Coming Soon: iOS Development Cheat Sheet

I haven’t posted here for a while as I’ve been very busy with my own iOS development. What I discovered is that as my memory was never particularly fantastic, I was always referring to comments I’d written or posts on StackOverflow among many. So I started writing a cheat sheet which has all the important points which any iOS developer would find essential, especially beginners, as there is nothing like this out there at the moment (I urge you to write a better version that this).

 

This is essentially what it will look like but web optimised obviously. (Note: iWork ’13 is terrible, I will downgrade to ’09 when I have the chance)

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No ETA yet.

iPod Shuffle (1G)

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So, I randomly bought it at a Cex shop for £15, a 512mb iPod shuffle 1st generation. At first I thought it was broken however I used the oldest earphones I have and the iPod was actually fine.

Ok, so Apple’s EarPods don’t work (properly) with this iPod. I understand the iPod is far older than the EarPods (5 years?) but the EarPods should work with anything. Shouldn’t they?

Apple’s normal earphones with the music control buttons don’t work properly either. This is such a weird fact and I can’t believe this is happening. Apple don’t support older iPods, even with their earphones. They’re simply not designed to work with ‘outdated’ products.

Before swapping for older earphones I restored numerous times, on different Macs on different USB (2.0) ports.

I just wrote this as a kind of help to other people who will undoubtedly buy ‘retro’ products and expect their new earphones to work with them. However any 3rd party earphones would probably work with them anyway.. You shouldn’t even settle for Apple earphones ;) you deserve better.

P.s. the iPod didn’t come with earphones which is probably why this happened

Thanks for reading, hope this helped :)

iOS App review – Clear (£1.49)

Clear by Realmac software (£1.49)Image

iTunes Link (£1.49): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/clear/id493136154?mt=8

Website: http://www.realmacsoftware.com/

Mac Version (£4.99): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id504544917?mt=12&affId=218325

Clear is a good app. It’s simply a to do list. But it’s much more than that. I use the app myself every day (unlocks a theme if you use it for a certain time, but that’s another topic, but while we’re here I would like to point out that I use the Night Owl theme), and I use it in all sorts of different ways.

I use it to make a list of all the possible blog posts I have been thinking of writing. I use it to make a list of all the food I need to buy (vague example shown in screenshot). Its use of pure touch and dragging is what makes this app. There are no ‘buttons’ as we know of them. Perhaps in a way they are all beautiful buttons of bliss. Tap to edit. Swipe left to ‘tick’ the task as completed. Swipe right to delete. Swipe up to go up a section and down to go down a section. Large swipes left and right change list. It is an extremely convenient way of working and requires very little effort or thinking.

I congratulate the creators of the app, however. The app may be too simplistic, in the way that there are no reminders or timed tasks. But this is not necessary. Apple gives you a dedicated Reminders app with every iOS device. But they do not give you a to do list. This, should be that to do list. It is of Apple quality and the design is just exquisite.

The Good

Easy to use. Beautiful interface.

The Bad

Nothing. Maybe it lacks in additional features, but that would ruin its simplicity.

Unlockable themes (Shh!) [List may be incomplete, and shame there’s no GameCentre achievement for unlocking them!]

  • Scorched (Follow Realmac Software on Twitter – @realmacsoftware)
  • Night Owl (Complete a task late at night, unlocked mine at 1am)
  • Ultraviolet (Use Clear every day for a week)
  • Tweetbot (Having Tweetbot installed)
  • Temple Run (Having Temple Run installed)
  • Letterpress (Having Letterpress installed)
  • Bumpy Road (Having Bumpy Road installed)
  • Path (Having Path installed)
  • Gifted (Gift the app to someone, actual purchase is not necessary, just go back to the app) Socialite (Complete roughly 100 tasks)

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I have not had the opportunity to play with the corresponding Mac version of the app, as I feel that I do not need to spend an additional £4.99, for something I already have (on my iOS Device, note: full iPad support is not yet with us). I assume it is a lot like the iOS version, and in that case, also pretty awesome.

