Programming Objective-C 2.0: An Introduction to the Language of the iPhone and Mac OS X

February 25, 2009 by  
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Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
Objective-C is a powerful object-oriented language which adds a dynamic message-passing architecture (based on Smalltalk) to C. Objective-C is a proper superset of C and it is compact and easy to learn, especially when compared with C++. Objective-C is the basis for Cocoa, the primary development environment for the Macintosh, and Cocoa Touch, the development environment for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Programming Objective-C 2.0 provides manageable introduction to Objective-C. When learning a new language it’s sometimes hard to know what’s important and what’s a minor detail or a rare case. We’ll go through the basics of the language and object-oriented programming without burying you with an encyclopedia. If something is technically possible but a bad idea in practice, we’ll tell you. We also try and explain a bit about what is going on “under the hood” so you’ll be better equipped to make design decisions.

After you learn the basics of data types, program flow, messaging and objects, we’ll cover the new things added to the language in Objective-C 2.0: fast enumeration, properties and garbage collection.

Many developers find that they are more productive using Objective-C than they are with any other language. Since Apple provides you the required tools and development environment with every Macintosh there’s no reason not to jump and start learning Objective-C.

Written by Lifestyle Review Editor - Creative Lifestyle Products

MobileMe for Small Business Portable Genius

February 25, 2009 by  
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Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
Essential techniques for small businesses joining Apple’s hot new Internet service

  • Apple’s new Internet service allows small businesses to push e-mail, contacts, and calendar information to iPhones, iPod Touches, Macs, and PCs via Apple’s secure online server or “cloud;” companies seeking the mobility of cloud computing with MobileMe can find out what they need to know in this handy guide packed with tips and techniques
  • Covers how to set up MobileMe for businesses, getting the most out of iDisk, using MobileMe and iWeb to publish a company Web site, and much more
  • Portable and easy to navigate, the book allows busy managers to keep essential MobileMe information with them on the road; they’ll appreciate the savvy advice and timesaving ways of doing things

Brad Miser (Brownsburg, IN) has written more than 25 books on computers and related technology and written numerous articles in MacAddict magazine. He has been a featured speaker at Macworld Expo, at user group meetings, and in other venues. He is the author of such books as Teach Yourself VISUALLY MacBook, MacBook Portable Genius, and MacBook Pro Portable Genius.

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Programming the iPhone User Experience: Developing and Designing Apps with the Cocoa Touch UIKit

February 25, 2009 by  
Filed under iPhone

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Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
With its thorough introduction of UIKit, the iPhone user interface toolkit, this book is the first to focus on user experience (UX) when programming for the iPhone. iPhone and iPod Touch not only feature the world’s most powerful mobile operating system, but usher in a new standard for human computer interaction through gestural interfaces and multi-touch navigation. Programming the iPhone User Experience gives software developers a hands-on, example-driven tour of Apple’s UIKit and Core Animation framework for creating these new interfaces.

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Taking Your iPhone to the Max (Technology in Action)

February 25, 2009 by  
Filed under iPhone

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Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
Unleash your iPhone and take it to the limit using secret tips and techniques from gadget hacker Erica Sadun. Fast and fun to read, Taking Your iPhone to the Max will show you how get the most out of Apple’s iPhone. You’ll find all the best, and undocumented, tricks as well as the most efficient and enjoyable introduction to the iPhone you’ll ever find.

Starting with a guide to iPhone basics, you’ll quickly move on to discover the iPhone’s hidden potential, like how to connect to a TV, get contract-free VOIP, and hack OS X so it will run apps on your iPhone. From e-mail and surfing the Web, to using iTunes, iBooks, games, photos, ripping DVDs and getting free VOIP with Skype or Jajah, you’ll find it here. You’ll even find tips on where to get the best and cheapest iPhone accessories. Get ready to take iPhone to the max!

What you’ll learn

  • iPhone basics
  • E-mail, voicemail, and using iCal
  • Surfing the Web with iPhone using Safari
  • Expanding the main menu using third-party software
  • Using iTunes, games, and iBooks
  • Connecting to the TV and ripping DVDs
  • Hacking OS X to run apps on the iPhone
  • Getting contract-free VOIP
  • Saving on accessories and what you really need

Who is this book for?

