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LuckyWheel 1.1.0

Lately LuckyWheel has been seeing wonderful growth in a couple of markets as I am able to see on Applyzer.

Applyzer Growth

New Player Screen

That was enough reason for my partner Michael and me to give the UI a major pimping and add a couple of bonusses some of users have been wishing for a long time.

  • Fixed: Continue Button might not get enabled even though continue is possible
  • Fixed: If player finishes round the bonus and score would not be shown correctly
  • New: UI Look redesigned
  • New: Play now against 1 or 2 AI opponents with random difficulty level
  • New: Question language can now be chosen from inside the game

I’m especially proud of the latter two. Inventing a good AI that is a challenge to play against is really hard. And the language selector is a scroll view which you can switch either with two arrow buttons on either side or with your finger.

It’s been submitted to Apple today, let’s see how long they are taking now to approve updates with the 3.0 rush going on.

We have one more thing planned for the update after this on. I want to redo the score screen and show this after each round. So if you hit the bankrupt field you only lose the current round’s points. Also I will to some more animations there. As usual let us know what

UPDATE  June 16th

Of course I missed something that Apple could use to reject the update.

Thank you for submitting LuckyWheel and LuckyWheel Lite to the App Store. We’ve reviewed LuckyWheel and LuckyWheel Lite and determined that we cannot post these versions of your iPhone applications to the App Store because of an Apple trademark image. We want to remind you of the importance of following Apple’s posted Guidelines for Using Apple’s Trademarks and Copyrights: <http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark/guidelinesfor3rdparties.html>

As an example of my trademark infringement they attached an image similar to the one above with the new player setup screen. Can you guess what their problem is? It’s the icon symbolizing a computer player! Apple does not like that it looks like an iPhone. We’ll have to think of something more original to symbolize switching between human and computer player.

UPDATE June 26th

After 10 days of waiting (probably Apple being swamped with 3.0 updates) LuckyWheel 1.1.0 finally got approved.

Detecting Internet Connectivity

For the latest version of GeoCorder Apple required me to show an alert if there was not internet connection. This is meant to prevent “user confusion” which would occur if the user is expecting something to happen staring at his screen, but nothing happens because of lack of data connectivity.

There is a good example from which you can steal the technique, but it took me some experimenting to find the right mix. For some reason that escapes me the regular connectivity check would only work within the sample, but not in my own code.

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WWDC 09

I’ve been watching the WWDC Keynote presentation together with a couple of friends and one other iPhone developer and here’s the general consenus: We are disappointed. But are we righteously so?

Most of the otherwise exciting news was leaked to the public in the weeks preceding the event which unfortunately caused expectations to be way too high. Apple can do magic, but some things just take time. Like a fully recovered Steve Jobs or even a 10″ Mac Tablet we have been lusting for.

These where the biggest surprises that where met with a certain degree of enthusiasm:

MacBook Line Refresh

  • All Unibody MacBooks are now called “Pro”, dropped in price and get better CPUs
  • SD-Card Slot is now standard
  • The return of the Firewire port
  • The new “7 hour battery” technology not found in all Macs

Safari 4

I’ve been using Safari 4 for a while now but I had a problem where I would not be able to insert links into articles on my WordPress dashboard. But since I updated to the release version of Safari 4 I am happy to report that this problem is gone.

Safari is the fastest and most standard-compliant browser currently available. There is a strict benchmark called the Acid 3 which gives Safari 4 a whopping 100 out of 100 points. Safari 3 scored 76 and the new Internet Explorer 8 even less.

Also the performance of Safari when it comes to rendering and JavaScript is way ahead of the competition. Ah, and btw there are 150 new features. I especially like the new coverflow search of your browsing history. A great method to quickly find a page you recently looked at by typing a few words.

Snow Leopard

The name similarity might be meant as a hint as to the similar 64-bit underpinnings of OSX between the current version Leopard and the soon to be released Snow Leopard. The general theme is to squeeze every additional drop of performance out of the hardware. In Leopard the built-in apps still where 32-bit, but now they are recompiled with 64-bit causing a slightly better performance.

So there is special support with a new technology built into the core named “Grand Central Dispatch” which cares to more efficiently distribute loads between multiple cores. And with OpenCL it is possible for the first time to also use the graphic processing unit (GPU) to offload specific processing tasks.

Quicktime X is the newest version of Quicktime, the video playing and recording infrastructure in OSX. Again, the focus is on additional performance. Many people got annoyed that they needed to pay extra for Quicktime Pro, but this is now a thing of the past.

What I list most, personally, is that now Exchange-compatibility is complete. In Leopard you need Entourage to access your Exchange calendar and contacts. With Snow Leopard no longer. This is great news for people like me who has the family on Exchange as well as people would take their Mac to work because now they can work as an equal without having to install Microsoft Office.

There are also a couple of additional new things related to Exposé and Stacks.

