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iPhone: Book Review

Learning iOS Development

A Hands-on Guide to the Fundamentals of iOS Programming

This book is a good place to start iOS development, but I would recommend already knowing Objective-C.

Chapter 2, Objective-C Boot Camp, gives a refresher on Objective-C, but you'll need more than what it provides. A great place to get started is with Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition). After that Effective Objective-C 2.0: 52 Specific Ways to Improve Your iOS and OS X Programs is a great read!!

I have listed the chapters of the book below.

1. Hello, iOS SDK
2. Objective-C Boot Camp
3. Introducing Storyboards
4. Auto Layout
5. Localization
6. Scrolling
7. Navigation Controllers I: Hierarchies and Tabs
8. Table Views I: The Basics
9. Introducing Core Data
10. Table Views II: Advanced Topics
11. Navigation Controllers II: Split View and the iPad
12. Touch Basics
13. Introducing Blocks
14. Instruments and Debugging
15. Deploying Applications

This book is more of a cover to cover read, or at least a chapter at a time read. The topics are covered in detail, but in a verbose style. Not in a negative way. The book says right on the cover that it is a "Hands-on Guide". The authors list each step they want you to make and the explain the reasons for making them .The authors have a great writing style which their very thorough approach easy to read. Not all authors can pull that off.

The authors walk you through a lot of hands-on exercises. The topics usually stay at a higher level. For example the chapter on storyboards mentions that in complex applications multiple storyboards can be used, but does not cover the topic because it is beyond the scope of the book. They do however cover the higher level features in detail.

The book primarily uses one project throughout the book. For each chapter the code includes a version of the code at the start of a chapter, at the end of a chapter, answers to challenges that are made at the end of the chapters, and the assets needed such at images and icons.

One really nice aspect of the book is that the screenshots and diagrams are in color, however, the typed code is not. That is not really that big of a deal, plus you get all the code to bring up in Xcode.

This book is an iOS 7 and Objective-C 2.0 book, which is nice for a change. There are a lot of books out there that have multiple editions and they contain a lot of legacy info. I feel some of them only contain that info because for the authors to clean it up would require a major effort.

By major effort, I mean re-writing the book. Some of those books still include bashing Storyboards and code that does not use ARC. Although I agree you should understand that a mix of multiple Storyboards, NIBs, and coded UIs will be used on large projects, and you should know how to deal with legacy code, it is nice just to have a book that focuses on iOS 7.

All in all I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn iOS 7 fundamentals.

Learning iOS Development: A Hands-on Guide to the Fundamentals of iOS Programming

Learning iOS Development: A Hands-on Guide to the Fundamentals of iOS Programming

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.