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on February 3, 2010
Dave and Jeff delivered again in this sequel to Beginning iPhone 3 Development. More iPhone 3 Development shows the readers more advanced topics in iPhone development, and specifically many new APIs introduced in iPhone SDK 3.0. The major additions in SDK 3.0 are Core Data, MapKit, GameKit, and built-in delegate to send emails within your apps. Luckily, Dave and Jeff went in depth to show us how these new APIs work.

Chapter 2 to Chapter 7 are all Core Data related. I highly recommend these chapters. They give you a complete view of Core Data APIs with working samples. It also touches on how to modify existing Core Data structure, as well as versioning and upgrade. Once you master Core Data API, you can unleash this newly gained power in your conquering of iPhone app development.

Chapter 8 is a very interesting one talking about peer to peer networking over Bluetooth protocol using GameKit. This is very useful when you are in-door w/o any Wifi and 3G data connections. Bluetooth will guarantee to work within iPhones/iPod touches anywhere.

Chapter 9 tackles Bonjour service and network streams. Many multiplayer games are built using Bonjour networks, it's a must read for game developers, as well as anyone who's interested in how network stream works.

Chapter 10 is an introductory on working with HTTP connections and GET/POST operations. This chapter is a little lean. There could be more coverage on HTTP connections and requests, but this chapter should be good enough to get you started.

Chapter 11 describes MapKit. This is very very useful. Pre-SDK 3.0, it was a pain to integrate Maps into your iPhone apps. Messy AJAX calls, loading delays, un-responsive UIs. Now MapKit solves these in a very elegant way. It's a simple delegate that you need to implement, and define annotation views for each POI on the map. Building a map application couldn't be any easier these days.

Chapter 12 introduced the MessageUI which has controllers and methods to let your apps to send emails w/ various configurations without leaving your apps! This IS a big deal! Your app becomes more sticky and cohesive to the users. Highly recommend this chapter!

Chapter 13 shows you how to use iPod Library, media picker and music player. An interesting read on how media is handled on the iPhone.

Chapter 14 and 15 talk about responsive UIs and debugging techniques. Very very helpful information on how to improve your apps.

Again, Dave and Jeff deserve a long-standing ovation for giving us another must-have iPhone development book. I wish they can come out an iPhone game development book soon, heavily centered on OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 ;) Thank you!
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on December 12, 2009
First, I like Apress books, I have many.

If you are starting out with iphone development and do not come from an Objective-C background, you may want to hold back on buying this book. It will teach you Objective-C. But it will get you to rely on using the Interface Builder(IB) for all your interface stuff. After going this route for a couple months I now realize that I hate Interface Builder. So I'm reading books that teach coding the interface and find that it is much faster.

If you buy the book you will see how the author tries to politely say that the IB is ok at some stuff and terrible at other stuff. For the most part it is only worth using IB if your iphone app meets one of two requirements. It closely resembles an example from this book or one of the predefined iphone templates when you start a new project in Xcode is all you plan on needing. If you want to do more complicated things with multiple views with multiple types of navigation, this book will lead you down a path of trying to make something work that was never setup to work that way.

Bottom line, if you are a programmer that's written a lot of code, created a lot of interfaces and can code your way out of a paper bag, this book is not for you. You will buy it, like it (because it IS a good book) but then feel like you got the pre-school version of what you are looking for.

Anyone that is interested in making complex interfaces on the iphone will find that they end up working just in code and then rarely, possibly never, opening IB for anything. If you want a good book to start, get the iPhone Developer's Cookbook by Erica Sadun. It does not teach IB, it does not teach Objective-C (but you'll pick it up). It teaches you how to build iphone apps the way a real programmer expects to build apps.

If you want to learn how to build simple iphone apps that barely do anything and almost the entire process is drag and drop, get this book. It will teach you that well, but as soon as you want to start to do more complicated things, everything this book taught you will end up holding you back.
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on June 11, 2010
I am huge fan of Apress and both of the authors who contributed to this book. I read" Beginning iPhone 3 Development" which is a reference I go to regularly. All that being said I must say this. I am not trying to be the one person who rates a book poorly without a valid reason. I was very interested in this book because of the Core Data section. While working through the book I noticed numerous bugs and contacted the author. I did get a response which said they had been having numerous problems. I was told that I would get a response and the error would be fixed. Well it is months later, have not received a follow up email (I understand people are busy but I did send a quick follow up with no response), have tested the updated code and the bugs are not fixed and the support site has numerous comments about bugs with responses. So to make a long story short I really don't feel comfortable with Core Data. I did learn a lot about it but I would definately feel uncomfortable implementing it in an app. The second half of the book is great and goes over numerous parts of the SDK. Again I really love Apress but find it disappointing that the section on Core Data had problems and the development community has been left without a solution. If you are looking for a book on Core Data I would not recommend this book. If you are interested in exploring parts of the SDK that are covered in Part II, I highly recommend this book.
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on January 11, 2010
For those of you who read Beginning iPhone 3 Development, written by the same authors, know that they not only know their stuff, but are great in delivering the message. This book is no different. I like this book especially because of its in-depth take on Core Data. After a brief introduction, the authors dive into Core Data. The way it's explained is clear and the examples are easy to follow. Although the iPhone SDK has grown into a large set of frameworks and libraries, the selection the authors made in the second part of the book covers some of the most used frameworks of the SDK making the chapters useful for a wide variety of readers/developers.

