Finalist in Best Tablet Edition in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards

Our app, 2 For Couples, built in concert with 2 For Life Media, is a Finalist in the 2012 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. Fingers crossed we’ll find out at the Awards on Oct 23, 2012.

Three of the apps that we developed together are also featured on the iTunes App Store.

Please wish us luck and congrats to the team:

2 For Life Media Inc.
Neil Morton, Editorial Director
Lisa Walker, Creative Director
Diane Hall, Publisher
Charles Kim, Digital Designer
Kate Drummond, Assistant Editor
Karen Hall, Copy Editor
Tim Mitra (iT Guy Technologies), Developer

Follow 2 on Facebook, Pinterest and their 2 For Couples web site


Controlling iTunes Wifi Sync – unwanted apps

Here’s a quick post about those pesky apps that keep coming back!

I spent an hour this morning trying to remove unwanted games on my iPad (set to sync wirelessly). Yet they kept reinstalling a few minutes later.
If you find that apps you uncheck in iTunes keep coming back with subsequent syncs, try unchecking “automatically sync new apps”. It seems that iTunes doesn’t honor you choice to remove the apps and re-installs them as ‘new apps”. We have several iOS devices and would quickly run out of space with all the apps installed!

New Game: BianSeLon coming soon…

Our iOS Game based on Xavie’s Chameleon idea is coming soon. We are just putting the finishing touches on and waiting for the translators to finish up. The Game will be on the iPhone for a couple of bucks (or less). So stay tuned.

The name is based on Chameleon. It loosely based on the Chinese name:

In Chinese it is pronounced as biàn sè lóng

Game Center Scores not showing up

I just spent a few hours trying to figure out why the scores in Game Center were not showing up. Thankfully someone suggested that it is a caching problem within Game Center. Logging in as a different user or and/or using OS 4.3 in the Simulator solved the problem. Hopefully you don’t spend too much time trying to figure this out.

iPhone OS sounds too loud? Try This…

If you find that your iPhone sounds are too loud, there is a workaround. Normally using the volume control buttons only adjust the ringer volume and has no affect on the “system sounds”. So if the internal volume is too high alerts will be annoying – for instance when you receive a text message alert or unlock the iPhone.

To fix it, open the iPod or Music app (formally iPod before iOS 5) and play some music through the speaker. No matter what the volume is currently set at, make a small adjustment. The system volume will be set to this new setting.

Must be a bug or an oversight in Apple’s design, because as far as I know there is no other way to adjust the internal sounds volume. Perhaps some game you were playing boosted the sound (Bad developer! Bad!)

Update (May 1, 2020). Surprisingly this is my most popular post. Apple added “Change with Buttons” to the Sounds & Haptics in the Settings app. That should adjust the volume of your alerts sound volume.

Great Update to a Great Book – Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass, Adam Preble

Cocoa Programming on OSXCocoa Programming for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass, Adam Preble

I have read several books by the author, Aaron Hillegass, and seen him speak live. He’s a great resource to the iOS development community. I am also an intermediate Objective-C developer, team leader, have published several apps to the App Store and also instruct beginners on iOS development. Whether you are looking to get into Mac OS X or IOS development this book is a great addition to your library.

To begin with it focuses on the latest version of Xcode and iOS 5 which includes ARC (Automatic Reference Counting) which is a huge time saver for development. Without ARC you had to manage the memory allocations for your own objects – take my word for it, a PITA if you are new to Objective-C. The book has been updated to work with more code automation in Xcode, using drag and drop to make connections to outlets and actions – another huge timesaver. This is one of the first books on the market to include those. For a beginner or intermediate coder using older books on earlier editions can be very frustrating.

The style in Aaron’s books is that he dispenses with the hand holding approach of most of the books I’ve read. Other books give you a step by step instruction as you go through the things you may want to learn. That approach actually impairs your ability to actually learn. The Big Nerd Ranch approach is to show you how to do something, by dealing with just one or two key concepts at a time. Then they immediately challenge you to put together what you’ve learned so far. This is completely optional, but a great concept for learning. If you find the challenge too difficult then you may want to review what you’ve learned previously.

