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.

Cocos2d 2.x vs iOS 7

A quick note about getting lots of errors when building your cocos2d app under Xcode 5.1 and iOS 7.1. It took me by surprise  after updating Xcode, so I thought I post this.

Cocos2D 2.x is not 64-bit ready. So you will need to set your Architecture to 32-bit.

Select your target.
Choose Build Settings.
Change the Architecture to $(ARCH_STANDARD_32_BIT).

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 12.38.02 PM

 

Xcode – Missing content in Quick Help Inspector found!

For the past couple of months, I have not been able to see any content in Xcode 5’s “Quick Help Inspector” pane. Having googled around and asked other senior developers, I could not find a solution to the mystery. I almost resorted to the most helpful suggestion – wipe the screen with a damp cloth.

I just discovered the solution by accident (I suppose I could have read the documentation or watched an online video  course.) However I just discovered the solution… in any Inspector pane you can hide or show the content by double-clicking the section title. (A really annoying feature IMO!) I had just happened to notice that hovering over the hidden section will reveal a “Show” quick tip, which disappears in short order.

So I’m posting this article in case any other developers are stumped by a missing section in Xcode.

Quick Help Inspector content hidden
Quick Help Inspector content hidden
Quick Help Inspector content revealed.
Quick Help Inspector content revealed.

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.

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 lulu.com 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 Lynda.com 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.