What do I need to learn in order to build my app?
Depending on what your app idea involves, there could be a lot of different topics you need to learn. (I have a tool to help you determine this which I’ll share with you later on!)
However, I recommend to focus on the core/basic skills first because it sets up your foundation for everything else. This is going to be the starting point for the plan I’ll guide you through.
After that, I’ll help you identify which traits your app has in order to figure out what to learn next.
How long will it take for me to build my app?
This is a really hard question to answer because some apps are easy, some are complex and everyone learns at different speeds. Also some people have really busy schedules so they can’t dedicate much time to learning.
In terms of number of hours, I would say at least 20 to get some of the fundamentals down. In step 1 of this plan, you’re going to start that work. My YouTube channel is also a great place to start (both feature the same set of 29 beginner videos).
I would also recommend that you try to find a little bit of time each day to learn rather than saving it all for a Sunday evening because if you wait 7 days in between lessons, you’ll spend a lot of time backtracking to remember where you left off.
Do I need a Mac? (Can I use a PC?)
Technically yes, because the program where we write Swift code and design the app is a MacOS app and Apple hasn’t released a Windows equivalent.
Two solutions you can try instead of buying a Mac:
- Use a Mac remotely via MacStadium
- If you’re technical enough, use virtualization software such as VMWare Workstation and VirtualBox to run MacOS on your PC.
In addition to that, there’re a lot of third party solutions to create iOS apps where you wouldn’t need a Mac at all.
Here are some that you can check out:
I’ve written a full guide here on options for Windows users: Xcode on Windows.
If you are thinking about buying a Mac, you can buy used to save some money. An iMac, MacBook, Mac Mini.. any will work.
As long as it can run the latest operating system, you’ll be good to go because Xcode usually requires the latest.
A safe bet for current compatibility and getting mileage out of your purchase is to get something less than 2 years old.
What sort of equipment do I need?
Aside from a Mac (or using one of the PC solutions above), not much else!
You’ll need to download Xcode for free from the Mac App Store.
Swift doesn’t need to be downloaded separately.
Then you just need to launch Xcode and start following along! This is exactly what I’ll be showing you how to do in Lesson 1.
If you want to publish your app into the App Store, you’ll need to pay for an Apple iOS Developer Membership which costs around $99/year.
You don’t need to pay anything if you just want to run the app on your own device.