Monday, January 25, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Drive to Build More

Based upon the myriad of tweets over the past three months or so, most who follow me know that I have been working on my first iPhone app.  Well, first to submitted to the app store.  I have finished an app for work and have started on another for www.feedfootball.com.  Though the app hasn't hit the stores YET, I already have the inspiration to build more.  EraseUrX has by far been the most rewarding project I have worked on in the past three years.  Even if I don't make a lot of money, it truly has been self satisfying to just complete this project.  I can't wait to get started on the next one not only for the challenges that await, but also I know that I be able to put it in the App Store faster.

There has been a lot of criticism of Apple's approval process in the App Store, but over the past three months they have made great strides to improve this process and it has benefited developers greatly.  In addition, there are rumors floating around of a possible upcoming announcement of the 4.0SDK and a new phone device, which if the 3.0 release is any indication of the amount new features added to the phone, then the 4.0 release will give developers even more tools to increase the usability and features in our apps.

Hopefully, the saying is true...

If you build it they will come.

Posted via email from Cory Wiles Blog

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010: Location, Location, Location

I guess you could really argue that the "mobile revolution" was started when Apple first released the iPhone, but 2010, I predict, will be a year full of explosive new mobile technologies and adoption.  2009 saw a huge spike in the adoption of smart phones, as well as, the release of new platforms, devices, and applications.  For the past 10 years I have focused on desktop web apps, but am VERY excited about the breakthroughs and innovation that has evolved in the mobile arena, especially with the offerings coming from Google and of course Apple.  As a consequence, 80% of my focus will be on mobile applications, both native and web.

2008 was the year of "web 2.0", 2009 was consumed by social media, and I predict that 2010 will be a digital Magellan on steroids with the Location Based Services popping up everywhere.  Evidence of this is already presenting itself, with the purchase of GeoAPI from Twitter, Google is offering "turn-by-turn" directions for free in the latest Android SDK, and Apple purchased a map tile software company.  The question will be how will all this data and the services used to manage the data be best served for the consumer.  The days of showing pins on a map are growing quite old.  It is time for more forward thinking, which is what the before mentioned companies do best.

Posted via email from Cory Wiles Blog

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Need for Mobile Optimization

This is definitely a NEED not a want.

Being in a profession of constant change I am always reading someone's blog, tutorial or latest trends in various subsets of the web.  Most of the time I just fire up Google Reader and start reading.  However, over the past 6 months I have found myself using my iPhone as my "reader" of choice.  Partly because of the convenience factor and in addition, I don't have to carry my laptop around everywhere I go.  Outside of Google Reader one of the best sources that I have for great articles are from some of the big names in web development that I follow on Twitter.

However, the sites and articles that people are linking to are still optimized for a standard browser, not the mobile experience which is HIGHLY annoying.  It is not that I am too lazy to wait for the page to load, but the lack of patience that I have for the delay in the page to finish loading due to 30+ stylesheets requested, some ad tracking pixel or any number of other tasks that are processing that have ZERO to do with what I, the user, is trying to accomplish.  What I find myself doing more and more is using the mobile app functionality of emailing the link to myself so that I can read it when I do get back to my laptop.

Should this mean that companies should have a regular/mobile site?  There is no right or wrong answer for that.  You have to do research and look at your visitor trends and who your target audience is.  I would venture to say that if you are a news organization then the answer would be yes.  However, even though currently you might have a low percentage of mobile visitors that number will only increase over time and your site should at the bare minimum be optimized for a mobile browsing experience.

Posted via email from Cory Wiles Blog

Friday, October 30, 2009

AVAudioRecorder prepareToRecord Silent Error

I was working on the voice record feature for one of my upcoming iPhone apps, but when I would try to start recording the app would crash.  During the adventure of debugging I couldn't trace anything back to my code as far as memory leaks, uninitialized properties, missing delegate methods, etc.  After about an hour I think I almost as many NSLog entries as I did code.  The two biggest troubling aspects where:
  1. prepareToRecord was the method that was failing
  2. AVAudioRecorder initialization wasn't throwing any errors
I turned to some sample code that I knew worked, but mine would still fail.  At this point I knew it was going to be something little that I was overlooking.  After reading through a few posts on StackOverFlow I noticed a difference in my audio configuration settings that was being passed to: initWithURL:settings:error:

I have a separate class where I set the settings argument.  The last two setting items are for: AVLinearPCMIsBigEndianKey and AVLinearPCMIsFloatKey.  Their values need to be NSNumbers so I was using [NSNumber numberWithBool:], but instead of passing in "YES" or "NO" I was passing in TRUE and FALSE, which is INCORRECT.  Just one of those oversights I forget about when switching from one language to another.

I am still not sure why my NSError wasn't populated with some information.  I don't know why the initializer didn't catch my syntax error either.

After I made my corrections, the recording worked perfectly.  Whew!  Now I just need to write the playback portion.

Posted via email from Cory Wiles Blog

Monday, October 26, 2009

Zend Framework Dynamic Site - In Production

Back in April I wrote a blog post discussing my concept of having a dynamic site using the Zend Framework.  In addition, I posted an some example code of how everything works.  I am a firm believer that one should practice what they preach and two different sites are now in production using the framework that I wrote and so far it works beautifully.  I had to make a few changes to the route to allow for module exceptions.

Towards the end of the project there was a request to have a search functionality and also custom forms.  Normally this wouldn't be an issue what so ever, but the way that the custom route is setup all requests are send to the default module/index controller/index action.  I modified the route to ignore any request that started with search or forms and route those requests to the search or forms module.  The regex is easily modified to allow for other exceptions.

Custom Regex:
<route>^(?!\bsearch|forms\b)(\w+-?[\w-?]*\/?)(.*)?</route>

I also setup the ability to add in meta keywords and meta description tags in the content.xml file.  Finally, both sites use the EXACT same doc root and dynamic site framework.  Since both sites use the same layouts, just different menus and different background images, I didn't want to duplicate a lot of code.  So in the setup page display plugin I am able to transverse the content mapping file based upon not only the request, but the url host name to display the proper layout.

Posted via email from Cory Wiles Blog