featured image free online courses app development

You may have a brilliant idea for a successful mobile application, but be careful – there is a good chance that the Android or iOS app that empowers your idea already exists. So, make a quick online research. What do results show you?

There are thousands of different mobile apps for editing photos, watching movies, choosing the color of your hair, applying for American visa, saving passwords, unlocking your car, making an appointment, learning foreign languages, taking notes, boosting your productivity, discovering police radars on the road, as well as for hiking, running, walking, cycling, traveling…

Since the very first mobile apps appeared 10 years ago at the App Store and Google Play (previously Android Market), their popularity has been constantly on the rise, and the mobile economy is expanding quickly. Global mobile app revenue was $58 billion in 2016, and the mobile market platform App Annie estimates that it could reach $101 billion by 2020.

There is a constant demand for more apps. The statistics portal Statista shows that 178 billion apps were downloaded during 2017, approximately 205 billion downloads are expected in 2018, while the estimate for 2022 is the annual download of 258 billion apps.

Therefore, there is an ongoing need for more app developers, as there seem to be tens of thousands app development job posts each year, but usually not enough experts to fill all those open positions.

So, if you always wanted to learn the mobile app development, now is the time. And if by any chance, you wish for the Apple Design Award (ADA) for your next app, you can check out the study and results of how to make an ADA winning app, conveyed and written by a seasoned app developer Joseph Russel from Melbourne’s DreamWalk app studio.

Fortunately, there are various massive open online courses (MOOCs) available for you to learn both basic and advanced skills and tools that you might need for developing an application. And the best part – most of those classes are completely free.

Here is our hand-picked list of recommended free online courses for mobile app development.


10 Useful and Free Online Courses For Mobile App Development

1. Become an Android Developer from Scratch

Platform: Udemy

Instructors: Adam Lupu, Adam Schwem

android development udemy online course

The online course entitled Become an Android developer from scratch offers 11.5 hours of the on-demand video, 85 downloadable resources, lifetime access to all the course materials, and undisrupted access on mobile devices and TV. After you finish it, you will receive a Certificate of completion, free of charge. You can use this e-course to learn the basics of Android app development and start creating your own apps and deploying them to the Google Play store.

2. Specialization: iOS Development with Swift

Platform: Coursera

Organizer:: University of Toronto

iOS app development swift coursera specialization

After finishing iOS development with Swift specialization, which consists of four different courses for the use of programming language Swift and coding iOS apps, you would be able to create fully functional and elegantly designed apps. You will learn how to use development tool Xcode, to design interactions and evaluate interface usability. During the final project, you will apply your skills to create a photo editing app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

The 4 courses that you will go through are:

  • Introduction to Swift programming
  • iOS App Development Basics
  • App Design and Development for iOS
  • Build Your Own iOS App

The only requirement for this specialization is that you have a Mac computer to work on.

3. Developing Mobile Apps with SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Provider: openSAP

developing mobile apps openSAP free course

This self-paced 6-week long openSAP Developing mobile apps course is focusing on cloud-based business applications. It is aimed at mobile app developers, UX designers, and IT professionals who want to expand their knowledge in comprehensive platform services and capabilities. By the end of the course, developers will be capable of creating mobile apps with push notifications, lifecycle management, application security, offline use, and various other features. The course will demonstrate how to quickly build, extend, integrate, and mobilize SAP Fiori applications, as well as the techniques that can be applied to both Android and iOS native apps.

4. Android Basics: User Interface

Platform: Udacity

Instructors: Industry professionals

android basics user interface online course udacity

If you want to learn Android Basics and how to design your first layout in Android, and you want to learn it fast, this is the course for you. It lasts for two weeks, and provide rich content, interactive quizzes, active peer support community, and much more. All you need to bring in is the enthusiasm for learning. You do not have to possess previous programming skills, but by the end of this course, you would know how to build a layout for an app. If you find it interesting and you see that you are good at this job, you can continue learning, as this course is part of the Android Basics Nanodegree program that includes courses about user input, multiple app screens, networking, and data storage.

