Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book Review: iPhone in Action

iPhone in Action, Introduction to Web and SDK Development, is 50% off the regular price until April 30, 2009. To get the discount, just go to the publisher's site and when you order use this code: tuaw50. This is only for the current edition of iPhone in Action. If you miss the sale, Amazon has it for sale at 34% off.

This book is a great starter book and we used it to help us with the development of our first iPhone application. The best part of buying this book was getting the downloadable PDF version for free. That helped a lot, especially when we needed to copy examples from the book.

The book does provide ample coverage iPhone development. This includes web and native apps. The tutorials are very good and there are code examples for most major iPhone areas. Although our app was not a web app, which a full third of the book covers, we found it interesting to read this part of the book. Later on it helped us with adding web access to our app. The native app part of the book introduces the SDK, starting with an overview of Objective-C and XCode, and then follows up with excellent step by step tutorials. These tutorial teach you how to use Interface Builder and the different kinds of view controllers to create your GUI. The part of the book covers graphics, web interaction, SQLite databases, using the address book, etc. iPhone in Action is great for experienced programmers and iPhone development beginners, mainly because it covers both web and then SDK.

If you want to sample the book before you buy, the publisher has 3 chapters you can download, as well as all the source code from the book. Just visit the Manning Publications website to check it out. The free ebook that accompanies the book is provided by the publisher at their website as well. You have to buy the book to get the code they require when you click on the ebook link.

As always, we will provide you with some comments from other reviewers that do not share our opinion on the book:

A very basic introductory book to iPhone programming, says "IT Developer," my major complain is that it either left out the important stuff or only roughly addressed them. For example, NSException handling is not even mentioned in the book.

Barry A. Starrfield writes: All about HTML Programming. "Be aware that this book is strongly focused towards iPhone Web applications development. Sadly, your Web based iPhone app is not what consumers want - they want an SDK application, and those are the applications that you'll get paid for."

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