Head First iPhone Development – Book Review

HeadFirstiPhoneI have recently been reading and working through the excellent O’Reilly book Head First iPhone Development.  iPhone apps have proven to be a big hit, with apps for everything you can think of!  It’s getting even more interesting now with the iPad. I know this is a bit of deviation from my usual posts and topics, but if you have any interest in iPhone development and have been thinking about getting into it, you will want to read this post to the end 🙂

I got curious about iPhone app development when I had to buy an iPod touch for school and started fiddling around with it, discovered the marketplace and started finding all these apps!! Wow! Being the consummate geek that I am, I immediately wanted to learn how to make apps like that.  I didn’t pursue the thought further at the time.  When O’Reilly offered this iPhone development book for review I immediately grabbed the opportunity to indulge my curiousity!


Good move on my part! 🙂  This book was all I could have asked for to start me on my iPhone development exploration and more.

I did immediately run into an obstacle.  I didn’t own a Mac at the time. But, luckily, I am surrounded by mac heads, so I was able to borrow one intermittently to play with since I live with someone who owns one. I started working through the book, playing with the code, and learning. While I didn’t really have the time to create something meaningful, I was able to play with and test drive the sample code in the book and to start understanding how to create a simple app that works on my iPod Touch.  What I can tell you for a fact is that this book rocks! And it works!

Not for Newbies to Programming

One small warning, if you’re new to computer programming, I would not recommend this book. You will probably get lost.  It assumes knowledge of programming concepts, and a familiarity with Objective C would be immensely helpful though not completely necessary. I didn’t know anything about Objective C before diving into this book, so it took me a while to get through the code, but I don’t believe you actually need to know Objective C to get somewhere with this book. You should however, definitely not be completely new to programming.

Lots of Pictures

I am not accustomed to tech books having lots of pictures that aren’t screenshots, so that threw me off a little bit about this book.  It has the trademark feature of all Head First books as I learned after browsing through a few of them at the bookstore… lots of images, and very unique text layout formatting.  It was a little distracting for me as I worked through the book, because I didn’t quite know where to put my eyes when I flipped to a page. However, I sort of got used to it and have been able to work through most of the chapters. I don’t know if I could get used to habitually reading a book laid out like this, so that’s a challenge for me. But if the content is as good as the one in this book, then it’s worth it.

Logical Progressions

Once I was able to get past the layout and images, I have to say that everything is explained really well and follows a logical progression, which is very important to me in a tech book. I never felt that I got lost or that essential things were skipped.  It’s actually a fun book to read and the writing style is great, and it’s no fluff. You WILL learn from this book.

Now that I actually own my own macbook, I am really looking forward to finding the time to seriously delve into this book and slowly work through it. I definitely recommend it.

In Brief?

If you want to learn how to develop for the iPhone, get this book!

You will need a Mac. You will need some programming knowledge. You will at some point want to have an iPhone or an iPod Touch to actually do something meaningful with your budding knowledge, but you can start out without one. And you will need some time on your hands.

Want a Copy?

Best of all – I have a free copy of the Head First iPhone Development book to give away! Yes I do.  I will be doing a book giveaway in the next few days and one copy of this book will be part of the spoils, so stay tuned and subscribe to the RSS feed to know when the giveaway happens.

Many thanks to Mary Rotman and the other good folks at O’Reilly for being kind enough to give me a copy of the book Head First iPhone Development to review.

One thought on “Head First iPhone Development – Book Review”

  1. Hi,

    Actually i would like to buy this book and read. i also have sound knowledge of core java and practical programming knowledge. but i should clarify one thing before getting this book. i’m working windows 7 OS PC and do i read this book with my current OC (windows 7); i mean do i need a MAC; but i already have iphone 4s.please give me advice as soon as possible.

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