Book Review: iOS SDK Development

iOS SDK DevelopmentI recently got my hands on a review copy of the new book, “iOS SDK Development”, by Chris Adamson and Bill Dudney. The book was just published at the end of November 2012, and it’s chock full of the latest techniques and technologies in Xcode and Objective-C.

The book is appropriate for developers who are new to the iOS platform, though the breakneck pace may be overwhelming. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone brand new to software development in general. So if you’re an experienced developer and want to add iOS development to your toolbox, this is a great place to start. But it is not a “Learn to program” book.

As an experienced iOS developer, I was impressed by how current many of the concepts in this book were. Of course, they cover the basics like Table Views and hooking up UI elements, but they also introduce and demonstrate a lot of the newer SDK and language features too. They build interfaces with Storyboard and Auto-Layout. They use UIDocument and iCloud to store data. Also covered is the new Automation capabilities of the Instruments tool, which can enable you to run automated user interface tests on your apps. This is definitely an iOS 6 book.

Something I really appreciated was that the authors explained what could go wrong in many situations. They explained how things could break, and especially how to fix them. This is sorely missing from most development books.

The authors also walk you through the entire development cycle and offer informative chapters on testing and deploying your apps, including a mention of Provisioning Profile hell.

“iOS SDK Development” manages to cover a lot of territory in less than 300 pages, and by necessity they only offer a taste of some SDK features, like iCloud, and pass over others completely, like Core Data. I learned a few new tricks from this book and I’m glad I read it. I’d recommend it especially to developers who are new to the iOS world, but even veterans could learn a thing or two from this one.