Archive for March, 2009

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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iPhone Word Press App Review

wordpressI just downloaded the Word Press iPhone App on my phone after one of my friends, James Hicks, was blabbing about how great it is. I must say that it’s a really nice little app. You can pretty much manage all your posts remotely. You can even manage your static pages and manage the comments from your users. I’m not sure if I plan on writing a lot of long posts from my phone, but it will be nice to make a quick post and upload a photo as well. You can ever type up a post, save it locally, and then send it later when have an internet connection. Maybe I’ll post some blogs when Jenn and I take our trip to Europe in May. We’ll have free wifi on the cruise ship and can probably find free WiFi in Paris. I’m not about to pay overseas data charges to AT&T. Anyway, I personally recommend downloading the Word Press iPhone App if you have your own Word Press site and would like to make quick posts.

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Hi Jinx Pro Now Available

hi-jinx-proHi Jinx Pro in action...Well, after about a week of coding and a few meetings with one of my buddy’s I was able to throw together an iPhone Application called Hi Jinx Pro. This app is a unique soundboard that has multiple outrageous characters, which every prankster needs in their arsenal. With over 140 sound clips you’ll find hours of endless fun with the Hi Jinx application. Currently, there are three characters to choose from, Mr. Richardson, Silly Sam, and Fabulous Steve.

Character Bios

  • Mr. Richardson is a hard headed, no joking around, iron pumping beast from the streets. Don’t mess around with Mr. Richardson or else someone’s going to pay.
  • Silly Sam is an under estimated fellow that just needs a little help now and then. He always seems to be losing everything.
  • Fabulous Steve is a happy go-lucky guy that is a man’s man and enjoys fine art and parades. He’s usually hanging with the guys.
  • (New in Version 1.1) Kung Fu Rex is all about recruiting people to his dojo! He likes to talk about fighting in the octagon and respect! He’s also prone to angry macho outbursts. Select his character if you want to sign people up for martial arts or just let them know who’s boss!

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.

Hi Jinx Pro IconApp Store
Hi Jinx Pro
Full Version has all characters listed above

Disclaimer
Hi Jinx is meant to be used for entertainment purposes only. By purchasing this product, you agree that JDMdesign is not responsible for the use of this product once it is in your hands. Please enjoy this product responsibly.

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360iDev Conference – Day 3

March 4th – Day 3

360iDevBreakfast – Bagels and fruits.

Opening Keynotes

MediaLets – Eric Litman is the CEO of MediaLets. MediaLets is a mobile analytics and advertisement company for almost all mobile devices. Currently the company is targeting the iPhone and Android markets. Linking your application to customer interaction via analytics is key to understanding your customer base and will lead to sustaining your customer base.

Contact: eric.litman@medialets.com
Web Site: http://www.medialets.com/

AdMob – Ed Mob from AdMob. Admob is a mobile advertisement company focusing on iPhone and Android markets. To date, AdMob has severed 65 billion ad impressions, since they were founded in 2006. The iPhone is their main handset. 1 in 3 unique iPhones have viewed ads through AdMob, which is 6.5 million of the 17 million iPhones on the market. 80% of all iPod Touch users are under the age of 24 years old. This information can be useful when understanding your market and whom you could be writing your applications for. Ed walked use through how to AdMob can help you earn money for paid apps or free apps.

Contact: mfyall@admob.com
Web Site: http://www.admob.com/

Session 1: Tony Hillerson – iPhone Persistence for Mere Mortals

Tony is a Software Architech from EffectiveUI, which has recently started working in the mobile community.

Persistence types consists of settings, sqlite, fmdb (Migration Manager), or Aptiva (ActiveRecord).

Settings (System Settings) – These settings are separate from your app and are configurable through the standard Apple system settings views. You are limited to the following types: NSData, NSString, NSNumber, NSDate, NSArray, or NSDictionary.

