Archive for the ‘iPhone SDK’ category

The Quandry: Web App or Native App?

February 19, 2011

I’ve been wrestling a lot lately trying to pick a path forward for my next big iterations of our mobile app strategy at Grocio.

The dilemma for us is a little unique. Most of what we produce (locally aggregated store circulars) are fed today to the iPad only through the NATIVE client over http. So, we can afford to be agnostic in our approach forward at this point. We’re actually in a great position to deliver a web app experience that for the most part is consistent across all devices. And, I’m excited about that truth be told. The nice thing about the web apps route… EVERYONE has the same point version release. No lengthy delays for approvals. As it turns out these are compelling cases for choosing the web app route. The dilemma comes down to one of monetization.

Shoppers are paying for the “Store Circulars” app today via the iTunes App Store. It’s important to continue making revenue from the app. So, do we hook a web app into this new Google subscription doohicky and charge that way? I’m adamant that we’re NOT going to rely solely on advertising/sponsorship. CPM and CPX is all fine and good. But, having made my living by the fickle ups and downs that way a few times before. It’s not something I’m excited about doing again.

Conversely… do we remain on the native path? Supporting multiple platforms (even within the same OS). The emerging App Stores give us some super distribution and reach. But, with it comes the expense of some % of revenues that are split with the hosting App Store. Not to mention the ugly need to actually develop distinctly different apps for each of those platforms. I don’t dispute the value of what the App Stores provide or the % of revenues for each sold app they take. They earn it. No argument there.

The problems are compounding for app developers though… More platforms means we face more choices which ones to develop for and which ones we’ll forego.

It’s the reason I like the idea of wrapper software frameworks like PhoneGap. I’m not savvy enough yet to build a universal app from the ground up. I still hire out some parts of the app that are beyond me. Anything that gives me a leg up on building once and deploying across multiple platforms AND app stores… I’m going to like a lot. Even to the point that’s a pure web app.

Are you other mobile developers facing similar issues? How did you solve for your situation? And, of particular interest, how did you manage to monetize your apps?

iPhone Dev: Button for iPhone (not Touches)

January 2, 2010

The App Store rejected my first attempt at submitting an app based on “Reachability” (which I’m still trying to resolve) and showing a call button (even to devices incapable of placing a call, such as iPod Touches). Turns out what I was looking for is somewhat easy… at least the part that checks if the device is capable of calls. See code below:

- (BOOL)deviceCanMakePhoneCalls
    BOOL canMakePhoneCalls;
    if ([UIApplication instancesRespondToSelector:@selector(canOpenURL:)]) {
        // OS 3.0, so use canOpenURL
        UIApplication *app = [UIApplication sharedApplication];
        canMakePhoneCalls = ([app canOpenURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"tel:+44-1234-567890"]]);
    } else {
        // OS 2.x, so check for iPhone
        UIDevice *device = [UIDevice currentDevice];
        canMakePhoneCalls = ([device.model isEqualToString:@"iPhone"]);
    return canMakePhoneCalls;

What this doesn’t do is show the button (or hide it). Now, if you know how to solve for any this more elegantly… please, do tell. AND… if you’d like to help me via ichat or Google Chat to walk through the Reachability issue… lemme know!

BOOK REVIEW: “iPhone for Programmers”

January 1, 2010

As luck would have it I received a review copy of “iPhone for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach” just as I was getting up to speed on iPhone development.

What I like about this app… it steps us through the programming and considerations behind 14 very different apps. Lots of different frameworks covered and the walk through behind the steps involved is quite good. It helped me get my app ready for App Store submission… Can’t give anything a higher recommendation than that!

I have a fairly substantial library of iPhone dev books and this one’s ing the top three I crack open on a regular basis… What’s also nice is all the source code for the apps is conveniently parked online and reasonably commented.

Definitely recommend ++

While I Was Away

December 19, 2009

Many of you know I’m the founder of For the past many months I’ve been working away at putting that business together. In the process I fell in love (all over again) with the iPhone. This time – as a developer.

Those of you who know me realize I’m no developer despite these many years of being an Select member of the ADC. I’m barely a graphic designer (by my own standards). But, I can reverse engineer stuff be it code or whatever and obtain a passing understanding of things fairly quickly. So it has turned out to be with iPhone apps (web and native alike).

My first app has been submitted to and declined by Apple in the past couple weeks. It’s been a real trick to address the last of their two objections. But, I’m grateful the problem has been so hard for me to overcome… it’s forced me to explore nooks and crannies of the iPhone SDK I might never have stretched myself to investigate. My problem’s not yet solved… I’ll stick with it and perservere and in the process meet some fascinating people and methods in the process. And, reinvigorated my respect for these tiny little devices and the development platforms available for them.

Even if I never develop another app by my own hand I’ll have gained a first hand respect for the magic you adept developers weave and the magical tools Apple has made available to each and every one of us for free.

iPhone SDK Beta 2 (Build 9A5151)

March 27, 2008

iPhone SDK Beta 2 (Build 9A5151) Received email the iPhone SDK beta 2 is now available replete with a drag and drop interface builder. I’ll have to check this one out tonight due to a meeting conflict. Don’t worry… my priorities are well placed.

iPhone SDK & iPhone Simulator

March 8, 2008

YES! The iPhone SDK is here and HOLY SHIT! it’s awesome. See for yourself.

Develop. Build. Deploy.

Yes, as rumored there *IS* a new emulator. And, boy is it strong. As you would expect… it’s definitely not a replacement for the iPhone simulator from MarketCircle. They’re different classes of software with different intended purposes. The debugger is fricking amazing. It’s a tooth to tail solution and you can bet your bippy I’ll be buying the $299 Enterprise Developer option.

I have a nifty idea front of mind. Stay tuned.

Final Day in Bahrain

March 6, 2008

Am on the front end of my return trip to the States. I love the middle east and highly recommend anyone who has the least little inkling to experience the world to consider Dubai, Bahrain or any of the many GCC kingdoms and emirates as their final destination. The people are kind, very friendly to Americans and engaging on all levels.

Eye openers this trip… Only one new thing really: I met Dr. XXXXXXX who is a professor at Qurna, Iraq. (Reconsidered naming him outright as I’m thinking it might jeapordize him. Sad.) I know of Qurna only because it is the home of the best date fruits in the whole of the world. He said the date trade of southern Iraq was ruined in the Iraq war. Due to (wait for it…) RADIATION! HUH? Yep, according to the good Dr. the Iraqi tanks which were blasted to smithereens (the ones caught trying to hide under cover of the palm groves) were radiation laden and have effectively spoiled the dates. He said geiger readings of the palm fruit from those trees WILL set off a geiger counter even still.

Oh, the things you’ll learn and the lengths we’ll fly to learn them.

Also, met several people from Iran, Sudan, Yemen and Libya. Yes, all of them on the “can’t do business with you” list of the State Dept. And, no, they didn’t have two heads and breath fire. I’ll treasure the pen set from the Iranians for many many years. Their kindness was coming from a very deep place within and was very sincere.

So, I’m now off to the airport and will go dark for several days as I put my luggage into the international lottery pool of “maybe you get it back, maybe you don’t” and sleep off the opposite day/night cycle I’ve only now adjusted to.

PS – Apple (couldn’t post without the mention) will be announcing the iPhone SDK while I’m out. Rumor has it there will be a charge to be a commercial developer. If so, I *will* be paying the fee, whatever it is. Just hoping they have a solid debugger and an onboard emulator. Had both of these in the Newton days. So, I think the chances are good. More news when I wake up from my slumber.