Anyone who has an iPhone and wants to get more out of it, learn how to connect to other devices, or tinker with it


Customer Reviews:

5 out of 5 stars Great Mix of Beginner and Techie Content November 17, 2008
J. Hitchcock (Manchester, NH)
1 out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Mix of Beginner and Techie Content

As an iPhone user since summer of last year and a current user of a 3G phone, this book presents a great resource for someone who is just starting with an iPhone to someone fairly savvy. The content that covers the general usage of the phone is a lot better than any documentation that comes with the phone and there is a lot of information that you pick up along the way.

At first, I thought some of the earlier chapters were a little basic. As I was reading, I was surprised at the number of things that I picked up which now seem painfully obvious that I never knew before. Things like unlocking the phone faster or better using the iPhone stereo headset. After those chapters was a lot of meaty content.

There are a couple chapters on better email handling and browsing on the phone. For email handling, there’s a good overview of how to setup mail on the iPhone and through iTunes as well. In Safari, I learned a few things for moving around and managing pages.

The next section is about prepping media for use on the iPhone and about the iPod functionality. There is also a section for hacking the iPhone. While this is a section that requires keeping current outside of the book, it is a good base of knowledge to know what to look for.

My usage of photos and the camera had been pretty limited before reading the book. Two things I took out of this section was the idea to use the iPhone more as a slideshow player than a camera (since I generally don’t like the phone’s camera) and to use Flickr to upload the pictures that I do take. The end of that chapter includes a dozen of oddball uses of the camera and some of them are really oddballs.

The book itself has an attractive layout and is easy to go through. There is a good mix of content and call-out tips which provide plenty of information for getting the most out of the iPhone. This book covers both Windows and Mac.

All in all, it’s a very practical book that gives plenty of overview and great nuggets that will enhance your experience on the iPhone.

4 out of 5 stars Got me through my iPhone learning curve in no time flat. September 13, 2008
William G. Ryan (Atlanta, GA)
2 out of 3 found this review helpful

Since they’ve come around, I’ve been one of those people that have had to have the latest and greatest phone. I’ve had just about every high end PocketPC or Smartphone available. And I’ve really liked them. I had one of the 1st gen iphones (4gb) but b/c I was on T-Mobile, it was little more than an iPod (and I use a Zune so that wasn’t even very important to me). I had an unlucky streak though and broke the last two iMate Smartphones I had within a few weeks of each other so was left using a Windows Mobile 5.0 device. A coworker was going to return his iPhone and offered it to me for a decent discount and i figured what the heck, I’ll give it a try.

At first though, it was of little benefit. That’s b/c I was on T-Mobile not AT&T and knew veyr little about the iPhone. After looking around the net, I saw this book had really high ratings and was available for the Kindle. So while I was eating dinner, I bought it. A few seconds later it appeared on my kindle and I dove in. I started making notes of what all I needed to do to get it working on T-Mobile and a few other things. I had struggled for a few days trying to get it working to no avail. I was having a lot of trouble getting it to sync with my ultra mobile pc running vista. With this book on my Kindle, I returned home and dove in. About 2 hours later I was up and running. Not only did I have the phone working but I had the ipod synced, and internet connectivity. It took me all of 10 seconds to fall in love with Safari. So chapter by chapter I kept reading. In all, I ended up doing a late nighter b/c I was learning how to do things on the iPhone that I either didn’t know about or couldn’t get working. Navigation went from being a pain in the a55 to a breeze. In no time I had it synced with my Outlook contacts too… and it even pulled in each contact’s picture if it was available in my Outlook profile.

So in just a few hours, I went from not being able to make calls or use the iPod to basically having a smaller and faster version of my ultra mobile PC. In fact, now that I’ve gotten so familiar with it, I rarely use my ultra mobile b/c it’s just another gadget to worry about and have to keep charged.

The book is very easy to read and while I’m not a technical novice, I was completely unfamiliar with Apple products. It got me right over the learning curve in just a few hours. Every single thing I had wanted to do with the iPHone was explained – perfectly I may add, in this book. Additionally, the book amazingly gets right to the point of everything and gives it coverage commensurate with the importance of the feature. It really holds your hand through some of the more difficult things (like getting it working with other networks) but doesn’t belabor issues that aren’t all that big of a deal.Every other book I can think of on how to use any given mobile device, be it a camera, zune, xbox etc is the opposite – it covers the basics in painful detail and tends to cover the important stuff lightly. Maybe it’s just that what I consider important is the same stuff the author did, but I think pretty much anyone new to the iPhone will be left feeling the same way I was. (the best example I can give is with respect to the warnings and explanation of the warranty. If you’re a none AT&T user, you don’t want to do anything to void the warranty and end up being left out to dry. So I was really hesitant to just indiscriminately try things I found on the net. By specifically addressing this issue, explaining the downside and upside, the author makes it clear they understood what you’re facing and then she proceeds to explain it in enough detail that you won’t be (or at least I wasn’t) afraid to give it a try).

