Posts Tagged 'Programming'

HockeyKit

So no doubt you remember that last ad hoc distribution post where we thought the Hockey framework looked pretty interesting? Well, if you were following @hockeyapp you noticed today

Introducing HockeyKit: a rewrite of Hockey, the iOS Ad-Hoc updater. New UI, more features & basic Android support http://hockeykit.net/

Definitely looks worth checking out if you like to run your own betas, code is on github; and if you don’t, apparently there is a hosted service planned with signup landing page here.

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Tip: Device Console Logging

Did you know that you can access the system console log from an iOS app? We did not know that. Here’s the detailed explanation:

Accessing the iOS System Log

But briefly, the trick is that the Apple System Log facility is present on the device, as you’d probably expect, but you might not have expected that asl.h is in the official SDK if you go browsing about /usr/include … and the chances are pretty good you wouldn’t have expected that apps that use it would get approved by the review team. But as there are shipping apps that use it, apparently it’s totally legit. A logging facility would be pretty handy to build into our ad hoc builds, indeed!

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Design Inspirations

So we’ve mentioned examples of bad design lately, but it would be more productive to have examples of good design to refer to, wouldn’t it? Conveniently enough, sites to help you with that seem to be springing up all over these days; starting from the collection in this post, here’s some good ones:

Pttrns@pttrns

236 app screenshot examples in 32 categories as we write, from “Activity” to “Wooden Shelves”.

Mobile UI Patterns

Similar idea to pttrns, app screenshots collected into categories.

TappGala

This one categorizes by app type, not task type, but likewise a collection of the pretty and shiny in app UI.

iOS Inspires Me

Contains icon, website, and miscellaneous resource sections as well as app UI examples

iOSpirations

Breaks out iPhone and iPad app, game, website inspirations.

Design then Code

A collection of tutorials and resources that look pretty darn good, check out these recommendations for starters.

So those sites all look worth keeping track of. Moving on to specific articles on design, check out

7 Hot Trends in Mobile App Design

How To Create Great Looking iOS Apps Even If You Are A Design Noob

The 3 Ingredients of Successful iPhone Apps

How UX Can Drive Sales in Mobile Apps

And for a couple vaguely related to design things that are worth reading too:

Hits By Design

Taking the Advantage with App Store Screenshots

Sharpen Your Blink Test

Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: a cognitive teardown of the user experience

As always, Dear Reader, if there’s anything you think should be added, let us know!

h/t: @globalmoxie, @Dylan_Beadle, @joe_carney, @chockenberry, @renderplace, and everyone else we forgot!

UPDATES:

Couple more design showcases from this post: TapFancy™, Well-Placed Pixels

12 Eye-Catching iPhone App Websites: Plus Resources to Start your own

And more screenshots: LovelyUI – a collection of mobile UI elements

More design showcases: Pointed.co, Mac Apps That Rock

Top 18 iPhone App Design Inspiration For 2012 That Really Rocks

“Steal Good Stuff” – iOS Design Pattern Collections

IICNS – Pretty icons!

27 Must have iOS Design Resources to Bookmark

iOS Icon Gallery

The 20 hottest trends in app design for 2012

50 tips for designing brilliant iOS apps

How I Data Mined the top 300 paids apps to create Tehula’s icon

Showcase of 40 Insanely Detailed iOS Icon Designs

This Year’s iPhone Design Trend: Side navigation

35 Mobile and UI App Design Inspiration

UX Archive

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App Checkin: Appboy

Well, this is intriguing; these guys decided to cross Foursquare with Game Center, kinda:

AppBoy Releases A Check-in SDK For iOS Apps

/// Now, straight from the “What Took So Long for Something Like This to be Released” department, mobile developer community site AppBoy has released an iOS app check-in SDK.

The SDK requires pretty simple integration. Once wired, users can check-in to apps in much the same manner they check-in to locations on Foursquare. Check-ins can be pushed out, of course, to Facebook and Twitter.

