Archive for category What the iPhone?

What’s New? Tubing?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog and for good reason. Since March, the wife and I have been traveling and taking mini-vacations every other weekend. This weekend, we are flying to Seattle, WA to visit with my sister and to drink some brews at Pike Street Brewing Company. Work has been busy and I have a new dedicated role, as Mobile Applications Guru. My boss likes to call me iJeff, hmmm…

Anyway, what I really wanted to post about is a game that I’ve been thinking of building for some time. It’s similar to the old Atari game call Toobin’, which was one of my favorite games back in the late 80′s and early 90′s. I’m at a point were I’m creating creating levels for the game and building up the content. I really think this game could be big, because it’s pretty fun and has become addictive. It has an endless style of play game and tons of achievement will be added. If your interested in helping me build the level, beta test, or give some feedback, please contact me. You’ll be famous when your name is added to the credits.

So, keep your eyes peeled for a new App coming to the App Store in a month or so. American River Tubing will be hopefully climbing the charts to #1.

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Another Apple Rejection

alien-splat-buttonsLast week I received the dreaded rejection letter from Apple for a new game I created, called Alien Splat. The rejection can be justified and sadly enough, I can agree with it. The rejection letter reads as follows:

Dear Jeff,

Thank you for submitting Alien Splat to the App Store.  We’ve reviewed Alien Splat and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it does not adhere to the iPhone Application Programming Guide as
outlined in the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement section 3.3.5; “Applications must comply with the Human Interface Guidelines and other Documentation provided by Apple.”

On iPod touch, it is not possible to make the device vibrate, though your application may feature vibration.  When Alien Splat is installed on an iPod touch, the user can turn the vibration switch on or off on the Setting screen.  Please see the attached screenshot.

Please take a look at the system call “sysctlbyname” and the section on “CTL_HW” from the Apple provided iPhoneOS reference documentation. It is necessary to check the machine class and machine type to determine if the device is capable of supporting vibration.

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Apple Dev Access Denied

access-deniedWell, it’s been some what of an exciting day today for WWDC, new MacBook Pros announced, Snow Leaopard, iPhone 3.0, and oh yeah, a new iPhone 3GS.

As a developer, we get first access to the iPhone 3.0 SDK and GM release, but since there are so many developers trying to download the software and check out what is new, we have been getting the Access Denied from the Apple Developers web site. Oh well, I guess this happens every time something new comes out. I guess I’ll just have to keep clicking refresh and logging in to see when we’ll truly get access to the new software.

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Apple Approves, Where’s the Email?

hi-jinx-pro-appstoreToday, both Hi Jinx Pro and Hi Jinx Lite versions 1.2 were approved by Apple and are in the App Store for download. But wait, where is the email from Apple stating that the apps were approved? Yep, you guessed it, neither one of my dev email accounts have been emailed with the approval announcement. Normally, I’ve received these emails after 3PM and then within two hours, the app is actually available via the App Store. This situation is different though. The app is available for download and no email. I only found out that the app was available after a user sent feedback from the app and I realized the app version was Hi Jinx Pro v1.2.

hi-jinx-lite-appstoreCould it be that Apple’s mail servers are slow or maybe even my mail server is slow? Could the email be sent, but it was filtered by my spam fitler? I checked my spam filters and even the junk mail box, but no luck. No email from Apple. Hmm, maybe Apple is being more cautious with their acceptance emails, after the Baby Shaker app fiasco? And maybe they will send the approval email after a few days, in hopes that no one is offended with the app? Maybe the App Reviewer forgot to sent out an email? Whatever the issue is, it’s just another ding in the App Review process that gets me frustrated. Oh well, I’ll be waiting for an email, and update this post when it arrives…

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New Milestone for Hi Jinx Version 2

hi-jinx-lite-largehi-jinx-v2-1.pngI’ve been redesigning Hi Jinx Pro and Lite the last two weeks. This is a complete redesign from the ground up. I’m pleased to announce that I am 95% of the way completed. There are a few minor clean up items that need to be completed and then we’ll be submitted this new version to the Apple App Store (cross your fingers that it gets approved).

