The Top 10 Mobile Application Developer Books

If you want to be one of the leading Mobile App Developers in the UK you need to ensure that you know as much as possible about the latest technologies by keeping up with the latest news, advice and practices.

A number of tactics such as attending events, following thought leaders, attending courses, following questions on forums and communities is certainly advisable. You can also dip your toe into the water with a few trusted books that are rated by your peers especially as it is handy to keep a book by your side for quick reference. There is a massive caveat however - always ensure you have the latest version so it remains useful to you and any examples still work.

To help you on your quest for knowledge we’ve pulled out the top 10 most relevant books from the Amazon Best Sellers list that were rated highly combining UK and US data to get a wider peer review set. We’ve tried to cover a range of subjects so there is something for everyone whatever language you favour or want to learn next so hopefully it will be useful.

1 Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide

Rating – 4.5 star

Synopsis – Using Swift 3 and navigating Xcode 8 this book will show you carefully constructed explanations and examples so you can develop an understanding of Swift grammar and effective Swift style. Throughout the book, the authors share their insights into Swift to ensure that you understand the how’s and why’s of Swift and can put that understanding to use in different contexts.

Review - 5 stars Great Introduction to Swift

By Matthew R Mageeon 28 January 2017

By far the best introduction to the Swift programming language I have read so far. I'm about halfway through the book and have learned much more than any other book I've read on the topic or online course has taught. Outstanding!

2 iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (6th Edition)

Synopsis - Updated for Xcode 8, Swift 3, and iOS 10 this guides you through the essential concepts, tools, and techniques for developing iOS applications. It uses well-tested materials and methodology to teach iOS concepts and coding in tandem. The authors explain what's important and share their insights into the larger context of the iOS platform so you get a real understanding of how iOS development works, the features and when and where to apply what you've learned. This is a book for developers who already know a reasonable amount of Swift.

Review - 5 stars Great book for learning iOS programming

By Matthew Mehrtenson July 12, 2017

Best programming book I've ever learned from. I've purchased a few books in the past for learning Java, but none were written as fluently and as effectively as this one.

I'm at chapter 18 right now and I can attest to the helpfulness of the challenges. The challenges at the end of most chapters help you learn how to explore different parts of Swift and how to debug your programs. This is a super valuable skill and I 100% recommend you do ALL of the challenges. Some challenges took me 5 minutes and some of them took me 3 days. However, now that I'm almost done with the book, I've learned a lot of skills that have made the rest of these challenges a piece of cake. Completing the challenges is ESSENTIAL to fully utilizing the power of this book.

However, this book is not intended for a brand new programmer. My previous knowledge of Java has helped my progress through this book tremendously. I also took an online course for learning the basics of the Swift programming language and without that, I would be incredibly lost. If you don't already know the basics of the Swift programing language, I recommend you find a tutorial online before purchasing this book. I definitely recommend this book to any programmer trying to learn Swift.

3 Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (3rd Edition)

Rating – 4.5 star

Synopsis – This is an introductory Android book for programmers with Java experience based on Big Nerd Ranch’s Android boot camps. This guides readers using hands-on example apps combined with explanations of key concepts and APIs. This book focuses on practical techniques for developing apps compatible with Android 4.4 (KitKat) through Android 7.0 (Nougat) and beyond. Android Studio is used to create apps that integrate with other apps, download and display pictures from the web, play sounds, and more.

Review - 5 stars Great book

By Ameliaon April 21, 2017

So far I'm very pleased with this book (just finished up Chapter 30 atm). I've tried a couple of other Android development books, but either life got in the way for me or Android advances faster than books can catch up. Either way, every time I've picked up a book, I seem to be learning the lagging end of Android technology . But this book has what I've been looking for. Activities, Fragments, ConstraintLayouts, RecyclerViews, ViewPagers, DialogFragments -- and those were just in the first 12 chapters. It also uses MVC, which I'm familiar with and which is helpful to stay on top of the project. The authors do a great job in teaching good coding practices like encapsulation, decoupling, refactoring for efficient code, abstract classes, interfaces, and others. So far all the code works for me in Android Studio with the latest updates (I only went by the code in the book, I didn't use the downloaded code), even the challenges. I really like the workflow diagrams and swimlanes because I learn visually, and they help difficult concepts become less painful to wrap my mind around. I really think I'm getting Android now, something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

4 Mastering Xamarin UI Development 1st

Rating – 4 star

Synopsis – For developers with basic Xamarin and C# knowledge who want to create, configure, and customise platform-specific features, cross-platform UIs and create reusable templates with C# scripting using Xamarin Forms. Also maximize the testability, flexibility, and quality of Xamarin apps.

Review 5 stars Reviewer Review!

By Lance - Published on 27 Jan. 2017

This book is a great experience for developers to bring their Xamarin development to a new level.

You start with some foundation concepts and then work your way up to a fully fleshed out application using best practices. It covers concepts and techniques you'll find in everyday development, not just those one-off things that you need to look up in the docs for.

5 Xamarin Mobile Application Development: Cross-Platform C# and Xamarin.Forms Fundamentals 1st

Rating – 5 star

Synopsis – This book is for C#, ASP.NET developers, technical managers and Android and iOS developers. It is a hands-on Xamarin.Forms primer and a cross-platform reference for building native Android, iOS, and Windows Phone apps using C# and .NET. It explains how to use Xamarin.Forms, Xamarin.Android, and Xamarin.iOS to build business apps for customers and consumer apps for Google Play and the iTunes App Store. It shows how to organise Xamarin code into a professional-grade application architecture with hundreds of screenshots and code examples. It explores solution-building techniques from starter-to-enterprise to help decouple your functional layers, manage your platform-specific code, and share your cross-platform classes for code reuse, testability, and maintainability.

