May 16, 2010 8:01:01 AM
How easy is it for an absolute beginner to create apps for a device as sweet as the iPhone or as sexy as the iPad? Great news: The most downloaded apps are not complex. The most popular apps are simple, common-sense tools for life…like finding your car in a parking lot, making better grocery lists, or tracking your fitness progress.
So where do we start? Well, Dr. Rory Lewis, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and author of Apress’s latest book "iPhone and iPad Apps for Absolute Beginners" explains that “the two important languages to learn for programming on the iPhone or iPad are called Objective-C and Cocoa.” Dr. Lewis offers some historical context about the origins of Objective-C and Cocoa:
* Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak formed Apple in 1976, producing one of the first commercially successful personal computers.
* In 1979, Jobs visited Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), and secured the Xerox Alto’s features for their new project called the Lisa. Although the Alto was not a commercial product, it was the first personal computer to use the desktop metaphor and graphical user interface (GUI). The Lisa was the first Apple product with a mouse and a GUI.
* In early 1985, Jobs lost a power struggle with the Board of Directors at Apple, resigned from the company, and founded NeXT. NeXT bought out Apple in 1997.
* During his time at NeXT, Steve Jobs changed some critical features of the code on the Macintosh (Mac) to talk in a new language, a very intense but beautiful language called Objective-C. The power of this language was in its ability to efficiently use objects. Rather than reprogramming code that was used in one portion of the application, Objective-C reused these objects.
* Steve Jobs’ incredible code took the language of Objective-C to new heights. His inspiration was fused into the guts of the Mac by creating a metalanguage we call Cocoa. (A metalanguage is a language used to analyze or define another language.)
Dr. Lewis explains, “the main point to take away is that Objective-C and Cocoa are very powerful tools, and both are relevant to the programming of the iPhone and iPad.”
About "iPhone and iPad Apps for Absolute Beginners"
The iPhone is the hottest gadget of our generation, and much of its success has been fueled by the App Store, Apple’s online marketplace for iPhone applications. Over 1 billion apps have been downloaded in the nine months the App Store has been open, ranging from the simplest games to the most complex business apps. Everyone has an idea for the next best-selling iPhone app and with the release of the iPad, the demand will just continue to grow!
So how does one build an application for the iPhone and iPad? Does it require years of learning complicated programming languages? What about Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, and the SDK? The answer is that anybody can start building simple applications for the iPhone and iPad. This book helps readers get their first applications up and running using plain English and practical examples. It cuts through the fog of jargon and misinformation that surrounds iPhone and iPad application development, and gives simple, step-by-step instructions and offers videos that enable readers to follow along with the author.
About the Author
Dr. Rory Lewis is a 48-year-old Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is often mistaken for the Hippie with the dead-head shirts walking aimlessly around the campus. He is also described as the guy in the office where students are always lined up outside. He is heralded as the dude that will explain your math and computer code, even when he first checks and sees you’ve done 800 tweets and 2700 Facebook comments while you should have been in class! His adult daughters describe him as a dad who once was a successful microprocessor litigation lawyer in Palo Alto but who couldn’t resist his dorkiness and went back to school to become a doctor of Geekdom!
"iPhone and iPad Apps for Absolute Beginners"
By Dr. Rory Lewis
Published June 2010
Print Book Price: $29.99
eBook Price: $20.99