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Learning iPad Programming: A Hands-on Guide to Building iPad Apps with iOS 5 [Paperback]

Kirby Turner , Tom Harrington
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Learning iPad Programming: A Hands-On Guide to Building iPad Apps (2nd Edition) Learning iPad Programming: A Hands-On Guide to Building iPad Apps (2nd Edition) 4.9 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

December 29, 2011 0321750403 978-0321750402 1
Learning iPad Programming walks you through the process of building PhotoWheel (free on the App Store), a photo management and sharing app that leverages every aspect of iOS 5. With PhotoWheel, you can organize your favorite photos into albums, share photos with family and friends, view them on your TV using AirPlay and an Apple TV, and most importantly, gain hands-on experience with building an iPad app. As you build PhotoWheel, you’ll learn how to take advantage of the latest features in iOS 5 and Xcode, including Storyboarding, Automatic Reference Counting (ARC), and iCloud. Best of all, you’ll learn how to extend the boundaries of your app by communicating with web services. If you want to build apps for the iPad, Learning iPad Programming is the one book to get.


As you build PhotoWheel, you’ll learn how to


  • Install and configure Xcode 4.2 on your Mac
  • Master the basics of Objective-C, and learn about memory management with ARC
  • Build a fully functional app that uses Core Data and iCloud for photo sharing and synchronization
  • Use Xcode’s new Storyboard feature to quickly prototype a functional UI, and then extend that UI with code
  • Create multitouch gestures and integrate Core Animation for a unique UI experience
  • Build custom views, and use view controllers to perform custom view transitions
  • Add AirPrint, email, and AirPlay capabilities to your app
  • Apply image filters and effects using Core Image Diagnose and fix bugs with Instruments Prepare your app for submission to the app store


Download the free version of PhotoWheel from the App Store today! Share your photos with friends and upload to iCloud, all while learning how to build the app.

Frequently Bought Together

Learning iPad Programming: A Hands-on Guide to Building iPad Apps with iOS 5 + Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)
Price for both: $65.30

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Editorial Reviews Review

Exclusive Bonus Content

Foreword for Learning iPad Programming
Foreword for Learning iPad Programming: A Hands-on Guide to Building iPad Apps with iOS 5
(Click photo for excerpt)


“Great books transcend their subject matter. … This book … takes you from design, to a throwaway prototype, to the Real Deal.”

–From the Foreword by Mark Dalrymple


“This amazing, thorough book takes an interesting approach by working through the design and development of a simple, yet realistic iPad app from start to finish. It is refreshing to see a technical book that explains how and why without inundating you with endless toy examples or throwing you into a sea of mind-numbing details. Particularly amazing is that it does this without assuming a large amount of experience at first. Yet it covers advanced topics at sufficient depth and in a logical order for all developers to get plenty of valuable information and insight. Kirby and Tom know this material and have done a great job of introducing the various frameworks and the reasoning behind how, why, and when you would use them. I highly recommend Learning iPad Programming to anyone interested in developing for this amazing platform.”

–Julio Barros


“This is a great introduction to iPad programming with a well-done sample project built throughout. It’s great for beginners as well as those familiar with iPhone development looking to learn the differences in developing for the larger screen.”

–Patrick Burleson

Owner, BitBQ LLC (


“Kirby Turner and Tom Harrington’s Learning iPad Programming provides a comprehensive introduction to one of today’s hottest topics. It’s a great read for the aspiring iPad programmer.”

–Robert Clair

Author, Learning Objective-C 2.0


Learning iPad Programming is now my go-to reference when developing apps for the iPad. This book is an absolute treasure trove of useful information and tips for developing on the iPad. While it’s easy to think of the iPad as just a bigger iPhone, there are specific topics that need to be treated differently on the iPad, such as making best use of the larger display. Learning iPad Programming provides an incredible amount of depth on all areas of iPad programming and takes you from design to fully functioning application–which for me is a killer feature of the book. This should be in everyone’s reference library.”

