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Learning MonoTouch: A Hands-On Guide to Building iOS Applications with C# and .NET Paperback – Jul 25 2011
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About the Author
Michael Bluestein is a software developer, consultant, and active participant in the MonoTouch developer community. A former Principal Software Engineer at Dassault Systèmes Solidworks Corporation, he has developed software professionally since the early 1990s.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Learning MonoTouch does a good job of collecting a lot of this knowledge together. Even after a year of MonoTouch and ten years of C#, there were good things that I found in the book that made a good difference to the stability of the app.
Michael does a good job of describing how to use the tools and explain how the C# interfaces with the Cocoa libraries on iOS effectively and some of the problems you come across and how to correct them. The tip about the NSAutoReleasePool with threads was some very welcome knowledge. I also liked his writings on custom UIViews. The code samples were quite elegant, used code instead of interface builder and explained it quite well. There is a good job outlining the core classes and UITableViewController. Good examples that are well documented.
The best chapters I found were on the Graphics and Animation and MapKit. I have all the other MonoTouch books and none of them explain how Core Graphics and Core animation work as well as this book. The examples here are extensive and have allowed me to do much more a lot quicker. The MapKit examples are also of a very high quality and the map annotations and region detection examples are good
The only downsides that I can think of the book is that many of the examples are done using the Interface Builder from XCode 3. Apple has XCode 4 and some examples of Storyboards would have been helpful. The two other things I would have like to have seen was an example of in-app purchasing and push notifications. These are hardly documented anywhere and I think they would have been just as relevant as the GameKit, probably more so. These may be more advanced topics, but I think these chapters would have rounded the book out nicely.
Overall a good book, and as its name suggests it's a `Learning' book, so it meets its objectives. If you get through this book, you should be able to work out the other things you need.
In first chapters you will find Monotouch basics and tools and instruments you will need to use it. Next goes basic classes and iOS ideas that you will need.
One thing to note is that there are very detailed source samples and step by step instructions which help newcomers a lot. Every sample covers some real work task, so this book could be also considered as a cookbook for monotouch projects.
It would be better if Michael would add some information about using new XCode version 4 along with new Monodevelope 2.8. Right now this book covers only previous versions of this instruments.
But in general it's a pretty good tutorial I would recommend everyone who wants to start using C# on iOS.
Chapter One walks you through the process of getting your development environment set up and gives you the essentials needed to get started with MonoTouch. Chapter Two presents an introduction to the iOS SDK and uses a comparative technique showing examples in both Objective-C and MonoTouch to help get new developers up to speed quickly. Chapter Three introduces the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern and how it applies to developing for iOS.
Chapters Four through Six detail how to use common iOS classes, UITable and UITableViewController, and Core Graphics. These chapters present most of the functionality you would need to develop a wide variety of applications for any iOS-based device. Chapters Seven and Eight go through the use of Core Location and MapKit to build map-based apps.
The next step beyond the basic applications presented in the early chapters is connecting to Web services over the internet in Chapter Nine and to other devices in Chapter Ten. Managing data for local storage is a necessity for many applications. Chapter Eleven shows you how to use several different approaches to solving the local storage problem. The last chapter adds the iPad as a target device and discusses the things you should take into consideration if you want to develop specifically for that platform.
Overall the book does a very good job of mixing examples with information to help the experienced .NET developer make the transition to mobile app development for iOS. There's just enough lead-you-by-the-hand information to get you over some of the early humps while not boring you to tears. You'll definitely want to pick this book up if you want to develop for iOS and need a little help making the leap from your .NET roots.
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