I'm exploring iOS App Development as an elective for students, and in perusing Apple's iBooks on the subject, I see two similar books: App Development with Swift and Intro to App Development with Swift. On the surface they look quite similar.

Are there significant differences between the two that I should take into account when selecting one for a course?


3 Answers 3


These are both part of Apple's Everyone Can Code initiative, and both are appropriate for a high-school and college audience.

The Intro book is intended for non-programmers, and teaches programming fundamentals and Swift syntax, with 90 hours of lessons included.

The non-intro book gets into more complex UI development such as working with table views and navigation, and topics like consuming web APIs, and includes 180 hours of lessons:

course summary comparison

App Development with Swift Curriculum Guide (where I took that screenshot) also shares helpful outlines of the two curricula that can give you a sense of the differences at a glance.

Here is the Overview from that guide explaining the difference:

The Intro to App Development with Swift and App Development with Swift curricula were designed to teach high school and college students with little or no programming experience how to be app developers, capable of bringing their own ideas to life.

The Intro to App Development with Swift course introduces students to the world of app development and the basics of Swift and Xcode. The course culminates in a final project where they can choose one of two basic iOS apps to build.

App Development with Swift takes students further, whether they’re new to coding or want to expand their skills. If they’re already familiar with Swift, Xcode, and iOS development, they can move through lessons quickly or go straight to the labs, where they’ll build miniprojects and test their code in playgrounds. By the end of the course, they’ll be able to build a fully functioning app of their own design.

The document goes on to further explain the two courses as follows:

Intro to App Development with Swift

This introductory one-semester course is designed to help students build a solid foundation in programming fundamentals using Swift as the language. Students get practical experience with the tools, techniques, and concepts needed to build a basic iOS app.

App journal activities take students through the app design process, from thinking about the purpose of an app to market research and early user testing. By the end of the course, students will have created a plan for an app they’d like to develop. Even though they might not yet have the skills to build the app, the work they put into the framework will set them up for future development.

App Development with Swift

This two-semester course features 45 lessons, each designed to teach a specific skill related to either Swift or app development. Each type of lesson takes a different approach:

  • Swift lessons. These lessons focus on specific concepts. The labs for each are presented in playgrounds so that students can experiment with code and see the results immediately. Playground files are provided.
  • App development lessons. Focusing on building specific features for iOS apps, these lessons typically take students step by step through a miniproject. The labs help students apply what they learned to a new scenario.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Computer Science Educators, Katie. I hope we hear more from you going forward! $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Aug 4, 2017 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ Is there anything especially good in print form? Especially for an experienced OOP developer. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Aug 5, 2017 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ @kateiOS Thank you for this response. That guide is exactly the resource I was looking for. I added information to your post to make it more self-contained on the site here. I echo Ben's comment: welcome and hope to see more from you in our CS Ed community! $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Aug 5, 2017 at 16:48

I took up iOS teaching recently, and the book that am having great results is the iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide


I liked their style which is extremely practical, and although the book itself is huge, it covers the essentials.

I see that the question is already answered, and I am not being paid to recommend this book. Just adding what has helped my students for those who might be looking for a book that is ideal for teaching older (as in already graduated or those who looking to transition from say being an android developer to iOS developer).


I find Ray Wenderlich's web guides to be the best resource for teaching iOS development. https://www.raywenderlich.com/category/ios

There also exists a considerable number of books authored by the team that go through iOS and various important first and third-party frameworks.



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