How To Make an App (Updated for 2019)

by Chris Ching

How to make an app - core skills

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.

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.

Xcode 8 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!

What To Learn Next

11. What To Learn Next
Now that you’ve finished this app, I’ll tell you my advice for what to do next!

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

  • Apple Playgrounds iPad App
    Learn Swift with this iPad app created by Apple. Unfortunately it’s only for iPad devices.
  • Stanford’s App Development Course
    This free course by Stanford is for people who have a programming background to learn how to create an app for iPhone.