Getting started with Android/iPhone/iPad Programming: The Basics

I’ve written other articles on getting started with Android, iPhone or iPad development that made the assumption that you have a background in programming.  Obviously, for some this might be a leap.  I’ve been asked many times since writing that those first articles about what to do to get started if you don’t have a background in coding.

There are several different ways to get started.  I’ll try to list some of the better/easier resources to get you started:

  1. If you have never programmed before, or it has been a few years since you have Murach's Java SE 6: Training & Referenceprogrammed, I recommend getting started with Java.  I have found Java to be a great language to learn to program.  It is commonly used and there are lots of great books and websites that cover the basics.  I really like the Murach’s Java SE 6 book.  If you like, you can follow the book in my Java tutorials here.
    The transition from Java to Objective-C is fairly easy if you want to develop for the iPhone or iPad.  If you want to develop for Android, then Java is definitely the way to go!
  2. If your new to programming Objective-C, I would recommend the following books:
  3. Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (3rd Edition)
    Objective-C for Absolute Beginners: iPhone and Mac Programming Made Easy

    I haven’t had much time going through the Cocoa book – my students keep borrowing it!
    I (and my students) have used these as references many times.  My background (as I have mentioned) is in Java, so these books have proved invaluable many times as I have transitioned to Objective-C.

  4. If your new to programming on the iPhone/iPad and have some experience programming, then I highly recommend Mark and LaMache’s two books and the iPhone Application Development for Dummies:
    Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK
    More iPhone 3 Development: Tackling iPhone SDK 3
    iPhone Application Development All-In-One For Dummies These three books create a nice tutorial and reference library for getting started on your iPhone/iPad app development career.

    I also recommend the online lectures (beyond my own :-)) from Stanford available for free download on iTunes: You will have to open this through iTunes and navigate to the CS193P course.

  5. Beginning Android 2If your new to programming on the Android: I’m still evaluating books, so I can’t make a definitive suggestion here.  I’m currently looking at several titles from Apress including Beginning Android 2.  As soon as I have a definite recommendation, I will post it here.
  6. If you’re getting started with creating a 3-tier project (client-middleware-server), I prefer to use PHP and MySQL.  The books that I use (and most of my students have purchased a copy as well, because I DON’T lend it out) are PHP Bible and PHP and MySQL Bible (both from Wiley Press)


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