AppBoy included additional functionality that helps developers reward users in contests. Badges are available for most check-ins during a contest, for timing-based check-ins (for example, the 50th check-in past a certain hour), and for checks-ins closest to specified times…

Another article here explaining why you’d want to do this:

Appboy Takes on the Discovery Issue with App Checkins

At the very least, it seems to make more sense than the Facebook/Twitter bloviating code that people keep insisting we put into their apps, ignoring my confident prediction they’re wasting time and money, and then are shocked to find nobody uses.

Besides, how can you not want to apply to someone with a CTA button like this?

Screen shot 2011-03-11 at 10.41.13 PM.png

Heh. We’re not completely compelled, but we are rather intrigued. Any of you Dear Readers take a shot at deploying it, let us know how that works out for you!

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iOS-Couchbase

So you don’t like the Dropbox data synchronization idea we’ve been talking up lately for your iOS apps? OK, how does a native CouchDB grab you then?

Couchbase Releases Developer Preview of Its CouchDB for iOS Package

… Mobile Couchbase is a package of Apache CouchDB designed for iOS. It is pre-Beta right now, but we are taking the wraps off the source because we’ve had an application that uses it approved by Apple for sale in the App Store. We are soliciting open source contributions and feedback from users…

Who’s Couchbase, you ask?

Membase, the leader in production-ready, high-performance data stores, is used by the world’s busiest web applications including Zynga, because of its simple, fast, elastic architecture. Apache CouchDB is truly loved by developers for its RESTful interface, incorruptible storage, world-class sync and mobile development platform.

Couchbase is the name of both our new company and our new product family. Apache CouchDB document database technology is at the core of our combined solution. Membase, with its integrated memcached caching technology, adds technology enabling dynamic cluster elasticity and sustained low-latency, high-throughput data operations. Couchbase becomes the only document database capable of safely storing your data whether stored on a single server, or spread across hundreds.

Only Couchbase technologies scale from AOL-sized data center clusters all the way to smartphones. Only our solutions meet the needs of developers and conform to the mission-critical demands of ops teams. And as users increasingly access applications via smartphones and tablets, we alone are able to support the entire range of interactivity and connectivity…

Well, that’s certainly got some awesomeness potential inherent, doesn’t it now? If you’re excited enough to check out what is definitely a work in progress judging from the release notes, head on over to github!

h/t: @rentzch via @kwigbo!

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Xcode 4 Migration

So no doubt by now even if you are hiding under a rock you’ve heard that Xcode 4 is the default download with the iOS 4.3 SDK, so if you’ve been putting off looking at the seeds like we have … now’s the time to upgrade! And here are some resources to help you with that, beyond the obvious ones at the mothership and in the WWDC 2010 videos.

First off, read this — as advertised, super mega awesome — review by Martin Pilkington:

Xcode 4: the super mega awesome review

So it is finally here. Xcode 4 has been released into the world and we are now allowed to talk about it. As my review of Xcode 3.2 went down really well I thought I would have a go at reviewing Xcode 4 in depth. I’ll also be publishing other posts over the next few days going in to some of the bigger changes since 3.2 in more detail and hopefully helping you migrate. I’ve also put in radar numbers for all bugs and feature requests, so you can file duplicates or so any of the Xcode dev team reading this can find them…

At writing time images had been removed due to excessive popularity; fireballed version here if that’s still the case for you.

