.

    As the closing date is my birthday (7th April), it would make a great present 😉


  32. Karen

    I’m learning via tutorials and the templates are a big help because I’m not at all artistic. My day job is primarily web and java development, but I’d love to progress enough to be able to do iOS programming as a full-time job.

  33. Eva

    Hi Tope,

    I’m a clinical social worker – I’ve mostly worked with underserved, high risk populations in the child welfare system, homeless on the streets, undocumented immigrants, and in corrections environments- challenging but good work. I actually quit my job recently because I’m hoping to have more of an impact and a greater level of personal autonomy. Hated the job, but loved the work. I just started taking the Coursera Stanford IOS programming course, and the IOS programming book by Big Nerd Ranch (thanks for the recommendation) is supposed to land on my doorstep today (my inner as-of-yet-unexpressed geek is geeking out;). I want to build an app that takes a holistic approach to helping people build concrete habits to support self esteem development – the idea is to be happier and live more of the life we all want in the way we each want it. Idealistic? Sure, but I gotta start somewhere. Thanks for your work – definitely a support on my path!

  34. Dale

    I first programed in assembly language for the 6800 and 6809 processors. I presently do a lot of Perl programming on the job. I would like to make the leap into Objective C and iOS programming for my iPhone, iPad, etc. I have had difficulty in the past making the leap into object oriented programming as I first learned the procedural languages.


  35. Greg

    Hey Tope,

    I have been programming for around 3 years now, while obtaining a degree in computer science. I started my journey exploring C, and C++ , then after some time decided I wanted to be an iOS Dev. I got a rocky start in objective-c, and since found myself focusing more on web development with PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, I’m really eager to jump back into Xcode and the cocoa touch framework and build my OOP skill while publishing my first App.

  36. Skip

    Thanks Tope, I had seen only one of these books before.

    As a totally self-taught programmer, I have to rely on the quality of these sorts of materials to help me move my skills forward. I appreciate you sharing what you’ve seen.

  37. Roberto

    Hey Tope,

    I am primarily a professional actor living and working in Los Angeles – see website link for my credits . At this point in my career, there is a lot of down time so I do iOS programming – have been banging away at it for almost five years now. I love your templates because my design sense is virtually non-existent. Your templates have made me look real good on a couple of important jobs. Thanks brother!

  38. Diane

    I am a very new ios7 app developer. I have yet to get my app published to iTunes. It is an Alkaline Diet app for individuals with Polycystic Kidney Disease and Polycystic Liver Disease. I happen to have this same disease and remain with excellent kidney and liver functioning at 66. Normally a person with this disease would be on dialysis, looking for an organ transplant and have difficulties controlling their blood pressure, requiring medication. I take no medication and have excellent blood pressure. Researchers are interested in clinical trials with my app, but first I need to get it approved by apple. I would greatly appreciate the chance to win your fabulous books. I would make great use of them studying them carefully to develop the best possible app for PKD and PLD individuals.


  39. Vahan

    I am a novice at programming; I am a math teacher who would like to switch careers into programming and app design. I would like to design apps that are entertaining and educational.

  40. Neil

    Currently using web technologies to create mobile and responsive applications. I’ve made a few apps with PhoneGap, but would LOVE to get my hands dirty with native iOS programming. I used to be a Cardiac Nurse, and have changed my career to UI Dev at ThoughtWorks. I would like to make great software for Clinicians so that more of their time can be spent doing what is important, looking after their patients.

  41. JerryKim

    Hi Tope,

    thanks for your periodic mail introducing fabulous designs and I’m enjoying all very much. I develop iOS apps independently in Korea and plan to get one of my apps to AppStore within the first-half of this year. Thanks : )

  42. Ben

    Hi Tope
    Firstly kudos on the brilliant work your team puts into the templates!
    I eagerly await your updates which are very relevant and to the point.
    I have zilch/nada programming skills but was inspired to get into this space by my teenage nephew. Am learning by borrowing library books and other online sites but certainly enjoy your site the most. I kept one library book for so long that I finally had to pay more than the book price in fines! I tried enrolling into a class for a ios crash course and the Prof very politely told me that I wouldn’t be able to learn without a programming background. However I’m persevering in this field and believe this is the future. My motivation is to enable mobile media to help people understand their full potential and discover their purpose in life!
    I’d love to get my hands on those great books to prove to myself that I can do it and that the Prof was wrong!
    Thank you for setting the bar with your amazing templates!

  43. alexandre

    I am an old software programmer. I just love computer languages since I was 11 (Basic with the ZX81 : if you don’t know, you’re very much younger than me). I played with a lot of them and it is always challenging to understand how to think with a new technology in order to make good software.
    Thanks to Apple, today, costumer experience and the design are better than ever.
    Thanks to Apple, the developers are given great tools to develop.
    Books are for me necessary to understand all this wonderful technology.
    Best regards,

  44. Leta

    I am a nurse informatics specialists. I see a lot of potential for healthcare in iSO app development and would love to learn to program apps.

