Mobile App Development with Corona/Solar2D


Mobile App Development with Corona: Getting Started
Brian G. Burton, Ed.D.
Foreword by:
Walter Luh, Creator of Corona SDK.
Pages: 363 386 v.1.8.4 (2/2020)

Formats: eBook price: $19.99 (ePub, mobi, pdf)
ISBN: 978-1-937336-00-4
Contact for volume purchases.

File Type :

Free updates for the life of the eBook!

Download a Sample Chapter

Download Code Samples & Resource Files

Corona SDK is has been renamed to Solar2D and is now open source!  Mobile App Development with Corona will help you learn Solar2D.

Corona SDK allows the mobile app and game developer to create for multiple platforms at the same time.  With the ability to develop for Apple iOS and Google Android, you can turn your idea into the next best selling app! Create apps in less time for multiple markets and mobile devices without tedious rewriting. Includes multiple app examples and how to make top-down and tower defense games!  Mobile App Development with Corona: Getting Started is designed to be used as a guide to learn mobile app and game development on your own.

NOTE: This book is also available on Amazon, Kobo, and Apple’s iBookstore.
Due to Amazon & Kobo pricing policy it was necessary to break this book into three parts.  Each part is available individually for $9.99 USD.

Version 1.07- Corrected some formatting issues with ePub & mobi editions.

Version 1.5 – MAJOR UPDATE: Updates to: Pedagogy & clarity improved throughout the textbook; Update to Widgets chapter to Widgets 2.0; Updates due to API changes; Update to new Sprite API.  New Content: How to add Custom Fonts; New Chapter on System Events, GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, and other system tools; New example on working with JSON Files.

Version 1.6 – Updated to Graphics 2.0 (1/2014)
Version 1.61 – Minor update to ch. 5 & 17 for Graphics 2.0 (2/2014)
Version 1.7 – New chapter 18 on Graphics 2.0. Updates to Graphics 2.0 (7/2014)
Version 1.8 – Minor updates throughout the book. (1/2017)
Version 1.8.02 – Minor updates to structure and updating of external links.
Version 1.8.3 – Added additional tutorial on picker wheel widget
Version 1.8.4 – Minor update fixing broken link


Chapter 1: Hello World: Setup and Get Going!

What this book is not
Getting Started
Corona: Some background
Software: Corona
Software: Android
Examples and Graphics
Software: iOS
Development Hardware: Corona
Development Hardware: Test Devices
Publishing Considerations
Android (Google)
iOS (Apple)
Programming in Corona: Lua
Programming in Corona: Editors
Configuring Corona
Programming in Corona: Hello World (V1.0)
Project 1.0: Hello World
Project Setup
Project 1.1: Hello World (v2.0)

Chapter 2:Buttons and Text

Know your Boundaries
Project 2: Button Fun
Project 2.1: Button Fun V2
Getting Fancy!
How Corona reads your main.lua file

Chapter 3: Animation, Alpha & Orientation

Project 3: Basic Animation
Now You See It, Now You Don’t
Project 3.1: Alpha Fun
Orientation change
Project 3.2: A New Orientation

Chapter 4:Fill in the Blanks

Project 4: Simple Calculator
Device Builds
Apple iOS
iOS Simulator Build
Apple iOS Device Build
Android OS Device Build

Chapter 5: All Things Graphic

Vector Graphics
Project 5: Vector Shapes.
Bitmap Graphics
Sprite Sheets
Project 5.1: Uniform Sprites
Project 5.3 Sprite Animation
Sprite Control Methods
Sprite Properties
Sprite Event Listeners
Other Uses of Image/Sprite Sheets

Chapter 6: User Interface

Dynamic Content Alignment
Dynamic Image Resolution
Adding Sound
Sound File Types
Timing Is Everything
Streams and Sounds
Project 6.0: Beat-box
config.lua file
build.settings file
Custom Fonts
Project 6.1 Custom Fonts

Chapter 7: Application Views

Hiding the Status Bar
Project 7: Group Movement
Modules and Packages
Project 7.1: External Library
External Libraries
Project 7.2: Creating a Splash Screen