But the greatest thing is Apple’s impeccable timing and pricing. Existing Leopard users get the update for just $29 in September, one month before Windows 7 is being released. The family license will cost an enormous $49.

iPhone 3GS

A great video tour on the iPhone is available on the Apple website.

  • Faster
  • Better Battery
  • Better 3 Megapixel Camera with Auto-Focus, or tap-to-focus for close-ups
  • Video Recording, Editing, Sending (MMS, E-Mail or direct to YouTube)
  • Voice Control (Press-and-hold Home) for dialling or controlling music playback with voice synthesis feedback
  • Magnetic Compass, Google Map now orients in correct direction you are facing
  • Digital Compass

OS3-specific (i.e. for all iPhones)

  • Copy&Paste
  • Voice Memos
  • MMS (finally, but who needs it?)

Summary

So in summary we CAN be happy with Apple, we’ll got a free new Safari and will get the new iPhone OS in the next two weeks. It’s again a good time to buy a new Mac right now because for $29 it does not pay to wait to get Snow Leopard with a new machine. And the new iPhone 3GS is just compelling enough to nudge speed and feature freaks to shell out.

On the minus side there are a couple of things that still take some time. I am phrasing it like that because we still want to see: Steve Jobs’ return, a Mac Tablet or Mac Netbook and maybe something really mindblowing.

Right now Apple does what every smart dealer of drugs for the technophile is doing: Give a little more every time there is a Keynote presentation. Up the dosage without overloading the audience. And on this strategy they have delivered once again.

Wait a Week

Moshe asks:

“How can make my app show a message 1 week after an event? I want to show an alert view the first time the app is launched after at least 1 week has expired and the event is still true.”

This technique can be used for any kind of action you don’t want to do right away or somehow should be based on a value determined in a previous run of your app.
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Sending E-Mail Attachments

Ravikumar Gajjavelly asks:

I want to send email It contains image as an attachment.How can we send am email.how to attach image.can anybody please give solution.

When creating my app GeoCorder I was faced with the exact same dilemma of needing to attach a file to an email. I did some research and this is what I found.

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Applyzer

While I was concentrating on being newly wed, Michael Dorn launched his app ranking service Applyzer.com into an open BETA phase. Because he is no putting all his development efforts into this site he has deprecated AppRanking for FREE which has been available for download from the Dr. Touch blog.

Applyzer is now looking for about 100 people to help test the new server and database. Participation will be for free during the BETA phase, after this time free apps’ data will stay free, paid apps data be available for a small monthly fee.

The BETA phase is scheduled to run until June 30th.

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Honeymoon

Mr. and Mrs. Touch are away on a short honeymoon in Bad Blumau Thermal Spa.

Thank You for all your happy wishes and congratulations. I believe that most of them belong to my wife Britta for becoming more important to me than all my Apple devices. (At least long enough to say my vows)

I’ll see you all when I get back to Cocoa surgery, training and frantic coding now with always-on Wedding ring.

Advanced Sorting of NSArray with Functions

I’ve already discussed previously how to sort NSArray with descriptors and selectors. Even how to unsort it i.e. shuffle it. You can use descriptors to sort by KVC-compliant properties. Selectors you would use if the objects contained in the array have a comparison method themselves.

For those special cases where you neither have properties nor a suitable sort method built into the objects to be sorted you have to resort to the third and last method of sorting an NSArray: with a specialized sort function.

For two projects I need to sort an array of NSDictionaries. Here I’ll show you how I did it.

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State of the Art in App Cracking

ARTeam ReportARTeam, a group of hackers who – according to their homepage – specialize in reverse engineering released a 29 page report titled “Patching Applications from Apple AppStore with additional protection” that shows the state of the art on iPhone app cracking.

This report was released in partial secrecy on May 16th on the ARTeam download page. No blog article. No announcement. It was only stumbled upon by a German blogger who on condition on anonymity provided it to me after I asked nicely. The report even has a section about “licensing”.

All code included with this tutorial is free to use and modify; we only ask that you mention where you found it.

Ok, I told you where I got it. Now let’s see what goodies it unearths.

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Target-specific Headers

Often you will add multiple targets to your project file to build variants of the same app. For example if you have a Lite version or Ad-sponsored variant using the same source code you would definitely save yourself a lot of work having a single project and then multiple targets.

While I was helping a colleague merging three projects into one we found it impossible to assign headers to single targets. You can assign source code, images and lots of other file types, but why oh why no headers? How would we make sure that from 3 Constants.h files always the correct one would be used?

There are of course methods out there which propose to either have a script replace the headers or use an ugly contruct like this:

#if defined(TARGET_1)
#import
#elif defined(TARGET_2)
#import
#else
#error Must define a TARGET macro!
#end

I you you too are cringing from seeing such code. Surely there must be a more elegant solution. I searched, and I found not one but TWO.
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