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Apple Supports App Economy with Learning for Developers

The economic impact of COVID-19 evidently hasn’t touched the Australian app economy; the industry is still growing, with 156,000 jobs as of January 2021 – up 15 per cent since 2019 and beating a count of 113,000 in 2017.

Since 2008’s launch of the App Store in 2008, the iOS app ecosystem has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the world’s economy and a rich source of opportunity for established or aspiring developers, connecting their great ideas with a global audience.

Facilitating over half a trillion dollars in commerce in 2019 alone, the App Store currently hosts 1.8 million apps, with half a billion people visiting weekly. Apple’s community of developers has collectively earned more than US$200 billion to date through the sale of digital goods and services in 175 markets around the world.

Aspiring Australian developers have embraced the Apple Developer Program, which offers tools, resource, and support for turning their ideas into reality and create thriving businesses and exports.

James Cuda, the Tasmanian developer behind Procreate, saw the opportunity for his art and drawing app during the launch of iPad in 2010. Cuda, who is co-founder and CEO of Savage Interactive, the developer of Procreate, has since grown his team of three to 50 with further expansion planned.

“As we watched the introduction of iPad, all we saw was the huge potential for a drawing app and the opportunity to overcome the challenges associated with traditional software distribution. The App Store was revolutionary, levelling the playing field and offering an independent Tasmanian startup the chance to create the best software experience for digital artists,” says Cuda.

“We’re incredibly proud of our growth, our all-Australian team, and the recognition we have received, but our best measure of success is the feedback from millions of diverse artists from around the world – from young students to those working in the highest levels of creative industries, who use Procreate every day to create beautiful art and design.”

App economy jobs in Australia are increasingly calling for knowledge of Swift, Apple’s programming language. To answer the call, Melbourne’s RMIT University is expanding its deployment of Apple’s Develop in Swift curriculum, offering online courses designed by Apple engineers and educators that include one-on-one consultation with industry mentors.

Since launching its Swift program in 2017, RMIT Online has counted 1,800 enrolments, including graduate Kathryn Donaldson, a former neuroscientist from Brisbane, Queensland.

“Apps are already indispensable in everyday life and will only become more important in the future,” says Donaldson. “Studying iOS App Development with Swift at RMIT Online pushed my problem-solving limits and allowed me to build an entire app – from concept and coding, through to submission to the App Store. The building blocks of coding rely on the same logical decisions we all make every day of our lives, so Swift will soon become second nature and a skill with wide application. The course has set me on a new path that I am hoping to turn into a business one day.”

RMIT Online’s new iOS App Development with Swift course helps bring talent into Australia’s growing app economy and meet the coding language and creativity requirements of the industry.

“We believe this curriculum can teach anyone to code and can be done in an accessible way through expert content, collaboration and interaction with leading industry mentors and our flexible online platform,” said RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness.

While the app world continues to boom, Apple is investing in educational programs that help get learners job-ready for the industry of the future.

Anyone interested in learning to code can turn to Swift Playgrounds, Everyone Can Code, and Develop in Swift to find tools and guidance for creating their own apps.

Currently, about 9,000 institutions around the world are using Apple’s coding curricula, with the tech giant’s coding academies, accelerators and Entrepreneur Camps offering up-and-coming developers the opportunity to apply the latest technologies to their apps, build their businesses and get their ideas out into the world.

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