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This book is the perfect place for an experienced developer to start with iOS programming. I say experienced developer because this book does a great job of showing you the basics of developing with iOS, but if you don't understand C and Objective-C, you are probably going to get lost. Maybe not, but I found myself saying, "I am glad I already know what that is" about quite a few topics that were used to explain the subject matter. If you don't know Objective-C, I would recommend starting with Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition).
This book does a great job of showing you what you need to know to get started with iOS. When you are done with it you should be able to easily move into programming iOS applications and learning more advanced topics along the way.
To give you an idea of the high level topics the book cover, I have listed the chapters below.
1. A Simple iOS Application 2. Objective-C 3. Managing Memory with ARC 4. Views and the View Hierarchy 5. Views: Redrawing and UIScrollView 6. View Controllers 7. Delegation and Text Input 8. UITableView and UITableViewController 9. Editing UITableView 10. UINavigationController 11. Camera 12. Touch Events and UIResponder 13. UIGestureRecognizer and UIMenuController 14. Debugging Tools 15. Introduction to Auto Layout 16. Auto Layout: Programmatic Constraints 17. Autorotation, Popover Controllers, and Modal View Controllers 18. Saving, Loading, and Application States 19. Subclassing UITableViewCell 20. Dynamic Type 21. Web Services and UIWebView 22. UISplitViewController 23. Core Data 24. State Restoration 25. Localization 26. NSUserDefaults 27. Controlling Animations 28. UIStoryboard 29. Afterword
The reason for this is the way the authors use the samples throughout the book. It goes like this- add this ABC code, and then in the next example delete ABC code and add XYZ code, and then leave XY, but delete Z and add DEF code. You get the final result in the code samples, but going through what it took to get there is just as important.
I have this fourth edition and the third edition. I never got around to reviewing the third edition, but wanted to make sure I reviewed this one because I feel it is an awesome asset to the experienced programmer looking to get into iOS programming.
One thing I think most readers will notice right away is that the book does not use Storyboards until the last chapter of the book, and then the book puts the kibosh on them. I have used Storyboards in almost all my quick and dirty proof of concepts where I wanted simple navigation. In one of those I had to abandon them because of some complex navigation one sections of the application required.
I wouldn't completely discount Storyboards and would use them if the applications functionality allowed for them. It is just like everything else, you need to understand the architecture and the functional needs of the app enough to make an informed decision.
The diagrams in the book are awesome. They are UML-ish and really help by giving a visual representation of the topic at hand. The authors also use the right amount of screenshots. They do a good job of including them when they are needed, and they do not use them as filler.
The book also makes a good reference. Topics are short and to the point. There isn't any filler in this book, so when you need to look something up you have a nice concise explanation at your fingertips.
All in all, if you are looking to get into iOS, this is a great place to start. If you are an experienced iOS developer, it makes a nice reference for the features only used once in a blue moon.
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