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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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TalkTalk X-Factor BopHeads iPhone App
The X Factor is back! And so is the amazing TalkTalk TV app that gives you the chance to star in your very own music video!

For the last couple of months I have been working with the amazing team at MPC-Creative on this great iOS app spreading joy across the UK. 6000 downloads on the first weekend!

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Social Media Network App Logo
Venteo are a social network start up focussed on event photographs. After their minimum viable product proved a success they set about the task of creating a stable, scalable mobile app around which to grow their business.

As an iOS Consultant tasked with designing the iOS application architecture I worked closely with the CTO spending time with everyone in the team from UX designers to backend developers. Happily Venteo were keen to use Swift and I designed and developed a multi-threaded MVVM based framework upon which the application is being built. I also produced an iOS application development production plan and schedule.

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VOIP iPhone App Icon
Connectico is a voice over IP (VOIP) iOS app. The thing that makes it different from similar well knowns apps, which provide functionality such as calling other people in your address book and displaying a list of recent calls, is that you can easily rent local numbers in many international markets and use them immediately. Managing local numbers overseas is seamless and all done from inside the app. This means people can call you on a number local to them and the call gets routed to the app on your iPhone and the same in reverse, you can choose a number based almost anywhere in the word to call from, all from within the app.

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RunAnEmpre Logo
Run An Empire is an amazing digital mobile experience which crosses over territory game and fitness app. The idea represents one of the best examples of new thinking enabled by mobile devices and is at the same time fun and good for you. There aren’t too many things in the world that can claim to be that! Towards the end of 2014 I spent a few months working on an iOS version with Pan Studio.

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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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Playfolly Logo
In my time as a freelance iOS programmer I've come across two trends, true for both iPad and iPhone projects. Firstly there is a lot of contract work for apps that are preparing to look for funding and do not necessarily go into Apple's App Store at the end of the development cycle. Secondly there is a lot of contract work rescuing projects that begun life outsourced to off shore developers. Although Playfolly, a video social network mobile app, eventually has made it to the Appstore both of these are true for the work I did for them (see last year's Two Factor Authentication iOS Consulting for another example).

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Raw Duck Incubator Logo
Two factor authentication is all the rage. Many banks have sent their customers tiny plastic devices, that look like calculators, to put their cards into when doing online banking, and Git has recently introduced it. Usually supplying a username and password is a single factor as these are things you know. By adding in a second factor, something you have, systems can be made much more secure. Recently I worked on a system that turns your mobile phone into the second factor, the thing you have. Great idea, you probably already have it with you.

2013-10-04-ios-authentication.png

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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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