In the past year and a half, I have read a lot of Windows Phone books. The first book I read was the excellent 101 Windows Phone 7 apps. At that time, I was recommended that book, but ever since Microsoft released the Mango update, 101 is a bit out of date.
At the end of 2011, I read Essential Windows Phone 7.5 by Shawn Wildermuth. I recommend this book for someone who has never owned a Windows Phone and who wants to start programming for the Windows Phone. It is an excellent book for beginners, as the author spends time about on basic Windows Phone concepts.
Now to my review of the latest Windows Phone book I have read: Windows Phone 7.5 Unleashed by Daniel Vaughan.
This book is huge with 1120 pages, and all of them are worth it. Here are some of the things that I like about the book:
- Most of the code samples are done with the MVVM pattern. Nowadays, this pattern is the most popular one used when creating Windows Phone applications. The author even shares his known Calcium SDK that includes the MVVM philosophy. For a beginner who wants to start Windows Phone programming, starting off with the best pattern is a great idea, and this book will help you do that.
- There is a lot of free code given. There are a lot of utility classes that can be used in many types of Windows Phone applications. Honestly, the book is worth buying for the free code alone, and it will save you a lot of time.
- If you are new to use the SQL Compact Server database, this book will help you to learn the technology; the author has a large helpful section on this topic.
- The author introduced the usage of Reactive Extensions. This technology is not for beginners, but I’m pretty sure it will intrigue you, as it did me. The author presents the benefits of Reactive Extensions. The Reactive Extensions (Rx) is a library for composing asynchronous and event-based programs using observable sequences and LINQ-style query operators. You can find the rest of the definition at the official website.
- The author knows the platform well and describes many useful hints and caveats in Windows Phone programming.
In conclusion, this excellent book is one that I recommend right now if you want to dive into Windows Phone programming or to learn more about the recent features added with Mango.