Apple Developer Pathway

If you have an idea for an app or game, start here so you can go from dream to screen in no time.

Start your path

Pathways are simple and easy-to-navigate collections of the videos, documentation, and resources you’ll need to start building great apps and games. And if you’re new to Apple platforms, you’re in the right place: This Apple Developer Pathway is geared toward beginners and will walk you through the process of starting your Apple developer journey.

What you’ll learn
  • How to get all the tools you need to start building, including Xcode and an Apple ID
  • What you can do with Xcode, Swift, and SwiftUI
  • How to build a simple app prototype
  • Where to find out about app design
  • Why choosing a business model matters
  • The benefits of Apple Developer Program membership
  • What certificates and provisioning profiles are and why you need them
What you’ll need
  • A Mac running the latest version of macOS

Create a free Apple developer account

Access tools, guidance, and tutorials listed in this section to get up and running on the road to app development — all at no cost.

Sign in with your Apple ID on a Mac to access:

To receive announcements for the latest Apple events, news, and community updates, visit your account page and sign up under the "Email preferences" section.

Don’t have an Apple ID? Create one now

Get started with Swift Playgrounds, Xcode, Swift, and SwiftUI

Get to know the tools and programming language you’ll use to build your apps and games.

Learn how you can leverage this powerful trio to create incredible apps or games of your own:

Build a prototype

Get inspired with some warm-up exercises to spark your creativity. Using the tutorials below, draft and organize your ideas and concepts by building an app prototype and mock product page with Keynote.

Related documentation

Achieve the right look and feel

For customers, the aesthetic and navigation experience of an app can be just as important as the app’s purpose. Taking time to fine-tune the layout, flow, color scheme, icons, sounds, and more can have a major impact on how users react and relate to your content. Get familiar with the core principles of the app design process: define, prototype, test, validate, and iterate in the App Design Workbook.

Choose your business model

The right business model for your app balances your goals with your target market’s expectations. There are four main models: free, freemium, paid, and paymium. Choosing your business model before developing your app can inform your app design decisions for a cohesive user experience. Check out the links below to understand your options and decide which model best aligns with your desired app experience.

Get started with the Apple Developer Program

When you join the Apple Developer Program, you can reach customers around the world on Apple platforms. Membership also lets you access advanced app capabilities, extensive beta testing tools, a comprehensive set of development tools, and app analytics to help your app reach its highest potential.

In addition, program members get access to world-class Apple developer events and opportunities to participate in expert-led sessions, labs, consultations, code-level support from Apple engineers, and a host other benefits.

Learn about signing certificates

During the course of developing your app, you’ll need different certificate types in different contexts:

  • Development certificates are needed to run your app on devices and use app capabilities.
  • Distribution certificates are required in order to distribute your app for testing and to upload it to App Store Connect. Additionally, a distribution certificate verifies your authenticity as a developer, so people can be confident that the content and services you provide haven’t been tampered with by someone else.

In most cases, both certificates can be generated automatically through Xcode. In unique cases, you may need to create and manage certificates manually.

Find out what provisioning profiles do

A provisioning profile contains a single App ID that matches one or more of your apps and a signing certificate, and authorizes your app to use certain app services. This helps assure users that you’re a known developer who’s developing, uploading, or distributing your app. You’ll need an App Store Connect provisioning profile signed with a distribution certificate if you plan to offer your app on the App Store or through an alternative marketplace in the European Union. You’ll also need a development provisioning profile if you plan to test your app on your own devices.

Provisioning profiles are automatically generated for you through Xcode, so you can focus on the creative process.

Introduce your app or game to customers

Ready to share your app with the world? Curious how subscriptions work or how to localize your content? The App Store makes it easy for over a billion customers on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Apple Vision Pro, and Apple Watch to discover and download your apps, games, and accompanying purchases.

Go further

Creating apps and games is a limitless process. As new ideas, technologies, and software capabilities emerge, you may recognize ways your app or game could be even better. We’re here to provide support as you continue to learn, refine, and enhance the app experience for your customers, bringing new features and ideas to life.

Resources for students: