Supporting StoreKit Affiliate ID in iOS 8 w/o breaking iOS 7

As you may already know, iOS 8 finally supports loading a StoreSheet complete with your Affiliate ID. This way you can keep users in your app without sending them over to iTunes or App Store apps and still get commissions from Apple. However if you want to support iOS 7 users (for the time being) you will need to load the Store Kit Product Parameters with the playlist only – or your app will crash. So naturally check for NSFoundationVersionNumber to test for version iOS 7.1 or 8.0 and load the correct parameters.

You can watch the WWDC 2014 Video about this new feature.

Here’s the code using contstants to hold IDs for your playlist, affiliate and campaign IDs.

– (void)openAppStore:(id)sender {

    // Initialize Product View Controller

    SKStoreProductViewController *storeProductViewController = [[SKStoreProductViewControlleralloc] init];

    // Configure View Controller

    [storeProductViewController setDelegate:self];

NSDictionary *parameters;

    if (floor(NSFoundationVersionNumber) <= NSFoundationVersionNumber_iOS_7_1) {

        // Load resources for iOS 7.1 or earlier

        parameters = @{SKStoreProductParameterITunesItemIdentifier:kPlaylistID};

    } else {

        // Load resources for iOS 8 or later

        parameters = @{SKStoreProductParameterITunesItemIdentifier:kPlaylistID, SKStoreProductParameterAffiliateToken:kAffiliateID, SKStoreProductParameterCampaignToken:kCampaignID};

    }

[storeProductViewController loadProductWithParameters:parameters completionBlock:^(BOOL result, NSError *error) {

if (error) {

NSLog(@”Error %@ with User Info %@.”, error, [error userInfo]);

} else {

            // Present Store Product View Controller

            [self presentViewController:storeProductViewController animated:YES completion:nil];

}

}];

}

 

Overexposed and the Attack of the Clones

IMG_1317Our 5th installment of the More Than Just Code podcast is now available. In this episode we discuss the impact of the leaked nude celebrity photos, apparently stolen from their private iCloud accounts. Beyond the social issue of these lady’s privacy violations, we discuss the nerd’s perspective of how to access and strengthen your passwords with apps like AgileBits’ 1Password app for desktop and mobile devices. We also touch on 2-factor authentication for online accounts.

Mark sent in some photos of a mystery building that Apple has set up on De Anza College in Cupertino, near where the Sept 9th Apple Press Conference will be held. We all speculate on what products will be revealed and what their impact will be. Will it be a new iPhone 6, iWatch or AppleTV.

Jaime brings forth an new example of iOS 8’s extensibility in the form of a custom keyboard from Minuum. Mark brings up Swing Copters again and Tim dives right in. Aaron praises and laments the Overcast podcast app. Tim discusses the new Star Wars Commander app and compares it to Clash of Clans.

[button link=”https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mtjc-podcast-podcast-about/id906987516?mt=2″ bg_color=”#cf93cf”]Listen to the Podcast Here[/button]

Episode 5 Show Notes:

Google 2-step authentication
FaceBook Tweaks
Celebrity photos leaked
Creepy Men
How to step up Two Factor Authentication on iCloud
TechnoCreep by Thomas Keehnan
Minuum Keyboard
App Annie App Ranking, Intelligence & Marketplace
iPassword for Mac
iPassword for iOS
Star Wars Commander
Swing Copters

The Other App Store – EP #3 of the MTJC Podcast is out.

dennis-2The third installment of More Than Just Code is out. In this episode, we dig into what it costs to develop an app, from the developers perspective. We add in some specific challenges and benefits for remote working – the access to skilled developers and app creationists vs the benefits of working in an office environment; complete with pin-ball foosball tables and BBQs.

We discuss the latest game installment from Dong Nguyen creator of Flappy Birds. How the app, Swing Copters, is being introduced and how and why Flappy Birds works and went viral. This leads us to Tom Hanks (and @AppleStore) getting behind Hanx Writer for iPad. Aaron then climbs the soapbox the explain how the Other App Store promotes and perpetuates the class differences between large interests and indie developers.

We then misguidedly (as usual) discuss Aaron’s blog post on the limitations of size classes in iOS 8. Jaime and Aaron give us their App Picks of the week (Grafio and Camoji). We congratulate Mark on Scales & Modes Scales & Modes for iPad being featured on the App Store (other?) and Tim’s debut on RayWenderlich.com – a tutorial site for developers of all levels.

You can find the podcast here.

Enjoy

Episode 3 Show Notes:

Craig Hockenbury Stackoverflow How much does it cost to develop an app
Chiu-Ki Chan @chiuki – Intro to Android for iOS developers – 3601Dev 2013
Remote: Office Not Required” by 37 Signals
Hitcents (builders of Hanx Writer)
Limitations of iOS 8 Size Classes (correct please)
Grafio app by Ten Touch Ltd.
Camoji app by Leo Me, Inc.

Announcing: Tim’s first article on RayWenderlich.com

I’m pleased to announce that my first article is being published today on raywenderlich.com. The RW blog is focused on producing high quality programming tutorials geared toward all levels of developers so that “we can all make awesome apps“. I have been following the RW blog since I started developing apps, around 2010 or so. I’ve been proud to support the RWTeam and blog as a student by buying their publications and singing their praises. I am extremely proud now to be contributing to the growth of other developers by contributing to the site:

You can find my premier article here:

How to Make Game Music for Beginners

Enjoy!

IMG_0162

Sneak peek at the upcoming MJTC Podcast

Here’s a sneak peek at our brand new podcast: More Than Just Code.

Each week, Aaron VeghJaime LopezMark Rubins and myself, Tim Mitra, will convene across the continent and discuss iOS and Mac development.

In the first episode we discuss:

  • Brent Simmons kicking off a firestorm of discussion around being an indie iOS developer.
  • A discussion of Jared Sinclair’s blog post on his indie earnings.
  • New technologies and frameworks announced at WWDC: Swift, adaptive layouts, CloudKit
  • And some type of fruit device you may or may not be sporting on your wrist.

Here’s the URL to the feed. You can launch iTunes on your desktop, select Subscribe to Podcast and paste in the URL:

[button link=”https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mtjc-podcast-podcast-about/id906987516?mt=2″ bg_color=”#cf93cf”]Subscribe Here[/button]

The podcast will be available shortly in the iTunes store (fingers crossed)

Comments are welcome below.

Solution Development – we make the app for that

Your Idea to App Store

 

We help you build the ideal app,
get it to market effectively & grow your brand

At iT Guy Technologies we help our clients get their ideas on the iPad and iPhone. We can assist you with publishing your apps; help you build them or build them for you. Our staff of iPhone application architects, engineers and developers will see your application through from concept, design to published and installed on iPhones and iPads around the world.

iPhone and iPad App Development
Extend your marketing message with iPhone applications. Apps designed as a compliment to your web or publication offering. Drive traffic to your web site or clients to your store. Continue reading “Solution Development – we make the app for that”

App Store or iTunes Store account set up error – not Admin

“You are not a member of the Administrator group”

If you are trying to set up a new iPhone or iPad device,  you may come across this obscure error. It happens because you may have tried to create an Apple ID during the initial set up or on boarding. (Personally I skip this step. I use a different Apple ID for iCloud and iTunes accounts.)  While you are setting up a new Apple ID, you are asked to enter a valid email address. However before you can use the ID you have to verify that you can access the email account. Apple sends a verification email.

After you have tried to use your newly minted Apple ID to make a purchase without verification, you will get the “You are not a member of the Administrator group” error. Check your email and respond to the verification. That should solve the problem. You may also need to go to a desktop computer and search from MyAppleID and finish the verification.

There is one more thing…

When you do go to make your first download (even for a free app) you will have to enter your credit card information.

4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an App

About 10 to 15 years ago, it seemed that every company needed a website. A few years later, the growing popularity of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn companies needed to have a presence of those sites as well. Currently nearly every one of your clients has a smartphone using some sort mobile app. For many businesses, having a business app on a smartphone is more and more a necessity. Which begs the question; does your business need an app?

1. Branding

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailUndoubtedly branding is possibly the biggest reason for your business to have an app. Not simply a rehash of your web site but an app that reinforces your brand and your company’s promise. More and more loyal customers are accessing information via a mobile device. They look of your information on web searches, or on an app that aggregates and lists business services; apps such as, Yelp, Apple Maps and Google Maps. Whether you know it or not your customers may be creating reviews  and providing information to future clients through these social network aware apps. Without your knowledge your brand could also be suffering from unfavorable reviews.  Worse it could lose favor through bad online experience for a site that doesn’t fit well on to a smartphone.

By creating your own app you have the opportunity to control your own brand and make sure your marketing message is clear. An app gives you the opportunity to provide a more compelling experience to your clients. Your products and services wouldn’t escape your potential clients notice. It is your opportunity to curate your future clients impression of your brand.

2. Client Services

Creating a pleasant client experience through an app is a way to provide customer information, and build client loyalty. Many industries have come to create apps to provide extended services to clients. Built in services like Apple’s Passbook allowed Airlines, Movie theatres, Concert promoters to provide ticketing services through easy access for smartphone. Passbook and similar services can also be used to integrate client loyalty rewards.

Starbucks introduced an app that allows users to load up cash online and pay for services by flashing their smart phone. Pizza and fast food companies enable users to build and place orders through an app. Apps and services like Über, have turned the taxi and private car industries on their ear. By allowing taxi cabs and black cars with spare time to respond  to clients and get fares that would otherwise go unused. Cab drivers love it because they know they are going to get paid and passengers feel secure as drivers are rated and known by name.