  45. Dogyvogey

    I have been programming since I was 12 and I have loved doing it ever since I wrote my first Hello World program. I have recently started in mobile development for IOS & Android and have really enjoyed developing for these platforms cause they are not very limited and have got endless possibilites. I am looking into human safety as an app form and I think I need to get stronger in my coding knowledge and understanding before moving forward with this idea.

  46. Alexander Holas

    Hi Tope,

    Thank you for offering us to win the books. These 5 are of great value to me especially at this time. I’ve done some studying in the past and went through lots of tutorials (mostly from Ray Wenderlich), and have read a few books on iOS development, liked the one from Erica Sadun.

    I’ve done quite a bit of studying, just never really happened to make an App, maybe couldn’t come up with the idea, I don’t know..

    Right now if I was to make an App that would be the one for my Blog, which is a fitness recipe blog that I spend some time on and would love to have an App for it.

    I’m ready to continue studying and could use the books at this time. I would focus now on the App for the Blog rather than just going through lots of reading and doing tutorials expecting some results.

    Any help from you, and advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  47. Indrajit Chakrabarty


    I am a customer of App Design Vault. My first iOS app used one of our templates. I have immensely benefited from the templates I have purchased so far. When iOS presented new design challenges, your templates saved me hundreds of hours in updating the UI of existing apps, as well as to use them in new apps.

    Here is a request – It will be great if there were short videos or blog posts on leveraging iOS 7 APIs in app design, for example, navigation transitions. Perhaps highlight a set of features specific to iOS 7 used in the templates?

    Thanks for the excellent templates, blog posts and emails! Keep them coming 🙂

    – indy

  48. Darren Peck

    Hi Tope,

    I have certainly been inspired by your emails and work, also with the free templates you have provided, showing how easy it really is to customize an app.

    I am a young iOS developer who has a bit of a web programming background in PHP. I have been learning to make apps which interface with web services etc. So kinda learning to write them in friendly manners with JSON etc.

    Learning iOS over the last year or so has been confirming what I would like to do with my career, deepening my knowledge and expertise in mobile development. I am soon going to be building my own business as a freelancer and would like to build good, well developed apps for my clients in the future.

    Thank you for everything you do!

  49. Stephanie

    I’m a SQL server programmer by day and am a self-teaching iOS developer. I have a few ideas for apps and need to learn how to do what I need to complete them.

  50. Miguel Cunha

    First all, thank you for your help in sharing your work and expertise. For someone who doesn’t know much about this craft i really apreiciate it. have you ever thought about creating a youtube channel? It would be excelent!
    I work in media production, but I always had this thing for programming, that I had to put aside for professional reasons.
    Now, 20 years later I’m yearning to get back in the game and looking for a good starting pointing. I’ve heard a lot about “iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide”, as being a good title for beginners.

    Once again, thank you for all you gifts, in every mail.

  51. William Dornenburg

    I am always looking to come up with better programming methods. Everyday you learn something new. The iOS cookbook is a great series. I have not gotten the latest and greatest of that one yet. great list of books.

  52. Ted Moore

    Hi Tope! I’m only a novice iOS programmer, so thanks for validating these reference books. I find your mailings to be very useful – glad I subscribed. #killingit #ishkabibble

  53. Christopher

    I am a freelance designer basically to pay the bills while I get my non-profit up and running. I would love to get to the point where I can develop a mobile application for my non-profit and all of its different projects. One of the projects is called Samaritan Bags (www.SamaritanBags.com) and is a community work where we help people pack bags that they can keep with them so that when they meet someone who is in need, they are ready to offer assistance. The bags have food, water, toiletry items, socks among many other useful things. That is basically about me and what I do, what I hope to continue to do.

  54. Joe Clayton

    Hi Tope! I am not trying to win a book – at least not for me. I have been an engineer for 35 years (NASA, Lockheed, DARPA, Exxon, AT&T Bells Labs, etc.). I have created over 267 applications in my career – long before we started calling them ‘apps’ .My two sons are the one’s I am introducing to App creation – we created a company, run by them, for that purpose, to create Apps and use the income from the Apps to help pay for their college costs (Son no. 2 will be attending John Hopkins University this fall to study Mathematics and at their Institute of Quantum Physics). Son no. 3 still has 2 years of High School – he is the one who needs such books. 🙂

    Joe C.
    CEO, Creative Software

  55. Kevin

    Thanks for the Info on books will look at a few of them for sure
    I am a graphic designer who wants to learn
    X code. i may go to school for it. Im in toronto and see
    The demand for it here majorly. looking to meet and connect with
    Like minded people

  56. Eikan Ozaki

    Hi, Tope

    It is good steps to me lead to good programmer.
    Thanks a lot.
    I saw some books in foreign book store in this city.
    Very good to me for exercising.
    And a domestic publisher announced already to translate the book to our language.
    So I can wait to buy that, and others will be considered to keep.