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on 2 December 2012
I struggled through a large portion of this book before giving up. The problem wasn't the difficulty of the subject matter - I have learned how to program Objective-C and write iPhone apps from other sources since - but how it's presented in the "Head First" approach. By diving in at the deep end to get you writing an app straight away, without even knowing anything about the programming language or framework you're using, they get you to do very complex things without really explaining them. It's all "let's not worry about that for now. We'll get to that later" - or they have to have a full page of questions and answers every few pages, to re-iterate what they just told you to do and tell you a little (not too much) more about it. Aside from the backwards way of teaching, the endless crosswords, childish puzzles and corny features (interviews with "personalities" like the iOS Notification Center) aren't funny and just grate.

My advice is to take it slow and easy by learning Objective-C first (I recommend Programming in Objective-C: Updated for iOS 5 and Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) (Developer's Library)), get comfortable with a couple of noddy console applications, then learn how to build iOS apps. iTunesU has a great series of lectures on iOS development from Stanford University - very easy to follow (especially if you've already learned Objective-C) and they're free. Learning advanced skills takes time - don't be tempted to fast forward it with a book like this.
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on 4 February 2012
OK, firstly the edition I received is slightly out of date, it does not have ARC (automatic reference counting) but to be honest, the book teaches you good memory management techniques, the fact you no longer need them, doesn't mean it's not good to learn, as long as you remember to untick it for the exercises or not try to release objects.
It's also missing any reference to story boarding in xcode, but again, remember to untick it when doing the exercises, and then you can follow them using the old xib files instead.
This is a really great read through, I have also purchased Kochan's Objective-C reference book, which does have ARC in it and Sams 24HR, also a 2012 book, as I felt it would be better to read more than one to fully learn.

The book takes you through several applications and is much more like learning from a good interactive teacher (think mad science teacher from school) than a university lecturer. :)

[I'm a very experienced Windows developer, but new to Macs and iOS].
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on 29 May 2014
This book is definitely not the best head first book I've read, it's very brief on IOS concepts and extremely short! Im sure there are better IOS books out there!
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on 18 October 2012
I was recommended this book by a work colleague but I have been very disappointed with it. I started reading it for a first time but the topics were introduced in such a chaotic order that I went away and read a pure Objective-C manual first. When I came back a second time to work through it I was equally disappointed and would have been totally lost had I not read the Objective-C book first. The intensions of the authors are valid - to make the book interesting and fun, but where it falls down is that they don't introduce the topics and concepts in a logical order. I was also using the 2nd Edition which was published in June 2011 and it's already quite out of date. Avoid this book would be my advice and look for a more traditional manual that has been published at least from 2012 onwards.
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on 26 July 2011
Head First iPhone and iPad Development (second edition) takes you, again, on a great journey across iPhone development related topics. What you get here is a gentle introduction into iOS programming.

Book covers most common issues you will definitely face during iPod development. It starts with introduction to XCode (iOS devoted IDE). What's worth mentioning here, it covers XCode version 4 (most recent one). Then it presents how to develop simple "hello world" like application. This way, you can fell what coding for iPhone/iPad is in practice. Apart from that, you will be taught how to use multiple views (very common use case for iPhone applications), how to access data (both via plists and Core Data), how to use tab bars, and some of the iOS frameworks. In general, this is very gentle introduction to iOS related development. And it's written like any other Head Firsts series book. It uses simple language, simple examples and good analogies. This way, you don't have to pretend that you are an expert with the topic before you start to read it.

If you are new to iOS and Mac world you will definitely notice that Objective-C is something totally different than Java/C++/C#. Here, Dan provides you with the very basics of the Objective-C. However, these basics are tightly bound to UI related development. You won't get detailed syntax explanation here. If you want to get it, you will have to look somewhere else anyway. This is not that big disadvantage after all. In fact, most of the iOS development related books lack good explanation of Objective-C.

I have read Head First iPhone Development (first edition) some time ago. In fact, this had been one of the books I have learned to program iPhone from. I think it was a good choice at that time. I'd recommend it to all the people who are at the very beginning of the journey. If you know something about iPhone development already. It might be that this book will cover topics you already know. In that case, deciding for iOS 4 Programming Cookbook or Concurrent Programming in Mac OS X and iOS might be a better idea for you.
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on 13 September 2011
I started learning to program for iOS nine months ago and have read several introductions to Objective C and iOS. Head First is definitely the best if you are starting out from nothing.

There are two reasons that this book works so well:

1) Xcode is a very graphical development environment (IDE) and this book is dripping with screen shots and illustrations.
2) The authors have been very clever in breaking down the subject into bite sized chunks.

Objective C and Xcode are very complex and large subjects and this book will not turn you into a professional iOS developer, however it will get you to the point where you can turn your own ideas into working apps.

Unfortunately, Xcode is evolving rapidly and many of the illustrations in the second edition are already out of date. With each iteration of Xcode this book will become more confusing.
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on 24 August 2011
I love the Head First series of books. The writing style, real-world examples and pace of learning are all pretty much spot on. This book is no exception and, as long as you have some knowledge of an OO programming language, you should be fine with Objective-C.

Where I have an issue with this particular book is that it has quite a few mistakes. There are bits of code which have bugs, or which don't actually do anything, there's even a spelling mistake in one of the crosswords. This left a slightly sour taste because the last thing you want to be doing when you're learning a new development platform is spending a couple of hours searching for a solution to a bug which shouldn't even be there!

Also, the downloadable code is confusing. Often it's split into folders named 'part1', 'part2' etc but the book doesn't refer to any 'parts' so you have to guess at which folder the author is referring to.

For the most part this is a very good introduction into iOS development and I certainly do not regret buying it. I just wish it had been proofread a few more times before going to print.
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