The 15 Best App Development Books of 2023
The mobile applications market is constantly growing in terms of the number of apps and generated revenue. For instance, over 1.6 million apps were available in the Apple App Store as of the third quarter of 2022. And this number doesn’t include hundreds of thousands of mobile games. Moreover, this trend seems to stay with us for a while, so we expect even more apps to appear. Thus, mobile solutions are becoming essential for almost any business.
With the growing demand for iOS and Android application development, the need for engineers increases, as well. At this point, you may assume that the number of mobile software developers also grows, which would balance the demand. However, it’s not enough to figure out how to create an app. The number of available tools and technologies is increasing, the competition among businesses is getting stiffer, and the best practices vary. So it’s often difficult to decide what instruments and approaches to choose for each project.
Nevertheless, the ability to find the best solution distinguishes an experienced developer from an amateur. But how to learn this wisdom? The “learning by doing” approach is a good option. Yet what about novices? Or what if the deadline is approaching, you don’t have time to test different tools, and the cost of a mistake can run into the millions? Then, looking through mobile programming books might be a miraculous salvation.
No worries, you won’t have to navigate through multiple materials, sometimes not of the best quality. We have assembled a list of the best app development books. They contain valuable information that will undoubtedly be useful for app developers of any seniority. So, let’s get started!
Learning Android vs. Learning iOS: Which Should You Choose?
There are plenty of available mobile programming books, and many of them are worth reading. So it’s a good idea to narrow the selection, as mobile development is not congenerous, though it is equally essential for any industry.
Before reading a book on a particular topic, you should first decide under which operating system you will create a mobile application. Android and iOS are the leading mobile operating systems. As a result, we picked and separated iOS and Android programming books.
Which direction of study should you choose? First of all, it depends on your personal preferences and sentiments. The two operating systems we mentioned differ in many aspects, as well as their average customers and the devices they are compatible with.
At the same time, there are some market estimations. As of the third quarter of 2022, more than 3.5 million apps are available in Google Play (Android apps) and more than 1.6 million apps in Apple App Store (iOS apps). Besides, there are some alternative app stores, but they are relatively small. One of the brightest examples is Amazon Appstore, which contains more than 400,000 apps, most of which are also Android-compatible.
As for the market share, surveys show that Android accounts for a little more than 70% of the global market (as of December 2022). On the other hand, iOS represents around 27%. However, these numbers vary from country to country. For instance, iOS is more prevalent in the US. However, Android maintains its leading position worldwide.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that iOS works only with devices manufactured by Apple, primarily iPhones. Android is compatible with multiple manufacturers, such as Samsung, Vivo, Xiaomi, etc.
So, Android represents a larger market share, its app store is more extensive, and it’s more flexible in terms of hardware compatibility. Let’s then start with the list of some excellent Android development books.
Best Books to Learn Android App Development
Android is a very versatile and flexible operating system. Software engineers can use different programming languages, frameworks, and libraries to write applications for Android. In addition, it successfully works on various devices.
Considering the multifaceted nature of the platform, there is no shortage of Android books. Below, you can find some of them with brief summaries and information about their authors’ backgrounds.
Android App Development for Dummies
This hands-on guide provides everything you need to dive deep into the development process and implement your great ideas. This book contains easy-to-follow access to the latest programming techniques that take advantage of the new Android OS features. Readers receive two programs: one is for beginners, while another offers more advanced aspects of Android development.
Michael Burton, the author of “Android App Development for Dummies,” is an experienced engineer and manager in mobile development. In particular, he developed the RoboGuice programming framework for Android.
“Android App Development for Dummies” is available on Amazon.
Head First Android Development
After reading this book, Android beginners will understand how to build applications. It contains valuable guidelines on structuring the app, designing flexible and engaging interfaces, running services in the background, and making your app compatible with different devices.
Dawn Griffiths and David Griffiths, both experienced engineers, coaches, and writers, used a visually rich format to engage readers’ minds and facilitate the reading process. There are currently three editions of this book, each adding new techniques and tools. You can order any of them via Amazon.
Android Cookbook: Problems and Solutions for Android Developers
If you’re looking for some ready instructions on building Android apps, “Android Cookbook” is a perfect choice. This Android development book contains more than 230 tested “recipes” on user interfaces, location awareness, web services, multitouch gestures, and more. Each “recipe” offers a clear solution and sample code you can immediately use in your project.