If you have an iPhone already and are well versed in all of its features, then you probably don’t need this book although there will be a few things you’ll find helpful (particularly in terms of navigation). If you have a AT&T Contract and only use bread and butter features then you’ll be in the same boat. But if you’re new to iPhone and particularly if you’re on another network, and you are of the “I can’t live without my phone” mindset, this book is absolutely for you. It’s written to that type of user specfically and she does a superb job in that respect

Considering the price for the Kindle edition in particular, it was one of the smartest buys I made in a while. Without it, I would very likely have just given up on the iPhone, and now I’ve definitely become a major fan of it and would really hate to not have an iPhone. All because of this book.

5 out of 5 stars Nice blend of techie and practical information… March 26, 2008
Thomas Duff (Portland, OR United States)
8 out of 8 found this review helpful

So you’ve taken the plunge and bought an iPhone. You’ve read what passes for an instruction manual, and you’re amazed that everything just seems to work. But you *know* there’s more that you’re missing. Taking Your iPhone to the Max by Erica Sadun does a very good job in walking you through all the major parts of the iPhone interface, explaining how they work, and giving you plenty of “hidden tips” along the way. I changed a few ways I do things on my iPhone after reading…

Contents:
Selecting, Buying, and Activating Your iPhone; Interacting with Your New iPhone; Placing Calls with iPhone; iPhone Messaging; iPhone E-mail; Browsing with Safari; Preparing Your Media in iTunes; It’s Also an iPod; iPhone Photos; Google Maps and Other Apps; Hacking the iPhone; Index

Since the “instruction manual” included with the iPhone is about eight panels of a fold-out piece of paper, you’re not going to get much in the way of instruction when you buy the thing. You can download the PDF guide from Apple’s site, but how often did you ever read the manual of your prior cell phone? Thought so… Sadun presents the information in a much more relaxed and understandable format. Rather than a simple “do this, this, and this”, she explains why things work the way they do, as well as some things that aren’t common knowledge. For instance, there are a number of service shortcuts you can use to get information about your AT&T account. *225# will give you the balance of your bill, *646# will give you the remaining number of minutes on your account, etc. I’m sure you can dig up that information somewhere, but it’s all nicely formatted and presented here in a logical, cohesive manner. Personally, I hadn’t known of (or remembered) about punctuation dragging, where you touch the .?123 key and then drag your finger over to the punctuation character you want. Since it’s a single character action, the keyboard immediately returns to the alpha setting. I find myself doing that all the time now.

While the book is well-suited for the non-techie phone users, there’s also coverage of the jailbreak process and how that works. She references that technique in a number of places, and explains where you can find certain directories and files if you’ve got command-line access to your iPhone. As this came out before the official Apple API release, you won’t get any coverage of it here. But when you get down to it, the people who will use the jailbreak method probably won’t want to play by the restrictive rules of the official API anyway. :)

This wasn’t the first iPhone book I’ve read, but it was no less valuable than the first one. I find myself picking up new tips and tricks that I didn’t remember or that didn’t stick the first time. And given the size and style of the book, it hits a nice blend between pure tech and hand-holding newbie. Nicely done…

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Core Data: Apple’s API for Persisting Data under Mac OS X

February 25, 2009 by  
Filed under iPhone

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Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
Core Data walks you through developing a full featured application based on the Mac OS X Core Data APIs. You’ll discover how Core Data contributes to Cocoa applications, as well as some of the pitfalls and issues surrounding the current implementation.

Core Data takes an unusual approach to explaining Core Data by focusing on a single application throughout the book. You’ll start by building an application from scratch and as you learn new principals and abilities of Core Data. We won’t gloss over any important details–you’ll get it all.

We’ll explore not only how to get everything working properly, but also how to take advantage of shortcuts thanks to the flexible and customizable nature of the API. By the end of Core Data, you’ll have built a full-featured application, gained a complete understanding of Core Data, and learned how to integrate our application into OS X.

Finally, at the end of the book you’ll see numerous recipes that are useful in non-mainstream situations, or even in places where you wouldn’t have thought to use Core Data before.

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