Positive customer engagement though these types of connections are great for retaining existing customer and building relationships with new clients.

3. Business Process

JHIEvery business has some process or industry knowledge that can be transformed into a compelling app. These processes can be developed and even streamlined through the ubiquity of smart phones. Enabling clients to make informed decisions can actually help businesses. The previous example, Über, enables cabs to get fares without centralized dispatch services – cutting out the middle man, so to speak. Actually the Über becomes the middle man. A smart app can enable and empower field agents by giving them tools to use away from the office. Insurance agents and instantly provide client quotes. Service personnel can be dispatched based on knowledge provided through look ups on a smartphone app. There are many new tie-ins to hardware that can report to or be controlled by mobile apps, to expand your business offerings.

Mobile apps can enable staff to monitor services, manage business process and customer support. Tying in back end systems, gives your front line staff access to marketing information, customer support information and other resources. Field agents can download the latest updates on your products and services. They can also create work orders and provide timely service to your clients and prospects. It can be a simple as what’s currently in your restaurant’s wine cellar or as complex as creating an insurance quote.

4. Getting Feedback

Clearly another benefit is getting feedback from your customers. Knowing how your business is perceived in the market is invaluable to any business. Providing a form or simple buttons could ask the client to provide a review, a star rating or add a fee suggestions. Thanking a client for positive or negative feedback goes a long way. Rewarding a client for there efforts adds kudos to your business. Often new clients are gained through referrals from past clients.

An app that connects to a back-end service can also provide some metrics about your business. Recently this author was involved in apps that provided localized content. Surprisingly the apps were far better received in European and Asian markets. Rather than relying on online store downloads (the equivalent to measuring a web site’s page hits) the apps provide insights that redirect future marketing efforts. Stories abound on successful companies who were surprised to find that their clients weren’t who they expected. The successful brands adapted to new found knowledge and redirected their product offerings to their new fans.

Getting Started

witz-tagline-4cIf you think your ready to get started creating an app, there are a few approaches you can take. Technologies seem to run in 10 year cycles, so that puts us near the middle age of native app development. If you’re the do it yourself type, you can read some books, such as the Big Nerd Ranch Guide – 4th edition for iOS, or their new Android Programming guide. They also offer one week long courses in the US and Europe. This author also teaches iOS courses at Witz Education in Toronto. There are also some great conferences you can attend; Apple’s WWDC, Apple’s iOS Tech Talks, 360iDev, CocoaConf, NSNorth among many others. They cover the how to’s and the business of apps and app publishing.

There are also plenty of independent development companies who can consult on the viability of your app and even lend their skills to your pursuit of an app.  Our own company provides these services. You can also look for a local chapter of Cocoaheads, or on Meetup. The bottom line is that the resources are there for you to get started.

Writing apps to work with twitter – avoid 403 error.

I’ve been working on some social networking apps, by following examples. It’s really frustrating to find that the authors haven’t tested their code, before, during or after publishing. So here are a couple of things I’ve found.

If you are attempting to post or read from Twitter’s API, you must use HTTPS.

Hopefully, this will save you some head scratching.

WWDC 2014 Keynote – what to expect

I posted a couple of images to the WWDC 2014 Glassboard page, for a couple of WWDC 2014 first timers. I’m reposting them here for those of you who haven’t heard about the board.

You can join the WWDC 2014 Glassboard discussion here: http://bit.ly/wwdc2014glassboard

Keynote line up and Badge pickup – I checked the timestamps on my photos from last year’s keynote. If you can pick up your Badge on Sunday. The line up starts early in the morning – I mean early! We went down at 6 am last year to join friends who lined up at 11pm Sunday. Apple let us into the building to line up on the second level at 7:15 am. There’s coffee, juices and pastries. We had to wait in the crowded halls until 9:30 am when they let us into the main room for the the keynote. Like others have said (I couldn’t find the old thread) you can line up after 9 am and you might also get into the main room. Lining up for the keynote is an experience like no other (except maybe the line up to Star Wars Episode VII). If you can travel down with some other devs, meet some in the line up. You can pick up your badge on Monday morning, but get it out of the way on Sunday if you can.

line2

the keynote line is on the right side and wraps around the building. The line up on the left is the Monday morning badge pick up line.

 line3

 This is the front of the line inside at 7:20 am.

escalator

Going up the escalator at 9:30am (WWDC 12)

keynote

This is a close as you can get. Those seats in front are the VIP section. (those are friends who got moved up to VIP with their boss)

steve-wwdc

This was Steve at the keynote. Again from the second row, behind the VIPs. c WWDC 11?