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Book Review: The Core iOS 6 Developer's Cookbook 4th Edition

Developer's Library Series

I did not look closely at the description of this book before acquiring it. I mistakenly thought it was going to be about the Core Frameworks iOS has to offer. I thought that because I own the previous version of the author's book The iOS 5 Developer's Cookbook: Core Concepts and Essential Recipes for iOS Programmers.

It turns out the lineup is just being restructured and the iOS 5 Developer's Cookbook: Core Concepts and Essential Recipes for iOS Programmers is being broken into two volumes and a tutorial book. This is the first of a 2 volume cookbook set. I think the more appropriate and less confusing title should have been used like The iOS 6 Essentials Developer's Cookbook, or The iOS 6 Fundamentals Developer's Cookbook.

Although it was not what I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found the all the content valuable.

Like her previous edition, this book is much more than just a cookbook with a bunch of recipes in it. I have used plenty of cookbooks and they are never readable from cover to cover. I usually just familiarize myself with the recipes that are available, read the ones interesting to me at the time, and throw them on the shelf until I need them.

This one is both a great cover to cover read as well as a great reference. The author does a great job of mixing a traditional book with a recipe book. Each chapters contain both background information and recipes. I have listed the chapters below.

1. Gestures and Touches
2. Building and Using Controls
3. Alerting the User
4. Assembling Views and Animations
5. View Constraints
6. Text Entry
7. Working with View Controllers
8. Common Controllers
9. Accessibility
10. Creating and Managing Table Views
11. Collection Views
12. A Taste of Core Data
13. Networking Basics
Appendix. Objective-C Literals

This book definitely lives up to the cookbook title. There is tons of code that comes with it and it is all very well organized and usable. The only thing I didn't like was that the author used HelloWorld.xcodeproj for the project name every time. After you open a few projects you have to go to Finder and the actual folder to reopen a specific one because all your shortcuts are HelloWorld.xcodeproj. Although some of them run slightly different, I do like that the samples are built to run on both the iPad and iPhone, and that they run without the need to tweak them.

This book covers a ton of material, but of course I always would like to see more. The thing I would like to see most in The Advanced iOS 6 Developer's Cookbook is much more coverage of dealing with security on web services and JSON over REST. I am using the NSJSONSerialization class, which the author only lightly touches on in the book and provides a small sample application.

I am not going to ding the book for not providing detailed coverage of dealing with security on web services and JSON over REST because it covers so much already in such great detail. No one is covering web services in enough detail for me, and although several authors have said there are plenty of resources on the web, there aren't. Especially when it comes to samples that also include security. Apple's developer documentation is greatly lacking in this area also. They provide plenty of theory, but no good clean concrete samples. I have finally figured out what I needed to implement by piecing together several examples across several books, web sites, and Apple documentation, but it would be nice to see it covered in one place in depth.

I think this book is great for both the iOS beginner and the experienced developer, but you should know Objective-C first. The author does a great job of explaining complex topics that make it easy to understand while going in-depth enough to completely explain the topic at hand.

This book is an invaluable asset for any iOS developer and I highly recommend it. This book will continue to be within arm's reach every time I open Xcode.

For more book recommendations check out my .NET, iOS, and Java Architecture and Development Book Recommendations for 2013


The Core iOS 6 Developer's Cookbook (4th Edition) (Developer's Library)

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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