Archive for iPhone

ASIHTTPRequest and json-framework presentation

I presented at the August 2010 meeting of the Houston iPhone Developers meetup about two great open-source projects for iPhone developers: ASIHTTPRequest and json-framework.

I started on the presentation at the May meeting, but never completed because we were running out of time. This time I finished the presentation, and we discussed the details of using ASIHTTPRequest and json-framework to build a dynamic iPhone app that displays data on a UITableView.

You can go to the slideshare page for extra options, or you can browse through the presentation below:

My iPhone app is finally live!

primary Knee Cap, the iPhone app I have been working on for the past few weeks, has been approved by Apple and is finally for sale in the App Store.

I’m looking forward to see the reception it gets after all the hard work I put into it.

Rolando: incredible iPhone game

I don’t usually stop here to recommend applications or games for the iPhone, but I feel I need to take some time and do a review of Rolando, a game that had a lot of hype behind it for a few months, and it is now finally available on the App Store.

I have to give it to Simon Oliver, the guy behind this game. It’s an unbelievably well done game, starting with the beautiful (and playful) graphics and in-game story, all the way to the innovations in game control that allow for a great user interaction experience. The sound effects and music for the game are also top notch. I mean, I’m now at a point where I open the game and load a specific level of the game and just listen to the soundtrack.

This game is now the standard bearer for iPhone games, it’s just that good. The $9.99 price is completely deserved, and I recommend it to anyone.

Video trailers and screenshots are available from the Rolando website.

iPhone 3G first impressions

It’s been close to 10 days now with the new iPhone and I wanted to write down my impressions.

The bad:

  • Battery life is terrible. I mean, I understand the usual fanboy tactics of saying that the iPhone 3G still has the best battery life among 3G phones, but who the hell cares? It still sucks, I still have to charge the damn thing at least two times a day.
  • It crashes a lot. I mean a lot lot.
  • No idea why, but deleting emails from a specific IMAP account that I have, completely disables the Mail app against any other account. I have to restart the whole phone to be able to use that app again.
  • Every so often iTunes does a backup of the phone, and it is now taking a LOT of time. I remember it taking around 1 hour for the first time. I believe it takes that long when you install new applications on the phone, but it makes no sense to me to take that much time.
  • The contacts app takes a lot of time to open now. I’m assuming this has to do with a new architecture that allows one to search the database, but damn. 4-5 seconds to load a contact database of 73 contacts? Come on.
  • The App store needs to review new applications / updates to existing apps more quickly.
  • The store should restrict app reviews to users that actually purchased the app.
  • A small thing, but it’s quite common for the phone to stop doing the “unlock” sound. You know, the one that is triggered when you unlock the phone with a sliding motion. The “lock” sound still works, but the “unlock” one doesn’t. I need to restart the machine to make it work again.

The good:

  • The App store is so very cool. Lots of cool apps available, and I’m sure many more will come in the future.
  • Exchange support is very useful. I can finally sync with my work’s email account with ease, without doing a lot of IMAP/procmail hacks.
  • The new “tap at the top of the screen” to scroll to the top of the list of email messages is awesome, something I wanted for a long time.
  • Same feature is now available in the contacts app.
  • Being able to delete multiple messages is also invaluable. I can’t believe how much time I wasted in the past deleting a whole bunch of spam.
  • The sound quality seems much better. The speakers are much better as well.
  • The ability to save images into your photo folders is awesome.

iPhone web app: Bookstore stock search

I built a small web application specifically for the iPhone last year to search the availability of a book in bookstores. I think I came up with the idea for it when I was at a local Barnes & Noble store, couldn’t find what I was looking for, and wondered if another store close by had it in stock.

The application works by allowing the user to search for a nearby Barnes & Noble store based on a zip code, and also allows you to search the stock of those nearby bookstores for a book, given its ISBN.

Try it out now and let me know what you think.

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