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About the Author
Jonathan Stark is a mobile and web application consultant who the Wall Street Journal has called an expert on publishing desktop data to the web. He has written two books on web application programming, is a tech editor for both php|architect and Advisor magazines, and has been quoted in the media on internet and mobile lifestyle trends. Jonathan began his programming career more than 20 years ago on a Tandy TRS-80 and still thinks Zork was a sweet game.
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Top Customer Reviews
Based on that, for $20 this one's a great deal. I got my first PhoneGap app on the app store about 2 weeks after ordering it. And with the advantage that I could turn around and also get it on Android Market! Mobile web FTW!
1. buy a Mac
2. navigate the AppStore politics.
While the book does teach how to create an iPhone-ish website I couldn't help feeling that the whole notion was contrived and hacky. I read the book in one night, decided that it didn't cover what I was trying to achieve, and returned it to the store for an Android book instead.
If you're trying to build a website that's optimized for the iPhone, this book is for you.
If you're trying to build a mobile app then look elsewhere.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is short, but it is adequate and clearly written for the task at hand. I'd recommend it to anyone who is tired of dealing with Objective-C and is looking for an easier way to write and test IPhone apps.
Finally, the last chapter covers PhoneGap. PhoneGap is an open source SDK that allows web developers to deploy their apps as native apps on many target mobile devices. In context of iPhone native app development, PhoneGap can only be used by developers with MacOS, XCode and the official iPhone dev SDK. It's useless to Windows and Linux developers for the purpose of creating native iPhone apps. Also, PhoneGap supports some really neat features like accelerometer events which this author does not even mention. This is another example of where if this book were just a bit thicker, it could have covered a lot more.
This is the first book I've purchased from O'Reily where I felt the book was a gimmick, written as an attempt to capitalize quickly on a hot subject matter. I can't think of any target audience that would really benefit here. I am very, very disappointed in O'Reily for allowing this one to get out the door. It's not that the author is incompetent, it's that he's not thorough on the subject and his book is not formatted for the advanced technical professional for which is was written.
The author does mention[...]. For the advanced developer (most people reading this book).
Download this library (currently in beta) and it will provide detailed examples of creating web apps the mimic iPhone look and feel. This free toolkit will quickly give you everything you need to know to do what this books aims to teach you and you will pay nothing for it.
(1) I don't have Mac OS
(2) I can't afford to invest hundreds of dollars into something I'm not sure is the right choice yet (Mac OS, Apple Developer program, books, etc)
(3) I build in VB.NET/ASP.NET, I use Visual Studio .NET. I curse them daily, but I like them.
(4) Have you heard what developers are saying about the App Store? It doesn't sound very friendly. I built apps on Facebook before, it doesn't feel that great to have a huge company telling you what you can and can't do. It's their right, of course, but an obstacle for me.
This book really surprised me - because it basically has the answers to the above obstacles. Namely, a web-based application approach. There are negatives, sure (I would say animation being the biggest one) - but the absolute beauty of this approach is that those negatives will eventually become less important over time. A big part of this approach is a reliance on open source jQuery plugins. Stark introduces these open source authors and projects succinctly and with full respect.
Before you go down the Objective-C route, give this book a shot. It made me seriously rethink a bunch of assumptions that I had made about an iPhone application. That alone was well worth price. Plus - look at what this book covers in the first few chapters, then compare that to the Objective-C/Cocoa books. This is a faster approach if you already have a web application in place.
On a side note, this books (with some tweaking) could make a good high school textbook. Teenagers today have a good grasp of HTML and CSS (see: Tumblr), and can be introduced to more advanced topics like jQuery and data storage if they see a benefit to actually learning it.
And if you're like me, and learning Objective-C sounds about as appetizing as chewing on rocks, this book also will get you rolling on building your own apps for the iTunes store - but using HTML. Killer no?
Highly recommended. Great 'show me' style of explaining how the code works. No errors or mistakes in the code examples at all.
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