Learn how to build iPhone apps by watching videos and coding in your browser. No downloads needed.
What we want to build:
We want to create Try iOS, a Code School course which teaches how to build your own iPhone apps. Our course will combine high quality screencasts, in-browser code challenges, and gamification principles to make learning fun. There will be no need to install anything, since students will build iPhone apps using our in-browser iPhone simulator (see the video above for a demo).
Update: What we'll do with extra funding
You might notice that we already reached our funding goal, thanks if you already helped fund us! You can still secure your access to the course for $25 or more, and here are our additional funding goals:
> $75,000 - We'll hire a camera crew to do 2 "making of" videos during the course building process AND we add video hints. Basically if you get stuck during the challenges and need more explanation, we'll have instructors to explain topics in more detail. REACHED
> $100,000 - All of the above plus 2 additional levels of content AND we also create the most awesome iPhone development cheat sheet. REACHED
> $125,000 - We create a free Try Objective C course. Just like TryRuby.org, a free learn Objective C course to learn the basics of the language. REACHED
> $150,000 - All $25 pledgers (and higher) get a free month of a Code School subscription (which is worth $25). We have some great courses coming up, like Ruby Bits and Assembling Sass, as well as our current courses Git Real, Real-time Web with Node.js, and Journey into Mobile, all of which you will have the chance to check out for free!
When we will ship:
This course will be teaching iOS 6, the newest mobile platform from Apple which (with any luck) will be released in October. Last year, iOS 5 was released at the same time as the new iPhone 4S, at the beginning of October. So we would plan on shipping the early access beta of Try iOS in October, and the wide release a month later, in November.
Who are we and how will we do this?
Envy Labs is a small web development consultancy in Orlando, Florida. From the consultancy we bootstrapped Code School, which provides web development courses in the same format we want to teach iPhone development (videos, in-browser coding, gamification). In the past year and a half we've released 13 courses including Rails for Zombies, Journey into Mobile Web (shown below), Real-time Web with Node.js, and more recently Try Git. All of our courses allow you to learn by doing, providing quick and accurate feedback as you code in your browser.
We've always wanted to create an iPhone course, but we knew it would only be worthwhile if we could show an iPhone simulator in the browser as you wrote code... and we think we figured it out.
Recently, Thomas Meeks and Eric Allam from our team spent some weekends hacking on a prototype and came up with a way to offer an in-browser simulator. Unfortunately, even though the result works (seen in the demo video above), the hardware and software costs are not small.
This is why we're turning to Kickstarter.
Where will the Kickstarter money go?
We will need about $20,000 for the Mac Mini "Farm." This includes upfront costs for the Mac Minis, as well as bandwidth and colocation costs. The rest of your Kickstarter pledge will go toward the development of the course. Things like:
- The educational materials.
- The graphic design & branding.
- Coding up the in-browser challenges (usually the most expensive part).
- Building and scaling the simulator technology.
- The front-end development.
- Film production.
- Refining the course based on feedback.
- Ongoing support and hosting.
If we raise additional funding than our ask we'll simply add additional levels of content, so please help us spread the word.
Do I need to know any programming for this course?
A little, you'll need to have a basic knowledge of programming, any language will do. For instance, we're not going to teach what strings, methods, and classes are. We'll leave that to Codecademy, which is free.
If you have any other questions about how we will be using the Kickstarter money, or about what goes into building a Code School course, please don't hesitate to ask below.
Yes. We plan on supporting multiple languages in our videos using subtitles. If you'd like to "vote" for your language, please just send us a message and let us know. We'll do our best.
For T-shirts and patches we can ship internationally, but to help cover the costs we ask that you add $5 to the pledge. So instead of pledging $60 for the Try iOS T-shirt, you could pledge $65. We won't NOT ship internationally if you pledge $60, but it'd help out the project if you added that $5. Thanks!
Yes, the course will be for sale on http://codeschool.com when it is released in November. We are not sure exactly how much it will cost, but we know it will be more than the $25 is costs to get access to the course by pledging here on Kickstarter. For reference, most of our courses cost $55.
Most of our courses do take a lot of time and money to build, and we've been able to fund those courses by charging money. But there is a much larger initial capital investment to build an iOS course like the one we want to build. We had a couple of different ideas on how to raise the money, from taking out a loan, to getting a more traditional VC or angel investment. We decided to try the Kickstarter approach so we could get funding from the people who would actually want the course.
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Kickstarter Backer - Your name will be listed in the credits section of the course Wrap Up page.Estimated delivery:
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Buy the Course - Get permanent access to the course once it's released. Your name will also be listed in the credits section.Estimated delivery:
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80 backers Limited (420 left of 500)
Try iOS Patch - get the Try iOS patch, pictured to the left. Iron on, high quality thread count, 3" patch with hot cut border. You'll also get all of the above rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or moreYou selected
Rails for Zombies T-shirt. Check the FAQ for the awesome design. You'd also get access to the Try iOS Course.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or moreYou selected
102 backers Limited (148 left of 250)
Try iOS T-Shirt - high quality American Apparel shirt featuring the Try iOS badge. Design mock ups coming soon. Plus all of the above.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Early Beta Access - Get access to the course weeks before everyone else and help shape the content of the course. Receive a special "Try iOS Beta Tester" badge on Code School.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
107 backers Limited (18 left of 125)
Early Beta Access & "Beta Tester" Try iOS T-Shirt - Get the limited edition "Beta Tester" T-shirt that includes beta access to the course.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
4 backers Limited (21 left of 25)
Challenge Sponsor - Get your name and website shown on a single challenge. This reward is first come, first serve: the earliest backers will get the earliest challenges.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)
Video Sponsorship - be featured one of the Try iOS course videos. Get in front of thousands of developers starting to learn iOS.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)