Overall Rating: 4/5

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The app supports iCloud (mainly as a backup and to sync between iOS devices and the Mac version. An app icon badge does that, simply tell you how many uncompleted tasks are remaining, but on the home screen. As a to do list I find the status bar to be of quite importance in the way of time at least. This is now an optional extra (initially it wasn’t even possible). The sounds are beautiful, although minimalistic, just like the app itself. Vibration can be useful although I don’t need a “clap” when I complete a task. It is nice to see all these options available.

Compatibility

Device Support:

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5 (Optimised!) [Confirmed]
  • iPod touch 3rd Gen
  • iPod touch 4th Gen
  • iPod touch 5th Gen
  • iPad

Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Disk Space: 4.9 MB Rated 4+ All screenshots taken on my iPhone 5.

Thanks for reading! 

Posted in Apps, iOS

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iOS App Reviews

I will be posting iOS app reviews in addition to my Mac OS X reviews before long, so stay tuned :)

Clear

One of my favourite iOS apps at the moment is Clear (£1.49) which is a simple to do list. It is extremely well designed and I use it every day. Different themes can be unlocked by doing certain tasks (my favourite is the Night Owl theme unlocked by completing a task after 1am at night).

It’s touch gestures complete the app, making it one of the easiest and simplest apps to use.

Thanks for reading!

Mac OS X App Reviews

I will be posting a lot of Mac app reviews soon, and let you know their value for money.

Stay tuned!

For now I will say that CleanMyMac is not worth paying for, as in my experience, clearing caches is an easy thing to do on Mac.

CleanMyMac

It is useful for language files and removing universal binaries for various Mac apps however 90% of those apps will stop working once you do this. I will post more information soon and perhaps a guide as to how to do most of the features of the app for free.

However the interface for the app is absolutely gorgeous. It has been well designed, but it is not worth the price that it is. The free trial can last a very long time if you use it wisely. Don’t get me wrong, I always support developers, this app just feels like a bit of a ripoff personally. I appreciate that it can take a long time to make an app like this, but I fear the developers should be working on something better, or offering it for free or at a much discounted price.

Thanks for reading!

Hackintosh Specs

Hackintosh.

Case: NZXT Phantom (LE White/Red)
CPU: Intel i5-2500K @3.3GHZ
Mobo: Gigabyte
RAM: 8GB
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5
PSU: OCZ 600W
SSD: Corsair Force GT 120GB
HDD: WD 2TB

She, is a beast. I will eventually update this list with the prices I paid and maybe warranty I have and maybe even rating. Pictures will be up eventually, and maybe guides, however it’s so easy to do, considering.

Set up as a MacPro3,1
Geekbench score, roughly 9000

Software used:
Tonymacx86.com’s Unibeast and Multibeast

Apple’s Mountain Lion (bought, do not pirate this amazing OS, worth 10 times more than Windows at 10 times less the price)

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iOS Jailbreaking

If you’ve read my Hackintosh posts you might understand more of the morals of jailbreaking, however it’s not required.

Anyway, iOS Jailbreaking. Ah how I love it. I have an iPhone 5, which at this moment cannot be publicly jailbroken. Weird statement you think? I had an iPhone 4, and before that the first iPod touch, which was especially easy to jailbreak (compared). This ignited the spark in the love of opening up closed boxes for an amazing device. It really releases the true potential of the device.

However, the jailbreak does not make the device. Apple have really amazed us at what is possible with phones. They have truly changed how we communicate.. Blah blah but some of us want the device to more.

Maybe I have OCD on customisation and personalisation, you might understand if you saw my workspace or even my desktop. However I just love being able to do so much with a device I can hold in my hand. It’s definitely not my main “computer” (thanks Hackintosh) but it’s great to have my “office” with me on the move.

