TimeLord 1.1 available in the App Store

TimeLord 1.1 is available in the App Store at last! I delayed the previous version immediately after release when I realised to have left wrong metadata about french and german translations. I will supply them in a future release. I took some time to solve some minor bugs and submitted the new version for review: this phase has taken more days than the other to be approved (maybe caused by the security breach of the developer center).

“Ready for sale”…up there in the mountains

I’m back from a wonderful mountain holiday in the Dolomites. I love going for walks in the mountains in summer and the Dolomites are like paradise. Before leaving I decided to submit TimeLord for revision. Frankly I was somewhat afraid to do it, it is my first app in AppStore. I have been reading the guidelines again and again thinking that I might forget something to do before submission but at last I decided to go on. I was sleeping after a day walking when the news arrived:”Your app TimeLord has changed to Ready for Sale”. Actually Marco woke me up because I had heard the notification but I was afraid to see a rejected status. TimeLord will be available very soon, free obviously, with full import/export as In-App purchasing.

How to import new records or time units

Let’s take a look at the procedure needed to add previous (or forgotten) record for a particular activity and how to define new time units (useful for a billable activity).

First of all let’s make a full backup using the export function: pull up the handle and tap on the Settings icon (lower right gear) then choose Export and press the Export button in the upper right corner (I’d say pretty easy :)). Starting from an export is not necessary because import doesn’t delete existing data.

Then connect the iPhone to iTunes and transfer the export files to your PC/Mac (find in the sidebar your device and then choose the Apps tab and scroll until you find the TimeLord app):

TimeLord Documents

Continue reading

Interesting article about lighter View Controllers

In a previous post I stressed the importance of creating maintainable code. I’m trying to improve in this field reading and coding with more attention to maintainability. Recently I read a very interesting article about “lighter” View Controllers. The site is new and if a good beginning bodes well… I subscribed to be notified of future articles.

Create a Universally Unique IDentifier

Problem: How to get a unique device identifier (i.e. to implement InApp purchasing) without using UDID, banned by Apple.
Solution: In iOS6 we can use identifierForVendor. In prior versions we will use CFUUIDRef. Note that in this case every call of CFUUIDRef creates a new UUID. It is necessary to save the UUID in the device keychain to make it unique.
Read also: Universally Unique IDentifier in iOS5 by Marek Bell
[objc]
+ (NSString *)createLocalUUID {

NSString *localIdentifier;

if ([[UIDevice currentDevice] respondsToSelector:NSSelectorFromString(@”identifierForVendor”)])
// iOS version >= 6
localIdentifier = [[[UIDevice currentDevice] identifierForVendor] UUIDString];
else {
// iOS version < 6 CFUUIDRef uuidRef = CFUUIDCreate(NULL); CFStringRef uuidStringRef = CFUUIDCreateString(NULL, uuidRef); CFRelease(uuidRef); localIdentifier = [NSString stringWithString:(__bridge NSString *)uuidStringRef]; CFRelease(uuidStringRef); } return localIdentifier; } [/objc]

Small lessons learned

  1. Get some help! I am fortunate to have a smart person next to me who helped me at all stages of the application. I also discovered that the iOS developer community on the net is wonderful! Just do a little research and you will find solutions to any problem or doubt you may have as a newbie like me. This site was created also to try to give something back compared to what I learned on the net and I hope to become useful soon.
  2. Do not underestimate the importance of the design phase of the app. I’m not thinking about graphics only but also to the creative phase in which we imagine the app..Start writing code when it is not clear where are the boundaries of the app, led me to make mistakes paid with the reconstruction of several parts and the consequent displacement of the publication date (app is in the ultimate test phase at the moment). In the future I would like to spend some time learning something more about the design phase.
  3. Once “imagined” and perhaps put the idea on paper I can move on to imagine the “structure” of the app to create maintainable code in the future. A mistake that unfortunately came natural, given the limited idea of ​​the final app and my little experience, was the creation of a gigantic ViewController that used in the slightest degree the opportunities offered by iOS programming. The structure of the app should be thought of making the most of delegates, notifications, and so on to make the code manageable.
  4. Try, read, find new solutions! Sometimes solutions look really good on paper but they aren’t. Before throwing myself headlong I should try and assess other possibilities. In the end we need to learn.
  5. The day does not end when you close Xcode! Podcasts, articles and books are essential.

First of all

Everything started several months ago. I realized that the job I was doing was extremely boring (at least it was for me). It was so boring that I had plenty of time to learn something new. After a brief search on iTunesU (a gold mine!) I found the iOS lessons from the Stanford University (CS193P). It would have been great to have a professor like Paul Hegarty at my university! Amazing!

After some years as a developer and system administrator in Microsoft systems it would have been difficult to change inside the company where I worked. I decided to leave and start again. Since then I have been working full-time as an iOS developer and discovered how different it is to devote my time to something I like to do (at last!)

People who know me look at me with a mixture of admiration (a little) and compassion (a lot): “did you leave a good job to start from scratch?”. But I’m not starting from zero… I’m starting from three!