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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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