May 2010

Accessorizer 2.0

Xcode’s awesome BFF has been updated — Accessorizer 2.0 is out!

Also read Paul Goracke’s notes about the new Configuration Sets feature. Sounds very cool.

Mike Lee on WWDC

Mike helps you cope with the mean streets of San Francisco with advice you won’t get anywhere else.

Paul on WWDC

Surprisingly, Paul Goracke says: Eat the lunch. But hear him out. He’s not crazy.

Craig on WWDC

See furbo.org’s practical guide to getting the most out of WWDC.

4.5 mice for Twitterrific for iPad

Dan Moren, Macworld: “Despite an apparent lack of controls, Twitterrific packs away a lot of functionality — but the biggest win of the app is context. Controls are where you want them when you want them, instead of littering the interface at all times.”

We’re big fans of Twitterrific.

Two updates: TapLynx, NetNewsWire for iPad

TapLynx 1.3.2 was released today. A few small features.

NetNewsWire for iPad 1.0.3 appeared on the App Store today. (Here’s the App Store link.)

iPad and Business Relationships

Brent Leary, technology.inc.com: “I think the most important thing about the iPad is that it can present opportunities for businesses to connect with prospects — and to do so in a more meaningful way. Going back to the NPR example, I can honestly say that I was not a big fan before last week.  But I saw the iPad app and have been reading and listening (and tweeting to friends/colleagues) ever since.”

Bistromath and keypad UI

Black Pixel, Chris Clark: “What’s unusual about ours (beside Bil’s dogged persistence to make it the best custom keyboard iPhone OS 3.1 can handle, bar none) is the order of the keys: most iPhone apps arrange their buttons like a calculator with the top row ordered 7-8-9, while Bistromath’s are laid out like a telephone with the 1-2-3 on top.”

iPad design and early adopters

Craig Hockenberry: “We’re the first ones standing in line at the Apple store, and the first ones to use all this cool new software. And we know all the things that apps ‘used to do’. And we want all sorts of other bells and whistles. And we’re wrong.”

Adam Curry, AppJay

Adam Curry’s iPhone app Big App Show is up on the App Store. It’s a review of other iPhone apps — it’s like running an app before you buy it. You actually see the app on your iPhone at the size it would appear, doing what it would normally do.

It’s magic. Free. Fun. (And it’s a TapLynx app. The pretty pixels are by RogueSheep.)

Cocoa, Flash, Safari

Apple Outsider: “If the Cocoa Touch app empire crumbles before a next-generation replacement is ready, the next best thing is an open standard.”

Apple Outsider is Matt Drance’s new weblog. You should subscribe to the feed.

Bistromath - check splitter

It’s the last iPhone app you’ll ever need. That is, if the word of God is anything to go by.

From Seattle Cocoa jockeys Black Pixel.

Happy Birthday to Postage!

RogueSheep: “If you asked ‘Does doing what you love pay off?’, we’d say, ‘Yes it does!’ Postage won a prestigious Apple Design Award right out of the chute.”

New Omni framework source

The Omni Group: “Some of the highlights include our document picker, inspectors, a bunch of controls, and a start on a CoreText-based text editor, but there is much more.”

Omni’s beloved not just for making great apps — they’re also beloved for being so generous with code.

(Their office is about a mile from my house. I keep meaning to go visit.)

John Gruber on how Apple rolls

Macworld: “Only in hindsight is it obvious just how remarkable Apple’s platform development process is.”

Apple excels at patience. Patience is never easy — and it’s doubleplus-harder in this internet-speed world. Apple’s example is worth studying.

Feature removal and Instapaper

Marco.org: “Every feature removal, even if minor, is greeted with an initial barrage of emails from people whose lives I have just completely ruined by this change to my free website or my $5 iPhone application.”

I love this email Marco received — it ends with “I hope all that money you made us burns down your hose.”

WWDC T-Shirts

Cocoa Is My Girlfriend: “The new shirts include the new CIMGF logo which will soon adorn this beloved site.”

How malloc works on the Mac

Cocoa with Love: “Despite the fact that all C standard library implementations offer a function named malloc, they all have very different internal implementations. The Mac’s implementation of malloc is open source...”

TapLynx 1.3: push notifications and more

We released TapLynx 1.3 today. Thanks to the work of Nick Harris and push.io, TapLynx now has push notifications.

There are some other new features (localizability, new horizontal-scrolling article view, etc.) and some bug fixes. It’s totally free to download and try out.

But wtf is TapLynx?

Whenever I talk to developers in person, it’s obvious that they’re not really sure what TapLynx is. Is it some kind of compiler or new language or some weird layer or something?

Speaking developer-to-developer: it’s simple. It’s just a static library.

It’s a static library written in Cocoa using Xcode. You add it to an Xcode project, add some artwork and templates, configure it via a property list, then build and run. Voila, you have an iPhone app.

But it’s all Cocoa, top-to-bottom. All Xcode. Nothing weird or magical.

What kind of app does it make?

You won’t write a game with it. It’s for publishers — folks who have articles, podcasts, video, photo galleries, Twitter streams. Any or all of the above.

So it makes an iPhone app that reads feeds and presents your stuff the way you want to present it.

But won’t all these be cookie-cutter apps?

TapLynx is very configurable, and we’re adding more configuration options and new views. TapLynx apps resemble each other less and less as the software matures.

You can even add your own views: it’s extendable. You don’t have to write any code, but you totally can if you want to.

Who uses TapLynx?

There are a bunch of TapLynx-made apps on the App Store. But today I’ll point to Discovery News — it’s the first shipping TapLynx app to use the new push notifications feature. (It’s free. Check it out. That is, if you like science and cool things.)

Build and Archive

iPhone Development: “In Xcode 3.2, Apple added a new feature to Xcode that makes ad hoc distribution more than a fair bit better.”

Ars Design Awards 2010

Ars Technica: “We are giving you, our readers, the opportunity to nominate your favorite Mac OS X applications to receive an award in one of five categories: Best New App, Best User Experience, Most Innovative App, Best K-12 Education App, and Best Student-created App.”

iPad Usability - user testing findings

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox: “For more than a decade, when we ask users for their first impression of (desktop) websites, the most frequently-used word has been ‘busy.’ In contract, the first impression of many iPad apps is ‘beautiful.’”

MarsEdit 3

MarsEdit iconIn case you missed the news: MarsEdit 3 is out.

And you should go get it.

I write for four weblogs using two different systems — this one, inessential.com, netnewswireapp.com, and taplynx.com — and MarsEdit makes it so easy.

But even if I wrote just one weblog, I’d still use MarsEdit. It wouldn’t even be a question.

Mac Store like the App Store?

It’s in French, but I bet you read it or know how to translate it. Several small interviews with Mac developers on the subject of a Mac app store.

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