Book: iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (5th Edition)

From time-to-time, I’ll list the resources I’ve used — and still use — as an iOS developer. These are what worked/work for me. Your mileage may vary.

Looking for a good book to get started building iOS apps? Start with iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (5th Edition).

Be sure to get the 5th Edition, which is updated for Swift, Apple’s new programming language. (The previous version is in Objective-C.)

This is a general iOS development book, so if you just want to build games, there are better first choices (more to come on that.) But you’d do yourself a favor to also buy this book to get a stronger grasp of how all the iOS pieces work together.

If you want to go all-in on Swift, the Big Nerds also have a book dedicated to the language. But the magic of iOS development is less the language and more the SDK, the Xcode IDE and the huge ecosystem of APIs available. The iOS Programming book will get you started, and you can learn more Swift and/or Objective-C later.

This is a not a lean-back book. You’re meant to read it in front of your computer as you bang away at Xcode. So if you get the print edition, you might also want to get a book holder/stand thingie. If you get the ebook, remember that Xcode takes up a lot of screen real estate, so you’ll be flipping back and forth between windows or lugging along a separate device for reading.

There are pros and cons of both approaches. I’ve got dead-tree versions of the Big Nerd Swift and Objective-C books, and a Kindle version of this title. (One unintentional benefit of Kindle — copy-and-paste is kind of a pain, which is good because you really oughta type out code.)

Here’s what others have to say (head to your fave bookseller for reviews if you don’t enjoy reading from cramped iframes):

The above is scraped from Amazon. It's subject to change and user-generated, so take it with a grain of salt.