The way jailbreaking works also interests me. And none of this would be possible without people – who do not get directly paid – who have the knowledge to open the system up. Without them the iPhone would have nowhere near as many features as it does today.

Thanks for reading! Huge thanks to all those amazing people, including the iPhone dev team, pod2g, and all the rest!

Hackintosh

I have made a Hackintosh. Already you have questions. Why? How?

I have a MacBook Pro (Early 2008), and it’s one of the best computers I’ve ever used, and the only laptop I’ve ever had. Until that year I was a 100% Windows user. The MacBook came with OS X Leopard and I remember the first time I switched it on, it played the Welcome video. I was blown away. Ever since, I have been blown away by Apple and their Mac systems, however as a student, I could not afford to keep up to date with Apple’s technologies. My only option was a Hackinosh.

To make a Hackintosh, you need (should, however possible without) a Mac. Check.

I then read up more and more and more. I thought at first it might be over my head. But I learned more about computers and technology in the last few years than ever before. I was up for the challenge. My current Hackintosh is more powerful than the high end iMac. For half the price.

All sorts of paths have opened for me now I have a Mac that can keep up to date. (He says)

However it’s not about ripping off Apple or anything like that. I’m a student. Not a commercial company. If I was I could face legal problems and the investment in Apple would directly pay off in ways of products, etc. I’m not making money. I study Computer Science, so I need advanced computers.

Annnnyway my MacBook died last year (NVidia graphics problem) which, if it wasn’t in warranty, would’ve cost me £400. On most of the components that make up my Hackintosh, I have a 3 year warranty. And it doesn’t involve me sending the whole computer back. In addition I can change any component when I want. I have the flexibility (ish) of a general PC, which runs the most advanced OS at this time. Not only that, I dual boot Windows 7 without the confines of boot camp.

Changing the hard drive in my MacBook for an SSD was a nightmare. Hackintosh? Opened up the side, plugged it in. Boom.

In my next post I will show you even a Hackintosh can be as sexy as a Mac, and maybe more info ;), on how.

Thanks for reading!

GPS Speedometer

Another project I’m working on (the main one is the robotic arm controller), is a GPS Speedometer, which does just that – informs the user of what speed they are doing based on their GPS co-ordinates. For this project again I will be using Arduino, however it again, is not necessary. I use Arduino for its simplicity and dread programming in PIC.

Its best use will be portable, and placed in a car. (It could also be used to calibrate a car’s speedometer). If I have time, the speed will be displayed on a starburst-display (similar to 7 segment but with 6 additional LEDs, to be able to display characters as well as numbers.) In addition, the display will be mirrored in a way that it can be used as a Heads Up Display (HUD) on the windscreen of a car.

I have not gotten very far with this project as of yet as the robot arm project is my main priority.

Robotic Arm Controller

As a project I am doing a robotic arm controller. It simply (so far) uses an Arduino board, connected to the motors in purchased model robot arm.

So far one motor can be controlled forwards and backwards, using the L293D H-Bridge chip. My goal is to control all five motors of the arm using buttons.

If there is time I will progress onto a virtual-reality styled simulator involving a sleeve with position feedback systems (probably small potentiometers) and the robot arm will copy the human’s arm movements. There is real-world demand for such a device in the way that it could be used by someone who is slightly disabled (the project would be modified accordingly) to military uses possibly controlling the detonation of a bomb, with more human like mobility for easier use. But that’s an extreme. However a military contract would be welcome ;) and that idea would only go forward if I had time, which it feels like I don’t.

Anyway reason I’m posting all this is so that I can help other people who may be struggling with the concept of motor control, and can even reference me if they so desire. I will be posting breadboard layouts for ease of use (perhaps circuit diagrams as well, but I have no software easily available). In addition I will be posting Arduino code (based on C) and real life photos of the project.

Thank you for reading this, now lets get to the fun stuff :D

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