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book review

iPhone for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach – Book Review

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I have to admit to having a bias against the Deitel books primarily due to using the 1100+ page How To Program In C++ as a textbook in college.  So when I first saw that Deitel had written iPhone for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach I waited awhile before checking it out since I had expected it to be another bible-sized reference book and not overly useful to self-learners.  It turns out that this book was nothing like my expectations.

As the title suggests, the book teaches through the creation of several example apps.  Now this is nothing new for a programming book, but with the advantage of coming out later than many other iPhone books, you can tell Deitel has learned what app features programmers are looking for.  You can view which apps are included by clicking here and using the search inside the book function.  The selection of apps is very good, and included are apps featuring the mapkit, and core data functionality that was added in iPhone OS 3.0.  The layout is very good making this a useful reference book.  The examples are a step above most other iPhone books and not only teach you the SDK syntax, but also teach you specific design patterns

Pros

  • Very nice progression of lessons, eases you from one to the next
  • Strong coding examples that use specific design patterns
  • Covers non-programming basics like uploading to the app store, and setting your app price
  • Covers many iPhone OS 3.0 features such as core data, the Map Kit and compass
  • Goes through creation of a simple game
  • No time wasted, just content
  • Chapters labeled in a manner making it easy to find specific sections
  • Good length (454 pages)

Cons

  • Not for absolute beginners to Object-Oriented Programming.  You will need to know an OO language.
  • May be too light on the details for some

My Conclusion

Overall, I’d say this is a very good book if you are looking to learn how to program a wide variety of the iPhone’s features and already understand Objective-C.  Many of us learn better through examples, and while most books use examples, I would say that the examples are a notch above most other books both in the implementation and in the progression.  This is a very straightforward text, and the authors have skipped through on any anecdotes and jump straight into the heart of the matter.  The way things are labeled in chapters is also a bonus (with numbered sub-labels everywhere) making it easy to use this as a reference or textbook.

The book can be ordered here at $13.60 off the retail price.

If you’ve purchased this book please post your opinion on it below.  Thanks.


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Finally Another iPhone Development Book Worth The Read

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After being extremely disappointed by the iPhone Games Projects book from the same publisher, I was a little hesitant to check out their latest book, iPhone Cool Projects.  I thought that it might be another "cash in on the iPhone craze" book. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised.

iPhone Cool Projects is my new favorite for iPhone books.  As many of you who read this site know, I’ve been a fan of Beginning iPhone 3 Development, but I felt that I got much more out of iPhone Cool Projects than I did from my first of read Beginning iPhone Development, and that’s saying alot since I’ve advanced so much further in iPhone programming. 

What I really like about this book is that they give you actual projects not just the usual junk based on source code available from Apple for free.  These are some of the projects within the book:

Formic – A Frenzic Style Puzzle Game
SphereNet – A collaborative networked game where you move around spheres
Minigolf – A simple mini golf/air hockey type game built with Cocos 2d (excellent Cocos 2D intro here)

These are just a few of the projects, click here to read the full details on the book.  I don’t want to spoil everything here, but you will be pleasantly surprised as the authors manage to make some very boring and more advanced concepts like threading and streaming audio interesting.

I have to say that I’m very pleasantly surprised, and although I’ve been working on iPhone development every day for the last 6 months or so I did learn quite a bit going over this book, and I’m going to go through it again this week.

If you’d like to checkout iPhone Cool Projects please click here.

 


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