Lesson 1: The iPhone App Tools You Need to Start

Welcome to Lesson 1 from iPhone Apps 101!

The iPhone Apps 101 course is an easy to follow and it is designed to help you make your iPhone apps using the new iOS 11, Swift 4, and Xcode 9. If you didn't signup for the lesson, click here to enroll and get all the content.

Everything is up to date with Apple's latest software and programming language. You will be learning Swift 4, Xcode 9, and iOS 11.

Today we're going to kickstart your first iPhone app.

Part 1: Don't Spend $99!

It is now free to get started with iPhone app development.

You don't need to pay for an Apple Developer account—I don't want you to waste money on an annual $99 subscription you're not ready to use.

All you need to begin making iPhone apps are the free tools and the books that Apple provides:

  1. Xcode - it's like Word/Pages for computer programs
  2. iPhone Simulator - a virtual iPhone (or iPad) that you can run your apps on
  3. Your iPhone (or iPad)
  4. Apple's Swift Programming book


Xcode is a streamlined tool that designed to be approachable for beginners.

There is a small learning curve—in this course you'll learn everything you need to know when you need to know it.

The play button in the top left corner is all you need to press to start your app.

Xcode is a super user friendly tool after you understand how it works.

The latest version is Xcode 9, which enables you to create iPhone apps on iOS 11 and the newly redesigned App Store.

You'll need to make sure you have a Mac that has macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) in order to run Xcode 9.

You can download Xcode and the latest macOS from the Mac App Store, and the big benefit is that you'll get automatic updates as Apple adds new features.

iPhone Simulator

You can make apps without owning any iOS devices.

... don't have the new iPhone X?

... don't have a new iPad Pro?

... don't have an iPad mini?

You can simulate your app on the iPhone X, iPad Pro, or any other iOS device that can run iOS 11 using Xcode's iOS Simulator.

The simulator is included in Xcode and it provides a very fast way of verifying that your app works as expected. It will allow you to build apps super quick!

... you can even test your app on Apple Watch and Apple TV simulators!

Your iPhone (or iPad)

Using your own iPhone with the free tools I mentioned above, you can create and install apps to your iPhone or iPad without having to pay for the $99/year Apple Developer program.

This is huge, and I love it. Making apps on iPhone has never been easier—Apple streamlined this process from what it was like years ago (when I was banging my head against the wall in 2010).

You can show family and friends the apps that you create, and watch them play with your user interface and explore the possibilities.

In Rochester, NY I have been able to demo all of my apps using this feature to thousands of people at various festivals. It's a great way to spread your idea via word of mouth.

Just imagine how your app could be used by someone you don't know to solve their problem, or entertain them.

Take a moment, how would you feel to watch a grandparent laugh as they use your app. How would that make you feel?

Apple's Swift Programming book

You can get examples of using code and getting started on any of the programming topics from Apple's free Swift book. This is a great starting point, but it can be a little bit dense.

Some of the sections don't always explain why you do things, or what the point is.

The Swift book assumes a base level of knowledge, and if you've never programmed or taken a computer class you might be missing some background knowledge.

That's where my lessons are going to help you bridge the gap.

Part 2: Download the Tools and Resources

Download Xcode from the App Store

Depending on your internet connection, it may take some time to download, so I'll recommend that you start the download now, and later on you can work on finishing the setup.

When Xcode finishes downloading, come back to this lesson and complete the final steps to setup your workspace.

Setup Xcode for Beginners

After you download Xcode and install it from the App Store there are a few more steps.

The following videos will help you setup Xcode for the first time and create a sample iPhone app project.

Create Your First iPhone App Project

Follow along:

It's ok if you don’t understand everything yet. You want to get into the habit of going through the motions, since this is going to help you learn quickly.

Xcode Overview for Beginners

Xcode will have you agree to developer terms and it will install developer tools that are required for making apps.

The buttons in the top right will hide and show different panels, and within each side panel there are additional tabs.

Stick with me, and I'll keep you focused on the right areas without overwhelming you.

Setup Your Apple ID in Xcode

Use your Apple ID to login to Xcode and the developer portal.

You don't need to spend $99/year to make apps that you're not ready to sell.

If you are just making your first iPhone app, everything is now free to start.

After you download and install Xcode you can setup Xcode to use your Apple ID following these steps.

IMPORTANT: If you use the free Apple ID account, your app will only work for a few days after you install it (it'll crash on start after the free certificate expires). To keep it working, you'll need to re-install the app from Xcode onto your iPhone (The paid $99 Apple Developer account fixes this limitation).

Lesson Wrap Up and Code

You are now ready to make any kind of iPhone app. Your Mac is setup with the latest version of Xcode, and you ran your first iPhone app in the iOS Simulator.

Congratulations for making it this far—you've made amazing progress today!

Send me an email if you got stuck on any points throughout this lesson: Paul@SuperEasyApps.com


PS Please share iPhone Apps 101 with a friend if you found it helpful in getting started with Xcode basics.