The iOS 4 Programming Cookbook is an interesting book. When reading it my emotions ranged excited, happy, pleasantly surprised to puzzled. One of the things I often try and do when reviewing technical books is to try and understand who the target audience is, put myself in their place, and do what they would do. With iOS 4 Programming Cookbook style seemed to vary greatly in who it was targeting. The beginning covered many very basic topics, while later stages required more understanding. Overall it seemed to be aiming at someone without extensive programming experience, and was focused on making it possible for most people to follow the recipes.
I’ve not read that many programming cookbooks in the past, preferring to aim at getting a deeper understanding of topics than finding the “repeatable recipes” covered in programming cookbooks. That said, the cookbook format seems useful in an iOS and ObjectiveC environment, where there are many areas that require the kind of boilerplate code that can be found in cookbooks.
One of the best uses that I found for the iOS 4 Programming Cookbook, has been to quickly identify device features for iOS that can easily be used, and the APIs for working with them. I’ve used it a couple of times when thinking through device options, and how to leverage the functionality of iOS.
Overall I’d recommend the book to someone who is looking at building something for the iOS that utilises the hardware and software provided by Apple.
[this book was reviewed as a part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review Program]