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IOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) Paperback – 2 Jul 2011
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"Pick up this book and turn yourself into an iPhone developer."
― Dietrich Kappe, CTO Pathfinder Development
From the Back Cover
Updated and expanded to cover iOS 4, Xcode 4, and iPad development, iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide leads you through the essential tools and techniques for developing iOS applications.
The guide is based on Big Nerd Ranch's popular iOS Bootcamp course and its well-tested teaching methodology. Concepts and coding are taught in tandem, and the result is instruction that is relevant and useful.
After completing this book, you will have the knowledge, the experience, and the confidence you need to tackle iOS projects of your own.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
A few months ago, I was given the very welcome opportunity to revive my programming career. The job was to develop an iPhone application to take set-up information from a database and return a report.
I'd never programmed for this platform before. Worse, I had never even used the programming language although I recall reading Brad Cox's original paper on Objective C. I'd taken the C++ and Java route rather than use the message-passing form of object oriented programming that I now found myself using. Worse still, I had a tight deadline.
Never having regarded myself as a nerd, I was somewhat put off by the title of this book but it's remarkable how little help I was able to get out of others that aimed to teach the same subject.
This book got me started and greatly eased the process of completing the work. Taking the reader through example application programs - I'm supposed to call them "apps" now - it introduced new aspects of the platform and programming language with clear and concise explanations. It introduced useful techniques that I could apply immediately.
Problems? Only a few and minor.
Get the paper version. A Kindle is too narrow an orifice through which to use this kind of work, even using the Mac kindle reader full screen. I had to constantly refer back to previous chapters.
For what I had to do, the book left me having still to do a lot of research but that was only to be expected.
If you want more than you get from the trivial introduction to programming an iPhone or iPad offered by, for example, the Apple web pages, this book will help you.
The first one you should read is also from The Big Nerd Ranch : learning objective C. Why you should read it (unless you're very, very familiar with Objective C) ? Because it nicely explains everything you need to know about Objective C to get started with iOS. Nothing more, nothing less. No overkill, just plain & clear explanations. Advanced topics like block code will only become really clear when you use it a few times in examples in the iOS programming book
To my opinion, the criticism on some reviews about having to type so much code in is not correct : I know from many years of programming in several languages that the only way to learn a language is not to look at it, not to read (too much) about it, but to type in code, and understand every single letter you're typing, and to know why it is. Most chapters end with a challenge, to really make you start thinking about the subject, and to force you to dive into the SDK documentation in Xcode. That's also the message you get early in the book : USE the documentation as much as possible. Far from everything in the SDK can be captured in books, it's just too much.
I've read tens of books so far about all kinds of programming languages, this book really excels them all. It is so well thought, and you'll learn so many details on the way, that you'll be amazed how far you get by only finishing this book. But really finishing it of course.
Each chapter takes you step by step through some code demonstrating a feature of iOS such as memory management, view controllers and notifications. You type in the code and read the commentary by the authors to understand what you're doing, then you tackle the "challenges" at the end of the chapters to practice what you've learnt. If you get stuck on the challenges, you can pick up tips in the Nerd Ranch forums.
Apple are frequently updating iOS, Cocoa and Xcode, so books like this need to be kept up-to-date with appropriate revisions. This edition is for iOS5. As I write, the current iOS is 6.1, and there are times when I'm working through the code examples and finding that something isn't working because Apple have changed some feature in the latest iOS. The Nerd Ranch forums are helpful for finding workarounds for these problems, though, so it's more of a slight annoyance rather than a major obstacle.
Hopefully this book will get a revision before, or soon after, the next major iOS update.
This first title I purchased (Learning iPhone Programming) merely scratched the surface, so when I initially started working through this title I was a little confused as the concepts were shown rather differently. Rather than just creating projects using Xcode's built in templates (like the afore mentioned title), you are shown how to create the various views/controllers programatically which gives you a better understanding behind these concepts.
There are also plenty of diagrams included which help give you an understanding as to how the projects you build are held together using Apples preferred programming model MVC, as well as diagrams which simply help to get the points in the text across to the reader.
If I have one minor criticism, it would be that not every piece code is explained (the majority is), but then I guess that is what Apple's documentation is for, so I am probably expecting everything to be handed to me on a plate.
All things considerated, a must buy.
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Most recent customer reviews
Honestly, if you can buy only one book on the subject, get this one. You won't regret it.