I get to talk to a lot of people and when book reviews come up I get the impression that a lot of people feel left short because a lot of books stop where things get really interesting: getting data off the internet, present them in your app and - optionally - sending data back. Because, let's face it, a lot of great apps are based on existing websites or webservices. Getting data off the internet and sending it back is something that a lot of apps do and not every book explains it.
If you're one of those people then you'll like this book. It takes a very interesting approach: it has chapters on
- installing the tools + SDK
- consuming services
- storing data local using an ORM layer
- sending data back to the server
And it has these chapters for both Android and iOS.
But before that the author explains and builds the webservices and shows you how to test them. The author also explains that the ORM used in this book is a scaled down version of BootFX, an open-source application framework for .NET. The chapters on ORM are very interesting although - I admit - I've got a bit of a thing for ORM's. I can certainly see myself reusing the ORM code from this book in any multiplatform projects that I will be building in the future.
The book comes with the companion website http://www.multimobiledevelopment.com/ where you can download all the sources that are used in the chapters described above. I felt everything was explained very well and learned quite a few new approaches to problems, especially in the Android chapters.
But the meat of the book has to be in the chapters mentioned above. They deal with so many real-life situations when fetching internet data: calling the services, building proxy classes, asynchronous fetching, parsing xml, handling errors and storing data in Sqlite using an ORM. I mean: this is an absolute goldmine for any developer. And if you're not ready for an ORM, so be it. Just change the code to talk to Sqlite with your own.
If you're into multi-platform mobile development, then I can absolutely recommend this book. It doesn't teach you Java nor Objective-C, in fact it teaches you none of those things. That's not what this book is for. What it does do, however, is fullfill its title by giving you an awesome insight on how to develop for the 2 leading mobile platforms at the moment.