Archive for 'Mobile Safari'

Tutorial: Migrating Data

Here’s another good tutorial at MobileOrchard — my, they are on a run lately, aren’t they? — Lite To Paid iPhone Application Data Migrations With Custom URL Handlers.

Apple enforces a number of restrictions on applications in the App Store. Among the most painful is the lack of feature-limited trials. Applications are either completely free, or the customer must pay up front, sight unseen. The proliferation of “Lite” applications is a direct result of this shortcoming…

When building a game or other stateless application the approach makes complete sense. However, utility applications often maintain information entered by the device owner. Application authors are faced with a dilemma because the iPhone’s security sandbox prevents one application from reading another application’s files. Thus, when customers upgrade from the Lite application they are penalized by having to re-enter all data!

This is rather apropos, as we’ve been already planning something along these lines for migrating data from paid for 2.0 applications to new StoreKit-using 3.o applications, which is more or less the same basic problem as the Lite-to-Pro style migration they have in mind.

The tutorial goes on into exhaustive detail, but the basic idea is to use URL handlers for IPC between your application versions as we’ve mentioned earlier. We do have one additional tip to add though; they focus on using solely the URL itself to transfer data, which there’s a good chance to be problems with using for data in the dozens of megabytes like we need to do. Luckily, we have another earlier post of ours to point you at what looks like a fruitful avenue of inquiry; figure out where UIImagePickerController writes its photographs, which it seems is and is likely to continue to be necessarily a shared access folder, and stick your large temporary data in there. We’ll let you know how that works out once we’ve tried it!

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Tips: Site Design

Here’s a blog post worth reading if  you’re planning to make your website more iPhone-friendly than “yeah, installed WPTouch, there we go then”, like we’re going to get around to doing one of these days — no, really! — discussing how the dejal.com website looks so good on the iPhone. (Seriously, it does. Go check it out. A model for us all!) and most thoughtfully providing the CSS that enables all the nifty formatting discussed in this earlier post. Good stuff!

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iPhone Publishing Themes

Something for all you who have a website you’d like to not suck on the iPhone today; an impressively exhaustive roundup of iPhone optimized themes for more publishing platforms than you probably realized even existed!

 I’m sure there are, and will be, many more in the future but here are 21 publishing platforms that have iPhone optimized themes or templates. They range from blogging platforms to CMS, forum software and wikis…

Something for pretty much everything you’d want in an iPhone-cool website, indeed. And for our WebKit developer friends, the entire iPhoneized blog appears to be consistently high quality information for your iPhone work, so we recommend checking out the rest of what’s there as well!

h/t: iPhoneWebDev!

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Source: Wolf3D

Wow. Not only has His Awesomeness John Carmack ported Wolfenstein 3D to the iPhone

… he’s released the code as open source.

There’s a 5100-word development document which you can read at the official website, but here’s the short readme:

The original Wolfenstein 3D code was written in late 1991 / early 1992 using 16 bit Turbo C and the TASM assembler and targeted at 286 based MSDOS systems with VGA graphics and ideally a bit of extended or expanded memory.

I released the original source for Wolfenstein 3D many years ago, originally under a not-for-commercial purposes license, then later under the GPL.  The old code is still available in various places ( http://www.btinternet.com/~belowe/ ) but it isn’t very useful on modern platforms.  There are several open source projects that have modernized the code so that it works on 32 bit systems and can take advantage of OpenGL acceleration.  I started the iphone version with the Wolf3D Redux codebase ( http://wolf3dredux.sourceforge.net/ ), which apparently incorporated a lot of code from NewWolf ( http://newwolf.sourceforge.net/ ).

At first, I considered trying to build the iphone version as a patch, but when I decided to turn the little research project into a commercial release (and do it in a hurry), I started making more wholesale changes.  The Redux codebase had basically gutted the Quake 2 codebase and grafted Wolfenstein into it, which had some nice points, but it meant that the system code was many times as large as the actual Wolfenstein game code.  It wasn’t really hurting anything, and I considered leaving it all in, but it was such a mess that I finally flattened everything out and cut out about half of the environment code.  No attempt was made to make this project portable, although it wouldn’t be very hard to clean that up.

In the past, Id source releases did not include any data files, and you had to extract data files from a commercially obtained version of the game if you wanted to experiment with the original game data.  Because it isn’t possible for users to tear open an app bundle from the App Store to get at the data, I am including it with the source code to make it easy.  You are on-your-honor to buy a copy at the App Store before using the data. :-)  The source code is under the GPL, but the data is still strictly copyright Id Software with no license given to distribute outside this code release package or to use for any commercial purpose.  You are certainly free to replace all the data and make commercial applications, as long as the code is made available under the GPL.

