With nearly 2 million apps in the App Store and collecting hundreds of billions of downloads, the market for iOS Developers has seen nothing but a constant uptrend.
Since Apple released its new programming language, Swift, in October of 2014, it became one of the most popular modern programming languages on the planet.
iOS Development isn’t only for programmers or coders with years of experience, as a matter of fact, data shows that there’s a significant number of creatives, students, writers that are learning iOS Development.
Apple’s development environment is an ever-growing ecosystem with thousands of developers worldwide gathering at Apple’s annual developer conference called WWDC.
Whether you’d like to work for a tech startup helping them design and develop their own mobile app or you want to develop your own, either of them is a great choice.
As a matter of fact, most software built by startups is primarily targeted at Apple users. Clubhouse and Snapchat for starters were initially developed for the iPhones or iPads only.
Swift has been the premier language for building successful mobile apps for a tie now and it’s here to stay for more decades.
So, here are five major reasons why should become an iOS Developer in 2021.
1. iOS developers are increasing in demand.
Over 1,500,000 jobs were created around app design and development since the dawn of Apple’s App Store in 2008. Since then, apps have created a new economy that is now worth $1.3 trillion globally as of February 2021.
iOS developers are the future
Many companies have created apps to be the epicenter of their products. Whether it’s ordering food like Grubhub or having someone deliver your grocery like Instacart without having to go outside and wait in line, more and more companies are putting resources on their app development division.
And as more people buy Apple products, Apple producing budget iPhones, and more developers get into the iOS ecosystem, the future is bright for iOS Developers.
It’s still considered a highly undersaturated market as iOS is increasing in adoption worldwide.
These are company titles you can assume when you learn iOS Development.
When you start out as an iOS Developer and get hired by a company for a starting position, you’re most likely to assume the role of Mobile Software Engineer or Mobile App Developer in the beginning.
And as you grow your experience and you expand your skillset, your role evolves. Plus, developers with experience in designing and developing iOS apps are in demand at both small and large companies.
The beauty of iOS Development is that it fuses both the creative and technical aspects. What I mean is, as an iOS Developer you are most likely to work on both coding and design of your app, since the development environment allows it to do so seamlessly.
And companies love iOS Developers for this reason!
2. Higher salary!
According to Glassdoor, the national average starting salary for an iOS Developer is $84,000/year!
You’re likely to make more money as an iOS Developer
While it’s true that Android has more market share than iOS, the Android ecosystem has started to push away mobile developers for a number of reasons, including for security and privacy purposes.
And if you’re looking to make money by selling your app or through in-app purchases, iOS development is now the way to go.
Android ecosystem is highly popular in emerging markets where disposable income is relatively low, like in most third-world countries.
However, Apple users typically come from higher-income households and are much more willing to spend money on apps. And when Apple starts releasing more budget iPhones, prices won’t matter anymore.
While Android has a higher overall market share globally, it’s been clear in the past years that the iOS ecosystem is attracting more users and developers.
This means that there is more money to be made via Apple’s App Store than Google’s Play Store. In addition, you have more options for monetizing your app on iOS.
And many developers now offer in-app purchases. This allows you to offer a free trial or limited-feature versions of your apps, which can then be upgraded to a full or premium version later.
This leads to more sign-ups and satisfied customers, as they have the option to try out your app before deciding to spend money on it.
3. Apple’s programming language is easier to learn
Swift, Apple’s modern and powerful programming language was designed with education in mind. Just like any other Apple device out there, it’s known for its simple, but beautiful design.
Engineers at Apple designed Swift to be powerful enough for pro developers, while still being able to cater to newbie programmers or even kids that are learning about coding.
Just take a look at Swift Playgrounds for example. It’s a Mac and iPad game created by Apple to help kids understand programming. See here.
Known for being limited and structured, there are many rules you’ll need to follow to get your app published in the App Store. All the restrictions mean you’re much less likely to go off track when developing, making it easier for newbies to learn.
One of the biggest advantages of getting started with iOS development is the ease of learning Swift. It reduces the learning curve, so you can actually focus on the idea or technology you’re working on.
You’re more likely to become a better programmer learning iOS than taking Computer science in college.