The new features for version 2 are as followed:

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Hi Jinx Pro Rejected Again, But with Details

CensoredWell, we finally got a message back from Apple yesterday (they always seem to send emails after 4PM) and yep, you guessed it, it’s a rejection email. Hi Jinx Pro v 1.2 was rejected a second time because of two sound bytes, “So Faded” and “Get Faded?”. This was the million dollar question we wanted to get answered from the previous rejection email. We finally now know that the Hi Jinx Pro v1.2 was rejected for two sound bytes (ones we did not even think were objectionable).  Thank you to the second App Reviewer for being specific in the rejection email (if I know your name or could inform your managers, I would write a kudos letter for you). Apple sent the following rejection email: Read the rest of this entry »

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Hi Jinx Pro Rejected Again!

CensoredI have to vent again about Apple’s App Approval process. Apple sent another rejection email and I’m feeling a little frustrated. Actually, not a little, a lot. A few weeks ago, I submitted another version of Hi Jinx Pro to the App Store. This version included two new characters and a few other minor features. After a 9 day waiting period, Apple finally reviewed the app and sent the following rejection email along with a screen shot of the objectionable content:

Rejected Hi Jinx AppDear JDMdesign,

Thank you for submitting Hi Jinx Pro to the App Store. We’ve reviewed Hi Jinx Pro and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains objectionable content and is in violation of Section 3.3.12 from the iPhone SDK Agreement which states:

“Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”

If you believe that you can make the necessary changes so that Hi Jinx Pro does not violate the iPhone SDK Agreement we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.

Regards,
iPhone Developer Program

I replied with the following email:

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Hi Jinx Lite Now Available

hi-jinx-liteApple approved the Hi Jinx Lite application last Friday and it is now available for download for FREE from the App Store. With this version you get only one character, Mr. Richardson, but he’s a blast when people don’t know who’s calling.

Hi Jinx was designed to be used while your iPhone is connected to an active phone call. Just place the call on speakerphone, tap the home buttons, tap the Hi Jinx app, and then select a character and play any number of sound clips. The caller won’t know whom they are talking to. The clicks are loud enough (at full volume) for the microphone to pick up.

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iPhone BeerPong App Review

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The App Store is filled with games and a lot of them are free too. If I remember correctly, when I attended an iPhone Developers Conference a few weeks ago, one of the presenters stated that 50% of the apps are in the games category. I would expect that most app reviews would be about games then, but from me you’re only going to get a few. I enjoy playing games but can’t find the time to play them all the time. BeerPong and Shoot (a few others) are the only iPhone game apps that I actually play when I find time. I’m not exactly sure why I enjoy playing them, but one reason is probably because I have not reached the end or know that there is an end to these games.

Usually games that have an ending or that can be completed, become just that, completed. If a game has endless levels or an unachievable end then it draws my attention and BeerPong has done just that. Another item it like about BeerPong is that the game play uses the combination of touch and the accelerometer to allow the user to try and sink the balls into the cups. It also simulates your drunkenness as you advance levels by making you accuracy a little off. The action continues during game play because the clock it ticking with every second and this makes you hurry your shots and/or feel the pressure. I find myself constantly trying to beat my high score and that is one reason way I have not deleted this free game. You can even play in two player mode which allows each player to toss a ball and then the other person follows right after. It can be fun, but it would be nice if the game used wifi or bonjour for game play. If you are looking for a fun game to play when you have a little free time, I recommend downloading BeerPong and playing a few levels.

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iPhone BargainBin App Review

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The other day, a friend informed me of a new app that was currently free in the Apple app Store, so I downloaded BargainBin. I remember reading about the app and how Apple rejected it a few times because Apple stated that it was duplicating the App Store features. The nice thing about this app is that it tracks the price drops of apps on the App Store. This means you will know when you can download a paid app for free, half price, or even lower. All the time, developers are lowering their price to draw more attention to their app. I’ve personally thought about doing the same for my app, Hi Jinx Pro (since Apple has taken over 3 weeks to approve the lite version and they still have not approved it). The BargainBin app has a simple and slick interface for viewing these bargain apps. I found that you have to check once every day or so, else you might miss out on a free app. Either way, I like this app and recommend that you download it ASAP before you have to purchase it. Even if you have to purchase it, it’s still worth the $2.99 price tag.

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