/newCode/wolf The 32 bit Wolfenstein code

/newCode/env The Quake 2 derived code

/newCode/iphone The newly written iphone code and xcode project files

/newCode/Tremor Unodified ogg Tremor code for the background music

/base Game data

I can’t say there is a lot of really good code here — the wolf code is mutated, the quake 2 code is vestigial, and the new code was written in a hurry, but it does all hang together as a pretty fun game to play, and a good testbed for various things.

If anyone does build another quality commercial application based on this code, let us know, and we can probably do some kind of cross linking.

John Carmack

2009/03/20

There you go. From the hands of the master to you!

h/t: ipodNN!

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Library: baseJS

Here’s another interesting-looking iPhone-targeted JavaScript framework called baseJS for all our web writing friends out there:

Over the past 8 months or so, I created a super-light JavaScript 
framework for Mobile Safari that weighs in at less than 8KB (plus 
another 8KB if the visitor is on iPhone 1.0 framework). 
It provides helper methods and encourages an object-oriented approach 
to writing JavaScript web applications for the iPhone. It is currently 
used on a few iPhone sites for an international bank/credit card 
company (under NDA, but if you read source I’m sure you could easily 
find it)…

An introduction to beta 1 
http://paularmstrongdesigns.com/weblog/basejs-a-mobile-javascript-fra… 

Beginning baseJS with Selectors and Events 
http://paularmstrongdesigns.com/weblog/beginning-basejs-selectors-events 

Project page: 
http://paularmstrongdesigns.com/projects/basejs/ 

Unfinished Documentation: 
http://paularmstrongdesigns.com/projects/basejs/docs/ 

More options are always better!

h/t: iPhoneWebDev!

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Library: jQTouch

Here’s an up and coming library for you Web people out there to keep your eye on: jQTouch!

Coming Soon: A jQuery plugin with native animations, auto list navigation, and default application styles for Mobile WebKit browsers like iPhone, G1, Storm, and Pre.

Nice to see people taking advantage of the new WebKit animations so quickly. If you have the Safari 4 beta, take a look at the preview here. Looks pretty darn near iPhoneish, doesn’t it?

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iPhone site design

If you’re involved in writing web pages for the iPhone, here’s some thoughts from people who learned their lessons putting together an interface for a pretty popular site:

A few weeks ago we released a version of the Flickr site tailored specifically for the iPhone. Developing this site was very different from any other project I’ve worked on; there seems to be a new set of frontend rules for developing high-end mobile sites. A lot of the current best practices get thrown out the window in the quest for minimum page weight and fastest load times over slow cellular connections.

Here are a few of the lessons we learned (sometimes painfully) while developing this site…

Good tips on both UI design and technical limits. Read and learn!

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iWebKit 3.0

Here’s a note for all of you doing iPhone-friendly websites: iWebKit, a nifty collection of Mobile Safari goodies for doing Apple-style iPhone-friendly web pages is now updated to version 3.0.

- New music list
- New item list
- New item list with images
- slide effect as a plugin
- Blue buttons on touch/click
- bug fixes (example: having no space at the bottom of a textbox)
- rebuilt topbar image so it doesnt “dive under” the navigation bar in safari
- added the removal of the url bar and image preload in the download pack
- fixes a bug where the url bar would go up 1px too much
- visual fixes
- removed the <li class=”break”> tag since it was not used well
- worked on the computer site (like the integration section)
- rebuilt m.iwebkit.net to be more reflective of iwebkit’s power.
-some minor changes in the overall code

Looks good, works well, free to use. What more could the aspiring mobile webmonkey ask for?

h/t: BraveNewCode!

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Standalone Web apps

Now here’s a tip for doing native-appearing Web applications for the iPhone that an AppleInsider reader found: simply add

<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes" />

to your Web page code. Then, once the user adds it to their Home Screen, it’ll launch in full screen without the Safari chrome visible. Demo can be found here.

That’s a pretty nifty feature for any WebKit-writable project you may have in mind, indeed!

h/t: AppleInsider!

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Case Study: iPhone DZone

Not news: The folks over at developer news site DZone have done a site design for the iPhone.

News: And to go along with it, they released an exhaustive case study on how they went about doing it using the iUI toolkit!

The iPhone has been all the rage lately, from complaints to praise it has all been heard. Whether you hate it or love it, the fact remains, as a developer you cannot ignore it. And here at DZone we could not ignore the chance to provide even more means by which you can access your development links. In this article I will share with you how we went about recreating DZone for the iPhone.

And as a bonus, they let you download a sample chapter “SDK Programming For Web Developers” from the upcoming iPhone in Action book, in NDA limbo along with everybody else’s books, still. However, it does look like a worthwhile book; we’ve got ours on order, and we figure you should check it out as well … and if you like it, order it — from the Under The Bridge Store, of course!

h/t: iPhoneWebDev!

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