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An Introduction to iOS Programming: From Getting the SDK to Submitting Your Firs

Score: 88%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: O'Reilly
Region: A
Media: Downloads/1
Running Time: 171 Mins.
Genre: Instructional
Audio: English

I'm convinced that everyone - even people who don't own an iPhone - has an idea for an iOS app. Think about it, how many times a week do you hear someone, or even yourself, say, "Hey, this would be a cool app." The big hurdle is few people actually know how to take that idea an turn it into the App Store's next big deal. There's the actual design process, as well as coming up with the interface and well, you have to know how to program the thing, but the biggest question is, "How do I start?"

An Introduction to iOS Programming: From Getting the SDK to Submitting Your First App is a great place to start. This six-part video series, hosted by Alasdair Allan, takes you through the entire process. You won't finish the series ready to hit the App Store, but it is a nice companion tool to whatever other books you decide to use.

I'm still a very novice iOS developer. I know some of what I'm doing, but I'm nowhere near where I need to be to start developing my own apps. I'm mostly self-taught (though I have a few awesome friends who have helped me along the way), so I thought the series would be a great place to start. I love the way the series is set up. Unlike other video tutorials I've tried, Introduction to iOS Programming is broken into smaller sections. You can start and stop the videos whenever you want, which is great when you have to reference certain aspects of the program or need to backup and watch something again.

You'll end up using this feature a lot actually. Though the first part of the series is a good introduction to the process, it jumps from Beginner to Advanced fairly quickly. This isn't unexpected, though I would have liked a few more examples of what was going on. The first two sections are great quick-start tutorials. The first shows you how to register as a developer, while the second shows how to set up your development environment. After that, however, there's a quick overview of Objective-C and Cocoa Touch, which is where would-be developers will have a few problems.

The videos are available either through streaming or download. I ended up downloading them and was happy with how easily they transferred in iTunes. Even better, I was able to sync them over to my iPad (I've had issues with some "outside" videos), which made going through the tutorials much easier, if a bit surreal at times.

I think it is unrealistic to expect the series to offer a massive, in-depth tutorial on both Objective-C and Cocoa Touch. I have at least three books on each sitting on my shelf and a quick online search will yield hundreds more. The third section is a quick introduction to both languages. You won't learn everything you need to create your own app, though you will get an idea of how each works. As I said, I've been going through books for nearly a year now, and thought the video presentation was helpful. Where the tutorials trip up is the lack of deeper explanations. You get the "How," but not the "Why." Of the two questions, the second is the most important. I understood what I was doing, though I had to pause and go back to other books for details. I actually found what looks like a good companion book at the bookstore.

I really like that the code snippets used as examples use color indicators. I haven't seen this used in many tutorials and like how it lends itself to quick glances.

Coming from where I am in the process of learning to create iOS apps, I like what An Introduction to iOS Programming has to offer. The title may be a misleading - you won't learn everything you need to start making apps - though it serves as a nice framework to build your knowledge base. If you're looking for a one-stop shop that will put you on the fast track towards creating your own apps next week, this isn't it. If you have prior programming knowledge and are not opposed to outside research and learning, An Introduction to iOS Programming: From Getting the SDK to Submitting Your First App will set you off on the right foot.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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