It’s a safe bet that you use applications on your smartphone every day. Between messaging apps, banking apps, language-learning apps, calorie-tracking apps, and investing apps, it seems like there’s an app for everything.
What Devices Can You Develop For?
In terms of mobile app development, there are really only two games in town: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. There are other smartphones and mobile devices with apps but they’re a rather small fraction of the total market.
Believe it or not, both Android and iOS development end up being pretty similar on a structural level even though they use different programming languages. This is because they’re trying to solve similar problems. Android and iOS apps want slick UIs, low battery requirements, and similar optimizations.
So it’s completely possible to choose one platform and later transition to the other. It’s also true that neither is much harder to learn than the other.
In terms of reach, Android has by far the largest global market share. Android and iOS have similar U.S. market shares, and iOS tends to be an attractive choice for early adopters and technology enthusiasts. iOS also tends to be good if you want to heavily monetize your app through in-app purchases.
Keep these things in mind when choosing which platform you want to focus on.
What Technologies Will You Need to Learn?
Android coding is mostly done in Java, and iOS development is mostly done in either Objective-C or Swift. If you have experience in Java, Android might be a good place to start. If you’ve coded in C#, C++, or any of the C languages, you’ll probably find the iOS learning curve easier.
There’s also a question of developing natively or via a framework. It’s possible to write directly for Android/iOs, and it’s also possible to use a framework like Cordova or React Native. The benefit of a framework is that you have less to learn. One potential downside is that you have no guarantee that your code will function after system updates.
What Are Some Good Bootcamps for Learning Mobile App Development?
If you want the most accelerated learning experience possible, it’s hard to beat a good coding bootcamp. There are many different kinds, but you’ll want one that focuses specifically on mobile development.
Good choices include Bloc (6 months, online, $5000), Code Fellows (20 weeks, Seattle/Portland, $12000), Flatiron School (12 weeks, NYC, $15000), and Thinkful (3 months, online, $500 per month).
Attending a coding bootcamp is a big decision, and Career Karma has a wealth of information for making the right choice.