–Mike Daley

Author, Learning iOS Game Programming



“A truly well-rounded book with something for every iOS developer, be they aspirant or veteran. If you are new to iOS, there is a solid foundation provided in Part I that will walk you through Objective-C, the core Apple frameworks, provisioning profiles, and making the best of Xcode. If you’ve been around the block but want solid insight into iPad programming, Part II has you covered: Rather than just providing canned example code, Kirby and Tom give you real code that incrementally builds and improves a real app. And if you’ve been working with iOS for a while, but would benefit from a walk-through of the plethora of new features that have come our way with iOS 5 and Xcode 4, dive into the chapters on Storyboards, iCloud, and Core Image. Best of all, the book is well-written and conversational, making it a joy to read. This book is stellar.”

–Alexis Goldstein

Coauthor, HTML5 & CSS3 for the Real World


Learning iPad Programming is one of the most comprehensive resources on the planet for those developing for Apple’s iPad platform. In addition to coverage of the language, frameworks, and tools, it dives into features new in iOS 5, like Automatic Reference Counting, Storyboarding, and connecting your applications with iCloud. But where this book really shines is in the tutorials and the application you will build as you read through this book. Rather than being a toy that employs only off-the-shelf iOS user interface components from Interface Builder, the PhotoWheel app demonstrates custom view programming and view controller containment, nonstandard gesture/user input handling, and provides insight into how a complex iOS project comprised of multiple subsystems is assembled into a shipping application. In other words, Learning iPad Programming shows how to deal with the challenges you’ll face in real iPad development.”

–Erik Price

Senior Software Engineer, Brightcove


“A thoroughly crafted guide for learning and writing iOS applications, from the humble beginnings in Xcode and Interface Builder to creating a full-featured iPad application. There are many books that try to cover the gamut of knowledge required to take a reader from zero to app; Kirby and Tom have actually done it in this book. It is a fun and comprehensive guide to the world of developing apps for Apple’s magical device.”

–Rod Strougo

Founder, Prop Group


“The iPad is changing the way we think about and use technology. Learning iPad Programming is one of the most in-depth and well-executed guides to get both new and seasoned developers up to speed on Apple’s exciting new platform.”

–Justin Williams

Crew Chief, Second Gear

Product Details

  • Series: Learning
  • Paperback: 792 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (December 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321750403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321750402
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good albeit verbose and limited in concept April 20, 2012
This is clearly not a superficial book, it covers a lot and very well, but it is also time consuming to read it. And it has its own flaws. There are not many great books on iOS development in the market. Even less on iOS 5. And a lot less on solid application development on iOS 5. This book fills a gap. But, unfortunately, it doesn't do it so well as it could.

There is a bright side:
it covers many topics that other introductory books ignore, especially Core Data (data persistence) and application design on iOS (for example, well-respected publisher O'Reilly's iOS book "Programming iOS 5" has this unbelievable statement in one of the last pages in a book with more than 1,000 pages: "Core Data is beyond the scope of this book"). Furthermore, it covers subjects that are specific to iOS 5, including syncing with iCloud. And it does cover debugging and deployment, two very important themes. Xcode's new storyboard to prototype a functional user interface quickly is also well explained.
The book also contains a very good material on Objective-C, just enough to get an experienced programmer started. Many important topics are also included in the text: sending email, communicating with web services, creating an object browser, Core Image, touch gestures, container view controllers and AirPlay.
No doubt that this book has received many positive reviews.

