Mac and iPhone Programming Books

The introduction of Apple’s iPhone Software Development Kit has lead several friends to ask me for book recommendations to help them get started developing for the iPhone and Mac.

While the selection is not huge at the moment, the few books that do exist are actually quite good.

There are two primary technologies used to develop iphone and Mac software. Objective-C is the programming language and Cocoa is the framework that provides the building blocks for building applications.

Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (3rd Edition), by Aaron Hilegass, is probably the most recommended Mac programming book published. The current edition is outdated, but serves as a very good teaching aid for the beginning Cocoa programmer. But, if you can wait until this summer, the 3rd edition of this book will cover the additions and improvements to the Cocoa framework that Apple has added in Tiger and Leopard.

Cocoa uses the Objective-C language and
Programming in Objective-C, by Stephen Kochan, teaches the fundamentals you’ll need to get your work done.

Alternatively, you may want to look into the eBook Learn Objective-C on the Macintosh, By Mark Dalrymple and Scott Knaster. I haven’t read this one, but have heard good things.

One of the cool things about Objective-C is that it’s basically an extension of the C programming language. While programming in straight C is not usually required, it does come up from time to time and it can be very helpful to know what you are doing. If you don’t know C, you many want to check out the eBook Learn C on the Macintosh, By Dave Mark.

The books listed above will get you started programming for the Mac and iPhone, but if you are interested in advanced topics or event Apple Script, the following books might be helpful.

I’ve read most of these books, but the few that I haven’t were recommended to me and have very good reputations.

Purple Cow

I finally picked up a copy of Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin. Better late than never, right?

The first thing that made me very happy was the size and length of the book. It clocks in at 145 pages and the dimensions are similar to a short paperback novel, even though in hard cover.

I’ve always preferred books that can get their points across in as little space as possible. As a small business owner, I have tons of things to do. Spending all my time reading a wordy, repetitive, and verbose tome purporting to have all the answers is not what I call productive. The fact that Seth Godin realizes that his audience is busy and needs information presented in an easy to read, brief, and to the point format says volumes.

Anyway, what does the book say? Even in its small stature, it says a ton. Godin covers why traditional thinking in old school marketing doesn’t work any longer. Plenty of examples show why following the tried and true path won’t buy you success. Purple Cow then leads the reader through Seth Godin’s “Take Away Points” that comprise of list of ideas and tactics for marketing in this new era. With examples of currently successful Purple Cow companies and products, he shows us how to find our own way to creating our own Purple Cow.

As I said, it’s a very short and easy read. Well worth the few dollars and the few hours it takes to read through it. I already have my next Seth Godin book on deck for bed-time reading.