Chapter 8: Phun with Physics

Turn on Physics
Body Types
Density, Friction, and Bounce
Body Shapes
Body Properties
Body Methods
Project 8: Using Force
Ground and Boundaries
Project 8.1: Playing with Gravity
Collision Detection
Common Methods and Properties for Joints
Project 8.2: Wrecking Ball
Trouble Shooting Physics

Chapter 9: Creating a Game with Corona

Game Design
Dragging Objects
Collision Detection
Take Your Best Shot
Reducing Overhead
Game Loop

Chapter 10: Star Explorer Continued

Configuring the App for Multiple Device
Splash Screen
Improving Performance
Varying Difficulty
Increasing Game Speed
A Little Variety

Chapter 11: Media Makes the World Go Round

Working with Sound
Basic Audio Controls
Duration Audio Controls
Volume Controls
Audio Channels
Sound File Types (Revisited)
Where did I put that file?
Multimedia API
Recording Audio
Project 11: Simple Audio Recorder
Video Playback
Project 11.1 X-Ray Camera

Chapter 12: File Storage & SQLite
File IO Considerations
Reading Data
Implicit vs. Explicit File Manipulation
Implicit Read
Explicit Read
Writing Data
Project 12: JSON Read & Write
LuaSQLite Commands
Project 12: Reading a SQLite Database
Project 12.1 Writing to a SQLite Database

Chapter 13: Waiting on Tables
Table vs. Table: Clearing up the Confusion
Tools for Tables
Project 13: Creating a Simple Table View
Project 13.1:  Table View From SQLite

Chapter 14: It’s Who you Know: Networking
Web Services
Project 14: Picture Download – Via Network Library
Project 14a: Picture Download – Via Socket Library
Tracking Network Status
Uploading to a Webserver
3-Tier Architecture
Post Example 1: Uploading Form Data
Post Example 2: Uploading Files or Images
Connecting to Proprietary Networks
Facebook Example
Advertising Networks
Game Services
Apple Game Center
Google Play Game Services
Project 14.1 Multi-User App

Chapter 15: Working with Widgets & Popups
Mock-ups and pre-design tools
Making Your Widgets Look Good
Project 15.0 widget.newButton Example
Project 15.1 widget.newPickerWheel Example
Project 15.2 Loading a Picker Wheel from a SQLite Database
Project 15.3 Widget Slider & Progress View Example
Project 15.4 Widget.newTableView Example
Project 15.5 Widget Tab Bar Example
Removing Widgets
Web Popups
Web Popup Example

Chapter 16: Rotten Apple – a Tower Defense Game

Rotten Apples – Inspiration and Resources
Adding Sprite Animations
I Need a Map!
Two Roads Diverged
Space, The Final Frontier
Rat Race.
On Your Mark
Reducing Collisions
Collision Worksheet
Take the Shot – Taking Care of Collisions
Are We There Yet? – adding the clubhouse
Adding Towers: Dragging Towers to the Screen
What’s the Score?
Let’s Get this Game Going!
Level and Wave Control
Noises Off!
Suspense is Killing Me!  – adding suspend/resume/save options
It’s a Splash – add splash screen

Chapter 17 System Events & Tools       

System Events
Project 17.0 Accelerometer
Project 17.1 Gyroscope
Project 17.2 GPS
Map Object
Map Address
Map Location
Project 17.3 Maps

Chapter 18 Advanced Graphics 

Learning Objectives
Graphics 2.0
Fills – Filters, Composite, and Generators
Project 18.1 Filtering with chromaKey
Composite Effects
Project 18.2 Marching Ants
Project 18.3 Containers
Liquid Fun
Project 18.4 Liquid Fun

Chapter 19 Additional Resources         

Physics Editor
SpriteHelper & LevelHelper
Sublime Text 3
Texture Packer
Useful Websites
Free Isometric images
Sound effects

Appendix A: The Lua Language

Appendix B: Advanced Lua


  • mroberti says:

    ZOMG can’t wait for the book! I’m ready to buy it and slap it on my ipad!! w00t!

  • thomas says:

    super, I want this book too, where can i buy this book?

  • Dr. Burton says:

    The early release should be available by July 29. It will initially only be available through my website.

  • syntaxtm says:

    WOW! Any word on the early release? 🙂

  • msutherl says:

    This is what I have been looking for!!! When and how can I get a e-copy of the book?

