Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beginning iPhone 3 Development

Well, I guess it's okay to talk about this since it's on Amazon, Dave and I have completely updated and revised Beginning iPhone Development for the 3.0 SDK.

Now, the question some people likely have is, "should I buy the new version." Let me be honest with you: For many of you the answer is definitely "no". While Dave and I certainly would appreciate you buying the new edition, there's not a lot of truly new material, and we don't want anyone buying the book under false pretenses. We've incorporated the errata and clarified some of the conceptual material based on feedback from readers and on having had another year of working with the iPhone SDK. We have also tweaked the code to match Apple's current coding style (moving the IBOutlet keyword to the property, for example), and in several cases modified the code to use SDK 3 features, such as using the faster single-step autorotation instead of the old 2-step autorotation.

But, as far as completely new material, we don't include much. There's really only some discussion of table view cell styles and, in the persistence chapter, a new introduction to Core Data. Table view styles are cool, but they're easy enough to understand and certainly don't justify a new purchase for readers who have mastered table views already.

Core Data is probably something a lot of you are interested in, but the coverage in Beginning iPhone 3 Development is pretty introductory-level. We took that same persistence application that we wrote using archiving, property lists, and SQLite, and re-wrote it one more time using Core Data. The application is simple enough that we really don't cover most of the more difficult aspects of Core Data, (but hold that thought).

I don't want to discourage you from buying the revised book, but Dave and I both feel strongly that we don't want readers to feel duped into buying it and unfortunately, the description of the book on Amazon right now is incorrect. The way publishing works is that publishers often put new book descriptions into the computer system that Amazon pulls from long before the book is actually available, sort of as a placeholder. In fact, sometimes publishers put the description into the system before the book is even written. The description now on Amazon for Beginning iPhone 3 Development is still a holdover from that placeholder and talks about some material that is not actually being covered in the updated book, like in-app purchase, push notifications, and mapkit. Unfortunately, we have to wait for the corrected description to ripple through the various computer systems until it shows up on Amazon.


Dave and I do have another project in the works that does cover Core Data in much more detail - several chapters in fact. It also covers many of the new SDK 3.0 features like GameKit, MapKit, Push Notifications, and In-App Purchase in great detail. Plus, we cover some more intermediate and advanced topics such as networking and concurrency. The new book has not officially been announced, but the title of the book will be More iPhone 3 Development. We don't have an availability date yet, but we are furiously working on the book as we speak and will get it done as quickly as we can without cutting any corners.

The reason we have decided not to cover many of the new 3.0 APIs in the updated version of Beginning iPhone Development is precisely because we didn't want people to feel like they had to buy a book they already owned in order to get the new material. We felt that the persistence chapter needed to mention Core Data, but otherwise, we wanted to put all the new material in a second book to avoid forcing people to buy the first book again. At the same time, we felt that the release of the new SDK warranted an update to the first book so that new readers wouldn't be confused by the differences. It also gave us a chance to incorporate errata and clean up a few things.

I hope that's all clear, and I apologize for any confusion the Amazon description may have caused.


Dennis Yarborough said...

Thanks for the clarification!

Cliff said...

Your first book was fantastic. I'm sure the revised edition will be a great purchase for anyone new to iPhone development. And personally I really look forward to your new book, More iPhone 3 Development. If it's not too late, I'd like to request that you cover filtering, grouping and totaling with Core Data. Thanks!

fbronner said...


I can only wait with disguised impatience for the new book which covers in more details the other SDK 3.0 subjects.

Your first book was excellent and clarified some things for me, and was a pleasant read. I'm sure the second will do as much.

Of course, I'm sure the second one will also clarify some of the stuff I'm already figuring out :-)

Keep up the good work...

jr said...

I will be purchasing it and waiting impatienly for the more... book

Sikachu! said...

Thank you! That saved me few bucks I think :)

I'll wait for you next book then :D

john said...

Thanks for that Jeff. I would probably have considered buying it not for this post. I'll be at the front of the queue for More.. though.

