Learning to Code Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive — Learn With These Free Apps

Apple recently released a new curriculum aimed at high school and community college students who want to learn how to develop apps using the programming language Swift.

The full-year course is available as a free download in iBooks if you’d like to check it out.

If you’d like to learn to program but not necessarily in Swift, there are loads of apps on the market that let you learn right from your mobile phone or tablet.

These 10 apps are free, though some offer additional content for a one-time or subscription fee.

Programming Apps for iOS

These are all available in the iTunes Store.


If you’re completely new to programming, you’ll want to get a good grasp of the basic concepts before getting into the nitty-gritty of coding. This app helps you get there by wrapping the concepts into a fun game to play on your iPad.


Compatible with iPhones and iPads, this app is a winner with parents. It’s great for helping kids learn how to code by teaching them to create their own game. It’s also a good go-to app for adults who are new to the world of programming.

Learn to Code With HTML

If you’ve dreamed of designing and creating your own webpage, this is the app for you. Take a few interactive courses on your iPhone or iPad, then dive in to create a unique webpage to call your own.


If you’re interested in developing apps for macOS, iOS, watchOS in Swift, but you don’t attend a school offering Apple’s new curriculum, here’s another option. Swifty helps you learn the language in bite-size lessons that are perfect for completing on your iPhone or iPad when you only have a few minutes to spare.

Javvy: Learn to code in Java

If you want to specifically learn the programming language Java, then grab Javvy for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It starts you off with the basics and gradually ramps you up to understanding advanced concepts like modifiers and classes.

Programming Apps for Android

These are all available in the Google Play Store.


Learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, C++, Python, Java, C#, SQL, Swift and Ruby with SoloLearn. If you get stumped on a concept or lesson, the SoloLearn online community will help get you back on track.


This app is made for beginners and experienced programmers. Each lesson is only about five minutes long, so if you’re pressed for time, this is the app you want.

Pocket Code

Created with children and teenagers in mind, this educational app teaches young adults to develop the things they like best: games, animation and interactive videos. This fun app works equally well on your phone or tablet.


Unlike the other apps on this list, this one is simply a gateway to an online learning site. Udacity offers dozens of courses that teach everything from basic programming skills to how to develop for virtual reality.

Programming Hub

Featuring over 20 programming languages, this app is a one-stop shop where you can quickly learn several languages so you’re prepared for anything. It even features a selection of programming-related interview questions to prep you for your next job.  

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She planned to be a programmer when she grew up, but then this writing thing happened.