Review - 5 stars Amazing Book

By Philip Heggelundon 25 May 2017

Great introduce to xamarin.forms development! Seriously allowed me to hit the ground running in developing on a platform I never have before. Once you do your first screen the rest just fly by. If you have ever done WPF programming with XAML this should feel natural to you. Although the book doesn't use XAML examples you can just use XAML and MVVM.

6 Learning React 1st Edition

Rating – 4.5 star

Synopsis - A hands-on introduction to React and building maintainable, high-performing web application user interfaces using the React JavaScript library which deals with the most common problems developers face when building complex apps and throws in a few additional tricks that make building the visuals for such apps much, much easier.

Review - 5 stars - This is the book to get up & running with React.JS

By Amazon Customer on January 20, 2017

I found this book to be an amazing introductory text to learning React. Leveraging creativity interspersed with a bit of humor, the author took complex topics and made it more easily understood. Even when the difficulty ramped up, Kirupa made the dry and mundane almost non-existent. I can't recall once wishing for the book to end. That's tough to do - definitely more art than science. If you're looking for a solid, working understanding of getting up & running with React - this is the book.

7 Kotlin in Action Paperback – 27 Mar 2017

Rating – 5 star

Synopsis – This is a book for experienced Java Developers who want to learn this new language that may prove key over the next few years. It takes you from language basics all the way through building applications to run on the JVM and Android devices. Written by core Kotlin developers it teaches the basic syntax then how to use features to build reusable abstractions, higher-level functions, libraries, and even entire domain specific languages. Finally, the book focuses on details of applying Kotlin in real-world projects, such as build system integration, Android

support and concurrent programming.

Review - *For experienced Java developers

By Johnny on April 10, 2017

Read this book via the early access program. If you come from a Java background and are trying to pick up Kotlin, then this is the book for you. The authors do a wonderful job of introducing parts of the Kotlin language with each chapter. As you go through the book, you gradually learn to appreciate the beauty and elegance of writing Kotlin code. It is important to know that this book is for people who are experienced in Java. While you can go ahead and try to pick up Kotlin as a first language, this book references a lot of Java code to explain many of Kotlin's concepts and how Kotlin improves on Java's design.

8 Unity in Action: Multiplatform Game Development in C# with Unity 5

Rating – 4.5 star

Synopsis – If you can program in C# or another OO language this book will teach you how to write and deploy games mastering the Unity 5 toolset from the ground up to go from application coder to game developer. . Each sample project illuminates specific Unity features and game development strategies. As you read and practice, you'll build up a well-rounded skill set for creating graphically driven 2D and 3D game applications.

Review – 5 star - Fantastic intro to Unity and programming games

By Matthew Love on 23 September 2015

I primarily program in Python and has did some Pygame. I found I wanted to learn to use an engine instead of having to deal with low level issues presented by Pygame. I felt Unity was a decent choice and got this book.

It has a great progression as it starts with getting a simple cube on screen and ends with building your program for various platforms.

It doesn't have that issue where the first half of the book is fine and then the author leaves you behind and you're left scratching your head in confusion.

The author expects you to have some programming experience and I'd agree. The code is never hard to follow but I feel if you'd never programmed before you may find it tough going.

I also felt dedicating 1-2 chapters to Unity's 2D tools was a nice touch.

10 Professional Android Paperback – 12 Dec 2017

Rating – not yet released

Synopsis – Ok we’re cheating with this latest edition of Professional Android – it’s not out yet but the previous versions have been highly rated. This version shows developers how to leverage the latest features of Android to create robust and compelling mobile apps. This hands-on approach provides in-depth coverage through a series of projects, each introducing a new Android platform feature and highlighting the techniques and best practices that exploit its utmost functionality. The exercises begin simply, and gradually build into advanced Android development. Clear, concise examples show you how to quickly construct real-world mobile applications.

10 Apache Cordova in Action Paperback – 31 Oct 2015

Rating – 4.5

Synopsis – This is a bit of an introductory book so if you’re already a Phonegap or Cordova developer this probably isn’t for you. This book siimplifies the entire process of creating and launching hybrid mobile apps using Cordova or Phonegap using examples, step by step tutorials, and clear explanations, readers can build apps from the Cordova CLI and make use of device features like the camera and accelerometer. For those just learning to design mobile apps, the book discusses ways to build mobile friendly, professional-quality UI and UX. Finally, the book covers testing techniques and explains the PhoneGap Build service, along with how to submit applications to Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Review 4 stars Concise and simple introduction to Cordova

By Paolo Barontion 16 April 2017

The book gives you a tour of Cordova application programming explaining concepts briefly and concisely. It gives you enough information to quickly be up and running and provides pointers to look for further details.

The whole process of developing a Cordova application is covered from project creation and configuration, through finding and using plugins and application debugging up to packaging and release. The book also dedicates some space to mobile application design issues and suggests popular libraries/frameworks.

The process of developing your own plugin is also described (although the sample code doesn't actually interact with the device).

Code samples are very basic and can be easily followed without any need to parse through the downloadable code.

This book is just an introduction though. Do not expect details.

Plugin coverage is very skimpy.

Just a few plugins are briefly presented and more to provide example usage than to describe the APIs they provide.

Added 11-Aug-2017