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on 9 October 2013
I first programmed a computer in 1968 and enjoyed a career as a programmer until demand for this kind of work fell away.

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.
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on 25 April 2012
This is 2nd book everyone should read when you start programming for iOS.

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.
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on 25 June 2012
This book is nominally aimed at the beginner to iOS programming. Nevertheless, despite already being an experienced developer, I found much of value in it. Its development of the ideas of memory management is outstanding. It really got down to the nitty gritty of what is going on, and after reading it I have a much better idea of how and why much of the boiler plate code that I always use works. I would thoroughly recommend it for any developer.
The only possible criticisms are that it fails to address ARC or grand central dispatch. Hopefully a future edition will deal with those subjects.
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on 16 February 2013
It covers all the topics other books do. The diference with the other books I have read on this subject is that this book explains why concepts are done this way.

So if you are looking for a parrot, look elsewhere, if you want to not only learn, but understand why writing iOS apps is done this way, this book is the business.
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on 8 October 2012
This book is an incredibly well written guide to developing for the iOS platform.
Honestly, if you can buy only one book on the subject, get this one. You won't regret it.
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on 29 May 2013
This book certainly comes very close to being the most understandable I have encountered so far. Keep up the good work.
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on 23 May 2012
A definite improvement over the earlier editions, as it is now up to date and incorporates lots of extra stuff too.

But, as with the earlier editions, it gets very heavy towards the middle chapters, focusing into subtle points that are lost on a beginner.

The explanations of what concepts mean are good. But the demonstration code is hard to follow. Many chapters build on a particular application that evolves as the book proceeds, introducing new concepts and incorporating them into that application. Unfortunately this just leads to confusion and a feeling of "So what I just did was a waste of time..or...not good..or..or what?" as we are continually deleting blocks of code, or editing things.

Except for that bad approach, the book overall is good.
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on 5 March 2013
I'm about halfway through and finding this an excellent guide to the complexities of iOS app development, Xcode and the Cocoa API. It's not really a beginner's book, though, so if you're starting iOS programming from scratch, you should work through one of the Objective-C textbooks first.

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.
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on 12 September 2011
The book has numerous bugs (check the book's own forum)

The learner is asked to type in vast blocks of code only some of which is explained.

Also a lot the projects build on each other so if you have problems at any stage you are hindered thereafter.

Incidentally you need an iPhone too for a lot of the chapters , the simulator doesn't cut it.
So if you are only an iPad use, like myself, a lot of stuff here isn't going to work.

Mystifies me why this book is so highly regarded by others here. I imagine it would work much better as part of a course and I think the writer hints at that's how the material is normally used at their company. For the rest of us, you will be left scratching your head and just typing and hoping something makes sense.
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on 3 January 2012
The book expects you to know some C and Objective-C. Start with the introductory volume (written by the same author) if you're lacking.

Examples are extremely well laid out and explained in thorough detail.

Be aware that this book was published just before the advent of iOS 5 and Xcode 4.2. The author has provided a small download package on bignerdranch.com in order to be able to follow the first few chapters (where Xcode has changed a bit since the book was published). With this download, you are able to follow that practices to the letter.

The iOS 5 version will be out at the end of March. If you need to get going now, just get this.
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