I have been looking forward to this release and the book hasn't disappointed me. If you master the basics of iPhone development then this book is definitely for you.
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on October 4, 2010
This book is great. However if you have never programmed before, You first need to check out Apress' 'Learn C on the Mac'. Then you should read Apress' 'Learn Objective-C on the Mac'. After that you are ready for this book and will be making your very own professional apps in no time! Remember, this book is third in a series, so if you have very little knowledge in programming, start from the beginning. It is better to learn to walk before learning to run.
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on January 11, 2010
This is a very good book. The coverage of core data is excellent. I haven't seen migrations or validations covered much at all in other books but there is good detail on those core data topics in this book.
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on January 19, 2010
This is an excellent book. While the first book provides a great intro to iPhone programming (as it should), it was missing some critical components I was looking for in my app (PhotoCalorie, [...]) namely, core data and dealing with web data. I'm pleased to see their coverage of core data is now quite extensive including database migrations and versioning, which is the main reason I purchased the book. For future app improvements, I am considering adding an email feature. They have an entire chapter devoted to sending mail that looks perfect for my app. Both books make iPhone programming fun, easy to learn, and teach you how to develop a robust and stable app.

In addition to the book, don't forget to checkout their forum and blogs. They are a great source of additional information. I noticed that Jeff posted extra core data info (on 12/29/09) that had to be cut from the book due to page limitations.
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on April 6, 2010
All in all I thought this book was somewhat helpful. The author's writing style makes a fairly dry subject more enjoyable. The progression through the book makes sense with each chapter adding onto the previous with ever more complex apps. And they do cover a lot of the most important controls and paradigms of standard iPhone apps.

However, the problem with this book is the same problem I see with a lot of resources covering iPhone development--they are far too shallow. They explain the steps required to write the apps fine but they don't give you any idea about what's really going on. Nothing about the architecture and methodology. Type this, click that, drag the blue line from here to here. You end up with a working iPhone app but you don't really have any idea how you got there or how you would create another. Any monkey can follow simple instructions! I want to know how all this stuff relates and fits together! To reuse a tired analogy, this book just hands you the fish instead of teaching you how to fish.

So I'll keep looking for other resources. I think I've gotten a reasonable introduction to how this stuff works on a very shallow basis, but I'm frustrated by having read a good majority of this book and still not understanding what I'm doing.
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on February 28, 2010
If your completely new to iphone developing I suggest you skip this book. With every SDK update these books become instantly outdated if you depend on them to give you word for word, line by line help. As soon a you run across a section of the book that is no longer current like the last line on page 133 your screwed. I'm new to all this so i'm pretty ignorant on Objective C and everything else that has to do with programming. Out of the three tutorials in this book I went thru so far I only got one to work. I copied word for word the code as they show in the book..only to get a half a dozen errors, which immediately stopped me from progressing in that chapter. I would love to see someone come out with a book that actually has a technical support number that you can call (at a reasonable cost..say $100.00 for unlimited support for 6 Months) This is the only way I could have someone help me when I hit a road block. As soon as Apple changes one page in their SDK software and your following along in this book, its like coming to a canyon and the bridge is gone. With no help in site. I'm going to be looking for an online class to take or a community college course to take some where...I need hand holding.
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on March 6, 2010
I've looked through many beginning iPhone development books and I can say this is the best one out there. I would prefer a big, thick, Deitel-style textbook though. I don't think there's anything like that out there for iPhone development. You should know some basic programming in C, C++, Java, or Objective-C(preferred), before you tackle this book. Otherwise, you will likely be confused. I recommend you learn the basics of Objective-C first too, though people with C, C++, Java experience may be able to understand the code. Apress has a decent book on Objective-C.

This book covers every topic you need to learn to start developing iPhone applications and explains the basics of Xcode and the iPhone SDK. It's a by example type book. You learn by writing actual applications. There are plenty of screenshots that help you stay on the same page.

Now, the bad things about this book. First, there is a quite a lot of errata. This isn't uncommon in programming books, but this book has more errata than usual. I think they cut corners putting out a new edition and forgot to update some of the code and check for other errors. Again, this is typical of programming books. They really should have had a programmer actually go through the book and type in the code, etc. before sending this off to print. I guess they couldn't afford the time and money to do this? Fortunately, there is an online forum with other readers of this book posting corrections. Secondly, the explanation of concepts and code is somewhat brief. Sometimes, you just have to look at the code and try to figure out what it does or just accept that it works.

In conclusion, this book is easy to read, well organized and will teach you how to get started developing iPhone applications by example. The typeface and design is easy on the eyes. You will likely have to look back at the code of the programs in this book when you start writing your own programs. You should read some other iPhone development resources also to supplement your knowledge, because the explanation of concepts and code is brief at times. The errata is somewhat annoying, but there's a companion forum with corrections. I don't know of a better iPhone development book out there, which means that there is no "excellent" iPhone dev book, yet.

Start with this book as a primer, then try writing some programs that you would like to make. Look back at the programs you wrote while going through this book, unless you have a photographic memory. Check out other resources too and ask questions in online forums when you run into problems. I have found that the best way to learn a programming language/SDK/etc. is to write programs you really want to write. You will have extra motivation to find the answers to get your program completed and learn the language at the same time.

After going through this book, check out The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone 3.0 SDK (2nd Edition) for more, in depth coverage of development for the iPhone. It's more of a reference book than a how to book.
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