Book Review – Programming iOS 6, 3rd Edition (O’Reilly) by Matt Neuburg

Programming iOS 6, 3rd EditionApple’s iOS offers so many capabilities that it can be helpful to have an extensive book at the ready when taking on a programming project. Programming iOS 6 is a lengthy book that can help experienced developers bring their skillset further. The author builds throughout the book on solid fundamentals and delves into many of the more popular frameworks that Apple provides. The reader will likely have a firm grasp of the core principles and patterns of iOS development by the end of the book. It also serves a great reference when a project calls for certain features that you may rarely implement. It is a well-written text containing details and methods that should prove insightful for any practicing iOS developer.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Disclosure: Free access to this e-book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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Chromecast

With Google’s introduction of Chromecast, the selection of devices that bridge television and mobile has a new low-cost option. While it currently supports a limited number of services, Chromecast demonstrates the potential to interact with two screens, one large and the other small, to consume and control content. With Nintendo’s latest console controller featuring a color display and Xbox’s SmartGlass, the trend is definitely there for second-screen experiences becoming more of the norm. As Google continues to develop new ways to interact with TV displays, we may find ourselves become more of an active viewer than ever before.

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Book Review – Microsoft Visual C# 2012 Step by Step (Microsoft Press) by John Sharp

Microsoft Visual C# 2012 Step by StepC# has quickly become one of the most in demand languages. Built with Microsoft’s .NET framework in mind, the developers of C# seem to have taken some of the best features of Java and C++ to create a language that is powerful yet makes it easy to create maintainable code. Visual Studio is an outstanding IDE and, when combined with C#, provides a great development experience. This Step by Step book provides an excellent education to those looking to work with C# in Visual Studio.

Each chapter introduces core language concepts and walks the reader through simple example projects. By working with the example files provided over the web, the focus is on adding features while reducing the amount of repetitive typing. Through the process of reading, understanding, and implementing, those new to C# quickly gain the skills needed to create feature-rich programs. The book covers desktop applications and Windows 8 apps, discussing their differences and commonalities and providing examples of both throughout the text. Even experienced C# developers will appreciate the later chapters that cover new features of the language, such as asynchronous methods. If you want to add C# to your development skill set, this is a great book to get you started.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Disclosure: Free access to this e-book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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Glasses

With Google introducing Project Glass, the idea of wearable computers going mainstream has been a much discussed topic. The technology is certainly impressive with the ability to capture video and issue voice commands. Augmented reality would fit well with high-tech glasses. The opportunity to provide visual information immediately to wearers could greatly enhance their daily lives. Will smart glasses be as popular as smart phones? It may be some time before their use will be common, but the interest in how new forms of high-tech devices can improve our lives is only becoming more intense.

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Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone (O’Reilly) by Mike Wilson

Building Node Applications with MongoDB and BackboneNode.js has quickly become a popular platform among JavaScript developers. The potential of using JavaScript in server-side code along with the advantages of its event-driven approach to network connections makes it an excellent option for many applications. Combined with the structure provided through Backbone.js and the high-performance MongoDB NoSQL database, Building Node Applications walks through the creation of a social network web app. But these are not the only technologies used in the book. Be prepared to also work with the Express framework, Jade template engine, Underscore.js, jQuery, and Mongoose. The book offers some short examples as preparation for the project before detailing the setup and construction of a social network. If you are comfortable launching into a complex project based on several JavaScript frameworks, Building Node Applications provides a great way to explore the potential of the language to handle both server- and client-side code to make compelling apps.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Disclosure: Free access to this e-book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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One Thought

We recently released a new app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. One Thought is an app that provides a place for people around the world to share their thoughts with others. It shows the location where a thought was submitted to give some context to the thought and create a deeper connection with the person who posted the thought. There is only one thought available at a time, so make sure to refresh the view to see what’s new.

Please see the One Thought page for more information.

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Book Review – iOS 6 Programming Cookbook (O’Reilly) by Vandad Nahavandipoor

iOS 6 Programming CookbookDevelopers of native iPhone and iPad apps are often faced with new tasks that stretch their skills. Sometimes it can be difficult to find good information to solve a particular problem. The iOS 6 Programming Cookbook contains a wealth of information about various development topics that can help app coding stay on track. The beginning of the book covers many basic subjects, such as views and layouts. There is a nice discussion of Auto Layout, which is new to iOS 6 due to the introduction of the iPhone 5 with its larger display. Other topics, including concurrency and animation, delve into areas that may be more app dependent.

The author offers detailed solutions and a discussion of methods and techniques that may be appropriate for each problem. Although the book may not address every problem you encounter as a developer, it certainly covers a wide enough range to be useful in many circumstances. It is an excellent reference and guide to some of the more important topics in this latest version of iOS.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Disclosure: Free access to this e-book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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A New Year of App Development

The past year has seen great strides in mobile development platforms with iOS 5, Android Jelly Bean, and Windows Phone 8. The new year promises more competitors with Firefox, Tizen, and Ubuntu all looking to enter the marketplace. Will any of the new platforms be able to attract enough users to be a major player, or are Apple and Google too established to lose much ground? Any new operating system will have to offer a compelling reason for users to buy devices and developers to create apps. Perhaps by the end of 2013 the picture will be clearer. In any case, this will surely be another exciting year for mobile app development.

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Book Review – Programming C# 5.0 (O’Reilly) by Ian Griffiths

Programming C# 5.0Over the past ten years, Microsoft’s .NET framework has become a popular choice for software projects. For many, C# is the preferred language when working with .NET, since Microsoft developed the language with their framework in mind. The C# language has evolved over time, offering increasingly advanced features. In Programming C# 5.0, experienced developers can learn the details of this powerful language.

Ian Griffiths is clearly a C# expert and impresses with his knowledge of language details. The text is thorough in its coverage and contains asides about some of the more interesting language features. It is up to date with information on XAML and how it applies to the development of Windows 8 apps. The book may be useful more as a reference than a quick introduction given its length and level of detail. Any programmer interested in learning more about the C# language can gain much from this book.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Disclosure: Free access to this e-book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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Siri

Siri was one of the most talked about features when it debuted on the iPhone. Now more recent models of the iPad with iOS 6 have the feature as well. Siri has the power to make restaurant reservations, find a movie showing, and provide driving directions. You can also open up apps, such as Out Tri, the app for triathletes from Vinobix, LLC. Just activate Siri and say “Open Out Tri.” You will be taken to the app to log your workout or review your progress. Give it a try!

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