How do I know?
Well, I’m an iOS Developer myself and I studied Computer science in college.
Swift was introduced in 2014 to replace Objective-C, which had been the industry standard up until then. Since then, it was quickly adopted by most iOS developers in the market.
And through the years, iOS Development has become a popular choice even for non-iOS Developers, for people who want to learn to code and how to develop mobile applications.
Just look at the graph depicting how the iOS developers are surpassing Android for job demand.
On the other side of the equation, Android apps are programmed in Java, which can be harder to learn for those who aren’t already familiar with object-oriented programming. Plus, the development environment can be buggy and unstable, so it’s not an idea for newbie programmers.
This is exactly what makes iOS Development an easier place to start for those without much coding experience. Swift was designed to be fast, easy to optimize, and simple to integrate with the many-core services provided by Apple.
Even with all of those powerful features, it was designed to be understood by human language. Here’s a fact, Swift programming language can be read and understood just like reading in the English language!
4. iOS development tools are more sophisticated
Apple’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for iOS Development is world-class, as to how they like to coin it in their keynote presentations.
It’s easy to use, user-friendly, and stable!
As you would expect, iOS developer tools are much like Apple products like an iPhone or Macbook, they’re designed to make your job easier.
Xcode for instance, the software you use to design and develop your app, has been around for longer than its Android equivalent, so the level of maturation is much higher.
Since the very beginning, iOS developers have used Apple’s Xcode to build, test, and launch apps. Without any further work to set up multiple tools to get a working development environment, Xcode comes bundled with all of the tools you need in an all-in-one software.
Android tried its best to replicate this with their Android Studio, but most developers agree that Xcode offers a better experience especially when it comes to designing the visual layout of the app, as well as testing it against different screen sizes and device types.
iOS Environment is more integrated than Android’s
We’ve discussed how Swift programming language and Xcode make iOS Development easier to get started with than other platforms. In addition to the tools being easier to use, the iOS platform itself provides a collection of services that make it easy for developers to add sophisticated features to their apps.
iOS has many application programming interfaces or APIs that provide data and services to your apps. For instance, Apple’s Core Location makes it easy to add features that use real-time GPS location tracking, such as a “find the nearest store” map.
You can use this technology if, for example, you want to develop your grocery delivery app like Instacart. Of course, there are other APIs you can use like the ones for Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence.
APIs exist on other platforms, but none of them are as easy and as accessible to use as the ones Apple provides. This makes the process of developing your apps a whole lot less hassle and mess.
5. Amazing community and opportunities
Apple’s cult-like following, much like what the king of Tesla and SpaceX built, has followed into their developer ecosystem. Thousands of student developers work on a project for an opportunity of a scholarship that includes a free ticket to Apple’s annual developer conference, also known as WWDC.
But unlike some, most are also excited for the freebies, like a Levis jacket designed for attendees.
And you’ll be surprised how much diversity there is, ranging from developers, designers, bloggers, and businessmen coming from countries like China, India, Italy, UK to attend Apple’s week-long event that features new technologies both software and hardware will become available for Apple fanatics.
Some say it’s one of their most awaited event of the year, few say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Learning Swift and iOS Development can open new doors for you
I myself had the privilege of meeting Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environmental and Social Initiatives.
I met her at Apple’s elite training academy in Italy in 2017, called Apple Developer Academy. The photo below shows me and Lisa on the day of students' graduation.
On a later note, when I went to visit California, I was also invited for a tour at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California to meet two of my then Apple mentors for a lunch.
As you can see, getting into iOS Development is more than just designing, developing, and marketing your apps. It’s an ecosystem of communities, resources, events, and of course, technologies.
Joining iOS Development right now feels like a cult, it’s not available for everybody and it’s most likely to attract people who think differently, people who consider themselves outliers, and people who want to solve real-world problems.
Whether you choose Android or iOS, the decision comes after researching all of these platforms. If you’re creating a business or a startup, the choice should be defined by the various considerations including your target audience, your budget, and whether the focus of your app is on making money or expanding your audience.
As more people join Apple’s environment nowadays, the higher the demand for talents that can work on creating products that are strictly reserved for it.