I've been hoping to learn a little iPhone 4 development for a while now, and this summer I planned to try my hand at learning how to use the iPhone SDK and Objective C. The trouble is, I knew nothing about programing and really didn't know where to start aside from Apple's own documentation.
Luckily the Missing Manual series has just the thing I've been looking for: iPhone App Development: The Missing Manual by Craig Hockenberry, who just so happened to be the developer of Twitteriffic, a very popular Twitter client for the iPhone and iPad. The book promises to help you get to know the tools for developing an iPhone app and takes you through the steps of building one right off the bat. It also dives into the basics of Objective-C and Cocoa Touch as well.
The book guides you through the basics of getting the iPhone SDK, installing Xcode and putting it all together to build your very first app (a very basic flashlight app). It then takes you on a brief tour of Objective-C code and some of the basic classes. It leads into Cocoa Touch and then gets into the steps to planning your iPhone app using various templates and even cut-outs.
One of the issues when developing a book like this, is that it gets outdated quickly. Whats nice is that Hockenberry has updated the code samples to work with iOS4 as of this writing. It should also be noted that affects all authors writing about Apple's iOS: because of Apple's NDA, they cannot write about the most current version. It's great that the sample downloads are updated!
I haven't completed the book yet, but I'm slowly going through it and learning at my own pace. If you're a non-programmer, you'll have your work cut out for you, but it's still a good read and easy to dive into as an introduction to understanding how the different parts of writing an iPhone app work. If you're comfortable with Objective-C, this will be a no brainer, but for those of us who don't know the difference between any programming languages, it might be quite daunting still. Hockenberry recommends Apple's own The Objective-C 2.0 Programming Language book as a primer.
For anyone just starting out in iPhone programming, iPhone App Development: The Missing Manual is a great place to start!