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Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: Making App Store Apps Without Objective-C or Cocoa [Paperback]

by Jonathan Stark
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 26, 2010 0596805780 978-0596805784 1

What people are saying about Building iPhone Apps w/ HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

"The future of mobile development is clearly web technologies like CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Jonathan Stark shows you how to leverage your existing web development skills to build native iPhone applications using these technologies."

--John Allsopp, author and founder of Web Directions

"Jonathan's book is the most comprehensive documentation available for developing web applications for mobile Safari. Not just great tech coverage, this book is an easy read of purely fascinating mobile tidbits in a fun colloquial style. Must have for all PhoneGap developers."

-- Brian LeRoux, Nitobi Software

It's a fact: if you know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you already have the tools you need to develop your own iPhone apps. With this book, you'll learn how to use these open source web technologies to design and build apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch on the platform of your choice-without using Objective-C or Cocoa.

Device-agnostic mobile apps are the wave of the future, and this book shows you how to create one product for several platforms. You'll find guidelines for converting your product into a native iPhone app using the free PhoneGap framework. And you'll learn why releasing your product as a web app first helps you find, fix, and test bugs much faster than if you went straight to the App Store with a product built with Apple's tools.

  • Build iPhone apps with tools you already know how to use
  • Learn how to make an existing website look and behave like an iPhone app
  • Add native-looking animations to your web app using jQTouch
  • Take advantage of client-side data storage with apps that run even when the iPhone is offline
  • Hook into advanced iPhone features -- including the accelerometer, geolocation, and vibration -- with JavaScript
  • Submit your applications to the App Store with Xcode

This book received valuable community input through O'Reilly's Open Feedback Publishing System (OFPS). Learn more at http://labs.oreilly.com/ofps.html.


Frequently Bought Together

Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: Making App Store Apps Without Objective-C or Cocoa + Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: Making Native Apps with Standards-Based Web Tools + jQuery Mobile: Up and Running
Price for all three: $59.53

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Stark is a mobile and web application consultant who the Wall Street Journal has called an expert on publishing desktop data to the web. He has written two books on web application programming, is a tech editor for both php|architect and Advisor magazines, and has been quoted in the media on internet and mobile lifestyle trends. Jonathan began his programming career more than 20 years ago on a Tandy TRS-80 and still thinks Zork was a sweet game.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596805780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596805784
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 3.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Stark is a mobile application consultant who the Wall Street Journal has called an expert on publishing desktop data to the web. He has written three books on mobile & web programming, is a frequent speaker at leading mobile web conferences, and has been quoted in the media on internet and mobile lifestyle trends. Jonathan began his programming career more than 20 years ago on a Tandy TRS-80 and still thinks Zork was a sweet game.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start March 11, 2010
Format:Paperback
I am a developer, but I know nothing about the iPhone or iPhone app development, so this book sounded perfect for me. It's a very quick read: I read the whole book (< 160 pages) on a 3 hour flight to Boston. The prose is clear with very little fluff, but did I learn much about iPhone apps with HTML, CSS and Javascript? This raises the big question that was not clear to me when I started reading: who is this book for? It is clear that this book is not for someone who has no prior knowledge of HTML or CSS, or JavaScript. The tutelage on HTML and CSS is razor-thin. If you do not understand these languages, your head will swim very quickly. I have worked with both languages for a couple years, and yet I felt pretty unsatisfied with the skeletal explanations of some of the examples. The Javascript coverage was even more spartan. I am not a Javascript person; I know just enough to tweak simple code I have found on the Internet. I have no clue to some of the book's example code and what it means. Overall, I found this book was not written to be a tutorial at all. It is a bare introduction to the iPhone environment for a developer who has considerable experience in these languages. And to Stark's credit, he does does state in the Preface that this book is for people with "basic experience reading and writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (jQuery in particular)". I was not aware of this assumption, so be aware that you may have some rough going. On the up-side, however, there is some very interesting material in this book. I did learn something about the iPhone development environment, and the iPhone style of presentation. Now I know to look into Cocoa, jQuery and JQTouch. Read more ›
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As an IPhone app developer you've probably found that Objective-C is difficult to learn, rather counter-intuitive in syntax, and not very useful outside of the Mac programming world. Also, trying to get an app into the App store is like dealing with airport security - byzantine rules unevenly enforced and guaranteed long waits. Updates also take long time periods, and if your updates are in response to bugs you can quickly get a bad rep as a developer. This book shows you how to use commonly and long-used web technologies to build your application as a web app, have it tested on the web where you can quickly make changes in response to bugs, and then when you are ready, the book shows you how to use PhoneGap to convert your web app to a native iPhone app.

