Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS Book Review

Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS Book Review

If you are new to developing mobile websites and web applications targeting the iPhone, iPad and other iOS devices using Mobile Safari, you may be interested in a book from Apress I recently read, called Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS. Although you can find plenty of books on HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and jQuery Mobile, Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS is essentially a "greatest hits" compilation of those technologies specific to those web developers targeting Mobile Safari and iOS Devices.

iOS, Mobile Safari, iPhone, and iPad Information

Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS BookGiven the book focuses on iOS, you will find a wealth of information about viewports, meta tags, resolutions, HTML5 and CSS3 support, and various other information particular to iPhone and iPad devices as well as Mobile Safari. Although you can find all this information on Apple's Safari Developer and iOS Portals it is nice to have this information presented in context and with workarounds for bugs, etc.

HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

As you would expect based on the title, the books walks you through examples of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to develop web pages that support iOS devices. You get an overview of the common tags and CSS3 effects used for common markup and styling in Mobile Safari websites as well as a pretty good look at more advanced topics like audio, video, canvas, GPS, and offline applications and storage. It also gives you a quick teaser on websockets and web workers.

jQuery Mobile

In addition to developing pages with your own HTML5 and CSS3, Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS also shows you how to use jQuery Mobile, which is a fantastic framework for developing websites and web applications for mobile devices. I recommend you first consider jQuery Mobile for your mobile websites and web applications targeting iOS or other smartphone OS.

PhoneGap

And last, if you want to take that iOS web application and bundle it into a native iOS application, the book shows you how to do it using PhoneGap.

Conclusion

My impression of the book changed as I started to read it more and more. I've done my fair share of mobile development and have read numerous books on HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and jQuery Mobile. My initial impression was that the book felt like a watered-down version of more detailed books as well as information found on the Apple iOS and Safari Developer Portals. However, as I read more and more, I started appreciating how the book took the various subjects and condensed them to a more meaningful, easy-to-get-started guide with useful samples and tutorials. The fact is that these individual topics are huge and one could easily get lost for months reading in-depth books and accomplish nothing. A more focused book, like Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS, gets you up and running quickly using solutions to common problems.

If you're new to mobile web development for iPhone and iPad and need a good beginner book on how to use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and jQuery Mobile to target iOS and Mobile Safari, Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS is a good way to start. From there you can get more advanced books on those individual subjects.