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iPhone: Book Review

Book Review: Sams Teach Yourself iOS 6 Application Development in 24 Hrs

4th Edition

If you want to learn iOS 6 development, this is a great place to start. The book spends the first several chapters covering the basics. The author first shows you how to get your system setup and how to install Xcode. He then covers the Xcode interface and the iOS simulator.

After that he provides a short primer on Objective-C and then covers the Cocoa touch layers and the frameworks they contain. There are a ton of them but the author does a nice job of introducing them. You leave Hour 4 with a great understanding of the tools you have access to.

The author continues with twenty more chapters broken down into hour long reads. Most chapters took me longer because I got sidetracked playing with the code samples. I have listed the chapters below. Their titles are descriptive enough to give you a good idea of what is covered.

Hour 1. Preparing Your System and iDevice for Development
Hour 2. Introduction to Xcode and the iOS Simulator
Hour 3. Discovering Objective-C: The Language of Apple Platforms
Hour 4. Inside Cocoa Touch
Hour 5. Exploring Interface Builder
Hour 6. Model-View-Controller Application Design
Hour 7. Working with Text, Keyboards, and Buttons
Hour 8. Handling Images, Animation, Sliders, and Steppers
Hour 9. Using Advanced Interface Objects and Views
Hour 10. Getting the User’s Attention
Hour 11. Implementing Multiple Scenes and Popovers
Hour 12. Making Choices with Toolbars and Pickers
Hour 13. Advanced Storyboards Using Navigation and Tab Bar Controllers
Hour 14. Navigating Information Using Table Views and Split View Controllers
Hour 15. Reading and Writing Application Data
Hour 16. Building Responsive User Interfaces
Hour 17. Using Advanced Touches and Gestures
Hour 18. Sensing Orientation and Motion
Hour 19. Working with Rich Media
Hour 20. Interacting with Other Applications
Hour 21. Implementing Location Services
Hour 22. Building Background-Aware Applications
Hour 23. Building Universal Applications
Hour 24. Application Tracing and Debugging

The thing I like most about this book is the flow of topics. The author does a really good job of logically ordering the chapters so that you have learned what you need to know when you get to later chapters from the previous ones. The book also will work good as a reference.

One topic missing was that I would have like to see is Core Data. The author gives a high level overview of it, but does not include it in any of the samples.

The code samples are very well organized and usable. Each chapter has a iPhone and an iPad project except for the chapter on building universal applications.

The best part about the code samples is they all work. That is not always the case anymore. I recently purchased a book on Core Data I had been really looking forward to getting my hands on. It had about 10 projects included as samples and none of them worked. After going back and forth with the author I threw the book on a shelf and decided to not even bother with it. He fixed three of them by the third round of updates. That gave me very little confidence in the advice he would offer in a book.

I found the author's writing style made the book an easy cover to cover read. He is very good at explaining things at the right level of detail, and at the right time. You are not jumping all over the book because he is referencing you to other parts of it all time. I recently had that experience too and it isn't pleasant.

All in all I highly recommend this book to anyone developing iOS or looking to start down that path.

For more book recommendations check out my .NET, iOS, and Java Architecture and Development Book Recommendations for 2013

Sams Teach Yourself iOS 6 Application Development in 24 Hours (4th Edition)

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

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