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Knowing that File Protection Works

In one of our business-specific apps we wanted to activate File Protection. But how do you know if its turned on and actually doing its job?

We even spent a tech incident (of two you get from free every year) to inquire how we could be certain if the feature is actually working. Though unfortunately Apple did not have any answer for us because there is no way to actually test this with “legal” means.

Our first thought had been to copy the app documents to the desktop via Xcode organizer. But of course you can only do this while the iDevice is unlocked and thus even file-protected files come across normally.

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Summertime 1.2.0

Our Summertime is a handy little tool that shows you when the next DST switch is in your local time zone.  The newest version brings these improvements:

  • Fixed: Cannot search for timezones that have a space.
  • Fixed: Some missing Time Zone localizations
  • Fixed: Text alignment issues with longer count down durations or Time Zone names
  • Fixed: Time Zone names not getting updated if system language was changed
  • Fixed: Broken Reminder function
  • Changed: first page is now always the local time zone
  • Improved: Scrolling Performance in Timezone selector

There were some other “crufty” things that we addressed behind the scenes. The project was converted to ARC and the import process for localized timezone names was parallel-ized to achieve the much improved scrolling performance.

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Radar: Scroll Direction setting linked for Mouse and Trackpad

It is understandable to have this ominous “Natural Scrolling” setting for trackpads. And that there is a separate such setting for mice. But I don’t understand why Apple would like these two settings, because somebody working on a laptop might want to use the normal way to scroll with his mouse’s scroll while while using the “natural” setting for his trackpad.

Filed as Radar #12236447 and cross-posted on OpenRadar.

Updated March 6th, 2013: “Works as Intended”

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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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Telling a Tale … Where Download-Code Sucks

I’ll be the first to admit that I love what Telltale Games have done to the long ago diseased adventure game genre. I played the Monkey Island Games via Steam, got Wallace & Grommit even though I don’t even possess a PC (unfortunately not available for Mac) and I loved the first episode of “The Walking Dead” on my iPad.

A mere 14 hours ago Telltale released the second episode for iOS but it turns out that their episode downloading code is utter crap. Much to my frustration because I am trying to get this episode for playing for around 10 hours now. It is quarter to 11 pm and I have reached a point where I need to vent my chagrin in a blog post.

If only to tell a tale how NOT to construct code that downloads many hundreds of megabytes.

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Great Apple Support

I have a collection of all iOS ever made, all iPhones, all iPod Touches, of course the iPads. I call it “my museum”. Though only the oldest are actually on display since the newer one are all in use. Of the iPhone 4S I even have 3 in active use, though when all my users will have moved on, I’ll sell away all but one to also take its honorary position.

My 3GS was in use by my Cousin-in-law who I am sponsoring to interest her in a career in tech. She’s got a website where she does iOS tutorials as well as app reviews. So I am seeing that – however far – related to my business and thus can justify the expense. It greatly pained me when I learned that the volume button had jumped off the device. “Dropped? Me?! NEVER!”

Thankfully I was able to get it restored to better-than-before mint-ness. This is how.

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NOT a Radar: Missing IR Remote Settings

I was about to file a second Radar from out latest AirPlay Experiments. When I was remote-controlling the AppleTV my colleague complained that stray radiation was also changing his speaker volume. When we looked at his Security Settings we couldn’t find the settings to disable IR.

But the solution was not to file a Radar and proceed to sulking. The problem lay in my own ballpark.

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Radar: AirPlay broken if only connected display is VNC

I got an AppleTV for our office and brought over my old Sharp TV which is able to display 720p well enough to be used as a presentation display via AirPlay. When I tried to use AirPlay to display the desktop of a MacMini server I discovered this bug.

The workaround at the moment is to use the AirParrot software which has no problems displaying the desktop. I filed it as rdar://12167290  and mirrored it on OpenRadar.

Update Nov 7th: Apple closed the bug report as a duplicate of rdar://11782381.

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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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Time-Limited Demo of Our Components

I’m happy to announce today that we will begin to make available test versions of our components so that you can try them out in your apps. This is possible with the help of our Jenkins build server which installs a “time bomb” on every nightly build of the components. This limits the utility of the static universal frameworks to 30 days of testing. Of course you can download a new copy as often as you like to further extend the testing time. But you cannot publish any production apps with that.

Our best-selling component is DTRichTextEditor and also by far the most complex because of the multiple sub-projects. Here’s a guide how to get set up for evaluating the component.

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