  • syntaxtm says:

    Finding a few typos’s, just wondering where you’d like to post them. . .

  • fmazzola says:

    Hi Dr. Burton, Great book. Was wondering if there are solutions to the Projects at the end of each chapter. Thanks Frank

  • Dr. Burton says:

    Not yet, but solutions will be included with the teacher resources (coming soon!)

  • dougd says:

    Can you tell me how many chapters are currently included in this early release? If I purchase now, I am interested in some of the later chapters. I want to see if they are included, even if only in first draft form. Thanks!

  • jan42 says:

    Hi, I purchased your Early Release PDF eBook and was wondering when you’re expecting to release the final version for it?

  • Dr. Burton says:

    The final version should be available within the next few weeks. I am currently finishing chapter 15, and have just chapter 16 to finish writing.

  • Dr. Burton says:

    The mobi and ePub versions will be available shortly after I finish the final chapter. I’m making progress, should be soon!

  • sbehta says:

    Hello Dr. Burton,
    If I purchase the early release of the book how will I receive the final version (via email)?
    Also, I am mainly interested in developing a database-centric application using Corona. Will you be covering this topic in detail in your book?

    Thank You.

  • Hi Dr., congratulations for the book.

    I wanna translate your book to Portuguese, because doesn’t exists a Corona book in my country or language. Do you have any interest in this?

  • Dr. Burton says:

    Yes, I will be sending out an email to all early adopters as soon as the book is finished. You will get the update for free and continue to receive updates even after the book is finalized.
    Chapter 12 has a full database project using SQLite included and explained. I also include examples of apps with databases in other chapters as well.

  • Dr. Burton says:

    I will send you an email. Thank you for the interest!

  • d3mac123 says:

    Are you covering gestures like pinch to zoom, drag, tap, etc?

  • Dr. Burton says:

    I mention all of them, but I have specific programming demonstrations of drag and tap in several apps.

  • valesh75 says:

    If you need an Italian translation let me know, i have some spare time and would be cool to have it localized here in our marvelous contry 🙂

  • Hotcheezy says:

    When will the mobi version of this book be released?

  • Dr. Burton says:

    If you are an early adopter, the mobi version will be made available as soon as the book becomes final (which will be very soon for the Mobile App Development book, the end of February for the Beginning Mobile App Development book. I will also be making Mobile App Development available in parts (Ch 1-6, 7-12, & 13-Appendices) through the Amazon Kindle program as soon as it is completed.

  • barba13 says:

    Hello, I’m Andrea from Italy. I’d like a copy of the ebook possible the complete version. How can I buy it? thanks for the attention.

  • Dr. Burton says:

    You can purchase the book by clicking on the Books tab at the top of the webpage. Thank you for your interest!

  • How can I buy the Print book?

  • Dr. Burton says:

    Thus far there hasn’t been enough of a demand for a paper version to make printing cost effective. If you would like to be put on the list for a print copy, please send me an email and I will add your name to the notification list when it becomes available.

  • GPAnimations says:

    I bought this book in 3 sections on Amazon, didn’t realize I could buy it from here and get the free updates. Do’h!

  • Dr. Burton says:

    No problem! As I update the book, Amazon will notify you that it has been updated. All updates will continue to be free no matter where you purchased it.

  • Follow us on Twitter to win a free copy of @DrBrianBurton’s Corona SDK book! | Ansca Mobile Blog | » Archive says:

    […] Last week, Dr. Brian Burton released his book, Mobile App Development with Corona. […]

  • Jesder says:

    Hi Dr. Burton,

    Firstly I’d like to say great work on the book. I purchased it a few months back and have enjoyed reading and referring to it while getting to grips with Corona. I spend more of my time working with Corona offline, so have found it helps as an offline reference tool. I have also been pleased with getting updates on the lead up to the final release and it’s been a positive experience buying an eBook early.

    I have focused my efforts so far on creating a variety of graphical demos (or samples as I call them). If you are interested, you can find them here:

    They range from star fields, to Mandelbrot sets, and even 3D. The full source is available for download of each samples via my site.