If you like screencasts, Pragmatic Studio has six of them here to introduce you to various features:

Bonus Tracks tagged ‘xcode4′

You will almost certainly want to print yourself out a copy of Cocoa Samurai’s

Xcode 4 Keyboard Shortcuts

If you aren’t subscribed to the xcode-users list, you might want to drop by the archives to see what informative tidbits pop up the next little while. Like this one for instance:

… I proceeded to install it over my current installation. After the installation, I was still able to find IB plugins that were now appearing as standard directories, since Interface Builder is gone. Well, maybe I should retract what I just said. It does seem that the installer package correctly removes Interface Builder but it also seems that it “forgets” some obsolete files as well. I then proceeded to uninstall the developer tools with the script, then re-installed Xcode 4. I saved around 3GB over the installation that was done over the existing Developer directory…

If you’d like a book, there’s one coming from Peachpit, although hopefully their writing quality is better than their predictive ability:

… Here’s my not-so-surprising prediction: Xcode 4 will likely be released to the masses alongside Lion sometime around Summer of 2011…

Given that, not surprising that today they tweeted:

… Xcode 4 has been released. In other news, Josh is writing faster …

… Author’s current status: http://t.co/r2gNjkZ / http://t.co/KyPceD2

Heh. Good luck with that!

That’s about it we’ve noticed so far; any other resources, intros, hints, tips, or tricks to add, Dear Readers?

UPDATES:

If you’re an AppKiDo user — try regular or iPhone interim builds, or visit github for source.

A minimal project template for Xcode 4

Well-taken documentation rant; note the pointer to the Ingredients documentation viewer.

Video: How to setup XCode 4 and GHUnit to do TDD on iOS

If you really *really* need to … Using ppc and 10.4 SDK With Xcode 4

Xcode4: make a library in one file that works on BOTH device AND simulator

Using Git Versioning inside your XCode Project

Xcode 4 Tips and Tricks at Stack Overflow

Xcode 4 Performance Tips at Stack Overflow

Xcode 4 Hidden Features at Stack Overflow

Top 10 Annoyances XCode 4 Fixed For Me

Objective-C Singleton Template for XCode 4

Xcode 4 versions of Solarized Color Theme; and xcode4themes github repository

Creating Static Libraries For iOS

How to create an IPA (Xcode 4)

Can’t symbolicate XCode4 archive builds?

Show TODO’s and FIXME’s as warnings in Xcode 4

How to check memory leaks in XCode 4? is a gentle introduction to Instruments

Fixing Xcode 4′s symbolicate utility to get comprehensible crash logs

About XCode 4 Project Template

Creating custom project templates in Xcode 4

Automating Xcode 4 Template Generation

Clearing Xcode 4’s Derived Data

Creating Custom Xcode 4 File Templates

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Beginning Android

So since yesterday we talked about execrable user interface design, that’s a natural leadin to talking today about … porting to Android!

We kid, we kid. No, wait, no we actually don’t. Let us take a look at the app under discussion:

Screen shot 2011-03-08 at 11.39.51 PM.png

Kinda like the process is “take a clean straightforward design, and bring the suck”, isn’t it now? Just for starters, any UI convention for handhelds that puts the navigating tabs far away from your thumb as you hold the device is wrong. Just … wrong.

Any-ways, natural ickiness aversion aside, it’s a worthwhile article if you’re even vaguely interested in getting some introductory guidance on how to go about porting your awesome iPhone apps to other, lesser, platforms:

Beginning Android for iOS Developers; or, How to Build a Real-World Android App

Sadly, I’ve been trying to do this for far too long. I kept putting learning Android off because no one had written a resource for us iOS developers on how to start swinging both ways. Well, I finally got some time to sit down, shut up, and get to it. Here are the results:

Well, personally, we wouldn’t consider “far too long” to be an appropriate term to use in this context unless compared to, oh, the eventual heat death of the universe, say. But if you absolutely have to learn something about programming Android, hey this is a most excellently written piece that’s absolutely the best place to start!

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UIDickBar

Some more light amusement today: No doubt you’ve heard about the rather poorly received UI enhancement to the latest Twitter client, yes? Well, that “dickbar” meme started by John Gruber just seems to be running away with itself.

