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Book Review: iOS SDK Development
A no nonsense approach to learning the key points of Objective-C and iOS

This book a no nonsense approach to learning the key points of Objective-C and iOS at the speed of light. It is a fast paced sprint through tons of hands on examples.

The books starts off with a nice introduction to Xcode by building a small twitter application using the new iOS 6 Social framework. The twitter application is used as the example in the first 3 chapters and then the rest of the book builds a recipe application.

I have listed the chapters below to give you an idea of the topics covered throughout the book.

Tweetings, and Welcome to iOS 6
Programming for iOS
Asynchronicity and Concurrency
View Controllers
Table Views
Storyboards and Container Controllers
Documents and iCloud
Drawing and Animating
Testing and Fixing Apps
The App Store and Beyond
Wait! I Forgot (Or Never Learned) C!

To me this is not a reference book, but rather a great cover to cover read. There are a lot of books that I don't get far with that are hands on building of an application from start to finish, but this one really kept my interest. The applications being built are at the perfect level of complexity to introduce a ton of topics, but do not bog you down with a bunch of domain knowledge. I hate the books like this that spend 50% of the book explaining the non-technical what and why of what you're building.

I found the chapter on storyboards very cool. The authors take the recipe application built using a pre-iOS mindset using nibs up to this point in the book, and converts it to a storyboard application. They reuse all the view controllers built so far. This is a great chapter for showing the power of the MVC pattern used throughout iOS development.

The chapter on Documents and iCloud does a great job of introducing persistence by implementing the NSCoding protocol. There is no Core Data coverage in this chapter or the rest of the book. I also could not get the iCloud samples from this chapter to run, but I did not spend much time on trying to get it to work.

The chapter on testing provides a nice introduction to unit testing, debugging, and performance testing using Instruments.

I think a reader should have some experience with C or Objective-C before reading this book. Like I said above the authors have a very no-nonsense approach. But I would recommend a little more experience than what the author's put into the Wait! I Forgot (Or Never Learned) C! appendix. C in 7 pages is a bit to no-nonsense!

Over all I found the book a really enjoyable read. I definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to learn iOS through a hands on experience. This book will give you a great foundation to start building on.

iOS SDK Development

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

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