    The two I am most pleased with are the Texturemapped Raycasting Engine and the 3D Object renderer. These two push Corona past what it’s really designed for, but I think more can be achieved with some time (and possibly extended support in future from Ansca with their API). I wanted to show you these two in case you considered doing an update to your book at some point, and are interested in showing just what can be done with Corona. I have shared these examples on the Ansca site via their forums and code share pages in the hope it will push others to think outside the square and make some cool things.


    If you have any questions, or comments please let me know. You can reach me via my site (or my gmail account – used to sign up here – I check this more frequently).



  • Dr. Burton says:

    This is some really good stuff! Yes, I will be speaking with you about what you have done before I start the next book on Corona!

  • Learning to Make Apps: Week of March 11th, 2012 | says:

    […] much faster.So on Wednesday, I went back to the book I bought in mid December of last year, “Mobile App Development with Corona“, written by Brian Burton, and I started to read the book again from Chapter 1. I was […]

  • Aprendiendo a hacer Aplicaciones: Semana del 11 de Marzo de 2012 | says:

    […] el miércoles, regresé al libro que había comprado a mitad de Diciembre del año pasado, “Mobile App Development with Corona”, escrito por Brian Burton, y comencé a leer el libro otra vez desde el Capítulo 1. Me […]

  • >Learning to make Apps: Week of March 18th 2012 | says:

    […] 0 CommentsThis past week as I said on my prior post, I fully concentrated in following the book “Mobile App Development with Corona”, as I think it’s crucial that I get the grasp of the coding logic with Corona SDK. Unlike the […]

  • Aprendiendo a hacer aplicaciones: Semana del 18 de marzo de 2012 | says:

    […] lo había mencionado en mi post anterior, estuve totalmente concentrado en seguir el libro “Mobile App Development with Corona“, ya que creo que es crucial que entienda la lógica de programar con Corona SDK. A […]

  • jmeckstroth says:

    When will the book ,Mobile App Development, be available in Apple iBooks store?

  • Dr. Burton says:

    It is just waiting on Apple’s approval process to be completed. Should be available very soon!

  • URL says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More Infos here: […]…

  • Learn Mobile Game Development with CoronaSDK in Austin Texas | Burtons Media Group says:

    […] will be using excerpts from my book “Mobile App Development with Corona: Getting Started” which you receive free with registration (a $29.99) […]

  • Learning to Make Apps – Week of March 25th, 2012 | says:

    […] on March 27, 2012 by hsanchezp • 0 CommentsThis week, I almost finished reading book “Mobile App Development with Corona”, I only have one chapter left, Chapter 16th about making a tower defense game. However I won’t […]

  • Aprendiendo a hacer Aplicaciones: Semana del 25 de marzo de 2012 | says:

    […] on marzo 27, 2012 by hsanchezp • 0 CommentsEsta semana, casi terminé de leer el libro “Mobile App Development with Corona”, solo me falta el último capítulo, el número 16 que trata acerca de como hacer un juego de […]

  • Mobile Development Overview | Shawn's Bits says:

    […] Mobile App Development with Corona by: Brian G .Burton Help Others and Share this:DiggRelated […]

  • andregolvea says:

    What is difference between this book and the your “Mobile App Development with Corona: Getting Started – Part 1, 2 and 3” in Amazon?


  • Dr. Burton says:

    There is no difference between what is for sale on Amazon and what I have available on my website beyond the Amazon version is broken into 3 part because of how they do royalties.

  • andregolvea says:

    Do you have plans to launch video lessons, rather than just books on the Corona?

    Thank you. I’ll be buying these books soon.

  • Dr. Burton says:

    Yes! Thank you for asking! I hope to have the first video/online classes ready by this summer.

  • Q&A with Dr. Brian G. Burton, Corona Ambassador | Ansca Mobile Blog | » Archive says:

    […] a Professor at Abilene Christian University and a Corona Ambassador. He’s also the author of Mobile App Development with Corona: Getting Started, a guide to using Corona to learn about mobile app and game […]

  • andregolvea says:

    Hello Dr. Burton, I’m here again 🙂

    What is difference between the book “Mobile App Development with Corona” and “Beginning Mobile App Development with Corona”? The summary appear equals.


  • Dr. Burton says:

    “Beginning Mobile App Development” is designed for use in the classroom. The two books have the same instructional content, but “Beginning Mobile App Development With Corona” includes assignments and teacher resources.

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