I’ll admit when I read the Third Edition I was more of a junior dev in Objective-C and found the going rough sometimes. That was the challenge of the Objective-C learning curve – not the book. Now that I am more familiar with Objective-C, I find that the fog is gone and both editions make sense. This Fourth Edition is a great tool to get up to speed on the new concepts in iOS5 and Xcode 4. If you are just getting started or need to polish your skills, I highly recommend this book.

Fix – ITC “No eligible applications were found.”

It took a bit of digging to find the fix for this. I regularly upload applications for different companies to iTunesConnect. Imagine my surprise when I could upload an app to my own account. I found lots of threads helping Windows users but none for Macs.

The solution, on Mac OS X, can be done one of two ways. You can delete the .plist files in ~/Library/Preferences/ and/or
I’m not sure which one applies but it forces Application Loader to run the “Set Up Wizard…” again (“Set Up Wizard…” can also be run from the Window menu.)

After which you will be prompted to log in with the correct Apple ID again.

Publishing on the iPad

The App we built for 2

So here we are more than halfway through the year and over 5 million iPads sold. Consumers are rapidly snatching up all the available iPad and iPhone 4.0 devices as fast as Apple can make them. As a publishing professional you’re asking yourself what does this mean to me? What impact does this have on the publishing industry and how do we as publishers get involved?

Released to the public in April 2010, the iPad platform (aka iOS 4) has taken digital publishing by storm. If you have used an iPad then you already know that it is more than a big iPhone, digital book, Internet browser, or device for accessing digital media. If you’ve been following my articles you’d know that this is a revolutionary device and it’s causing a paradigm shift in several information industries.

Users of the iPad are looking to you as publishers to deliver content they desire in this new medium. Of course this is not just limited to Apple products but it is also pending the release of new digital devices and smart phones by other companies – who are scrambling to catch up with the release of their smart phone technologies and tablet devices. So how do you get your content into your reader’s hands?

Smart media devices all support Internet-based browser technologies and can access content online that is tailored to these devices with technologies such as HTML 5, CSS three, JavaScript. Simply adding a bit of tagging and creating custom style sheets for your website will transform content for these mobile devices. Open source publishing platforms such as WordPress and Joomla can use templates designed to optimize the display of the content.

AppleScript, Automator, and MacOS X Services can also be used to automate and build web ready content. Using Apple’s free development tools a competent web developer could build a web-based applications with a Dashcode. DashCode apps can then be converted into xCode – the application that is used to create native MacOS X and and iOS applications for the iPhone and iPad.
Apple has created its own digital reader for the iOS devices called iBooks. The iBooks Store is used to publish digital books in the ePub format. Applications like InDesign can export pages into this format. You can distribute your iBook publications from your own website or distribute for profit through Apple’s iBook store. Resources like available to help you self publish.

Starting at $99 a year, you can become an Apple developer and be able to publish applications to actual devices like the IPad. Once you become a registered developer and pay the fees you can submit applications for approval to Apple’s App Store. If Apple approves your iPhone app, they will distribute the application through the App Store.

Native iOS apps are written using Objective-C. There are many resources available to get you up to speed. Several books have been published in physical and digital form that teach users to build apps. Online resources available such as and Apple’s developer website offer learning materials online.

If you’re not already an experienced programmer learning Objective-C has a steep learning curve. The TapLynx framework, among others, help build basic apps in xCode. Frameworks will help you build real iOS applications without having to learn Objective-C.

You can also look into hiring a developer to help you build a app. Simple applications range from $2500 to $10,000. More sophisticated apps take many months to develop and will cost even more. Experienced developers can be hired for between $80 US and $160 US to either consult or develop your application. Single dedicated developer can cost a around $6500 US per month.

It is both an exciting time and a nerve-racking time. Publishing on ink on paper has been under pressure for last 15 years or so. The Internet has eroded any kind of profit-making and now the iPad presents an opportunity to deliver content to an end user who will be willing to pay for that content. Or at the very least advertisers will want the opportunity deliver their message along with your content. If you’re producing a magazine, newspaper, the list of services or even a real estate listing the iPad is proving to be a revolutionary publishing platform. You owe it to yourself to explore the opportunity for yourself and your clients.