It's easy to get overwhelmed with choices. Here are my recommendations for learning how to program apps. If you're on a budget, I have listed some cheaper Mac computers. You can always borrow a friends Mac and start making apps for very little money. Lastly, if you're a PC user there's an online service to help make apps for a low monthly fee.
Notice: Many of the products that I recommend are Amazon affiliate links, please buy books or devices using the link and support iPhoneDev.tv I am boot strapping this website to help you learn.
Highly Recommended Reading
If you buy two books for iPhone development, these books are worth their weight in gold and are written for beginners. I have multiple copies of the books because they're awesome!
- Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
- iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (3rd edition)
Programming for Beginners
Recommended Mac Computers
I need a computer that doesn't get in the way and provides mobility. The Macbook Pro Retina comes with a solid state hard drive, fast processor, and tons of RAM. These things help Xcode (Word for programming) run faster and it makes me more productive.
- Mountain Lion (10.8.4+) or Mavericks (10.9+)
- Xcode 5+
- Coding Together: Developing Apps for iPhone and iPad - Stanford iTunesU Winter 2013
- "iPad and iPhone App Development Course" Stanford iTunesU Fall 2011
- Ray Wenderlich's Tutorials