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iphone development book

Book Released Featuring Cocos2D and Unity 3d Programming

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Just got an interesting note that a new book has been released early from Apress featuring Cocos2D and Unity 3D programming.

I haven’t talked about iPhone and iPad development books on here for awhile because for the most part the ones I’ve seen in the last few months have just been re-releases of the same old stuff.

This one caught my eye because it features chapters that are of particular interest to me specifically those on Unity 3D, Cocos2D, importing 3D assets into your games, and on using OpenCV in iPhone apps.

Hopefully I’ll be able to check it out in the future, no Kindle version yet (can’t wait for it!) and I didn’t see it available locally, but you can search through the contents or get the paperback book here.

Thanks to the eBuddy blog for pointing out that this was available, they are also featured in the book with a tutorial on  push notifications.

Please post any thoughts on the book below, especially if you have had a chance to read it.

[Source: eBuddy Blog]


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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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Programming in Objective-C 2.0 Live Lessons Pt.1 – Review

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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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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)

My Conclusion
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.

The combination videos and book can be ordered here at $25 off ($44.90)
Just the videos can be ordered here. (price is higher than bundle atm)

Any thoughts from those who have gone through the videos would be appreciated.  Thanks.


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A More In Depth Look At The How To Make An iPhone App Book

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Last week I recommended a book called How To Make An iPhone App.  I had a few questions about the book so I’m going to go into things in a little bit more detial.

If you’ve already developed some apps, well the book probably isn’t for you.  This book is designed to help those new to developing on the the iPhone platform get an app out there as soon as possible.  If you’ve already bought a bunch of other books.. the topics will overlap for sure, but if you have trouble getting started because there’s just so much to read, this book might be great for you.

As I said in the previous post, this book is much more to the point than the programming books that you’ll find in the book store.  If you’ve read a few books you know that there is typically alot of filler, and much of the time hundreds of pages could probably be cut out.  The How To Make An iPhone App ebook is much more direct, but is by no means a pamphlet at 341 pages.

The book covers several topics:

in Part 1 the book shows you how to use XCode and compile a basic application on the iphone.

in Part 2 the book covers basic C topics that you will need to know in your Objective-C programming, Object Oriented programming in Objective-C, and then gets into Cocoa Touch (iPhone specific development).

In part 3 You learn the specific “12-step” formula used by the author to create several monetarily successful applications, this covers coming up with app ideas creating an outline of your app, and actual creation of the app.

There’s also some examples included, and a “Swipe File” which has an assortment of commonly used code that you can plug right into your apps.  You can read more about that on the books home page.

What’s really great is that this is the first book I’ve seen that goes from totally new to C to iPhone app creation, in other cases we’re talking about several other books (and not everything applies to the iPhone in those cases, in this case they do).

As you can see this is a wide variety of topics, of course not every library is covered, but the book takes you to the point where you should have no trouble figuring out how to use those libraries on your own.

You can get more information on the How To Make An iPhone App homepage by clicking here.

Update: Regarding a question I received, yes this books projects are updated for iPhone OS 3.0.  Contents of the book are the same, but the books have been updated for the newer SDK.


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My New Favorite Beginners iPhone Development Book

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I know many of you are still starting out, and somewhat intimidated by the amount of information out there for those starting out in iPhone development.  There’s been some pretty good books out there for awhile, but for a raw beginner it’s usually at least 1,000 (with about 1/3rd learning Obj-C, 1/3rd learning Cocoa, and 1/3rd on iPhone development) pages to read.  So I decided to check out this more concise how to make an iphone app book that claimed to be able to take a beginner through to the iPhone development stage.

After going through this book I imagine the size of many iPhone development, Objective-C, and Cocoa books has something to do with publishers trying to top each other out on book size so they can appear to have a more in-depth book than the next guy.

I’ve been trying to work with some local developers as my workload has increased, but I’ve found that they just aren’t willing to go through all this material, and taking a 12 week course online (or several offline) didn’t appeal to them so I was intrigued by this short how to make an iphone app e-book that claimed to be able to teach someone how to go from raw beginner to being able to develop on the iPhone in less than 350 pages.  Also, the author had several highly successful iPhone apps himself, and pretty much every other book out there was just written by guys who teach iPhone development, and who really haven’t created anything of their own.

What the author of how to make an iPhone app has done is basically cut out all the fat, and teach you what you need to get to the point where you can understand iPhone development in a series of concise lessons.  He also covers his own design process (which I plan to clone, it’s great stuff!) which he has systematically broken down. 

As an added bonus there are several apps, and app templates included which are very straight forward, and can help you in getting an app out there as quickly as possible.  There are some bonuses available, you can check the sales page out here.

This is definitely my recommendation as the first book to check out if you’re getting into iPhone development, and want to learn how to code things the Apple/Objective-C way.
 


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