Posts Tagged 'Programming'

Data Entry Screens

Here’s a worth reading post on how to make data entry screens that center the current entry field above the keyboard by simply using a UIScrollView, instead of the mess of hardcoded animation blocks that we’ve been using up ’til now:

How To Create A Data Entry Screen

Couple problems with the code as presented, but read to the end of the comments and apply the keyboard notification responses there and you’re just about good!

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UITableViewCell from nib warning

If you’ve been reading for a while you might recall this post about loading your UITableViewCell layout from a nib. Or perhaps you stumbled across that somewhere else, or even came up with it on your own; well, if you have been doing that, turns out there’s an additional wrinkle you need to be aware of:

… The key here is that the CellIdentifier value must also be entered into Interface Builder, like this:

UITableViewCell-Identifier.png

If you don’t do this, then UITableViewCells will not be reused. (A telltale sign of this is that you’ll see lots of “creating a new cell” log messages.) There is no compiler or runtime warning if you fail to enter this critical piece of information into Interface Builder. So that log statement can be a useful warning…

Yes. Yes, indeed, if you have several thousand items in your list, and you’re loading directly from the nib each time, that could be very very bad. Be careful out there!

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Compleat UI Design

OK, we’ve mentioned various UI design helpers here and there before: but this, this is veritably canonical.

iPhone and iPad Development GUI Kits, Stencils and Icons

Within this post you will find complete GUI kits and stencils, iPhone GUI elements and PSDs and finally a collection of the best icon-sets perfectly suited for the iPhone…

Right up to date with the iPad GUI PSD we mentioned a little while ago, so looks like that’s the best current reference to point your Photoshop-using artist friends at.

h/t: @mattgemmell!

UPDATES:

How about Apps-on: Post-It notes for your iPhone design? (h/t: iPhoneFlow!)

Or MobileSketchbook.com’s iPad Stencil, to go with their iPhone version?

Or just download some iPad & iPhone Sketch Paper PDFs.

Or try iPhone Wireframe Kit – Google Docs online.

Like to do your prototyping on the actual phone? Check out Dapp.app.

And here’s a newer roundup: 11 UI Kits for iPhone and iPad Development!

And one to start out 2011: 50 Free iPad, Iphone Icons, Tutorials and PSDs

These Keynote/Powerpoint templates look interestlng: Keynotopia

This presentation/prototyping tool could be good for client work: Realizer

20 Free UI Kits For iPad Development

iOS 5 GUI PSD (iPhone 4S)

Useful Collection of iOS Tools and Resources for Designers

30+ tips to improve your iOS design workflow (in Photoshop)

Rounded Rectangle Radius Resizer

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Libraries & Frameworks

So if you’ve tried to create static libraries and/or frameworks to share between your iPhone and desktop app versions, no doubt you have noticed that the process is fraught with peril, to put it mildly. Here are a couple of fine tutorials to help you out with that:

Universal Static Libraries

Making Your Own iPhone Frameworks

We’d manage to puzzle out non-universal static libraries on our own, but the frameworks, ah now that is the really tricky bit. We do rather like the closing comment

… I find this whole thing really fascinating and once you understood the parts to the whole process it does not feel that difficult any more …

Well, we’ll agree that following the provided instructions isn’t that difficult, yes. Compared to how difficult it should be to do this, that’s another story!

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Google Analytics

So chances are that you have some vague awareness of Google Analytics, even if only at our level of click, click, and there’s Google Analyticator plugged in and doing its magic of letting us know that you, you average person you, view 1.30 pages/visit during your 00:01:43 average time on site, and other such utterly not fascinating trivia which presumably there might be some reason we might care about someday.

But whatever, it’s more interesting to get some feedback on how people are using your app, and if you want to use Google Analytics for that too, here is a very nicely detailed walkthrough for you:

How To Integrate Google Analytics Tracking Into Your Apps In 7 Minutes

Of course, we would be remiss to not promptly point out that you may not want to do that at all, as the other big change in the latest Developer Agreement that most Flash-fixated fellows have forborne to comment upon so you might have missed, is

… Device Data may not be provided or disclosed to a third party without Apple’s prior written consent. Accordingly, the use of third party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited…

It’s not 100% clear what exactly qualifies as “Device Data” … but we’ll be sure to keep you as top on it as we are!

h/t: iPhone OS Development Blog!

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Flash on iPhone

Okay, all you Flash-lovers, this one is for you.

Flash on iPhone is now a possibility. Sort of.

The Gordon JS library aims to provide a javascript interpreter to replace the Adobe Flash runtime. The advantage is existing Adobe Flash documents will bypass the Flash runtime itself (which is what is banned from the AppStore) and instead directly execute through Javascript, which is allowed…

All our best with that!

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Particle Designer

Here’s an amusing way to while away some time: Particle Designer 1.1, a tool for designing — and sharing! — particle emitter configurations for the iPhone:

  ParticleDesigner.png

The idea behind this is

… I decided to create a desktop app that would allow you to visually design your particle emitter.



In SLQ the particle emitter is configured using an XML file. The Particle Designer I’m creating allows you to play with all the different settings supported by the ParticleEmitter class and then creates the XML config file. This file can then be used inside your iPhone projects that use the ParticleEmitter class.

