An iOS developer is a software developer who specializes in creating mobile apps powered explicitly by iOS.

iOS, of course, is the mobile operating system (OS) developed by Apple, Inc. to run on its hardware exclusively. It powers all Apple mobile devices, such as the iPhone and iPad Touch. It used to power the iPad before the device shifted to iPadOS in 2019.

An iOS developer is responsible for the design and code of the base app. Part of his or her task is to ensure the app maintains its quality throughout use. As such, he or she may need to fix bugs that may affect the app’s performance via updates.

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Read More about an iOS Developer

What is an iOS Developer

iPhone, Apple’s most prominent iOS-powered product, has a 2023 global user base of 1.46 billion. And this number can further increase as the company aims to develop more iOS-powered mobile devices. That presents an incredible opportunity for mobile app developers to take on this career.

What Is an iOS Developer’s Job?

The tasks expected of iOS developers include:

  • Developing mobile apps for the iOS platform
  • Working with a design team on app feature layouts
  • Checking the quality of an app’s performance
  • Resolving app issues
  • Monitoring an app’s code
  • Publishing finished and approved apps on the App Store
  • Providing app updates

What Skills and Qualifications Should iOS Developers Have?


Most companies prefer an iOS developer with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. For more senior positions, he or she should have relevant experience as an app developer. Some companies prefer hiring iOS developers with an impressive portfolio. Getting certifications can increase one’s chances of getting a job as an iOS developer, too.


An iOS developer should be proficient in two programming languages commonly used in iOS development—Swift or Objective-C and Cocoa Touch.

Swift is Apple’s primary iOS development language, which is a combination of C and Objective-C.

In addition, an iOS developer must be familiar with various frameworks, including Core Animation and Core Data. Hiring managers also look for experience in threading and performance tuning. Depending on a company’s needs, it may also require iOS developers to know about RESTful application programming interfaces (APIs) and other web technologies.

Additional Skills

While not often required, iOS developers can quickly get projects if they have a working knowledge of low-level C-based libraries. They must also have a good understanding of different code versioning tools like Mercurial or Git.

Who Can You Get Inspiration From?

If you want to become a successful iOS developer, there are a couple of people you can follow on Twitter to inspire you like:

  • Tim Cook (@tim_cook): All iOS developers should know and follow Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Cook previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) under the wing of Steve Jobs.
  • Chris Lattner (@clattner_llvm): As an iOS developer, expertise in Swift is a must, and the best way to learn more about it is from its creator.
  • Matt Galloway (@mattjgalloway): For iOS developers who want to learn the nitty-gritty of the platform, Matt Galloway can serve as your virtual mentor.
  • Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow): You can get tons of inspiration from developer and book author, Ash Furrow.
  • Ole Begemann (@olebegemann): Those who want to create apps for both iOS and macOS can turn to Ole Begemann for inspiration. He also co-authored Advanced Swift if you wish to get a deeper understanding of the programming language.

How Much Does an iOS Developer Earn on Average?

What is an iOS developer’s salary? An iOS developer typically gets paid an average of US$98,000–162,000 annually, based on reported wages in Glassdoor. The compensation increases depending on their years of experience and skills in developing apps. Those with impressive portfolios can work as freelancers and take on different projects at any given time.

Now that you know the answer to “What is an iOS developer?,” you may find it tempting to take on the position. Make sure that you have all the skills and qualifications expected of one.

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