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Our DNA is written in Objective-C
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Befriending Core Text

Before the iPad was released you had basically two ways how to get text on screen. Either you would stick with UILabel or UITextView provided by UIKit or if you felt hard-core you would draw the text yourself on the Quartz level incurring all the headaches induced by having to mentally switch between Objective-C and C API functions.

As of iOS 3.2 we gained a third alternative in Core Text promising full control over styles, thread safety and performance. However for most of my apps I did not want to break 3.x compatibility and so I procrastinated looking at this powerful new API. Apps running only on iPads could have made use of Core Text from day 1, but to me it made more sense supporting iPad via hybrid apps where the iPhone part would still be backwards compatible.

Now as the year has turned the adoption of 4.x on all iOS platforms is ever more accelerating. Many new iPads where found under the Christmas tree and by now even the most stubborn people (read needing 3.x for jailbreaking and sim-unlocking) have little reason to stick with 3.x. Thus we have almost no incentive left to stick with 3.x compatibility. Yay!

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Podcast #021 – “One More Thing”

The first episode with the new name is also the last on in 2010. So I look back on an eventful 2010 with a few glimpse to what 2011 holds for Cocoa developers.

If you want your work/apps highlighted in 2011 then just contact me. I’m always looking for interesting material and tips to share with my listeners.

Play

It’s also the first time that I did not script the podcast, so there are no show notes. Let me know what you think in the comments of by e-mailing me.

iTunes Connect Closed

iTunes Connect is closed until December 29th.

This means:

  • No new app submissions or update submissions
  • No sales stats or reports
  • No ranking info

… from Apple or their sites.

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Bars Like the New York Times App

Elias Sanchez asks:

Hello Oliver. Quick? Do you have any tips in making a toolbar appear/disappear? Trying to mimic what the NYT app does when looking at an article. Is it using Core Animation perhaps?┬áCan’t find anything out there. Any ideas? ThxU

Looking at the NYT App you can see that they do quite a bit of manipulation of the bars of which there are 3: Tab Bar, Navigation Bar and sometimes a Tool Bar.

For beginning iOS Developers it might seem daunting to combine all of these for the effect that the NYT App achieves. In this article I give you an analysis of what they did so that you have their techniques at your disposal, too.

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iWoman 2.0

It’s been a long long time since I last updated iWoman, more than a year to be precise. I have to admit the success of iWoman made me lazy. Why would you want to change something that is selling so well? In fact iWoman topped the Healthcare charts in several countries for a long time. Other projects seemed be be more important.

I have to credit my wife who kept bugging me about how I obviously did not care about we women on Earth. She is using iWoman for about years now and I kept updating her iPhone with the latest builds. For a long time iWoman was stuck right between versions, but suddenly – about a month ago – motivation returned. I wanted to polish iWoman into the jewel that is was so long ago and add all these features that customers kept requesting.

iWoman 2.0 is now (finally!) available on the app store.

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New Year’s Resolutions and Wishes for 2011

I was interested to see what goes on in the minds of my peers when it comes to 2011. When you try to emulate the success of other developers it is not just about what they do but you also want to know what goals and wishes their mind revolves around.

I’d like to especially highlight Cory Wiles whose response was the most extensive.

1. Spend more time on my own projects
2. Be invited to give more talks about iOS
3. Finish my password management framework and submit for patent
4. Become much more proficient with CoreGraphics
5. Complete and submit at least two of my own projects to app store
(contract work takes up large part of my time)
6. Go to at least one other conference besides the WWDC

From motivational literature we know that your live moves towards what you predominately think about most of the time. Most of these thoughts would probably not be conscious but my theory is that a “shoot from the hip” response to my question on Twitter should yield a bit of insight.

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New Design!

A while back I announced some changes for my iOS business and website. First there was the new name “Cocoanetics” to replace the ill-fated “Dr. Touch”. Next there had to be a new design. Something professional. Something easy to read so that you have fun every time you return to the site.

After asking around a bit I found Jermemiah Tolbert of Clockpunk Studios who took my by the hand and made this wonderful new WordPress template. When working with Jeremiah he took charge of the design with me defining some base rules that I wanted to have incorporated:

  • Be a delightful reading experience. A readable font, amble spacing. Let my tutorials and recipes shine.
  • No sidebar distracting from the contents, so we had to put navigation at the top.
  • Have some spots where advertisements would be placed automatically, right now I had to do all the ad inserting by hand

Working with a seasoned WP-Pro got me some pretty innovative solutions for a previously tedious work-flow.
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Detecting Taps Outside of Tableview Cells

iWoman Date Picker

In the latest version of iWoman- which I’ve been working on the past few weeks – I had a situation where I am sliding up a date picker when the user taps on a date cell. Sliding it out when the user taps on other cell was easy, you can do that in the other cells’ didSelectRowAtIndexPath. But if you have that in a grouped tableview then there are several areas outside of cells that also could become the targets of a user’s taps.

Generally a user would also assume to be able to dismiss the picker by tapping there, in headers or empty areas where you see the background shine through. In this blog post I’m showing you a technique on how this is done most efficiently and also backwards compatible.

I tried out several approaches before settling on this solution. You might be able to use a gesture recognizer, but that would rule out 3.1 compatibility. You could override the touch methods of the table view and do some fancy detective work there. But I found – as I did so often before – that by far the most convient way is to override hitTest.

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Shred Your Evidence In Style Like Dexter Morgan

On the Season 5 Premiere at 32:21 you can see how series protagonist Dexter (both a serial killer and a blood spatter analyst for the police) is destroying files about his victims.

When my wife saw that, she exclaimed “I want that!” which sent me to the Googles searching for what app this is. Turns out that quite a few people had a similar emotional response of “WANT” on seeing this on TV.

So in this article I’m giving you intrustions on how to achieve this.

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How to Spy on the Web Traffic of any App

Have you ever wondered what is going on when all those apps on your iPhone communicate with websites and web services? In this article I will explain a technique to employ your Mac as a spy to be able to inspect all the traffic that goes on between the public Internet and your iPhone.

This is wonderful for learning what POST requests need to be made of if you do screen scraping. It’s also quite useful if you are planning to reverse engineer some API that is not public yet. Finally you can use it to look for potential security concerns to report to the makers of your favorite apps.

You require a Mac that has a wired internet connection as well as built-in WiFi. We’ll use the Mac as the “Man in the Middle” and route all Internet traffic from our iPhone over it so that we can inspect the HTTP/HTTPS.

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