Top 10 iOS Conferences in 2014

Check out our picks of the top 10 iOS conferences in 2014, including a handy flowchart to help you decide which to attend! By Cesare Rocchi.

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Update 10/8/14: Good news – we are running our own conference in 2015, focused on high quality iOS and Swift tutorials – great for both beginner and advanced iOS developers. Check it out: RWDevCon: The Tutorial Conference!

Conference season is upon us!

It’s a great year to be an iOS developer. Besides initiatives like Cocoaheads, which organizes monthly meetings around the world, there are many cool conferences where you can meet iOS developers and speakers from around the world.

Many members of the team are regular speakers, or attendees, at conferences — both to stay up-to-date and meet new people. It’s one of the reasons you can count on our publications to be fresh and relevant.

Here’s our list of the top iOS 10 conferences in 2014. The list comes from on our team members’ firsthand experiences, which means at least one of the team has either attended or been (or will be) a speaker. For each one, you’ll find a short description, commentary about the past edition from our team members, and who you might find at each event in 2014.

Get ready for the list of conferences – plus a handy flowchart to help you choose which to attend!

The Conferences

Without further ado, here’s the list! Note they are not in any particular order.


WWDC is organized by Apple to as a conference for iOS developers. Typically, they announce the new version of iOS and its new features (last year they announced iOS 7). The conference is usually five days long, and there are numerous sessions presented by Apple engineers, where you can learn details about the upcoming versions iOS and Mac OS X.

The real bonus is that you can attend labs, where you can often speak to the author of the frameworks you use day to day! Prepare your questions, they are ready to answer.

WWDC is in San Francisco, the capital of the tech scene. Tickets are usually around $1,600 + travel expenses (and tickets are tricky to get), but well worth it if you’re a serious developer. During that week, the city is literally invaded by developers, so you’ll be in good company. It’s probably the best opportunity of the year to socialize with designers, developers, bloggers and pretty much anybody in the mobile ecosystem that you talk to via email or Twitter. During this special week you can meet them face to face!

Since local companies and meetups are aware of the Apple invasion during that week, there’s usually “satellite events” (like altwwdc in 2013), where you can mingle with some of the sharpest guys and gals in the community.

Looking to let your hair down? There are probably more parties during that week than on New Year’s Eve!

Companies that make products for the mobile industry, even if not headquartered near the Bay Area, typically organize a party in the style of Apple’s Beer Bash. It’s another opportunity to get to know your fellow developers in a more casual setting.

2) 360iDev

360idev conference

If you’re an indie developer you have probably heard of 360iDev. It’s a pretty big conference that’s been going for five years, so the organization is rock solid. Here is a list of videos from previous editions.

Some thoughts from our team members:

“The 360 conferences were friendly, well-run, a good assortment of topics, a great location and really good food.”John Nyquist

“360iDev was the highlight of 2013 for me. I really enjoyed getting to hang out and meet a ton of awesome iOS developers. 360iDev is great because the conference is packed with great sessions for all levels, but it doesn’t end there. John does a fantastic job of organizing not just sessions, but extracurricular events to make sure the mingling doesn’t stop at five.”Ryan Poolos

3) NSConference

NSNSConference is one the longest-running conferences in Europe, this year being the sixth edition. The speaker line-up is top notch.

Here’s the lowdown from the team:

“NSConference was the first iOS conference I ever attended and I had a blast. There were about 100 attendees from all over the industry, from famous developers to beginners. I think I chatted with at least half of them. The atmosphere was great and the talks were a good mix between technical and business topics. There’s plenty of time between talks to socialize, and it’s easy to make new friends. The city of Leicester isn’t that impressive but the venue, an old theater, more than makes up for it. If you’re in the U.K. or Europe, it’s definitely worth going, but even if you’re from the U.S. or elsewhere in the world it’s worthwhile making the trip.”Matthijs Hollemans

“This was my favourite conference I’ve ever been to. The talks were iOS specific, but were not all about technical stuff. Some were about how to use the right tools and some were about life as a developer in general. I mostly liked the people there though. I got to meet a lot of awesome people and have stayed in touch with a lot of them since. It was just a very enjoyable and fun time. The location isn’t the best place in the U.K., but the city was cheap to stay. The venue itself was fantastic. It’s in a converted cinema. There are lots of small tables to sit around rather than rows and rows of seats like other conferences.”Matt Galloway

4) Cocoaconf

ccCocoaconf is not just any old conference, it’s on wheels! There are usually two tours, one in the spring and one in the fall. The conference comes through key cities across the U.S. This makes it easy to attend even if you don’t have much of a budget.

The style is familiar and cozy. Usually, you’ll find the event in a hotel, with meals served in a classic banquet setting to encourage good conversation between attendees.

Some commentary from the team:

“CocoaConf is always a great experience. The speaker to attendee ratio is fantastic because you get a great opportunity to really interact with the speakers in a way no other conference lets you.”Ryan Poolos

“I really liked this conference. Definitely my favorite of last year. They were really attentive and the show was really well run. They presented iOS specific tech although there were some sessions on design as well as a few on related services. It was a smaller conference which was a nice way to meet other attendees as well as the presenters.”Brian Moakley

“CocoaConf is a regional conference in the US which host four or five 2 day long conferences in a Spring and Fall tour. The upcoming Spring tour takes place from March into May. CocoaConf draws speakers from all over the US(on occasion other parts of the world too), sharing information on technology, design, and business related to Cocoa development. The vast majority of the talks focus specifically on iOS development and are a healthy mix of beginner and intermediate topics.

Since CocoaConf is a frequently given regional conference it becomes a great local networking event, drawing in people outside the boundaries of the local Cocoaheads. The conferences are typically kept on the smaller side and there is a lot of one on one interaction opportunity with speakers. With some very high caliber speakers present it can be a great chance to get some direct advice from some of the big names in iOS and Mac development. –Kyle Richter