Posts written by Matt Mayer
The gents at ReignDesign have been doing their bit during the month formerly known as November, by growing moustaches and raising money for men's health charity as part of Movember!
Our chosen charity is Prostate Cancer UK, who support world-class research into prostate cancer, and also spread awareness of the disease and provide support for sufferers.
Here we are at the start of the month, clean-shaved in our group photo!
The other team members pledged money if Matt would come to work in an angel costume. So he did!
We also teamed up with our friends at Kakadu Shanghai! We organised two barbecues and a scavenger hunt around Shanghai, with the proceeds going to charity.
And here are the guys at the end of the month, sporting a dashing variety of moustaches.
While we had a lot of fun over the month, there's a serious message here. Men can often be too embarrassed to talk about their health problems or ignore symptoms. So it's important we get the message out that it's OK to discuss things like prostate cancer, and to see your doctor if you're worried about anything!
By the 30th Movember, we raised an amazing 1,267 USD for Prostate Cancer! If you'd like to donate, you can still donate via Matt's JustGiving page.
So, a lot of you
I'm sure are familiar with
Grand Central Dispatch
- Hidden Gems in Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, WWDC Session 228
At ReignDesign we're a big fan of AsciiWWDC, a great resource for reading and searching the full-text transcripts of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference session videos.
And there's something a little poetic about the way the transcripts are listed. This inspired some late-night hacking creating wwdc-haiku, a simple Python script which, given a session number, attempts to scan the transcript of a single session for possible haikus (that is, sentences with a 5-7-5 syllable pattern).
$ ./wwdc-haiku 228 And what happens is you choose that and you see a window like this pop So, it's going to look very similar to the last example And actually I'm backing it this time by a dictionary So, a lot of you I'm sure are familiar with Grand Central Dispatch It's just one of those things that it takes a while to get into your head I think the two most useful and interesting ones are max and min It's returning a Boolean whether or not it was successful So, was that that was pretty fast, but I think we hit everybody
Yes, we know our haikus won't pass muster with any Japanese poetry scholars... but do clone the code from Github and have fun!
What can you do with
these? Well, in Jay's Donut Shop
I had this problem
- What’s New in Core Location, WWDC Session 307
Logging on to iTunes Connect to upload a new version of an iOS app now shows a new section within "Contact Details" for an app.
According to Apple, "to offer your app on the Korean App Store, you must provide additional information that will be displayed alongside your app. Note that this information will only appear in the Korean App Store."
In particular you must give a full name, postal address, phone number and email address for you or your "trade rep", and these will be shown on your App Store listing in Korea.
Understandably developers, particularly one-man shops may have concerns about this. Previously it was necessary to provide a phone number but this was only visible to Apple, while showing developer's full addresses raises some privacy concerns. The fields are opt-in but Apple implies your apps will not be shown to users in Korea unless you provide the new contact details.
It's long been a complaint of computer users in Europe that they have to pay more for their software from companies like Adobe, Microsoft and Apple compared to prices in the US. The App Store has generally been immune to this: price tiers are based on the US dollar price, and most prices in foreign currencies are within 10% of the dollar price, for example a Tier 1 app is 0.99 USD, 0.69 GBP (equivalent to 1.07 USD) or 8 HKD (equivalent to 1.031 HKD).
In June Apple quietly introduced new "Alternate" price tiers which publishers can optionally use for their apps. I can't think of any reason for this except to allow traditional media companies to get back to their usual practice of screwing over consumers in Europe, particularly the UK.
I downloaded the price tier data from iTunes Connect, and created a small spreadsheet to show the difference in price between Price Tier 1 and Alternate Price Tier 1. Brits now have to pay 0.99 GBP, equivalent to 1.53 USD, a 43% increase on the old price. The EU price has risen by 11% so Europeans are now paying a 33% premium over the US.
Six countries, marked below, have suffered an increase of more than 20%.
I've made the data available as a Google Doc if you want to experiment.
My advice to developers: stick to the traditional prices. Don't let it all end in tiers...
For mobile app developers, it's been a two-horse race up to now: iOS versus Android. We've been keeping an eye on the progress of Windows Phone, and there are finally signs that it may be solidifying it's position in third place, it's edged up to a 3.7% market share worldwide according to a recent survey.
The time seemed right to dip our toes into the Windows Phone ecosystem, so we decided to port one of our existing apps, Bible Promises, to Windows Phone. Why choose Bible Promises? First, Bible Promises has a large community of active users on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Second, as a content-based app rather than a game, it would allow us to explore the native UI elements provided by Windows Phone.
Our first step was to identify a mininum viable feature set. Bible Promises for iOS and Android are both mature products which have gained a lot of features over the year. We didn't necessarily need to port everything over on the first version. In Basecamp, we brainstormed on the most important features:
We also decided which features we should include that would make the app work well in the Windows Phone environment. At the Bibletech conference earlier this year, I spoke with Matthias Shapiro, a Windows Phone evangelist, and asked him one one feature he would add to an app to make it feel native on Windows Phone. He recommended adding a Live Tile. We decided to use the Live Tile to promote the Daily Verse, one of the most popular features of our iPhone and Android apps.
The next step was to get our development environment set up. This was a little painful: we're used to working on our Mac laptops, so had to resurrect an older PC, install Windows 8 on it, and then install Visual Studio Express. Despite a lot of messing about with settings, we weren't able to get the Windows Phone Emulator to work, so all of our testing had to happen on a device.
For a device, we purchased the excellent value Huawei Ascend W1 from Taobao. We had no problem getting this registered as a development device and running our apps on it.
For the app UI, we decided to follow the Windows Phone design guidelines as much as possible. This meant that the app has a distinctive feeling from our iOS and Android apps. We used the Panorama control to allow the user to swipe between verses. To ensure that the app still "felt" like Bible Promises, we carried over the colors and fonts from our existing apps, such as using Georgia as the main font. This ensured the final app felt like a Windows Phone app, but was still familiar as Bible Promises.
Finally, we submitted to the Windows Store! The app is now available to download. There's a trial version which allows you to sample the first half of the category list, the full version is just $0.99 or equivalent.
We'd love to hear your feedback if you have a Windows Phone. Please get in touch!