This has taken playing with particles to an all new level and I’ve spent WAY too long just playing…

Yes. Yes, indeed, playing with these has a quite remarkably gripping quality to it. Right now that’s all it’s good for actually, you can’t save your designs until the tool goes commercial — but the sheer shininess that this particle emitter stuff adds to your interface is going to make it worth pretty much whatever they charge, we have no doubt!

UPDATES:

UIEffectDesigner designs effects showable easily in UIKit or OS X apps!

How to create particle system game effects with UIEffectDesigner Part 1 of 2

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Things To Read

Hmmm, it’s been a few days since we’ve stumbled across anything that struck us as worth making a note of here. Obviously, we are not reading widely enough, are we? Well, courtesy of The Flying Jalapeño Lives, here is what we’re pretty sure is the closest thing on the web to an absolutely exhaustive list of things that we should be following more closely:

Development Links: Redux

Yes, quite the veritable plethora that. Why, it’s so exhaustive it even includes us! And waaay down at the bottom note the handy

And if you would like to add these straight to your favorite feed reader, here is the OPML file:

google-reader-subscriptions.xml.zip

Lastly, I used this little web app to parse my opml file.

Or if you just change the extension from .xml to .opml it imports nicely into NewsFire for instance, but if you have an RSS reader you like much better hey feel free to share it with us; but whatever you use, that list should ensure that you never run out of iPhone development browsing material when we’ve dropped off the grid!

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Source: iPad Dashboard

Here’s your daily dose of niftiness; this clever spark created an iPad version of Dashboard.

Inspired by Apple’s Dashboard application for Mac, Dashboard for iPad has been completely rewritten for iPad. It brings the ability of running multiple mini-applications, widgets, to all iPad users. With access to any of the existing Dashboard widgets for Mac available to download right within this application, you can quickly add several fun and functional widgets to your Dashboard.

Yep, that’s pretty cool alright:

Screen shot 2010-04-14 at 11.13.33 PM.png

Sounds like something you’d find handy, yeah? Well, not in the opinion of Apple. Boo, hiss.

Alas, Cupertino has now rejected the app for “contradicting the iPad’s user experience”, whatever that means…

Cha. Yes, sometimes they are genuinely annoying, aren’t they. But hey, at least you can run it yourself if you like, since the author has been kind enough to opensource it on GitHub!

h/t: TechCrunch!

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The Great Section 3.3.1 Debate

So no doubt you’ve observed the great spectacle of frenzy over the infamous Section 3.3.1 (there’s a T-shirt in there somewhere, I know it) of the latest developer agreement:

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

… with reactions from the profane to the pedantic to the metaphysical to the insightful to the whoa, dude.

Rather than weigh in one way or the other on the emo angst surrounding the apparently imminent demise of not only Flash Packager but also Corona and iPhoneWax (Lua), MonoTouch (C#) and theoretically even scriptable engines like Unity, we’d like to draw your attention to the pretty much completely overlooked point of exactly what is explicitly allowed. Specifically, JavaScript.

First observation is that leaving that as an option means you can completely throw out every “it’s all about the money” or “Apple wants to stop cross-platform development” argument immediately. As we’ve mentioned before, HTML5 apps are completely cross-platform, you can avoid the App Store with them, and Apple has gone to a fair bit of trouble to make the offline HTML5 app experience pretty darn close to a native code application experience. So several whole classes of anti-Apple rant are rendered moot right there.

Explicitly blessing JavaScript in this section, though, that seems to imply that frameworks using HTML5 to deploy App Store versions of cross-platform apps is not only tolerated but specifically consecrated. (Given the … fervor … surrounding the issue, religious imagery seems appropriate.) At the very least, it certainly cements the resolve we’ve been mentioning here and there to get familiar with this alternative sooner rather than later. And despite what some commentators are saying, it appears that proudly cross-platform App Store-targeting JavaScript-based frameworks like Titanium and PhoneGap and NimbleKit and Rhomobile [EDIT: Oops, Rhomobile is actually Ruby, they might be out of luck] and other miscellaneous bits are not just allowed, they are actively encouraged.

Indeed, we have word that Apple sees it that way too, at least for PhoneGap:

[ Update:: April 13, 2010 ]

I have received word from Apple that the above is STILL true! If you were concerned by the recent changes to Apple’s iPhone developer agreement, this has ZERO impact on PhoneGap!

Apps built with PhoneGap will continue to be reviewed based on their own merits and NOT dismissed/rejected because they use PhoneGap.

So enough with the crazy speculative rumour mill. Let’s get back to making apps with HTML+CSS+JavaScript.

PhoneGap ftw!

So there you go. You want to develop cross-platform apps, you have one already sanctioned environment and others that look like they’ll probably be deemed equally acceptable to do that. You want to focus on the iPhone, far as I’m concerned Apple is actually doing you a favour by keeping all the Flash gits out of your way. Either way, there is no problem here.

And one last thought for those that are still upset:

If Flash is such a great platform -it’s actually not bad but not that good either- go ahead and develop these killer apps on Android or WinMo7 whenever that comes out. With killer apps being available on competing platforms making a huge difference Apple will simply change the clause and allow you in. They’re not stupid.

Indeed. If you’re absolutely, totally, convinced that this is a bad move on Apple’s part … well you go right ahead and prove that!

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