Author: Toby Boudreaux
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2009
Aimed at: Existing iPhone programmers
Pros: Good discussion of UI principles
Cons: Much of the material is available online
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead
You need to be make sure that you know what this book is about before you buy it. It most certainly isn't about writing clever code that does amazing things. There is some code in the book but it's not why you might want to buy it. What it is all about is the remarkable iPhone user interface which has more or less taken the world by storm. Now everything has to be multi-touch.
If you want to create applications using the iPhone and need an overview of the sort of user experience you can create then this is a good place to start. The first chapter is a short overview which then moves on to consider the Mobile HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) and what the overall principles of creating a good iPhone app are.
Chapter Three goes into the types of Cocoa touch applications you might want to create, Chapter Four deals with application templates and Chapter Five considers how to create a responsive and non-disruptive app by cooperative multitasking. Chapter Six takes us deeper into touch patterns and this is perhaps the chapter that is most important if you are new to multi-touch.
Chapter Seven continues the look at how things should work with an examination of interaction patterns and controls. Chapter Eight is on progressive enhancement which essentially means adding the extras to your basic application. The final chapter is a description of some patterns that might prove useful. Most of the discussion is at a a fairly abstract level even when it is illustrated by code.
If you are looking for a book to teach you the craft of iPhone programming then look elsewhere. This is more a reflection on the Apple Human Interface Guidelines and how best to interpret them. If you realise that knowing how to program something isn't the same as knowing what to program then you might find this book interesting.