So that’s a mild chuckle there. But some people — namely, @digdog — took it to the next level, an implementation on github:

UIDickBar, An Awful Idea

We’ll just copy the feedback quotes there, these are great:

  • “Never laughed so hard at a GitHub page.” – @jordanekay
  • “UIDickBar is f-ing awesome!” – @lynkynpark86
  • “Awesome – you too can now easily drive your users mad/to other apps with no effort at all.” – @mdales
  • “This whole #dickbar thing is getting out of hand! (love the screenshots!)” – @lieven
  • “Want to kill your iOS app ? Here is UIDickbar.” – @romac17
  • “I’m laughing my ass of xD” – @smarag
  • “We really need one indeed, and then you can stick a UIDickBar anywhere in your app as easily as you would put a Share button.” – @damiendeville
  • “For the luvapete, don’t ever use this.” – @objectivec
  • “The best screenshot on Github.” – @stevestreza

Even more we like the features list:

  1. Look like real #dickbar.
  2. No fancy animations.
  3. Support rotation.
  4. Support Blocks.
  5. Use UIDickBar to get tons of one star reviews, priceless.

And as we write this, it’s the #1 trending repos on github.com, no less. Now that’s an instant classic!

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Dropbox Storage

So remember we looked at cloud syncing and figured the Dropbox option looked like a good one? Well, it does to other people too, and if you’re one of them, here’s a reasonable sounding suggestion for coexisting nicely with all those other people:

Add The Power of Dropbox to Every App

… My proposal, is that we create a folder in the Dropbox root called

.apps

as a central repository for third party app data. From there you use a reverse domain name system similar to your bundle id, but instead of dots, use new directories, and only use lowercase. So keeping with the 1Password example [a file called “.ws.agile.1Password.settings”], they would store their data in

.apps/ws/agile/1password/

This will be consistent for their iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac OS X and Windows clients. All of their 1Password apps will be able to find the data regardless of system being used. Any data that is system specific can be stored further down the hierarchy.

This system should keep everything clean, organized and out of view of the user. Windows users will still see the .apps folder but at least it’s just one folder and it’s name should make it’s meaning clear to most users…

Sure, sounds like a reasonable suggestion to us, we’ll go with that. And you should too!

h/t: @kwigbo!

UPDATES:

From @jessegrosjean, here’s an open source iOS/Dropbox library on github!

Now this is serious Dropbox leverage: Frenzy – The Dropbox powered social network.

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Comic Relief

So, all you developers out there banging away on your apps … check out these videos for a chuckle:

5 New Ways to Build Apps for iPhone, Android and Web Browsers

Five start-ups unveiled services for building mobile applications and Web services this week at DEMO Spring 2011, bringing application development capabilities to the masses – or, at least, to people who lack traditional programming and mobile development skills…

Um, yeah. That’s going to work. Let’s pick a snippet about each, shall we?

… “MobileNation allows anyone to build apps for Android and iPhone. Anyone – you, me, even my mom,” Pedler said. “MobileNation is all browser-based. We don’t use any plug-in technology. Everything is point-and-click, drag-and-drop. There is no programming required.” …

… [Bizness Apps]’s “Small Business iPhone and Android Apps” service helps customers build apps in 20 minutes and manage them for $40 a month. It also gives businesses the ability to publish those apps to the official iPhone and Android app stores…

… “We have the first commercial platform-as-a-service for HTML5 and JavaScript development,” said [Ajax] CEO Ruben Daniels. “This will impact everyone building cloud, mobile and social apps. Everyone here releasing an app will do so with Cloud9, and do it in half the time.”

… “ApSynth targets development of Web applications, rather than mobile, and provides its own market for users to publish their apps”…

… “Rather than help customers build stand-alone applications, ScreenReach gives them a way to develop “real-time interactive experiences,” which can then be consumed by end users through ScreenReach’s own Screach mobile application…”

Take a read, watch some videos. Be prepared to bounce around between “now where did they get the idea this was going to work?” and “people actually have given them money for this? Seriously?” But perhaps we are too cynical, and one of these will indeed live up to the grandiose expectations delineated above. If so … hey, you heard about it from us first!

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