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iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (3rd Edition) (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) Paperback – March 29, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0321821522 ISBN-10: 0321821521 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Big Nerd Ranch Guides
  • Paperback: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 3 edition (March 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321821521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321821522
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

 Joe Conway is the senior iOS instructor at Big Nerd Ranch and has been consulting on the iOS platform since its creation. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he has been writing Objective-C and Cocoa code since the dawn of OS X. Joe wrote the materials for the exceptionally popular Big Nerd Ranch iOS Bootcamp course, on which this book is based.

 Aaron Hillegass, a former employee of NeXT and Apple, has nearly two decades experience programming and teaching Objective-C, Cocoa, and more recently, iOS. In 2001, Aaron founded Big Nerd Ranch and began developing intensive courses that teach programming in a focused, distraction-free environment. Aaron is also the author of Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide and Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X.

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Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend using this book to start iOS development.
sgarg
I can't wait to finish this first book so I can move onto the more advanced one because I'm really feeling like I'm learning a lot.
Nate
They teach you the concepts so well, and I love doing the exercises, which is very important to learning.
Nearpoint

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Sean Conrad on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
**Before Buying**
Learn Objective-C, or another C-derived language. Seriously. Do it. Knowing Ruby or JavaScript or another web technology won't do; YOU MUST LEARN OBJECTIVE-C. If you don't know Objective-C, start with Big Nerd Ranch's other book: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (also on Amazon and also amazing). Once you know Objective-C, come back and buy this book. It's incredible.

**General Info**
I tried to use several iOS educational materials all over the web - paid and free - and I struggled with them all. They either assumed too much, or were just poorly structured for actual learning. Wandering around in code does NOT make a good learning experience.

So what sets Big Nerd Ranch's book apart? The authors are trainers/teachers by trade, and it shows - the structure of this book made learning easy, enjoyable, POSSIBLE. They aren't just wading through code and expecting you to get it; they outline what they are doing, and why, then show you the syntax, then fill in the gaps, then roll over it all with a fresh coat of learning paint. And in the end it's beautiful.

The authors also set up a discussion forum for the book and its Challenges on their website, which was a very handy resource. There, you can talk with people who are reading the book at the same time you are! compare answers, etc.

**Length**
To give you an idea of the scope of this book, it took me roughly 120 hours to complete (roughly 2.5 weeks working on it full time). I'm not sure if this is typical, or slow, or fast. But it's a 550-page beast. A beautiful, beautiful beast.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Maris Berzins on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a rusty old developer who decided to get his hands dirty again. I had previously tried the O'Reilly "Programming iOS 4" book and found it really wanting. I could never get into a good groove -- I didn't like the examples/samples, the way the concepts were being introduced wasn't intuitive. The book just wasn't for me. A few months later, I decided to try again. Since iOS 5 was out, I needed a new book. I saw a number of positive reviews for the BNR book and decided to give it a try. I immediately enjoyed the book and found myself much more engaged. The pace is good, the examples are interesting and they do a great job of introducing key concepts. I really appreciate the fact that in a short amount of time, not only am I learning more about the iOS foundation, but I'm also exploring the use of key features, like location and maps. Even though I used to write a lot of code, I don't feel this book is too dumbed down. I really feel this book has accelerated my learning curve of iOS.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By sgarg on April 12, 2012
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I found this edition of the book to be a little simpler to understand than the second edition. It may be due to the fact that Apple now supports ARC and the authors don't have to worry about explaining it. But overall, I think they really went back and tried to explain things in the clearest ways possible and at least through the first five chapters, everything has been making a lot of sense. It is hard for people not very familiar with programming (like myself) to grasp some of the concepts like delegation but I found that reading through the chapters slowly and working through examples is building a solid foundation. I would highly recommend using this book to start iOS development.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Keshishian on February 9, 2013
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Before buying this book I looked on Big Nerd Ranch's (BNR) site to see if they planned on publishing a new edition since iOS 6's release. Their web-site claimed, since there were no major changes with iOS 6, there were no plans to update their book. So I ordered the 3rd edition.

As I started to work through the material and exercises, it became more and more evident that in fact iOS 6 did bring about many changes, which really require an updated edition to this book and its material. e.g., quite a few interfaces have been deprecated with iOS 6. These changes make it quite frustrating to follow the material in the book. One is constantly forced to look up changes when the code examples do not work as advertised in the 3rd edition.

To their credit, the Big Nerd Ranch folks provide on their web-site a discussion forum, which has proved useful in following-up on some of these changes. The reader has to cross-reference a web-forum as she studies the material in this book.

Other than that, this book seems very well written and the end of chapter challenges are well thought out to get the reader to do some extra legwork, or thinking about how to solve problems. Again the BNR web-forum is a nice place to visit for discussions on solutions to these challenges.

I'm currently midway through this book. I reserve the right to update this review after I complete my study of this book :)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Yedidia on May 8, 2012
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Really excellent way to learn iOS programming. The book succeeds in teaching the concepts behind iOS by steadily modifying apps and showing what happens as you make each change (including showing what happens when you do something wrong in some way).

The main thing I would add to the other positive reviews is that if you have an iPad and a Mac, you can and should use them together. I set up my iPad sitting next to my Mac, and read the book on my Kindle app on the iPad, while writing the code in full-screen mode on Xcode on the Mac. It's easily the best set-up I've ever had working through a book on programming. The Kindle edition on the iPad is beautiful and easy to read with the smart screen stand, and I can build an app in Xcode and immediately run it on my iPad (with the console showing in Xcode), and then easily switch back to the Kindle app to continue reading the book when I'm done testing my app. It's much more convenient than trying to work with a paper book.

My one criticism is that for some reason they don't introduce you to using git with your Xcode projects, when in fact it's really easy to use. But you can learn that elsewhere, for example from the great and free iTunes U course on iOS programming by Paul Hegarty.
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