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BBC iOS News App26 October 2016

BBC News iPhone App Logo
From October 2015 to September 2016 I spent a year building two new features for the BBC News iOS app. The first a ground breaking portrait news video feature and the second the internationalisation and localisation of the app into three languages as part of the largest expansion of the BBC World Service since the 1940’s.

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Simple iOS Viewstack 303 January 2015

Xcode Logo
A little while back I created the first version of a view stack utility for IOS. It was one of the first things I added to my toolbox shortly after starting working as a freelance iOS developer. Having used it in commercial projects I have refined and added features as demanded by real life mobile app development.

This simple tool has such a positive impact on promoting decoupled architecture in iOS projects and this article is a thorough look at the features of SimpleIOSViewStack as I think,  given what it can do for you, this could be useful. If you are in a hurry the Git Hub ReadMe or this example project may prove a better starting point for you.

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Apple's Swift Logo
Recently on my journey learning Swift, Apple's new programming language, I decided to re-write my Objective-C View Stack utility using only Swift and it turns out you can't. Well you can't at the moment, it's worth bearing in mind that Swift is in Beta at the time of writing and could change at short notice.

Working around the problem is really easy though and it is this type of situation where Objective-C knowledge is going to remain important for developers focussed on Apple's iOS and OSX platforms.

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The Craftsman iPad Game 11 November 2013

Portal Entertainment Logo
Very recently the world's first thriller for the iPad hit Apple's App Store. The Craftsman is an immersive digital, plugged in to The Internet, experience which was born out of the answering the question "How would Alfred Hitchcock tell a story today"? Earlier this year I was hired as an Objective-C developer to join the team Portal Entertainment, a London startup, put together to produce an early version.

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Xcode Logo
One of the central mechanisms in the architecture of an iPhone or iPad app is a UINavigationController, there is at least one in most apps. This class is similar to a view stack found in other application frameworks and for the most part works very well. One drawback, and this has as much to do with iPhone and iPad application architecture as it does the UINavigationController itself, is the decentralised approach to navigating between children UIViewControllers. Not having details that relate to one aspect or your application, in this case navigation, in one place in your code can make things hard to find and this frustrating situation can be made more so by the use of storyboards, but that's another conversation entirely.

The situation can very easily be improved ...

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Xcode Logo
I am sure many Objective-C developers, iOS or OSX, have been in the situation where the backend API needed for the project they are working on has not been developed by the time they need to start writing the code that will access it. In organisations such as creative agencies, startups and software companies it is not always possible to synchronise resources to perfectly suit all the current projects' timelines but with a mixture of creativity and technology, conveniently wrapped up in a utility called SimpleObjectiveCAPIService, this simple bottle neck can be negotiated.

It is only correct that I point out now that this utility has been created more to assist with iOS app development rather than provide production ready network utility. If you are developing an enterprise iPad app or an iPhone app that has to cope with dynamic connectivity situations this utility is more than likely going to fall short of your needs.

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Groupstr Ipad App Logo
Written in Objective-C, Groupstr is a native iPad app aimed at users of Flickr Groups which you can download from Apple's Appstore. Should you not have a Flickr account or any Groups associated with your account, I have set up some demonstration credentials. Username : groupstr_tester and Password : gr0upstr_t3st3r, let me know how you get on. If you are looking to hire a London based freelance iOS developer I have also included are details of the concepts I covered, and tools used, while building this app on this blog post.

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Xcode provides integration with Git which remains of the most popular distributed repository systems choice for developers. The only other one I have used recently is Mercurial, SVN seems to be fading into the background and as for CVS, I am probably just showing my age now. This tutorial will demonstrate how to back up the Xcode Git repository for your iOS project. This includes how to bundle up all of the Objective-C you have written, the Nib files and all the supporting files for your project and upload them from your machine on to an Amazon S3 bucket in two clicks.

20121013-backup-ios-projects-using-amazon-s3.jpg

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Adobe Air Runtime
Following on from my research into the differences between native or cross platform mobile phone / tablet development I decided to build an app that would run on both an Android phone and my iPhone. I chose to develop it using Sencha Touch (and PhoneGap) as this framework easily lends itself to similar application architecture encountered when undertaking Flex application development with Robotlegs or PureMVC.

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