May 12, 2011
Ever since I got my first earbuds with an Apple device (must have been an original iPhone) I’ve been wondering something, maybe you as well: what is the purpose of this extra clip on the wire. There’s this movable thingy between where the cable parts and the earpiece.
In fact if you google that, then there’s only one other person that asks the same question:
On my iPhone headset (the one that came with the device, as well as the in-ear buds) there’s a little piece of plastic that slides on the cable to one earbud, and can clip onto the other cable.
- It’s not large enough to accommodate the headset cable below the split, so it can’t be used to somehow hold the cable in place when it’s curled up.
- It’s not tight enough to stay in place if I slide it nearer the earbud, so it can’t be used to essentially move the point where the cable splits closer to the earbuds.
- It’s not tight enough to really hold on to the other earbud cable. It takes nearly no effort at all to pull the cables apart.
What in the world is it good for?!?
After some research we found what it is mean to be used for, as well as several other tricks with Apple cables that you might not have known.
May 08, 2011
On my second day of the first BarCamp I awoke early and felt inspired to prepare notes for a talk on what I found so far to be the most interesting way on how to make money on this ecosystem that Apple has created for us.
When I gave this talk I ran out of time and felt a bit “incomplete” as there would have been several interesting points towards the ends of my note. But the room was full and judging from the fact that people asked several interested questions (and nobody left) people seemed to be ok with that.
Being a reader of this here blog you now reap the benefit that I translated my presentation structure filled in with some commentary for coherence. And this also contains the entire notes, the “Director’s Cut” if you will.
May 07, 2011
Conferences are an interesting diversion from the daily work as an iOS developer. BarCamps are the same, but they are not classical conferences in the sense that an organizer takes care of everything and you can simply consume. Rather at a bar camp you bring your own content. That’s why they are also referred to as un-conferences.
I visited my first such event in Graz, let me give you some of my impressions. Welcome to the BarCamp Graz 2011.
May 06, 2011
Apple consciously separates mutable and immutable variants of classes in Objective-C. If you have an NSString you cannot modify it, only by creating a new one with additions to an old one. If you want to
mutilate mutate the string itself you have to use it’s subclass NSMutableString. Internally those are the same CoreFoundation type, yet the design choice was to have an immutable class and add mutability methods in a subclass.
There are two items that are not immediately obvious if you start out learning to program Objective-C, that I’d like to chronicle. One of these stumped me just a few days ago.
May 01, 2011
In this article I want to summarize a couple of “barefoot techniques” for tuning your views. Sometimes you are painstakingly putting together a UI with multiple views and you cannot tell any more where one ends and another begins.
The debugger is not really working well on this because most of the interesting information about views is hidden behind properties and you cannot usefully inspect their current contents because properties are really methods the value of which is only set when you actually call them.
But I want to share some easy techniques that I started using so that I can get this visual puzzle untangled.
Apr 28, 2011
Somebody people told me that some function in my NSAttributedStrings+HTML would take forever but whenever I tested it, I could not see anything wrong. Then Stuart Carnie was able to send a snippet of code that, when pasted into appDidFinishLaunching, would exhibit the same problem, duplicatable.
I was stumped at first. How could I have missed it? But at second glance Stuart did not reference any of my classes, but was only using standard SDK calls. Yet, those are almost identical to what I had wrapped into DTCoreTextFontDescriptor, my Objective-C wrapper.
Then it dawned on me: this might be a lazy loading problem. Or maybe even a bug in CoreText.framework.
Apr 27, 2011
Now that most everybody is buying into the (probably false) rumor that the iPhone 5 will be coming in Fall, the news media were only too happy to latch onto the fact that there is a database of locations on user’s desktops that could be used to infer his location information.
Last week a young cousin-in-law of mine came to me touting “did you know that the iPhone tracks you everywhere?” to which I already had formed an opinion and response. The iPhone does not track YOU. And on famous podcasts like the ones of the TWIT network you keep hearing the false information that it is indeed GPS locations that are recorded. Not so.
In this article I will debunk some of the myths so that you don’t have to stand idly by while people are talking nonsense and thus might be tarnishing the otherwise squeaky clean image of our beloved iOS platform.
Apr 19, 2011
Rarely Tweets are really worth money. But as companies become more social-savvy they find that having users “pay with a tweet” for some benefits combines the viral growth potential of a tweet with the a direct or indirect benefit. When I saw an offer on Steam to buy 2 copies of the highly anticipated game Portal 2 I added 1 + 1 and figured that probably somebody out there might be interested in getting one copy (value €50) for free.
Over the last few days I did my first TweetAway, from Tweeting and Giveaway. Let’s examine the cost versus the benefit, if it turns out that this was worthwhile then we should do it more often in the future. Let’s look at the stats from bit.ly and twittercounter to see what this gained Cocoanetics.
Apr 15, 2011
Today I felt as if all the sweating over code of the past days finally got rewarded. Multiple times over.
A new iOS update, a Lion DP2 update and an Xcode update – all with minor fixes – were showing that Apple too was focussing on this reward nexus. There was a video of gay Apple employees, that can also be considered a gift to the world. My iPad 2 arrived. I ordered an 11″ Air. Makes us wonder if there is a cosmic significance to April 15th.
Ah yes, this day, 99 years ago, the Titanic chose to hit an iceberg to escape from Celine Dion’s title song for good.
During the day we had heard a rumor that Portal 2 might be lauched today, because somebody had found a page with a countdown. That had us excited and decreased our concentration while we kept returning to the page to see if the countdown had expired yet. In the end there was another practical joke in true Portal tradition: they are promoting a “Potato Sack” bundle where the number of CPUs playing these games serve to speed up the “reboot” of the evil Portal mainframe. Long story short: My raffle continues until the official launch, you can still participate.