SQLite is an embedded relational database written in C, which is default choice for DB solutions on the iPhone. SQL C API (functions): http://www.sqlite.org/c3ref/funclist.html

FMDB Migration Manager is a schema migration support for the SQLite library that uses FMDB. FMDB has error checking and has an clean API, which is more of wrapper used for saving your data to the SQLite database. No need to create prepared statements as the FMDB does this for you. With the FMDB Migration Manager you are able to create schema by scripts (or functions) and the manager keeps tracks of these changes for version controls.

Code is on github, called fmdb-migration-manager = http://github.com/mocra/fmdb-migration-manager/tree/master

Aptiva is an objective-C implementation of ActiveRecord. This framework is even more of a wrapper then FMDB, and does more of the work for you. You do not have to right any sql, only if you want to filter items. Even with the filters, you only have to pass in sql (column names) snippets.

Code is on github, called fmdb-migration-manager = http://github.com/aptiva/activerecord/tree/master

Tony walked use through his example code, GroceryGetter, which demos the usage of all four persistence types he discussed.

Code is on github, called grocery_getter = http://github.com/thillerson/grocery_getter/tree/master

Tony also mentioned that he just found out about the SQLitePersistenceObject project and recommends looking into the features. The other avenue for persistence would be to create your own home grown, but not the recommended unless you have a specific need to do so.

Contact: tony.hillerson@gmail.com (twitter: thillerson)
Web Site: http://thillerson.blogspot.com
Presentation Notes: http://www.slideshare.net/thillerson/iphone-persistence-for-mere-mortals

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360iDev Conference – Day 2

March 3rd – Day 2

360iDevBreakfast – Oatmeal, muffins, and fruits.

Session 1: Azeem Ansar – 30,000,000 Downloads – Data-Driven Insights into iPhone Application Distribution

Azeem Ansar is from Pinch Media. Pinch Media provides developers with an analytics library to monitor app usage – unique users, sessions, usage time, etc. Since the AppStore launch they have also been collecting every bit of detail possible from the AppStore, rankings, price changes, you name it. They then ty it back to their analysis.

Discussion Topics:

How do I get ranked? – Get in the App Store, getting ranked = more exposure = more downloads. There are multiple lists for top 100, 25, 20 by categroy. These list change every 24 hours, 3 days, and 5 days. Currently, to maximize change of ranking, assume within 24 hours. If you are in the top 100 list, you get an average of 2.3x the users that see your app.Greater gains result from appearing in the top 25 and top 10 lists. These top lists are not permanent. You don’t want to get over exposure, but you need exposure to be successful. Azeem went over three different case studies of how changing price can affects different application downloads. Holiday’s where good for Apple, downloads increased 200%. For free apps, to be in the Top 100 you need 1,000 a month and for the Top 25, you need about 10,000 a day. This is all dependent of the category.

Do I have a recurring user base? – You have an app and a million download, now what? You need to examine the use of your app by your users. For Free or Paid apps, usually 100% return users do not return to the app for reuse. For free apps, 20% users with reuse the app withing 20 days. For paid app, 30% will return to the app for reuse within 20 days. Long-term, 1% of total downloads use the average application on any given day. Entertainment app usually last better for long-term usage. Sports app are better for short term usage.

How long are they using my app? – For overall apps, day 0, users are using the apps for 7 minutes. By day 60, users use the app for about 4 minutes. Paid apps usually get about 1 minute more time used. Games by far get used more than other categories, about an average of 10 minutes. Entertainment are used the second most, average of 5 minutes. Lifestyle category apps are the most consistent at 4 minutes straight average.

So should I give it away or not? – For the top free applications, advertising is an option. The biggest advertiser for apps is AdMob. The ideal strategy is to release paid, install analytics, understand your audience, and then make an informed decision about advertising. Different parties make different claims on advertising CPMs, but in the current ad market, this is difficult to achieve. On average an app needs to achieve a $7.78 CPM for an app that would normally be sold for $0.99. Advertising isn’t always a bad idea through. Some applications, generally, ones catering to people with money, can command better advertising rates than normal.