This book assumes that you have basic experience reading and writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, SQL, and jQuery. The author has a very brief overview of these technologies in the book, but it isn't enough if you lack experience, and it is duplication of what you already know if you have experience. The book largely avoids the iPhone SDK but you will need access to a Mac for the material in Chapter 7 on PhoneGap. This is the chapter where the author shows you how to convert a web app into a native app that can be submitted to the App Store.

The book is short, but it is adequate and clearly written for the task at hand. I'd recommend it to anyone who is tired of dealing with Objective-C and is looking for an easier way to write and test IPhone apps.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Limited information and already out of date. July 3, 2010
Format:Paperback
The book starts with a general overview of HTML and CSS and then explains how to use CSS, HTML and JQuery to target some of WebKit's proprietary calls to make Web Apps mimic native iPhone app look and feel. It also covers using HTML5 local storage. The last chapter explains how to use a new third-party (open source) PhoneGap SDK to convert your iPhone app to a native application.

So why two stars? Well, there are a few problems with the book. For starters, the pre-face and getting starting portion is not going to prepare anyone. If you don't have a foundation in HTML, JavaScript, CSS, etc.. You're going to struggle with the content and the information in the first chapter is not going to be enough to help you. With the chapters that follow we get more step by step examples, far too much hand holding and NO SOURCE TO DOWNLOAD (this is unforgivable). Advanced developers will gladly pay for a book just to get their hands on the source and will learn quickly by reading the source code as opposed to reading the authors step-by-step instructions on how to write the source code. For all except beginner books, it's common with tech books that the source code is really what the reader is after and the book becomes a reference (as needed) for understanding the source code. This basic concept of tech book authorship seems to be missing here. This book is formatted as a beginners book but covers more advanced topic, this is a significant flaw in the approach.

Aside from my dislike of the authors approach, there are two other areas where I think this book should have been filled out a bit more. We get no information on using graphics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars nice book, worth to read
The book was too slow at certain moments. There was unnecessary explanations as what s HTML, CSS and JS. Read more
Published 6 days ago by David S. James
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
I found this book to be ok. A little too narrow in the areas covered but all-in-all not too bad
Published 10 months ago by Adam
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
There are lots of useful bits of info in this book. If you don't know where to begin this book is helpful...if you already are an expert...don't by it.
Published 16 months ago by Jonathan Rhea
5.0 out of 5 stars Iphone apps simplified
Objective C and Cocoa, the main programming language for the Iphone are just not intuitive enough for the novice programmer. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Andrew Kear
2.0 out of 5 stars Seems to be code missing from examples...
I have been looking for a good tutorial on how to build web apps from the beginning all the way through to completion and thought this book would be my answer. Read more
Published on November 25, 2011 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money
I am a full time developer who knows HTML and Javascript. This book has a lot of code missing and a lot of the code simply does not work. Read more
Published on October 17, 2011 by The Edge
3.0 out of 5 stars OK starting point
First off, this is a very short book. I was expecting a lot more, and usually O'Reilly's books are quite thorough and extensive. Read more
Published on October 10, 2011 by Laura Thompson
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Wondering about jQTouch, Though...
The book is great, the content solid, and all examples worked perfectly... On versions of iOS previous to 4.1, which is the center of my concern. Read more
Published on March 26, 2011 by Andrew
1.0 out of 5 stars This entire book is available online for FREE!
Before you plunk down your hard-earned money for this book, search the title and read it for free on the O'Reilly web site. The whole book is available there for free. Read more
Published on March 10, 2011 by Equalizer700
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and easy to understand
I found it very useful, although I initially thought I am gonna have problems understand everything. Read more
Published on January 25, 2011 by Mireille
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