These days, there’s no shortage of books about how to develop an iPhone app. So what makes this book stand out in the crowd?

iPhone App Development: The Missing Manual takes you through the entire development process. Of course you’ll learn how to write code for a successful title on the App Store. But just as importantly, you’ll acquire the skills to design, test and market that product.

(The link above is for the printed version of the book, it’s also available as an Ebook that you can put on your iPad and other reading devices.)

Unlike other books that take a dry, mechanical approach to the topic, this book tells a story of a real product’s development from start to finish. The protagonist is the popular Safety Light application and it’s recounted by award-winning iPhone developer, Craig Hockenberry.

App Development for Everyone

Creating a great iPhone app is often a group effort. This book covers topics that will appeal to many different members of that team.


The book is appropriate for developers at all skill levels. Beginners will learn what it takes to write a great iPhone app, while those with more experience will benefit from in-depth coverage of advanced techniques. Developers will also benefit from topics like design, sales and marketing that are outside of their core competency.


An entire chapter is focused on the challenges present in mobile design. Another chapter covers the iPhone market: helping you to understand the people that will be using your design. Advice about developing promotional websites and other collateral is also provided.


There are two chapters that examine the market and give advice on how to price and position your application. The App Store is a completely new way to sell software: this book helps you understand it.

Project Managers

The book’s structure gives you an important overview of the product development timeline. With this information, you’ll be able to manage developers, designers and other team members more effectively.

Chapter Summary

Chapter 1 – Building Your First iPhone App

You’ll get a quick sense of accomplishment by building your first application: a flashlight. In the process, you’ll familiarize yourself with the tools used for iPhone development using step-by-step instructions.

Chapter 2 – The Power of Brackets

After building the first application, you’ll start to explore the underlying language that was used to create it: Objective-C. You’ll learn how this new language is both very similar and different from standard C. Novice programmers will benefit from clear and concise examples. Experienced developers will be given a look “under the hood” to help foster a deep understanding of the language mechanics.

Chapter 3 – Cocoa Touch: Putting Objective-C to Work

Now that you have an understanding of the programming language used to build iPhone applications, you’ll explore the Cocoa Touch framework that was built on top of Objective-C. In the process, you’ll encounter design patterns and idioms that will make you a more effective developer.

Chapter 4 – Design Tools: Building a Better Flashlight

Your next goal is to enhance the flashlight application created in the first chapter. But before heading off to code, you’ll first take a look at interface design considerations. You’ll be shown techniques that can make your app look great and take less time to develop. This is also a good time to start thinking about how you’re going to market the final product.

Chapter 5 – Getting Serious About Development

Every good developer knows that an intimate understanding of your development environment is just as important as the language and frameworks you use in your source code. This chapter discusses Xcode and best practices for building iPhone apps. It  also covers a new and important topic for all developers: code signing that allows you to run your application on a device.

Chapter 6 – A Flashlight for Pros

The code for the flashlight application designed in Chapter 4 is discussed in detail. You’ll take a guided tour of the project with an experienced iPhone developer. Along the way, you’ll be shown best practices, learn tips & tricks, and experience common design patterns in a real world scenario.

Chapter 7 – Finishing Touches

You’ve now created the best flashlight the App Store has ever seen. Or have you? Now is the time to start a beta test and add finishing touches that make an application that stands out in a crowd. You’ll also start working on a website used to promote your product.

Chapter 8 – For Sale

The hard work of developing the app is almost over: all that’s left to do is get it ready for Apple to place on the iTunes App Store. But before you do that, you need to learn about this new market where you’re selling your product. There are different ways to approach the mass market in iTunes: you’ll consider different pricing and promotion strategies.

Chapter 9 – You Have Customers!

Apple has approved your application and customers are downloading the product from the App Store. The challenge now is to keep track of those sales and make sure that the product keeps moving off the virtual shelves. You’ll also start to think about future updates and ways to keep your customers happy.

Appendix – Where to Go From Here

Chock full of resources available online or from your favorite bookstore, the appendix points you in the right direction for further exploration of the topics covered in the book. A survey of great open source projects that can save you development time is also included.

The Reviews

“Indispensable for anyone who wants to get serious with iPhone development. It covers not just the technology behind the iPhone OS platform, but the daily life of an iPhone developer—something far more difficult to put into words. Craig has been there since day one, and is now sharing some of his best tricks … Beginners will quickly get rolling, and even veterans will learn interesting things from the mind of a proven master.”

Matt Drance

Bookhouse Software

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