Handy Resources for iOS Developers

To get the ball rolling I’ve lifted an old blog post I wrote last year, and updated it for 2014.

These are the resources that got me from opening Xcode for the very first time all the way to tracking my sales figures after releasing a few apps.

Programming
Combined, these four resources got me from zero iOS development knowledge to becoming a professional iOS developer. You’ll no doubt have stumbled across at least a few of them already.

Developing iOS 7 Apps for iPhone and iPad
Free
An amazing lecture series and how I learned how to make iOS apps. These Stanford lectures are edited to a high production quality and Paul’s lecturing skills are some of the best I’ve seen. If you put the effort in to follow along you’ll gain a deep understanding of iOS development.

Ray Wenderlich
Free
Excellent tutorials for all things iOS. I always check this site first before starting work on a project, more often than not there’s a tutorial that can help you along the way. The iOS by Tutorials guides are how I now familiarise myself with each new iOS version.

iOS Developer Library
Free
You will become intimately familiar with the official docs. Thankfully they are exceptionally well written and easy to navigate. For almost all your questions, these docs should be your first port of call.

Stack Overflow
Free
The de facto question and answer site for all programming issues. To see how I use Stack Overflow check out my account (and try not to judge me for only ever asking questions).

Graphics and Design

For an app to be popular it has to look good. I spend as much effort on the appearance of my apps as I do on their technical underpinnings. The following resources make that job a lot easier.

iOS Human Interface Guidelines
Free
Before you’ve even thought of an idea for an app, this guide is essential reading. Additionally I found it useful to re-read the specific section about UI elements when I was using them for the first time.

Graphic River
$1 to $29
Here you can buy little graphics for just a few dollars. Any time I need a graphic I check Graphic River. Does this logo look familiar? Obviously tweaking is necessary on many occasions, hence the Photoshop course below.

Glyphish
$25
I make liberal use of icons in my apps, and get them all from this site.

Photoshop CS6 Crash Course
$40
If you want to make beautiful apps, at some point you’re going to have to get your hands dirty with Photoshop; a daunting task if you’ve never even opened it. Which is why I consider the $40 for this course an excellent investment. Whilst geared towards people manipulating actual photos, this course quickly got me comfortable with Photoshop’s interface, tools and shortcuts. And as luck would have it, Photoshop CS6 is almost identical to Photoshop CC.

Tools

These handy tools help provide a deeper insight into how your apps are doing.

Average App Store Review Times
Free
When the time comes to actually submit your app you’ll be eager to get a response from Apple. This site uses crowdsourced data to get an approximation of how long the review process is currently taking at any given moment.

FlightPath
Free
There are lots of analytics options for tracking how many, how often, how long and where people are using your apps. Due to the nice user interface, FlightPath from TestFlight is my favourite.

App Annie
Free
App Annie imports your sales data from iTunes Connect and presents it in a much more accessible format. It also shows where your app is ranked overall and in its category - be careful though, I’ve found checking your hourly ranking can become addictive!

Pre-release you can use App Annie to track what’s currently hot in the App Store, great for getting ideas about what might make a profitable app idea.

Web presence

You should have a website or a landing page for your app.

Squarespace
$10 per month
Squarespace offers a simple way to get a quick website up. Plus it makes adding web forms easy (useful for the support page) and the templates responsively adjust to fit all screen dimensions.

Google Apps for Business
$5 per month
To go along with the website you’ll want a working email address. Google Apps for Business provides a Google Mail experience but with your own custom address.

That sums it up. Hopefully a few items on this list will help accelerate your development time.