How To Make an App (Updated for 2019)

by Chris Ching

Today I’m going to show you how to make an app even if you don’t have any coding experience.


Thousands of people have gone through this guide on how to make an app and given me praise for publishing it!

You’ll learn the core skills and foundation that you need in order to create any app.

I don’t care what your app idea is; I know you’ll need to do the following 5 basic things at the very least:

1. Use Xcode: Xcode is the app which is used to construct your user interface and write Swift code in.

2. Know Swift: Swift is the programming language used to make iOS apps.

3. Constructing a user interface: No matter what your app idea is, you’ll need to know how to build the screens and user interface!

4. Handling user interaction: When the user interacts with your app, learn how to respond to it.

5. Expressing computer logic: Every app does something. You need to know how to express logic and process user input!

In the following lessons, you’re going to learn these 5 things and more!

Learn how to build your own apps

Instead of paying freelancers and contractors to build your app for you, once you learn this skill, you’ll be able to create your own apps for free!

It’s really not that far fetched as long as you have the desire to learn and the persistence to keep at it and get better.

Programming can be self-taught and yes, you can start your own career in iOS development even if you don’t have a formal background.

Many of my students have done exactly this!

It’s probably the single greatest thing I love about my field; that merit is based on your achievements and hard work rather than seniority or experience (as in the case of a surgeon for example).

The biggest point of failure for beginners is giving up before they pass “the hump”

The hump is what I like to call that point where it turns from frustrating to fun. It’s kind of like that point where you’re riding your bike without training wheels for the first time and you’re really wobbly, but not falling!

Then it’s just fun from there.

So get ready, we’re getting on that bike together and going over the hump!

How to use the materials below to create your own app

  1. Download and print out the Swift cheat sheet below.
  2. Go through Lessons 1 to 10 (highly recommended to do it on your own laptop).
  3. Whenever you get stuck or you don’t understand something, post your question in our community forum.
  4. Join my hall of fame for people who completed the app!
  5. Check out the next steps to keep learning.

Handy Resources

While you’re going through the lessons below, you’ll want to keep the following resources at your fingertips.

  • 7 Day App Action Plan
    This is my free 7 day fast start email course. It’s going to help you set goals, come up with your plan and start executing on it, all in 7 days!
  • My Swift Syntax Cheat Sheet
    I created a printable PDF cheat sheet for Swift syntax that you can keep beside you as you get used to Swift and Xcode.
    I created a handy web tool that asks you a series of questions and then generates a personalized learning plan for you!
  • Apple’s Swift Programming Language Guide
    This is a document on the Swift programming language. It’s a pretty dense read but good as a reference guide.

The Basics of How to Make an App

You’re going to get an orientation of the development environment, a tiny taste of Swift code and you’ll also make your very first app!

Xcode Tutorial

1. Introduction to Xcode
In this video, I’ll tell you what you need to learn and give you a tour of Xcode.

Auto Layout

2. All About Auto Layout
Jumping right in, you’ll learn how to build layouts.

Stack Views in Xcode

3. How To Use Stack Views
Learn how to use Stack View elements to build layouts much more easily.

Building a User Interface

4. Assembling the War User Interface
Put your skills to the test by building the UI for our War Card Game.

Swift Variables

5. Learn Swift Basics (Part 1)
Get hands on with the Swift programming language.

Swift Functions

6. Learn Swift Basics (Part 2)
Build upon the skills from the previous lesson and learn more about Swift programming.

Swift Classes

7. Learn Swift Basics (Part 3)
Finally, we put it all together and I’ll tell you how Swift code plays a part in your app.

Completing the UI

8. Connecting Elements With Swift Code
You’ll learn how to connect the elements in your layout to the Swift code that you write.

Handling User Interaction

9. Handling User Interaction
Learn how to capture and handle taps from the user.

Writing The Logic

10. Writing The Logic
Learn how to write code that THINKS!

Wall of Fame

By completing this tutorial, you’ve done more than 99% of the people who dream of building their own app but never take any action.

Give yourself a pat on the back and then click the card below to send out a tweet to inspire others!

I’ll see your tweet and I’ll add your name below and a link to your Twitter profile.

I completed the War Card Game app! @CodeWithChrisClick To Tweet

After you complete the tutorial, Click to Tweet above and pronounce your victory! I’ll add your name below:

Next Steps and Additional Resources

So you’ve gone through all 10 videos and you’ve successfully made your first app. Congratulations! That’s really impressive and I hope you share your success with a friend or family member!

Don’t sit on your laurels for too long though because you might forget what you’ve learned so far! So what’s next?

