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Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK 1st ed. 2009. Corr. 5th printing 2009 Edition

153 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430216261
ISBN-10: 1430216263
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  • Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff LaMarche is a Mac and iOS developer with more than 20 years of programming experience. Jeff has written a number of iOS and Mac development books, including Beginning iPhone 3 Development (Apress, 2009), More iPhone 3 Development (Apress, 2010), and Learn Cocoa on the Mac (Apress, 2010). Jeff is a principal at MartianCraft, an iOS and Android development house. He has written about Cocoa and Objective-C for MacTech Magazine, as well as articles for Apple s developer web site. Jeff also writes about iOS development for his widely-read blog at

Dave Mark is a longtime Mac developer and author who has written a number of books on Mac and iOS development, including Beginning iPhone 4 Development (Apress, 2010), More iPhone 3 Development (Apress, 2010), Learn C on the Mac (Apress, 2008), The Macintosh Programming Primer series (Addison-Wesley, 1992), and Ultimate Mac Programming (Wiley, 1995). Dave loves the water and spends as much time as possible on it, in it, or near it. He lives with his wife and three children in Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. 2009. Corr. 5th printing 2009 edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430216263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430216261
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Hendriks on February 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have some very mixed feelings about this book. Let's start on a positive note. First of all, it is VERY well written. the authors don't just walk you through the answers they present in their projects, but also awaken your curiosity and walk you through the trial and error process that leads to their answer. some people say that this makes the book longer than necessary. i say that this makes them great teachers, since they know how to engage their readers and get you to understand not just what their solutions do, but why they have been implemented a certain way. my only qualm about their writing is that they spend a bit too much time explaining what they have done in the past and what they are going to do in the future instead of focusing on the lesson at hand.

I also got a lot of mileage out of the projects / code included in the book, especially the chapters on setting up your first two applications and the chapter on persistence.

Unfortunately, though, after reading this book it turns out i was not ready to make iPhone applications. i still ended up reading exorbitant amounts of documentation from apple to troubleshoot my code and do some very ordinary things. i found that apple's iPhone Application Development guide and Cocoa Fundamentals Guide had much more relevant data for learning how to make an iPhone application and are a better way to get started. i especially found that i needed to understand a lot more about how how my development environment manages resources, how events are handled and passed around (especially with regard to when to use actions vs delegates vs notifications and details on how these mechanisms work), memory management details, how an iPhone application works under the hood, how to interface between different languages and libraries, etc, etc.

The material in this book is great, but in the end, i would say that apple's introductory guides are what you need to get started, and this is just a supplement to them.
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105 of 124 people found the following review helpful By E. Allen on January 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
NOTE: I will be updating this review once I am done reading the new SDK 3 updated book. The review below is for the original SDK version of the book. I thank the author for personally responding to my review in the comments, and will make adjustments to this review after I read the updated book. I feel that some of his points are fair, but still arguable, as to what should and should not be included in the book.

I, like many others, bought this book simply because there really aren't any other iPhone SDK books on the market right now. It's a decent first book, but as someone who has programmed on the iPhone previous to reading this, I found some issues with it.

I DO recommend this book so far, as it really is the only one out there, and it does cover a lot of ground, but I feel that there will be much better books to come. I'd love to see a 2nd Edition of this.


- Current to iPhone 2.1
- Current to Objective-C 2.0
- Covers a wide area, such as Accelerometer, Swipes and Touches, Data Storage, Drawing, etc.
- Easy to read.


- The author fails to show some useful shortcuts, such as putting all objects that need to be synthesized on one line: "@synthesize txtName, lblFileName, myViewController"

- They also seem to skip over some very basic areas, such as what do all the iPhone pre-built templates do? Instead, they say "Apple provides this for you, but we are going to build from the ground up". That is great, but ALSO cover the easier way and explain some differences between the easy/hard ways.

- They don't go deep enough into using and understand views. Sure, they go into navigation controller, tab bars, etc. but they don't explain enough on just basic view manipulation.
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47 of 58 people found the following review helpful By zacware on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best programming books ever written!!!!! Want to know how good this book is? Over the holidays, my 12 year old was begging me to help him learn iPhone programming since he saw me release my first few apps and make a few dollars on it. He has never done any programming before. I told him to first read the first 100 pages of Programming in Objective-C by Stephen Kochan so he understood the basics of programming and then I gave him this book to learn about programming the iPhone. By the end of the weekend, he had written his first basic iPhone app. I was so amazed I am now going through the book page by page myself, and this 25 year veteran of computer programming is also learning a lot. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, and the switch from someone used to doing strictly procedural assembly language and C programming to something like the iPhone is tough, but this book has shed a whole new light on how to program for the iPhone. Simply put, it's fantastic.
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Aaron H. Miller on November 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In keeping with Dave Mark's excellent track record for introductory Mac development books (referring to his Learn C on the Mac classic) and Jeff LaMarche's obvious talents, this book is THE book for those new (and really, who isn't?) to iPhone Development.

I'll start by saying that relative to the Apple samples, the authors are heavily into Interface Builder usage, which is good to force separation of your Views from your Controller logic, but a challenge when you fumble hooking up an outlet and things don't work as you expect. Understanding how IB outlets & actions interact with source code is different than other programming most of us not from a NextStep heritage are used to. That is to say, for most programmers, debugging and changing behavior in source code is a much more familiar method to follow than trying to fix a NIB file. Not necessarily a better one mind you, but a significantly different one that'll take some getting used to.

That said, from my own brief experience, it seems starting off with a strong fundamental understanding of Apple-flavored MVC from this book, enforced via Interface Builder views and managed via controller source code, is preferable to trying to structure it correctly just in source code (as Apple usually shows it).

With respect to IB, the authors do a great job covering the common mistakes we all make and what you should do to resolve them (i.e. in Chap 6 they mention that if you don't see the proper action popup, you probably control-dragged from the wrong IB component. Nice touch.
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