Contact: azeem@pinchmedia.com (215-837-3447)

Web Site: http://www.pinchmedia.com/
Demo: http://demo.pinchmedia.com/
Developer: http://developer.pinchmedia.com/

Session 2: Tim Burke – Deep Geek Diving into the iPhone OS and Frameworks

Tim wrote the software called Nu (http://programming.nu/), which is another library used for calling into framework library. He used the libdl framework. He also wrote multiple other applications. One app is Obama! Tim also created a Facebook app called My iPhone, an app used to show other users what applications you have on your phone. It can also be used to promote your app.

Tim discussed the topics around Jail Breaking your iPhone. His main point was that if you want to truly understand the OS framework, you will want to jail break your iPhone. He discussed how the jail break process works and where to download the software. One concept is that there are two users for the iPhone OS, the root user and the mobile user. Each of these users have unique access. If we use the official iPhone SDK, your application will be running as the mobile user, aka the limited user of the two.

sqlite is, of course, the built in database used on the iPhone. All developers should learn the sqlite command line and how sqlite works, it’s strengths and weaknesses.

otool is another tool that developers should use to read header files and/or disassemble applications. classDump is a tool that creates header files.

Objective-C is now open source from Apple.

A good book to read: Programming in Objective-C 2.0

He also created Open Radar, which is a community of people that can submit their ticket with Apple’s Radar (bug ticketing tool), and the community can discuss and see the status of the ticket. If you do not use this service, only you (the first person that created the radar ticket) will be able to see the status of the ticket. Anyone else reporting the same issue will have their tickets marked as a duplicate and you will never get to see the status of the original ticket created. The community website was created to resolve this issue for Apple, or until Apple opens radar more.

Contact: (twitter timburks)
Web Site: http://www.tootsweet.com/ or http://blog.neontology.com/
Presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/timburks/deep-geek-diving

Lunch Session – Round Table pizza and sodas

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360iDev Conference – Day 1

About Conference

360iDevFrom the organizers of 360Flex comes 360iDev! Bringing together the best and brightest of the iPhone development community!  This 3-day event took place March 2 to 4, 2009 @ eBay’s Headquarters in San Jose, CA.

eBay Conference Center
2161 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95131

360|iDev is looking to become the premiere iPhone, iPod Touch developer conference in the world.  They’re looking to bring together the best speakers and sponsors in the industry under one roof. Their goal is to build the iPhone developer community and increasing the networking within it is our goal.

Website: http://www.360conferences.com/360iDev/
Attendee: Jeff Morris (Just me, it’s lonely)
Total Overall Attendees: 160 + 10-12 (Speakers) + 20 (eBay employees)
Sessions: 47 sessions in 4 tracks

March 2nd – Day 1

Breakfast – Muffins and fruits

Opening Keynotes

eBay – Discussion about eBay search engine. A discussion about the unique issues that can arrive from searching for items. eBay also introduced a group of college students that have created an iPhone game, which is similar to the old memory game, but it uses images from eBay auctions. The game will be released in a few months.

Mike Lee – Nice intro and welcome to the Cocoa world, objective-C community. He is one of the founders of Delicious Monster. We will be working as an Apple DTS in the following weeks. Mike gave a great talk about how the community is starting for the iPhone and how this is part of the overall Cocoa Dev community. He mentioned the following resources:

Code Resources:
TouchCode, SKPSMTPMessage, PLCrashReporter, Mobile Colloquy, Molecules (OpenGL), FMDB – Flying Meat Database, SQLitePersistentObjects, ObjectiveResource (Ruby on Rails), RegexKitLite, Mobile Twitterrific

Omni Frameworks:
OmniBase, OmniDataObjects, OmniAppKit, OmniInspector, OnmiNetworking.

Other Resources:
iPhoneSWPro (Consultants to write code), Cocoa Dev Central, Cocoa Dev, Mac Developer Network, Google Code

Tools (Use native SDK if possible):
Changes (App), Versions (Like Subversion), Otx (Otool – Disassembler), F-Script (Interactive run-time environment for Objective-C), Analytics

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