But there is a negative side that is truly relevant:
There is a lot of text in the book than it is necessary. It is often long-winded, pleonastic, wordy. The authors seem to need a lot of text to convey simple concepts and ideas. A verbose writing style. One could argue that this is a pedagogical tool used by the authors. I am afraid that it doesn't work this way.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book I was waiting for! December 29, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read many books on IOS and iphone programming. This book is definitely one of the best and thorough books for ipad development. The best part, is that it takes the reader through the entire process of creating a real Ipad app. If you're interested and want to learn Ipad programming, I recommend this book. I believe this book will give a great foundation and starting point.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broad coverage, yet with depth. Efficient, without fluff. February 29, 2012
As of this review I'm halfway through the book. My background is hardware/software design, but I've been largely out of that loop for about a decade. Done mostly C and assembler, no experience in object-oriented languages. iOS made programming fun for me again, and _Learning iPad Programming_ made learning fun again. I began reading three other popular books on iOS development before this, and this is my favorite yet; I'll read this one to the end. Bottom line: It's helping me learn. Pros: It covers a wide variety of topics ("soup to nuts"); it goes in depth -- its broad coverage does not mean short on details; very well edited for grammar and spelling (I'm a nit picker) which shows attention to detail; nearly every line of code in listings is explained; best of all every chapter so far has proven to me there is something to learn. Cons: [crickets]. If you must have a con, Chapter 13 (Core Data) began kicking my butt, requiring more gray matter compared to previous chapters. Not a fault of the book, but rather, Core Data is complex and it's nose-to-grindstone time. This book challenges me and I learn from it, and the process is enjoyable.

As has already been described, the book steps you through developing a prototype app and then a "real-world" app, while using opportunities along the way to discuss features of the development environment as you go. I have found this approach more successful than stepping the reader through many separate demo apps (unrelated to each other) throughout a book. The former approach builds on what has been learned in previous chapters and I think it works because you remain focused, and the goal is more practical, less theoretical.

At least one reviewer mentioned (physically) thin pages, small fonts and no color.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great iPad programming book February 28, 2012
Length: 0:53 Mins
My first video review of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good for beginner to iPad coding August 15, 2012
yes, text could be clearer & brighter, but I am learning from the book. if you want a good book for iPhone development, try "iOS Programming The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 3rd Edition" (check the reviews), Print version - nice clear text, explanations and illustrations. Also, the "Objective-C Programming, The Big Nerd Ranch Guide", both by Big Nerd Ranch also nicely laid out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Figures did not appear on kindle edition March 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just bought this and started reading it, and none of the figures/pictures were in the kindle edition. It shows the caption for the figures, but no graphics. I deleted the book from Kindle (hold down on the book in the home screen till the red button appears) then re-down load the title from your archive. This fixed the issue. Thanks to Amazon and the author for a quick resolution to the problem.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! February 7, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very readable book with clear examples used throughout to illustrate the concepts.

I found the chapters on Web Services and iCloud to be very helpful. For example, the web services chapter describes the basic concepts for interacting with RESTful Web Services, and then it provides a detailed example of how to interact with the Flickr API with an app. The use of blocks instead of delegates for the callbacks in the ImageDownloaderClass for asynchronous downloads was especially insightful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helped me understand iPad development / capabilities
I came at this book with my only existing software development experience being PC (Windows/Linux) oriented. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Leafshopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is one of the best programming books I've ever come across. The writing style is very clear and you learn new concepts while building a far more interesting app than you'll... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Michael B. Spears
4.0 out of 5 stars Quickie Review
This will just be a quickie review because other reviews have already covered my thoughts well. I've only worked through 10 chapters. Read more
Published on May 7, 2012 by Victor Engel
5.0 out of 5 stars For Mac only.
I gave this book five stars because it is beautiful like my new iPad but, I must confess --- that I never read past the middle of page 3. Read more
Published on April 22, 2012 by James L. Fuqua
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelente
Completo, cobrindo todos os aspectos do desenvolvimento, desde o ambiente xCode a detalhes e dicas de programação que não se encontram em sites de busca. Read more
Published on March 12, 2012 by Pedro
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book - but Printed Version Difficult to Read
I usually get printed version of technical books since I find them easier to bookmark and reference while doing development. Read more
Published on March 2, 2012 by MarkG
1.0 out of 5 stars unreadable print
This print version uses very small fonts, the figures are poor black/grey/white renderings of color images, and the paper is thin enough that the other side of the page is faintly... Read more
Published on February 2, 2012 by DCH
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