Continue learning of course! Here are some additional resources to learn from:

    • CodeWithChris Courses
      Learn how to make apps step by step even if you don’t have any programming experience. Backed and supported by me!

iOS Training Courses

162 thoughts on “How To Make an App (Updated for 2019)”

  1. Hi Chris! This looks like an excellent guide. Can I request that these videos get fully captioned for those of us who are hard of hearing? YouTube’s automatic captions don’t really cut it. I would really love to learn.

    • Hey Elizabeth, thank you! I’ve been waiting for someone to request it 🙂
      I’m just about to re-record these lessons since Xcode 8.3 came out and I’ll manually caption them.
      Please subscribe to my newsletter if you want to get notified when they come out or simply check back in about 2 weeks!
      And just curious, are there many resources out there for learning iOS for people who need captions?

  2. hi Chris, I hope you are fine
    Please I have a question about the very last thing you do on your video ” How To Make an App – Ep 17 – Keeping Score”

    All was all right until the “leftScoreLabel.text = String(leftScore)” Thread 1 : EXC_BAD_INSTRUCTION(code=EXC_I386_INVOP, subcode=0x0)

    It doesn’t work and I really don’t know why

    Can you please help me

  3. Chris, thank you for your instructions. I find them very useful.
    I hoped you can help me with a (probably small) problem.
    I have managed to create an input field that popups a keyboard. It worked, once, but now I cannot find where I deleted the keyboard to pop up. Any idea for an obvious mistake.
    I checked the element settings, where you can choose the keyboard you want. They seem fine.
    Any ideas?

  4. Is it worth purchasing xcode watchdog as well? Reviews says it helps with cleaning up loose files or data and other things I don’t understand yet. Just getting into this field and can spare $5 if it helps keep things clean or problem free. Thanks for the help.

  5. I read your blog & provides you some critical information which will help you for apps. you must be learn some basic articles that’s really help you for your iPhone apps.

    consider this point

    « Learn
    « Practice
    « Execute

  6. You’re not going to be able to make any but the simplest and most worthless apps unless you have programming experience. Sure, this guy would like you to believe otherwise and buy whatever he’s peddling, but all you’ll be doing is filling his pockets and emptying yours. If you need an app developed, hire a developer.

  7. Hey people I want to build ios app ”without no experience at all” and looking open code source for make it easy. Anyone can help me to advice some open code source sites or where to start for this ios app. Thank you guys 🙂

  8. I don’t understand why it doesn’t allow me to use if statements inside the ViewContreler class, unless it is inside a method.

  9. anybody tried this? what was the result? /i have an idea I would like to turn into an app for a certain aspect of my work life. just to stream line an extremely frustrating bit.

  10. I wish I was smart and creative enough to learn to program and be actually able to create an app or two that was useful and could actually make me some money. But I’m not creative.

  11. If I feel I have a great idea for a app but I don’t know the 1st thing about making it happen is there someone or a company I can pitch to

    • Unfortunately not! When investors invest in app businesses, their primary concern is making money so they’ll invest because that company or person has a track record of successes. If the app is simple and you’re up for a challenge, you could try to learn how to build it yourself. If it’s complex, then you can try to find a partner who is a programmer or contract the work out ($$). Hope that helps!

  12. I would like to make an app for my church to listing streaming and be able to see what we have on our web site can I do this following your application

    • Hello David, My name is Javier I’m from NY city. I would like to see whether you are interested in some help. I won’t be charging anything I’m Christian and I would like to do this as part of my offering to god. Let me know whether you are interested. I’m a programmer and possible my skills will help with this project. I work but I can find sometime and get together we can discuss this by phone or email. Let me know anything. Regards, Javier.

    • Really? Screaming about it is not one way to do it. And if you do not know the difference between what is an app and what is not, how do you even know what you are talking about? That is like saying, I want to invent a better engine. But I don’t know if my idea is an engine or not, so I need someone to tell me. Strange.

      • Jay, I believe Chris was talking about whether or not his IDEA for an app was already in existence, not whether his idea could be considered an app.

  13. Hey Chris I’m on lesson 15 and went to change my story board to add the button image, and my app is blank with 2 iPhone screen. I ran the app and it still there. I don’t know what to. Please help!

  14. hello.. i do not know how to start ios app. recently i have done my study and i got a job in ios technology and i have build offline app on study time but right now give me task online app and i have no idea for how to start online ios app.. so please tell me something

  15. Hi Chris, I was hoping on making a small game for young children or toddlers to use but all of this computing makes no sense to me. Could you help?

    Many thanks,

  16. I am looking to make a review app where people will be able to search an item and find our review for it. Can anyone point me in the right direction for a template?

  17. Hi guys I am kuttiepiee24 and I need your help. I have an awesome music app idea an I don’t know how to make an app. If you guys can help me ill be so great full to help you so please help me make an app thnx!

  18. HI I’m looking to make a instant messaging app like the one that works with facebook called messenger. where do I start. Or where can I pay somebody to make it?

Leave a Comment