This book is without a doubt the best book on this subject for the first 7 Chapters. There were small gaps, things not explained, but compared to the other iOS books out there geared for "beginners," so much better.
And then, Chapter 8. What happened? A complete disconnect from the process used in the previous chapters, all sorts of new, unexplained things: like tokens and really complicated methods/concepts which are explained with a brief sentence or two. I'm not sure how someone would understand the dot notation used in this chapter by the explanation given earlier in the book. I ended up using two other books to piece together what one of the constructs meant.
Big mistake, this was the chapter to pull the concepts together and reinforce, not baffle the reader. The sample project is based on a pretty unusual construct, using UIImageView to create an animation, and overly complicated to teach what needed to be taught. This is a familiar pattern for those of us who read coding books. At a certain point, the authors just quit explaining and go from (on a scale of 1 to 100) 25 to 60, with few interim steps. And why make Chapter 9 about random web images and session ID's before hammering the basics down? Maybe I'm slow.
And Chapter 15, well, I feel is not very good. I understand the overarching concept was writing data, but adding user settings (and then doing an inadequate job explaining how to set them up) as part of it just left me not really feeling good about any of it. The whole settings part needs to be fixed and made its own chapter. I sincerely appreciate the fact that you took the effort to include it, please improve it in the next edition.
This is an enormous book, thank you, I realize this was a tremendous undertaking. But I would have preferred for it to not be so encyclopedic and more fitting with the "Sam's" methodology, teaching the fundamentals of technical subjects systematically, in bite-sized bits. There shouldn't be places in a book like this where someone who has read the whole book carefully, multiple times, done all the work, is left hanging wondering where you got information and what it means. Most of the book is successful at this, however, there are a few places where it doesn't succeed and leaves the reader spinning.
Chapters 23 and 24 are kind of weak, compared with the rest of the book. Chapter 23, Universal Apps, was particularly a letdown. You've made it this far and you're itching to start developing, and you really want to know about developing universal apps. It's at the end of the book, but it's really one of the first things you need to know really well to get going. The chapter is short, a little vague (compared to the rest of the book) and at the end of it I didn't know what else I needed to know or even how to start developing a universal app. Chapter 24, using the debugger, left me feeling like I had no idea how to debug. It's a complicated subject, I get that, but it just felt like the author ran out of energy on these last two important chapters.
Also, at certain points, the author offers up code which has already been deprecated by Apple (in iOS 5.0, the version covered by this book) to cut and paste for users' projects. So, if you plan on using his code, check everything against the current Apple developers library.
Finally, please, all coding authors, don't use examples like this alone to explain fundamental principles:
Please, include a real example to accompany each theoretical example. This type of example is generally only useful for people who already understand the topic somewhat already. Examples are included usually but not at certain key points, which lead to whole lot of "spinniness" and wasted time.
It's also not helpful for "further exploration" to just list big sections of the Apple documentation to read chapter after chapter. Anyone doing this is doing that already. It is very useful, and should be highlighted, in certain places like the UICatalog reference.
The book is worthwhile, and like I said very much better than any other book out there on the topic. Just not everything it could be.