In my last review about iOS7 development, I held concerns about the platform in regards to Apple locking down the platform so much. I still hold those concerns. However, as Apple moves on we may see the platform available to dev on all machines soon as we move closer and closer to a “cloud” IDE in my opinion.
As Application Development in iOS 7 by Kyle Begemen shows, Apple continually evolves the Xcode platform, the Foundation Framework, updating Objective-C, and so on. Recently announced, they have a new language based off of Objective-C called Swift. I believe this shows how Apple is growing up with their tech and moving it forward. There are a lot of interesting changes here.
The book starts off with showing a few nice Xcode features recently added. Immediately after it goes into Modules, which I find incredibly handy for C & Objective C. Precompiled headers are something I use at work, and they can be extremely cumbersome whether you’re developing for iOS 7 or not. The book explains why Modules are so handy, really obscuring the often tedious precompiled header management.
And that is whats nice about the book. There is certainly a lot more new features in iOS 7 but it focuses on some of the more significant workflow changes. It accompanies them with some decently written code skeleton examples, pictures, and well written explanations. There are some segments where the book will refer back to iOS 6 and explain how Apple addresses an issue feature with iOS 7, and why its better now.
Binding data to the storyboard UI is the “magic sauce” with the iOS development and the book takes you through a very simple app tutorial while simultaneous explaining how its improved. It was very easy to follow and well written here as well, which I found slightly difficult in the other iOS 7 book review I did for game development. Its well directed and allows you to use this as a great base platform for whatever kind of apps you want to make. It features nice screenshots and code pieces as well again.
My one complaint about the book would have to be that it seems like “this feature is one of the newest big additions to iOS” is applied to everything. While I said previously there was a good focus on significant changes, it felt like it got to “hey look, you can change font sizes now!” Which apparently is a major request for developers. Kind of ties back to my issue with Apple controlling the platform, I think this wouldn’t have been an issue if people could get more control of it. I also expected more demonstration of the UI Physics the OS now has which is arguably the coolest feature of iOS 7 application development when it comes to UI. But there is some that satisfies just enough as well.
Application Development in iOS 7
- Code download available
- $15 ebook with great value, again, Packt Publishing
- Directed and well detailed exploration of the new iOS 7 features
- Nice app tutorial to get your feet wet
- Explaining what issues existed previously and why the new changes matter is nice
- Needed more Physics UI demonstration in my opinion
- Perhaps a bit more technical stuff would’ve been nice to see, such as changes to Objective-C
Who for: If you’re interested in getting you feet wet with iOS 7, great book too along with this one.
Requirements: Mac OSX and the latest XCode