on 2 September 2013
First the good stuff. There is lots of useful information on many aspects of windows phone development. There is also a lot of example code with explanations. But there is also surprisingly, for a book this size, a lot of gaps in the information. Most phone projects rely on using external data from web services and feeds etc but this very little in this book about this rather important topic. If you need to have a database as part of your solution I suggest you look at Essential Windows Phone 8 by Sean Wildermuth. For more general information I suggest Windows Phone 8 Unleashed by Daniel Vaughan. Between these 3 books most things are covered to various degrees. The mobile platform is constantly changing at the moment so books go out of date quite quickly and there is nothing in these books about how to integrate with Azure services etc.
on 20 September 2013
This book is a must read for any aspiring or experienced Windows Phone developer. The book delivers deep technical knowledge into Windows phone, whilst maintaining an easy to understand and read style.
It is split into 4 major sections. The first section "Core Features" is a crash course into how Windows Phone works, and teaches how to create an app. Not just how to create an app, but how to use the features to your advantage. This becomes a detailed source of information, which replaces the frantic googling/binging I needed to do when starting to develop an app. Pretty much all the basic features are covered, from Navigation, IsolatedStorage and Data Binding, all the way to the sensor platform, and the application lifecycle model.
I would recommend this first section to anyone who has an interest in Windows Phone app development, coming from an intermediate level of development for other platforms. Whilst the section itself is quite large (400 pages) there are lots of code samples, and gives a very good foundation knowledge.
The remaining sections give an even deeper dive into the new features in Windows Phone 8, and how to upgrade your application from 7.x to 8. This book has better explanations for a lot of the key features than on MSDN, and it is in a much easier to digest format.
My only criticism of the book is that the code samples are only available in C# format. Whilst this isn't a big issue, as most of the "Target Audience" would be developers coding in this language. However, for those who are experienced with Visual Basic, you may need to covert some of the samples to get the most benefit.
Overall, I would strongly recommend this book. No matter what your experience level, it will provide real value to you, and will be an excellent reference for the various features found in Windows Phone 8
Disclosure - I was gifted a copy of the book for review purposes
on 11 April 2014
I would recommend this book to people who already have a basic understanding of writing apps for windows phone. It goes a lot more in-depth into things like page navigation, gives great examples and comes with a wealth of sample programs to reinforce your learning.
My only problem with this book was that it was slightly out of date, for example it describes The Twitter API as using 1.0, not 1.1.
Overall a great, informative book. Not the kind that takes you through creating sample applications, but provides you with knowledge of how and why things should be done a certain way.