Definitely targeting the, ah, ideologically vigorous portion of the developer community; the preface tells us
This is the book for any iPhone developer looking to side step the totalitarian application store regime of Apple.
Indeed. The funny thing is there, lately we’re hearing more and more of people getting rejected by ‘the totalitarian application store regime of Apple’ because their app doesn’t include any functionality that can’t be delivered by a web app. So substitute “being forced to” for “looking to” and that’s the perspective we’re evaluating from, in case it turns out that we ever get one of those rejections; as well as looking for useful tips that can be applied to delivering program functionality inside UIWebViews.
As the title would indicate, it’s organized in the snippet-collection cookbook format, but rather different from most of those we end up reading; the examples are scattered among a collection of different frameworks rather than focusing on one environment. The environments they have you install are:
- iUI 0.31 (currently up to 0.40 alpha)
- UiUIKit 2.1 (current)
- XUI 2.0.0 (currently up to 2.2.0)
- iWebKit 5.04 (current)
- WebApp.Net 0.5.2 (current)
- PhoneGap 0.9.4 (currently up to 1.1.0)
- Sencha Touch 1.0.1a (currently up to 1.1.1)
- Apple Dashcode in a Snow Leopard Xcode distro
… Combining these movements with color changes, we can apply visual effects to the user interface of our web applications. The most popular of these animations or effects are fade and slide. Both of them display different elements on the screen showing one element and hiding another one that is applying a transition…
Yes, that absolutely is a recipe we would like for our web app to look native…
… We’re continuing with Sencha Touch because this toolkit implements some visual effects, which are ready-to-use for some elements of the user interface…
And there certainly are lots of recipes that aren’t tied to a specific framework as well; for instance, the quie useful if you don’t know how ‘Running your web application without Internet access’ recipe is pure HTML 5, nothing specific to iPhone or iWebKit the particular framework used in the example. And they cover nicely the Mobile Safari requirements for icons and splash screens and so forth which are iPhone but not framework specific; so there’s certainly plenty of content that you’re likely to find useful no matter what your environment.
The actual categories of recipes, well the Preface does a fine job of describing them:
Chapter 2, Building Interfaces, introduces you to the world of iPhone applications. You’ll learn how to build essential and advanced interfaces, such as buttons, lists, forms, and date pickers.
Chapter 3, Events and Actions, discovers how to deal with events and actions. Both allow us a better control of the interaction between the user and the device.
Chapter 4, A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words, takes advantage of the great screens of iPhone and iPad teaching you how to display a grid of images, how to apply different effects, and how to work with the built-in camera of the device.
Chapter 5, Mastering Sound and Music, explores the audio and video capabilities of iPhone. You’ll learn how to play and record audio and how to create iPod playlists.
Chapter 6, Exchanging Data: AJAX, covers how to use this technology for exchanging data between the server and the client. Readers are walked through the process of sending HTTP requests and processing JSON responses.
Chapter 7, Working with Data: Storage and SQL, provides coverage of the process for storing and retrieving data using the SQL language. Also, you’ll learn how to deal with different kinds of storage available in iPhone.
Chapter 8, This is a Phone, enlightens that we cannot forget that iPhone is a smartphone. This is the reason to get focused on learning how to create, select and display contacts, and how to call a number and send an SMS.
Chapter 9, Location, Location, Location, introduces to readers to geolocation, showing how to detect the current orientation and position, and how to use the API provided by Google Maps for displaying a map at a specific location.
Chapter 10, Web 2.0 Integration, helps readers learn how to integrate their iPhone applications with third-party popular services such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr.
One thing that does need noting is that a good number of these recipes for accessing native things like the camera or the address book rely on the native bridging functionality of PhoneGap. So whilst ‘without having to learn Objective-C or Cocoa’ is true, the ‘side step the totalitarian application store regime of Apple’ bit is rather given the lie, as PhoneGap produces native applications for its various OS targets and so you’re not side stepping anything. Saving some porting time, at best.