Book Review: iOS 4 Programming Cookbook

Reading iOs 4 Programming Cookbook by Vandad Nahavandipoor left me confused about the book’s intentions. The book’s audience is stated as for novice AND experts. That rarely works and this is no exception. That said, there is some good, practical content.

The first few chapters cover topics aimed mostly at the novice developer. In a language basics book these chapters would typically be somewhere half way through the book. So this is only useful if you just started to learn Objective-C without reading a book. The cookbook format doesn’t help here, because discussing these topics benefit from a nice flow, which the cookbook format doesn’t have. This goes for a lot of content covered. The content itself is not bad, but it should have been covered textbook style, not cookbook style.

Several chapters are good in the cookbook format, such as chapter 4, which deals with maps and location. It quickly explains how to get things done in a practical manner. The book goes back and forth between content that should be part of a textbook (e.g. gestures, networking) and stuff more suitable for a cookbook (e.g. audio/video, camera).

All in all, I think you can get quite a few handy tidbits from this book, but to be fair, this should be split into two books. One textbook, that really starts at the basics of Objective-C programming and teaches you good programming practices, and one cookbook with the good cookbook stuff from this book and with more practical recipes to give it more body.

p.s. I realize I have a real Microsoft aura around me, so for some it may come as a surprise that I read an iOS book. However, I like to keep myself informed about things outside my comfort zone. I am also reading an Oracle book :).

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