Ian F. Darwin, the author of this book, is an experienced engineer with solid expertise in mobile development. “Java Cookbook” (which, by the way, was translated into ten languages) is only one of his works. Ian also provides technology courses for companies like Learning Tree International and runs his own consultancy. The book is available on Amazon.
The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development
This book covers both common Android development and many specialization areas, such as support for external displays. It’s worth mentioning that “The Busy Coder’s Guide” covers many advanced topics, so this book is primarily for experienced engineers.
The peculiar thing is that Mark Murphy, the author and publisher of this book, made his work available to anyone. So now you can download “The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development” and other CommonsWare’s books as PDF, EPUB, or MOBI/Kindle editions.
Kotlin Programming by Example: Build Real-world Android and Web Applications the Kotlin Way
The Kotlin programming language is extremely popular in Android application development. This book explains how to use Kotlin to write Android applications. You can learn all the features of Kotlin, its tools and utilities, and its building blocks. Iyanu Adelekan, an experienced Kotlin engineer, shared his best problem-solving skills in his book. His education program is focused on the “learning by doing” approach and favors practice over theory.
While reading this book, you will pass the way of creating three Android applications. This journey will help you understand how to centralize, transform, and stash data, secure applications, create reactive Android apps and implement an MVC architecture pattern. However, before reading this book, you need to learn the programming basics. You can find “Kotlin Programming by Example” on Amazon.
Android Programming for Beginners
This is an excellent example of an Android studio book for those who have just decided to become Android developers. In particular, the book covers the necessary tools for newbies. John Horton is a programming and gaming enthusiast with vast experience in software engineering and writing books and articles.
The author used multiple up-to-date examples to explain all the fundamental Android programming concepts. The book also explains the following processes:
- Installing and setting up the Android development environment
- Building functional user interfaces
- Adding user interaction, data captures, sound, or animation to your apps
- Managing your apps’ data, and many more.
You can find the latest third edition of this book on Amazon.
Android Studio 4.1 Development Essentials – Java Edition
This book perfectly explains both Android basics and advanced programming. The guide begins with the essentials, outlining the steps to set up an Android development and testing environment. Later, readers can explore the Android architecture components, lifecycle management, Room database access, the Database Inspector, app navigation, live data, and data binding. Finally, readers learn how to stress-test the application and tune it.
Android original author, Neil Smyth, managed to write a book serving as a guideline for beginners and a pool of valuable advice for experienced engineers. “Android Studio 4.1 Development Essentials” has a continuation – “Android Studio 4.2 Development Essentials,” which also explains printing, transitions, cloud-based file storage, and foldable device support.
Kotlin and Android Development Featuring Jetpack
“Kotlin and Android Development Featuring Jetpack” is among the best books to learn Android app development from scratch. It’s an excellent choice for beginners who need to gain experience in Kotlin. The book explains many tools, libraries, and best practices to create efficient views, share data, handle asynchronous web service calls, etc. Following the step-by-step guidelines, readers can build two full-featured apps.
The author, Michael Fazio, even explained how to set up every tool readers need for the development process, including Android SDK and a device emulator. As a leader in Android development and a tech speaker, Michael presented a lot of valuable information easily and precisely. You can find his book on Amazon.
Best Books to Learn iOS App Development
These were bright examples of Android development books. Now, there are plenty of books for iOS developers, as well. Let’s look at the most outstanding ones.
iOS App Development For Dummies
This book contains a detailed guide on Apple’s developer program and tools. In “iOS App Development For Dummies,” you can find the fundamentals of building a universal app. Also, it explains what’s the difference between iPad and iPhone apps, how to design your app correctly, and how to ensure an incredible user experience.
Jesse Feiler, an experienced engineer and consultant, is known for creating Minutes Machine for iPad, a popular meeting management app. His book covers how to use nib files, views, view controllers, interface objects, gesture recognizers, etc. In addition, Jesse consulted on multiple projects for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. This experience allowed him to highlight both the technical side of the development process and the user-oriented features of design and CX. The book is available on Amazon.
iOS 15 Programming Fundamentals with Swift: Swift, Xcode, and Cocoa Basics
This is another excellent representative of mobile programming books for beginners. “iOS 15 Programming Fundamentals” helps readers achieve the following goals:
- Learn the Swift language
- Explore Swift’s object-oriented concepts
- Understand Apple’s Xcode development tools
- Become familiar with built-in Swift types
- Understand the life cycle of an Xcode project
- Discover the Cocoa framework, and more
The book’s author Matt Neuburg started programming when he was only 14. He wrote several books and online guides on mobile development and remained a contributing editor for TidBITS. In addition, Matt himself built several iPhone applications. You can find this book on Amazon.
