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App Review Advice for YouTube v2

I googled “Clint Eastwood Invisible Obama” because I was wondering why suddenly everybody is posting pictures of chairs with invisible presidents in them, hash tag #eastwooding. Of course there already was a video of the 10-minute speech to be found on YouTube, so I watched that.

The video quality bad, really bad, 360p kind of bad. I was watching it on my iPad 3 where I still sport iOS 5. This is my comfortable consumption device and where would consumption be without a YouTube client. You know, iOS 6 doesn’t have one any more. I am not referring to Mr. Eastwoods remarks when I am calling the experience painful.

YouTube is going to great lengths to prevent people from getting at the h.264 videos they are specifically preparing for iOS devices. Only the YouTube app as well as the MPMoviePlayerController’s that webviews overlay to fake embedded video know how to request the actual video data from Google’s servers. This video stream is then served as a progressive download.

The video was stalling every 3-5 minutes and frantically hacking at the play button would not have made any difference. Only if I moved the slider into the future, waited until the new position was showing and then moving it back to where it had stopped was I able to continue viewing.

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Pixate Reboots Their Kickstarter (Scandal)

Paul Colton contacted me on July 17th, a week before they went live with their first Kickstarter campaign. Always happy to support my fellow iOS developers I agreed that I would make Linguan available for a reward if they could make it work. Unfortunately Kickstarter’s rules prohibit offering of products that the project owners didn’t make themselves. So that tie-in never materialized.

Colton launched Pixate as a product that promises to allow you to use a CSS subset to style UIKit controls instead of doing that in code or Interface Builder. People who hear this tend to fall into two categories: “WTF? Keep that non-native HTML crap away from me!” and “Awesome, now I can design my UI in Safari”.

Their promise certainly is a polarizing one. I find it even more fascinating and unsettling what seems to be going on behind the scenes. The latest developments triggered my sense of fairness quite a bit and this prompted me to summarize what I feel deserves to be called a scandal.

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iCatalog+

Our partners at International Color Services (ICS) have been rather busy throughout the summer. The main reason is that we released the next major update to the iCatalog.framework, adding several new features which are nowadays a “must have” for a state-of-the-art digital catalog experience. We call it simply iCatalog+ because it offers way more than just catalogs.

Several catalog clients already have their free iCatalog+ on the App Store, you should definitely check these out.

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GIC Acquires Cocoapedia

Grupo Imaginación Cibernética (GIC), a software development company based in Mexico, agrees to acquire Cocoapedia’s brand and assets after winning the bidding on Monday, July 16th. Cocoanetics sought to sell Cocoapedia because it no longer fit the company’s focus.

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Licensing Fonts for Use in Apps

When Marco Armant talked about licensing custom fonts for use in apps I did a bit of research myself because I wanted to know the modalities available for us iOS developers.

There are many businesses based on licensing fonts for use on desktop machines as well as web apps. But just to get a general feeling about this I semi-randomly picked MyFonts.com. They also have a fabulous app called What The Font? on the app store that lets you find fonts by snapping a picture of some text.

The font business has not really cared much about apps so far, but now with a Retina display in the size of an iPad this becomes a viable target market for them, as developers are trying to get an unique look by offering great fonts for apps that you read something with.

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BinPress Contest Results

Today BinPress announced the winners of the component contest. I had the pleasure of being one of the judges.

BinPress had custom-built an internal microsite for us judges where we could download the source code and fill in a form with our judgements. That allowed me to go into the components I was assigned to and really dig into the implementation details. Sorry, but I need to be wagging my finger here, all of the ones I saw had terrible form, little to no code style, the project setup generally was a mess and documentation non-existent.

But nevertheless a ranking was possible – especially because there where other equally important judging factors besides code quality. And so the shining winners are …

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Learning from the Best: Calvin Carter

Carter

Mixergy.com had Calvin Carter, founder of Bottle Rocket Apps, for an interview that gives a great insight what made Bottle Rocket the force they are today. Carter candidly shares several amazing points that can help you improve your business as well.

Let me share my notes with you, in case you don’t have an hour to watch the interview in it’s entirety. A transcript is also available.

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The Season of Component Stores

Hammers by chazferret

My wife took my Air and so for a moment I thought I could not write this blog post without going to the office. But I turns out that a reader had donated an Apple Wireless Keyboard that was unused so far. So I only had link that to my iPad 2.

I’ve been selling component code for many months now and so it somewhat irritates me when Verious comes out of the closet claiming to be the “first market place for mobile app components”. I was about to ignore that until today – on Flipboard – I read another such announcement: Appcelerator unveils – yet another – “open marketplace to unlock mobile innovation”.

Both statements are misleading and – as somebody on Twitter put it – these companies are just trying to cash in with the iOS craze. And there are more. Let me share my thoughts.

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How Does One Make Money With This iOS Stuff?

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.

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How Safe is Square?

Innovative startup Square continues to make waves with their app and reader combo that enables small-time businesses to access payment with credit cards. Imagine somebody with a camping table and self-made T-Shirts selling these on the street. For example I would have loved a T-Shirt to commemorate 2 weeks of iPad2 queues saying “I queued for iPad 2, but all I got is this lousy T-Shirt”. Without hesitation my Mastercard would have jumped out of my wallet to make love to a Square reader and app.

But then there are the established companies which feel threatened by Square. First and foremost VeriFone, a company that apparently seems to see themselves as the sole owner of the market for processing payment information. This is evidenced by the statements made on their website. Take for example their SEO-friendly site title: “VeriFone Official Site | Secure payment solutions for credit & debit cards, EMV, contactless, & NFC”. They have vested interests in technologies that require you to purchase their products.

Let’s have a closer look what’s behind this rivalry and also investigate if there really is a gaping security hole in Square’s approach as VeriFone claims.

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