Apple’s iPhone is extremely popular and its recent improvements—with respect to developers—have been greatly appreciated. Still, there are restrictions that some would rather do without, hence Zdziarski’s offering. It’s based around support found on the iPhone Dev Team (wikee.iphwn.org) site that provides applications and APIs that can be used without obtaining the Apple software development kit (SDK). This book covers these APIs and presents sample applications built on this platform.
The book starts out with how to hack the iPhone (since Apple was not too keen on people just using it the way they wanted). Your mileage—post hack—may vary as new versions of the iPhone and its software have been released.
Zdziarski moves on to the free development toolchain and Objective-C, the basis of the rest of the book. Objective-C will not be new to most Apple developers, but it may be to those delving into C# or C++. There is enough information provided that even Objective-C novices will be able to appreciate the code presented in the book.
The next major chapter covers the UIKit. This is where the bulk of the API is presented from alerts to tables to status bars. There are examples along the way. The rest of the book covers useful APIs such as graphics, event handling, audio, and of course, touch screen input. The last chapter on controls wraps up the package.
This platform is unlikely to garner major commercial support given Apple’s awakening to its programming customers, but it is one way to explore the power of the system without restriction.