Apple

Rendering views using CALayer, Part 1

For myDrumPad the main pad buttons are images. I create a UIButton object, and use setBackgroundImage:forState: to customize which image will be used for each state (UIControlStateNormal and UIControlStateHighlighted mainly).  I customize the title label font, shadow and color, and voilà I have a pad button that simulates the look and feel of  a Korg padKONTROL. There’s just a few small problems with it.

  1. The images on the iPad are fairly large, and memory is at a premium.
  2. The size of these buttons can change in portrait vs. landscape. It’s time-consuming to export different versions from Photoshop for the different orientations.
  3. The buttons are sized differently depending on the size of the button grid (e.g. a 3×3 grid of buttons have larger images than 4×4 or 5×5 grids). If I resize these images on-the-fly, then the edges look blurred and aren’t well-defined.
  4. The retina display complicates all of this, meaning I have to have two versions of each image.
  5. I want to be able to customize the buttons to have different colors when you’re on different drum sets.

Because of that long list, simply using an image isn’t good enough. But instead of drawing my images using regular Core Graphics drawing routines, I’m going to use Core Animation Layers, or CALayers, to accomplish the same thing. Ultimately I want my buttons to be able to be animated, to change color, and to feel more “alive” than a static image could accomplish.Read More »Rendering views using CALayer, Part 1

Showing Apple my app via Facebook

I’ve been working recently on getting more exposure to my existing apps, especially myDrumPad.  It’s a fun app, and I have a few more updates that are in the works when I get a couple of free weekends, but frankly I’d like to see its sales figures climb a bit higher than they are now.  Of course, if you’re an iOS developer, you’ll know the biggest thing that can improve your sales rankings is to be featured on the AppStore.  A large part of getting featured is left up to lucky chance, but to improve your odds, one of the things you can do is to target Apple employees with Facebook ads of your application.  Read on to see the results I’ve had so far.

Read More »Showing Apple my app via Facebook

Dealing with MKMapView’s Google logo with translucent toolbars

One of the iPhone applications I’ve written, Parking Mobility, is primarily a map-based application.  Since the iPhone’s screen is so small, we want to maximize the screen real-estate while still providing navigation bars for users to interact with.  To that end, the app uses a black-translucent navbar and toolbar at the top and bottom of the screen.  In the past this has never been a problem, and most mapping applications do the same thing.  I recently submitted a huge update to the app which is a complete re-write as a 100% native Objective-C based application (all vestiges of PhoneGap having been removed).  With this latest submission though, we’ve run into problems.

Read on for more, and what I’ve done to (hopefully) get around this.

Read More »Dealing with MKMapView’s Google logo with translucent toolbars