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How to Simulate Cellular Connections on Your Mac

If you are making your application real-life-proof you will also have to deal with diminished or dropped connectivity. I already discussed how to detect the kind of connectivity your app is having at present.

But another real-life restriction stems from slower bandwidths available over cellular connections, especially if you have no 3G reception. Even Long of Scribd showed me this trick I am about to explain here. This enables you to artificially create a bottleneck on your connection so that you can test how the app behaves when only cellular bandwidth is available.

This helps you to see if your custom progress bar is showing nicely or possibly if your progressive image is indeed progressive. Also this might reveal synchronous URL loading operations that you should never ever do in production apps.

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WWDC Plague

There’s an addendum to my previous WWDC Wrap Up article that might come to you as a surprise, being a first-time attendant. Sudden debilitating sickness…

If you search twitter for “WWDC Plague”, you find a great number of people who have apparently caught it. Here’s a summary of the symptoms to help you diagnose it as well as some tips to avoid it next year.

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Is it safe to install iOS 5 on your everyday iPhone?

On the heels of the iOS 5 announcement I started getting a multitude of e-mails asking more or less the same thing:

I have only my everyday iPhone for developing, so usually I am careful with updating. Do you think that iOS 5 is sufficiently developed and error free to install it on your main phone?

Sorry, but actually my first reaction to this question is to laugh out loud. But – once I have regained my composure – let me give you a serious answer to this question which is probably really not meant as a joke.

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WWDC 2011 Wrap-Up

The 2011 Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conferences has come to a conclusion, with the final day passing by in light speed. My eyes are burning from being tired, my legs hurt from sitting and standing in line and my brain has turned into a mushy substance. Yet I feel like I have to sum up a couple of things I learned just so that I might anchor this experience just a little bit more  deeply in my memory.

Hey you, Apple PR guy, don’t you worry about me revealing any details, this post is mostly about the emotional side of attending one of the most useful and exhilerating … pardon THE most useful and exhilarating experience that’s available to a Mac/iOS developer. This being my first such conference I think I have found a couple of strategies that might severs as a reference in future years.

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On “Getting Sherlocked”

I learned a new term today, “being sherlocked”. At first I found myself slightly giggling, because we named the dog “Sherlock Holmes”. How can that be a verb?

This verb was widely used together with various app names. Instapaper? Sherlocked! Dropbox? Sherlocked! And even Apple’s competitors. Amazon/Google? Sherlocked. Doubly so.

Now I cannot stand if somebody tweets smart things without explaining them, so I looked it up. I could only find one suitable explanation. UPDATE: Actually there’s another one which implies malvolence by Apple. See bottom of article.

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WWDC 2011 Keynote

When I queued in the morning at about 4 I was around number 270 in line. That landed me a seat in the back third of the largest of the conference rooms of the Moscone Center, called Presidio. Which is weird, because Steve told us that 1500 people made it into the room. But hey, I was there, great success for my first WWDC.

Let me give you a quick summary of what we saw, as all of this is public knowledge and not under NDA. For the remaining sessions I am unfortunately bound by the NDA. Also – while I was on fire tweeting like crazy – I got stopped dead by Twitter which suddenly started to tell me that I cannot tweet any more as @Cocoanetics, I should wait for a couple of hours. So I had to switch to my personal account @OliverDrobnik to finish reporting.

The big three items to be discussed had been already pre-announced: OSX Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud.

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Free Range

You will often find yourself working with NSRange parameters and variables, especially when dealing with strings. I stumbled into a problem that I think is an SDK bug, that prompted me to look at the header and find out what kind of functions are provided to us for comfortably dealing with NSRange.

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Most Amazing Keynote Ever

Apple PR just confirmed that this year’s WWDC keynote will go down in history as the most amazing keynote ever, and your’s truly will be in attendance. Unfortunately I am not prepared for camping out to get in the main conference venue to make sure I can see that with my own eyes. Oh, how much I would love to be able to make it…

The four pillars of amazingness have been confirmed to be:

  • The Amazing Steve Jobs himself
  • Lion “Unveiling”
  • iOS 5, Codename “Fleeting Image”
  • iCloud, the amazing cloud service with the extra i

This effectively rises my excitement level to new heights. Apple had kept their iOS 5 plans really close to their chest to avoid Google stealing the coolest ideas and thunder.

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App Shoutout for May

Every once in a while (monthly?) I like to give a shout out to apps that are making good use of components that came from my store.

If you have any released app that I have not mentioned so far, let me know, but please only if you are allowed to do so. I hate receiving mails with information that I cannot publish.

Prepaid 3G Data for Visitors to the USA – Truth and Fiction

As a fellow iOS Developer you might find yourself in San Francisco for WWDC or maybe on assignment. If you’re like me then you cannot survive with a modicum of connectivity. Unfortunately AT&T has visitors jump through hoops and has loads of horror stories in stock to deter people from getting what they really want.

Thanks to my sponsors at Scribd I’m here in San Francisco for the second time this year and I would like to summarize what I have learned about your options when it comes to getting affordable wireless data for the short time you’ll be in the USA.

So far I have found two viable options, the easier one being with T-Mobile, the harder but ultimately more enjoyable one going via the main iPhone carrier in the US, AT&T.  Read more