Posts for 'Development'


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iComics v1.1 released!

December 1, 2014 •

Blimey. Sorry it took so long to write this! For the last two weeks, it’s been a flurry of updating the site, sending out press releases, and responding to a mountain of user feedback, so I finally got the time to write the release announcement. XD

So! Done! After 521 days since the last update, iComics v1.1 was approved by Apple and made live on the App Store. 521 days is an absolutely ridiculous amount of time between updates to be sure, and I plan to a post-mortem of what happened at some point, but hopefully with the new look and feel, coupled with the new features, most people can agree it was worth the wait. I’ve already started getting some reviews in, and so far, they’ve all been resoundingly positive. Thanks a lot everyone!

Here’s some of the new stuff that’s included in iComics v1.1: Continue reading

TOWebViewController – An open source web viewer for iOS

July 27, 2014 •

Here’s a neat little thing I’ve been working on lately. :)

When it comes to building apps for iPhone and iPad, there’s often a design requirement in quickly displaying web pages to users, without needing to kick them out to another app in the process.

One example of this is social media apps; ones that deals with massive amounts of user-posted content, often with links attached. One of my most favourite apps on iOS, Tweetbot, handles this incredibly elegantly.

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iComics v1.1 Sneak Peek

June 15, 2014 •

Blimey. It’s been a fair  little while since my last post on iComics’ development. Since starting the crazy task of re-designing the entire app to the iOS 7 design aesthetic in February this year, I’ve already started to tease a few pictures of my progress here and there along the way, mainly uploading them to my Instagram account. But after a few emails from people asking for some proper clarification, I figured an actual blog post of the current progress might be best.

Alrighty. So here’s how iComics v1.1 is going! :)

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The State of iComics – Jan 2014

January 29, 2014 •

Since it’s been a fair few months since I’ve put out a new update for my little comic reader app project, I thought I’d quickly do an update on what stage it’s at.

At the moment, I’m aiming for finishing iComics version 1.1 (Shiny new picture above).
Some of the major features I plan to have in version 1.1 include:

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Disabling Timer Coalescing in OS X Mavericks

January 25, 2014 •

If you’re an iOS developer, and you’re still developing apps that support iOS versions below iOS 7 (Like I am), then you might have noticed after upgrading to OS X Mavericks that the iOS 6 Simulator runs absolutely terribly. EVERY single animation in there runs at an incredibly choppy frame-rate, which makes most kinds of app testing relatively useless.

Today, I learnt from a little birdie that the reason for this issue is due to the new Timer Coalescing feature, introduced in Mavericks:

In OS X Mavericks, Timer Coalescing groups low-level operations together, creating tiny periods of idle time that allow your CPU to enter a low-power state more often. With its activity reduced up to 72 per cent, the CPU uses less energy, giving your battery a break too. This happens so fast you won’t notice a thing. And your Mac still gets just as much done just as quickly.

Apple – OS X Mavericks – Advanced Technologies (January 2014)

It would seem to make sense that as a result of Timer Coalescing, the timers that power the iOS 6 Simulator animations are getting coalesced themselves, and this is resulting in the strange behaviour (Curiously enough, the iOS 7 Simulator is fine though!).

In any case, apparently there is a console command that lets you disable Timer Coalescing across the system:

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The Talking Pokédex App

October 4, 2013 •

Back when I was working on iPokédex, I had a pretty lofty, outrageous end-goal for the project: to get it to replicate the experience of a Pokédex from the TV show as closely as possible. Given the device on the TV show was a complete fantasy device in the year of 1998, I found the concept of owning a device with the remote possibility of realising that in 2008 incredibly exciting.

That being said, there was one aspect of a functioning Pokédex on iOS that was never quite possible for me to implement: the ability to synthesis audible speech.

Now, iPhone and iPad have had built-in speech capabilities since as early as iOS 3.0 (Well, iPhoneOS 3.o back then) . At that point, it was mainly used for accessibility purposes (So people with poor eyesight could interact with the devices), but it became way more exposed when Apple brought out Siri in iOS 5.

Unfortunately, the speech synthesis API has always been a private one, meaning it’s not normally possible to use it without a small bit of hacking, and even still, if an app containing it was submitted to the App Store, it would instantly get rejected by the automatic submission process.

Nevertheless, I had a play with this private API back in 2011 to see what it could theoretically be capable of.

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