5. Build Your First Android App (Project-Centered Course)

Platform: Coursera

Organizer:: École Centrale Paris

your first android app project-centered course

In this project-centered course on Building your first Android app, you will learn to develop your own application for the Android. You will get customizable building blocks that you can use to create different app types, and those will help you become familiar with many important specificities of Android development. You would not need an actual Android phone, though, as you are going to use a free software that emulates a phone on your computer. The purpose of the project-centered course is to be focused on bringing your own project to life and distributing the app in the real world afterwards.

6. Networking and Security in iOS Applications

Platform: Coursera

Organizer: University of California, Irvine

networking and security ios apps coursera

This self-paced course on networking and security in iOS applications is part of a broader specialization entitled iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs, and you would need approximately 23 hours to complete it. By the end of the course, among other skills, you will know how to:

  • Post Facebook or Twitter messages to social media using single sign-on on behalf of a user
  • Use OAuth 2.0 to securely authenticate to Instagram
  • Describe JSON’s syntax
  • Write well-formed JSON
  • Work with JSON data objects in Objective-C
  • Appropriately set the security settings for App Transport Security in iOS 9.0
  • Obtain permissions to receive remote push notifications

All in all, you will learn to make iOS apps that can securely interact with web services, safely store data on a device, and securely deploy apps to the App Store.

7. UX Design for Mobile Developers by Google

Platform: Udacity

Organizer: Google

ux design for mobile developers by google course

This free online course provided by Google that teaches UX design for mobile developers lasts for six weeks, and is aimed at beginners in app development. It is specifically optimized for developers who want to learn the most important design techniques that will help them make high-quality mobile apps. So, if you enroll with this e-course, get ready to explore the techniques that designers use to plan and prototype apps before the code is written.

8. CODAPPS: Coding mobile apps for entrepreneurs

Platform: Coursera

Organizer: EMLYON Business School

CODAPPS online course coding apps for entrepreneurs

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur, founder of a strart-up, or anything in between, you are going to love this course. Coding mobile apps for entrepreneurs will teach you how to create mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, and there is no need for a previous coding knowledge. You will learn to create simple and useful apps, test them on phones, and distribute on the Google Play Store, App Store, and the Windows Store. During this 8-week course, you will also get your hands on the basics of coding in order to create richer and more functional apps with more complex features.

9. Mobile Application Experiences

Platform: edX

Organizer: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

mobile app experineces MIT free online course edx

This free MIT e-course entitled Mobile application experiences is going to teach you everything you need to know about mobile development research, design, usability, implementation, and field evaluation. It is based on a popular MIT class that has been taught since 2006 by Frank Bentley of Yahoo Labs and Ed Barrett, a Senior Lecturer at MIT, and it has a primary focus on UX research and results-driven design, along with a bit of coding.

The course lasts for 10 weeks, it requires a commitment of approximately 10-12 hours per week, and for the $49 you are able to acquire verified MIT certificate. By the end of this course, you will create a functional, fully-tested application suitable for release in the app store.

10. Mobile VR App Development with Unity

Platform: Coursera

Organizer: Unity

mobile VR app development unity online course

As the CNBC reported, „the virtual reality and augmented reality industries are growing by leaps – but finding workers with the right skills can be a challenge“. VR and AR truly change the way we interact with technology and among each other, and this advanced Mobile VR app development with Unity course will teach you how to design, develop, troubleshoot, and publish your own mobile VR applications in Unity for Google Daydream, Gear VR, or Oculus Go devices. Using state-of-the-art technology, you will build a complete VR environment, while learning to apply best practices in user experience, interaction, teleportation, and navigation design. All in all, this course will take you from a software developer to a VR/AR developer.


We hope that our list will help you find the course (or several ones) that will perfectly suit your desire for learning mobile app development and making that great innovative idea of yours work in the real world.

On the other hand, if you are not a developer yourself, but you would really want to build a mobile app for your business, you can outsource developers and make an impact on the market by partnering with highly skilled professionals.

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Nađa Božović

Inspired by original narratives and amazed by effective visuals. Enjoys diving deep into the story research. A lifelong learner and an eternal optimist.