iOS Development with Xamarin Cookbook Review
I will start doing some book reviews from now on and I think it’s good to start with this one because the first version of it was one of the first books that I read to get some concepts of Xamarin.iOS (aka MonoTouch) a few years ago, which was very helpful because of the lack of documentation on the concept back then.
The book introduces the contents via recipes. I personally love this way of structuring a book for this kind of technologies, because it allows you to just jump to the content that you want to read, which is very useful for the cases when you just don’t need that much theory to start working. So, for each topic, the book introduces you to the context, helps you to set the environment, to do the stuff and, finally, it explains you how it works. In some of the cases it also points out additional resources.
The content, as the title explains, is pretty focused on iOS. It starts by showing you the development tools and on the second chapter it jumps to the User Interface, which is by far the most important part of the iOS Development with Xamarin. It also does an emphasis on data (from databases to web services) with .NET. In further chapters it teaches you how to access the sensors, and how to use iOS specific features such as Multitasking (not to be confused with task/await/async), deploying and some advanced topics.
I really missed some hints to do cross platform development, which, from my point of view, is one of the points of Xamarin’s stack. It would be great to have an appendix talking about the excellent Xamarin.Mobile (http://xamarin.com/mobileapi), a library that exposes an API for accessing common mobile functionality. Another interesting chapter could be about Xamarin.Form, although it’s pretty new, or even the Monotouch.Dialog framework.
I also think it would be nice to have a chapter explaining how to structure the iOS projects, or how to implement the mvvm pattern in iOS, which is more dot net than the mvc-ios approach.
If you want to pick up iOS development quickly, this book is for you. Some concepts are not in depth but the book shows them in a very didactical way. Furthermore it covers most of the must-know topics that you will need as an iOS developer.