Learning iPhone and iPad development can definitely be difficult, especially if you are not a professional software developer.
I receive e-mails every few days from people who tell me they’ve bought a book or number of books on Amazon or at the local bookstore. Unfortunately most of the “Beginner” material is meant for experienced developers who are new to the iPhone or iPad platform.
If you’re a real beginner without any program experience you might need to take a step back and look for teachings from a different perspective.
A friend of mine told me about a book that they’d been using by Dr. Rory Lewis, in his book he mentions some screencasts that he has used to help teach students at the University of Colorado. They look great for the absolute beginner and if you’ve been struggling and just want to get your foot in the door I suggest checking them out. These don’t get into very advanced material, but are very accessible and high quality. You can find the screencasts here.
The book Dr. Lewis mentioned these screencasts in (although he does mention on his website you don’t need to buy it) is available here.
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Many put off using basic core animation and uikit as a way of making games almost by default.
The fact of the matter is that core animation is probably the easiest way to create a game on iOS. With a more complicated game you will run into performance issues, but for many games it works just fine, and you can lay things out in interface builder.. perfect for someone just starting out since the concepts will work across different UIKit interface components.
I found this great tutorial for beginners from Tudor Munteanu that is worth checking out covering basic touch and animation which you can find here:
Learning About Touch Events And Basic Game Animation
There is a small error in the code, and just in case it hasn’t been fixed yet you need to change the lines:
initWithFrame:CGRectMake(240, 150, 50, 50)];
button.frame = CGRectMake(240, 150, 50, 50);
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Core Data is a very powerful library, and easy to use, but it’s so different from database libraries you have used in the past that it may seem frustrating and tedious when you first start using it.
[Source: Ray Wenderlich]
I know that many of the people viewing this site are absolute beginners to programming who are frustrated because they have difficulty with iPhone development books that they’ve bought. The problem is that most people don’t have the fundamentals in Objective-C or Object Oriented programming. One of the books I’ve recommended is Programming in Objective-C 2.o by Stephen Kochan. Stephen has also created a video course to go along with the book.
The video package is called the Programming In Objective-C 2.0 Live Lessons Bundle and cover the basics of Objective-C, and the key principles of Object Oriented programming. You can view a short trailer here that gives you a sampling of the quality of the video. If you’ve got the book this is a perfect companion, although I didn’t see just the video selling on Amazon (what they did have was out of stock and selling for more). The package comes with the book, and is reasonably priced at just under $45. Just like the book this is a very thorough overview so even if you’re one who dwells on the details, you will enjoy this course, and that’s essentially what it is, a thorough beginners Objective-C course.
- Well organized course (just like the book)
- Very high quality lessons (Kochan makes it seem easy)
- Goes perfectly with the book
- In-depth but not too long – 8 hours
- Doesn’t get into iPhone programming like in the latter part of the book (but it looks like a good setup for Apple’s free iPhone programming video course)
- Bundle with book and videos appears to cost less than just videos (only difference I can see is that when you purchase just the videos there is no book)
If you don’t have a solid understanding of Object Oriented programming, and would like to go through an in-depth course on the topic then these videos are a great value for a beginning iPhone developer especially since you’re using Objective-C. The book was already terrific on it’s own, and the addition of video at a reasonable price when bundled with the book makes it even better.
Any thoughts from those who have gone through the videos would be appreciated. Thanks.