Head First Swift: A Learner’s Guide to Programming with Swift
Swift is the primary programming language for Apple devices. With its help, developers create iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps. Besides, Swift is suitable for systems programming and server-side code. This book offers a guide on Swift from the ground up. You can learn how to collect and control data, produce custom data types, and structure programs and user interfaces with SwiftUI.
Dr. Paris Buttfield-Addison, the author of “Head First Swift,” is an experienced software engineer and product manager. He writes technical books on machine learning, programming, and game development. You can purchase “Head First Swift” on Amazon or eBooks.
Mastering Swift 5.3
“Mastering Swift” is an in-depth practical guide to Swift. You can learn everything, from the basics of the language to multiple popular features like concurrency, generics, and memory management. Readers also study how to use protocol-oriented design, apply copy-on-write custom value types, and implement generics to write flexible and reusable code.
Jon Hoffman has over twenty-five years of experience in the IT sphere. He released several apps in the App Store. Moreover, Jon also developed mobile applications for the Android and Windows platforms, which makes him a true expert in cross-platform development.
“Mastering Swift” is a good choice for beginners and experienced engineers who want to explore Swift. The book is available on Amazon.
“SwiftUI Cookbook” by Giordano Scalzo and Edgar Nzokwe perfectly suits mobile developers who want to learn SwiftUI. Also, it can be useful for experienced iOS engineers transitioning from UIKit to SwiftUI.
The book explains the core UI development concepts and shows how to use drawings, built-in shapes, animations, and transitions. It also describes how to integrate SwiftUI into the Apple development ecosystem and how to manage data. Both authors share extensive engineering experience and backgrounds in well-known companies. You can find the book on Amazon or Packt.
iOS Navigation 101
iOS Navigation 101 is one of the best mobile programming books for beginners. Apart from explaining the programming, the author shows some ways to speed up and improve your learning process.
From this book, you can learn the following handy learning approaches:
- Working backward from getting the job to make the process faster
- Ensuring you don’t get caught in the learning loop
- Saving your time without backtracking through the already-watched lessons.
You can find the book on Amazon.
Beginning iOS 14 & Swift 5 App Development
Greg Lim, an experienced engineer and author of several books about programming, prepared a fun, hands-on, and pragmatic journey to learn iOS programming with Swift. The book consists of sixteen chapters teaching readers how to build a Quotes app, create a To-Do List app, make an image detection app, and more.
The book ideally suits beginners with basic programming knowledge. You can find “Beginning iOS 14 & Swift 5 App Development” on Amazon.
Further Reading for Learning Mobile App Development
These were some of the best iOS and Android books, some only suitable for beginners, while others containing valuable tips for experienced engineers. However, learning how to write computer programs is a continuous process. So here are some additional app development books that may come in handy.
Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
This guide explains how to work effectively with Kotlin, its central concepts, and foundational APIs. David Greenhalgh and Josh Skeen, experienced professionals in the field, provided multiple hands-on examples and clear explanations to facilitate the learning process. The book guides readers from first principles to advanced usage of Kotlin. So it’s suitable for both beginners and skilled Android developers exploring Kotlin. You can find “Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide” on Amazon.
Web Application Security
Security is a crucial component of programming. The “Web Application Security” book explains modern web application security in detail. You can learn common vulnerabilities and explore essential hacking techniques attackers use to exploit applications. Moreover, you will find out how to develop and deploy mitigations to protect your applications against hackers.
Software development is in demand nowadays. And respective mobile programming books play a crucial role in the long learning process of becoming mobile developers. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced engineer, our list can provide valuable materials to start your journey or enrich your skills. So, make sure to double-check it. At the same time, if you’re not going to become a mobile engineer but urgently need an application, you can rely on assistance from seasoned experts in mobile app development from Fireart. We can help you hire Android developers to handle discovery, market research, conceptualization, UI/UX design, programming, product launch, and future maintenance. Get in touch and get your custom mobile solution!