From many comments by readers on Touch Code Magazine I get the impression quite few of you are absolute beginners to the iOS platform. And that makes total sense – the iPhone and iPad are the hottest mobile products out there and of course everyone wants a piece of them (me included).
When I started with Objective-C just a bit more than 2 years ago I remember it was quite hard to pick up – it was quite different than any other platform I worked with (and at the time I was already doing programming for 17 years). What I see quite a lot these days is many people try to start with iOS by just asking loads of questions in StackOverflow and copying and pasting code they’d find around blogs. And that’s great – but here’s what I really think: you need a solid understanding of the basics to be able to build a good app.
So … for everyone who are beginners in iOS (no matter if you have previous programming experience) I’d like to talk to you shortly about a series of e-books created by a great person: Matthijs Hollemans. Matthijs is a very experienced iPhone developer, we’re both members of the original Ray Wenderlich’s iOS Tutorial Team and we both co-authored the “iOS5 by Tutorials” book. For those of you who are just starting with iPhone development and feel a bit lost – he has created a great product; let’s have a look:
The iOS Apprentice Series
The “iOS Apprentice” is series of e-books which guide you through the whole process of setting up iOS development environment and creating your first few applications.
When you go through all the material you will know pretty much all the basics of Objective-C and iOS development:
- downloading and installing Xcode – the iOS development IDE
- understanding the Xcode’s layout and components
- Objective-C language structures and functions
- the app components – icons, startup screens, code and assets
- basic code troubleshooting
- common application components – buttons, sliders, images, tables and more
- using Interface Builder to design the application’s layout
- testing your application on an iOS device – an iPod, iPhone or an iPad
- and much much more …
It looks like a long list – but believe me there’s even more covered in the “iOS Apprentice”. Matthijs expects you to have zero knowledge and gets you to successfully program in Objective-C and build iOS apps. I don’t say you’ll learn fast and easily. On the contrary – it might take you quite some time – if you read carefully through, enter the code and do the exercises, well … it’ll take you some time, but it’ll be well worth it.
There’s three part in the series. The first one “Getting Started” takes you through the basics – installing Xcode, getting around and building a UIKit game.
You will also develop the game “Bull’s eye” – the idea behind the game is very cool and you’ll actually learn quite a lot following through the tutorial.
What I really like in this chapter is that you first build a prototype with a vanilla interface and then you make it cool:
The second chapter is called “Checklists” and it’s a two part tutorial which deepens your UIKit knowledge, presents you to Storyboarding (new to iOS5) and will all in all get you a solid understanding of building app workflow.
The third and last (for the moment) part is “My Locations” and it introduces you to one of the most interesting iOS frameworks – Core Location. You will build a location aware application and further extend your Objective-C and UIKit knowledge.
It’s definitely hard to introduce an epic work like the “iOS Apprentice” in a short article like this, but I’d say only that: I would’ve been really happy if a product like this one existed when I was starting with Objective-C Back then app development wasn’t that hip and there were very few resources especially on Objective-C, and this was one of the reasons I started Touch Code Magazine – it was so hard to find any info that I wanted to put everything I find out about Obj-C and iPhone online for everyone else to have at hand too!
I’m really impressed with Matthijs’ work on the “iOS Apprentice” and I highly recommend it to all beginners. The access to the three epic e-books in the series costs “39$” and you’ll get plenty of material for that price. If you follow the link below and do purchase it I’ll get a small commission for the sale if it’s all the same to you (price is the same for you; also you’re welcome to look the product up in Google)http://www.touch-code-magazine.com/iphone-sdk-and-objective-c-for-absolute-beginners/