Ryan said...

Hey Jeff, loving your first book, though I'm only a couple of chapters in. The book does an excellent job of explaining how to use all of the fancy built-in iPhone UI components, and while I'm positioning myself to pick up more "business" type applications that will make use of standard tabs, lists, tables, etc., I primarily will be dedicating my time to game development.

I noticed that the publisher of your book, Apress, offers a number of other iPhone related books. Can you recommend any? For games, most of my development is straight code, I never touch Interface Builder, so I'm definitely looking for help understanding coding best practices, and the finer aspects of the SDK.

Thanks, and definitely keep up the good work with this blog! You've already helped me wrap my mind around the confusion that is OpenGL, and I'm using this new knowledge as I start my next iPhone game.

Dave said...

I might consider getting the ebook version for search purposes.
Are there any plans to release this version for the Kindle? Do you know if the ebook PDF looks "right" when loaded on a Kindle?

sandeep said...

Jeff, it is nice to have an author be so up front with their customer base. The clarifications are indeed appreciated and I look forward to getting the "More iPhone Dev..." title once it is released. Any chance you could post the code to the Core Data example specifically for those of us that opt to not purchase the updated title?

Stuart said...

Thanks Jeff,

I have your first book, and look forward to the 'More...' too.

Cheers and thanks for being up front with us,


sstadelman said...

Thanks for the clarity. Your first volume was so valuable, and I'm looking forward to the new material.

Jeff LaMarche said...

Thanks for all the kind words, folks. Let me see if I can get the questions:

Yes, the code from the updated book will be available to owners of the original book. The code will be up sometime in the next few days on iphonedevbook.com.

Filtering, grouping, and totaling? Those sound like good topics, thanks for the input, and yes, we'll cover them.

As for game book recommendations, I don't have any right now. Apress has a book called iPhone Game Projects, which is probably good, but I honestly haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, so I can't give a personal recommendation on it. There's also an unannounced OpenGL ES for iPhone book that Apress is going to publish that I will be able to recommend because I recruited the author. I don't know the title, but once it's in the channel, I will definitely blog about it, because it's going to be an incredible book. But, since it's not announced yet, I can't say anything yet about it, sorry. Unfortunately, there just aren't a lot of books yet targeted at people who want to develop games. :(

Kieran said...

Thanks for the clarification enjoyed your first book, will definitely purchase more iPhone 3 development if it includes core data!

kimptoc said...

I got the original book and ebook - do you know if I will be able to get the 3.0 ebook as an update? I am assuming not, but worth asking...

Jeff LaMarche said...


I really don't know - we don't have any input or knowledge of that process to be perfectly honest. That's a business decision so it falls into Apress' court.


Ramón Morales said...

Excellent!!! I look forward to reading this book and will make comment here.

Baskaran said...

If there is a way to buy a new book in eBook format - that would be great along with the hardcopy version of the first edition book. I bought the companion eBook for $10 from APRESS.

ÖRNiE said...

Hey you guys,
I really really appreciate your decision of putting the new (exciting) stuff in another book. Really looking forward to that book :)
Keep up your awesome work!

Ryan said...

Good day Jeff

I appreciate your honesty, but I have already purchased the book through Amazon (pre-ordered). The original is great, so expected 3.0 to be even better.

If it solves my image rotation problem, it will be worth the money - if not, I may contact you directly to help me :) haha

Anyway, I wish you success either way.



kimptoc said...

Hope I am not breaking any non-disclosure rules, but just got an email from Apress "...Since you've purchased the previous edition eBook from us at www.Apress.com, we'd like to extend a special offer to you: 50% off the eBook price". Seems it will happen automatically when you order the book.

Wayne A. said...

Thank you for your great book and your continued efforts to provide your customers with quality material they need to fulfill their dreams of writing that top selling iPhone app. Quality in writing and integrity can not be beat. Thank you for both.


dmc522 said...

I would love to get this for the kindle. I have the kindle 2 , so the pdf version from the Apress website won't work.

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