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Smartphones have gone from curiosity to necessity. Not just to make calls, but as a computing platforms. In fact, overall online activity is now greater for smartphones than it is personal computers. The average consumer is also more willing to buy software for their phone than a computer.
But to take advantage of this growing market one needs some advanced skills. Over the course of this article we’ll search for the best mobile application development course online. We’ll judge courses by cost, scope of education and what one can accomplish with it.
7. Introduction To Swift Programming
The best mobile application development course online isn’t always taken in isolation. One should remember that both Android and iOS require specialized languages. In Android’s case Java is fairly widespread. But Swift remains a somewhat niche topic.
This makes Introduction To Swift Programming an especially valuable resource. The class is free and will teach students everything they need to use Swift for iOS programming. It ranks somewhat low due to its status as more of a prerequisite to the other options.
But given the fact that it’s free and of such high quality one should consider it essential to proper mobile development for iOS. Students should assume that they’ll need about two to four hours a week for the class. And in total it’s a five week course.
Certificate: Optional (with Coursera subscription).
Exam: No (But includes graded assignments).
Cost: Free or $49 for certificate consideration.
6. What’s New in Swift 4
What’s New in Swift 4 provides an excellent refreshing for Swift programmers. If an iOS developer needs to move from Swift 3 to 4 than there aren’t many well supported options. Treehouse offers one of the few courses which assumes basic working knowledge of Swift 3 when teaching the most recent iteration.
It ranks somewhat lower on the list due to its status as a somewhat niche use. But it’s an important enough niche that one should be aware of it and similar items. Over time one will always need to find options to move to the newer version of actively developed languages.
Treehouse’s course is a good value even with the paid option. Going through a full introductory course for Swift 4 is an option. But ultimately this course can save experienced coders a significant amount of time.
The class focuses solely on newer language features. Which, in turn, keeps the overall length of the course fairly short.
Cost: Free with 7 day trial, $25 for basic membership or $49 per month with pro.
5. Mobile App Design: Learn UX/UI and Start Freelancing Career
Mobile App Design emphasizes a couple important points about mobile development. One of the most significant stems from an emphasis on freelancing. Not every mobile developer will use those skills for freelancing. But it’s quite common, and yet seldom touched on within formal educational systems.
The other reason for the courses high ranking comes from platform independence. Most mobile development courses focus on Android or iOS. Mobile App Design instead looks at principles shared by both. The best mobile application development course online needs to give people options.
Mobile App Design doesn’t cover advanced programming topics for either platform. One will need to combine this course with one in Android or iOS development. But it’s an ideal choice for students who want to learn how to program for both platforms. And it completes the package by also showing students how to properly leverage those skills in professional environments.
4. Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems
Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems is an especially good match for long term plans. The course itself is only the first within a longer curriculum. It provides a solid foundation in Android development. But the real potential of the course comes from using it as a starting point.
The best mobile application development course online should fit into one’s overall needs. In this case, it ranks as best mobile application development course online for two types of student.
People who only need a functional understanding of Android development will enjoy how focused the class is. While those who need to reach expert understanding can use the class as a foundation to continue on with the rest of the overall curriculum.
The only potential downside comes from an assumption of prerequisite knowledge. One should have at least basic understanding of Java before taking the course.
Certificate: Yes (With paid option).
Exam: No (But assignments are reviewed).
Cost: Free or $49 for certificate options.
3. Professional Android Developer MicroMasters
The Professional Android Developer MicroMasters course covers some important topics. One should first consider that the class is free. The free option will provide a similar level of education to the paid option.
The course covers the vast majority of information related to Android programming. Unlike many other courses this includes education on basic Java skills. The course also covers the most popular core Android libraries. Android courses seldom feature the latter option.
The paid option serves as qualification to earn a Micromasters certificate by the end of the course. Students should expect to spend around three to ten hours per week on the course. With the course itself taking around three to eight weeks.
Certificate: MicroMasters credential with paid course.
Exam: With MicroMasters program.
Cost: Free or $646 for full MicroMasters course.
2. Intro to iOS App Development with Swift
Intro to iOS App Development with Swift comes in second only due to Android’s larger user base. If one wants to learn iOS development than this should be one’s top consideration. It’s the best mobile application development course online for people just starting out.
The course moves through most iOS development fundamentals fairly quickly. Students begin by learning the basics of Swift. From there it moves on to direct language application to iOS development. Students can expect to spend about a month on the course.
By the end, students should possess requisite knowledge for basic multimedia focused applications. These are among the more difficult apps for new developers. By starting off with difficult concepts it’s able to ensure students have all the fundamentals down as well.
One also has an option of continuing on with the program. It acts as a basic prerequisite for nanodegree courses. These move students from a basic understanding of iOS development to expert level.
Certificate: No (Prereq to paid Nanodegree course).
1. Developing Android Apps by Google
Developing Android Apps is a combined effort between Google and Udacity. As one might expect, it does focus on Android application over anything else. Anyone looking for information on iOS development will gain little from the course.
But it’s among the best options for budding Android developers. It helps to have some basic background with Java before starting the class. But for the most part it offers everything one needs to progress from absolute beginner to a level of competency.
The course’s main downside is that this is where the free education ends. To progress further one needs to sign up for the Nanodegree course. However, by that point one will already have many new doors opened.
People often find that these first few steps are the most difficult part of a programming career. And this program earns high ranking due to how well it guides one through it. The spot for best mobile application development course online has many contenders.
But this course in particular brings high quality without any cost. It comes in slightly ahead of Udacity’s iOS course simply due to Android’s larger market share.
Certificate: No (Prereq to paid Nanodegree course).
In the end, one’s options need to fit into an end goal. One can easily see just how different the two major platforms for mobile development can be. While there are options for people who want to learn both at once, it usually requires some specialization.
Of course that complexity means that there’s a lot of extra things to consider. Discussing the options can help people decide on the best fit for their own goals. Anyone who’s used these courses can help others out by sharing their overall experiences.