Our DNA is written in Objective-C

Moving from Individual to Company

Most iPhone developers start up next to a full time employment by getting signed up for the Individual iOS Developer Program. For my recent workshop I researched the various kinds of programs that Apple offers and what the differences are.

I omitted the column that was titled “Registered Developer” since it did not have any  benefits besides being able to download the current stable Xcode version.

Here is an overview of the subtle differences and how I got my Individual account changed to a Company account.

Read more

Audible Bows to App Submission Rules

Just wanted to briefly share with you that Audible.com is now also giving into Apple’s much criticized app review guideline that forbids linking to a web-based shop from within your app:

11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected

Audible just e-mailed their customers explaining their workaround. I am posting this because it is an example of how you can work around this annoying restriction.

Read more

It’s the 5th Generation, Dummy!

There’s been much brouhaha – especially by the German media – about how disappointed everybody is about the iPhone 4S. No new look. Only better camera and better CPU. Ah and there’s this voice recognition which Android’s been having for years.

I beg to differ, massively. I am stoked, ecstatic about the iPhone 4S. Let me share my thoughts on why this move by Apple makes perfect sense and why not just iPhone newbies and 3GS owners will buy it.

Read more

Keynotes Like a Boss

When the Carinthian branch of WKO – a public office supporting the local economy – contacted me to hold a workshop at a tech fair I jumped at the chance. Not just because I like the limelight, but also because it was my first opportunity to make extensive use of Keynote.

I had only played a bit around with Keynote so far, but did not have any reason yet to put together a full slide deck, animations and all. It took me a day or so to figure out all the features of Keynote I needed to make my presentation worthy of one representing Apple. To top it off I was wearing a black T-Shirt with a white Apple on my chest.

Due to bad weather we had less than half of signed up people actually attend the workshop, so I was able to include several of the attendees and their personal reasons for looking into app development. Funny, how I feared that I could never fill 4 hours with interesting material. Only to find out that I did and I ended perfectly on time.

Read more

Steve Jobs’ Final Launch

Steve Jobs was never one to leave anything to chance. He even timed his own ascension to a higher plane to fall on the day after the 5th generation iPhone was publicly unveiled.

Mr. Jobs will be missed. The kind of biological problems that shortened his life span are no way to go for a tech god. If only medicine had developed at the same pace that he furthered the digital lifestyle, then I am sure we would have lived longer. But alas the working of miracles is still only the domain of iOS devices and Macs.

Read more

May the 4S be With You

Apple CEO Tim Cook gathered a handful of select journalists into the so-called “Townhall” room at the Apple HQ in Cupertino. Interest in this event had reached a fever pitch with most of the world expecting a new iPhone to be launched, “iPhone 5”.

It so turns out that there WILL be a new iPhone, but as if to mock the pundits it is not called number 5, but 4s. But first – while everybody started getting nervous – Cook and team told us how well Apple is doing.

Let’s review the important announcements.

Read more

Getting Ready for the iOS 5 Launch

With the iOS 5 looming there are a couple of items that you will need to look at to have your apps ready for the public availability of iCloud and the OS. Let us review.

Read more

Avoiding Image Decompression Sickness

When starting to work on our iCatalog.framework I stumbled upon an annoying problem, the same that you will face if you ever need to work with large images. “Large” meaning of a resolution sufficient to cover the entire screen of an iPad or potentially double that (horizontally and vertically) when dealing with Retina Resolution on a future iPad.

Imagine you have a UIScrollView that displays UIImageViews for the individual pages of a catalog or magazine style app. As soon as even one pixel of the following page comes on screen you instantiate (or reuse) a UIImageView and pop it into the scroll view’s content area. That works quite well in Simulator, but when you test this on the device you find that every time you try to page to the next page, there is a noticeable delay. This delay results from the fact that images need to be decompressed from their file incarnation to be rendered on screen. Unfortunately UIImage does this decompression at the very latest possible moment, i.e. when it is to be displayed.

Since adding a new view to the view hierarchy has to occur on the main thread, so does the decompression and subsequent rendering of the image on screen. This is where this annoying stutter or pause is stemming from. You can see the same on app store apps where scrolling through something stutters whenever a new image appears on screen.

Read more

One more Speculation

Much will be clearer to us on October 4th, but let us pause a moment and wildly speculate about what’s happening behind the scenes.

Amazon revealed their new touch-enabled Kindles as well as an Android-based 7″ tabled, called the “Fire”. Steve Jobs personally always poo-poo’ed the notion of anything smaller than the iPad form factor, the new device is generally seen to be a frontend to the “Amazon Cloud”, that is the heaven Amazon.com will be in when users let themselves be locked into the Amazon ecosystem versus the iTunes one.

Read more

Perfect Diversion for iPilots: AR.Drone

When the online Apple Store started to carry the AR.Drone that was one of the quickest orders I ever made. Hey, it’s just $300 and as an iOS developer you can expense it touting that you plan to write your own remote control app for it given that is has an iOS API. Or so goes the reasoning. We need some bit of reasoning to offset the otherwise awesomely emotional purchase, right? (Also available on Amazon.com)

I did not dare to do an unboxing video as I usually do with iToys because I figured I needed to learn to fly this thing first or otherwise that might be quite embarrassing to watch. Several weeks have passed now and I never got around to documenting my experiences I made. Until now.

So let me summarize all you need to know if you are considering getting one of these flying pieces of amazing engineering as a creative diversion next to your programming workdays.

Read more