Simon Willison’s Weblog

59 items tagged “iphone”

Why did Facebook remove their hamburger navigation and go back to docked tabs in their mobile app?

Probably because the swipe-to-see-menu gesture conflicts with the iOS 7 standard swipe-to-go-back gesture.

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What are the best ways to find online serious partners ready to outsource mobile app development company?

If you want to do long-term outsourcing deals with “serious big companies”, you need to get on a plane and meet them in person.

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How can I produce an animated prototype out of designs for an iOS app?

Keynote is a surprisingly good tool for this kind of things, especially since they added path based animations to it a few years ago.

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What new apps were used most at SXSW 2013, and why?

Lanyrd will be at SXSW again this year, and we’ve continued to refine our unofficial schedule guide and session planner for SXSW Interactive. Here’s our site for this year:

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Does the Quora iOS app allow one to give “Thanks?”

I’d really like to be able to do this—could there be room for it in the little cog menu, next to “promote”?

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What is the best travelling iPhone application for a 9 day trip through Europe?

Instapaper is essential—it will let you save any web page for offline access on your iPhone which is fantastic things like Wikipedia and Wikitravel.

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What is the optimal description length in the Apple App Store?

Have you ever come across one if those ugly, long pages advertising an ebook—the ones that bang on for dozens of paragraphs with bullet points, pictures, testimonials, headings, more testimonials, more bullet points and so on?

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My First Week with the iPhone. A blind user describes the experience of using VoiceOver on the iPhone, including the joy of discovering the Color Identifier app which speaks the names of colours picked up by the iPhone’s camera. “ I used color cues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone. I spent ten minutes looking at my pumpkin plants, with their leaves of green and lemon-ginger.” # 3rd October 2010, 12:20 pm

The crisis Flash now faces is that Apple has made it clear that Flash will no longer be ubiquitous, as it won’t exist on the iPhone platform, thus turning “runs everywhere” into “runs almost everywhere.” As Web developers know, “runs almost everywhere” is a recipe for doing everything at least twice.

Rafe Colburn # 5th May 2010, 12:10 pm

Imagine if 10% of the apps on iPhone came from Flash. If that was the case, then ensuring Flash didn’t break release to release would be a big deal, much bigger than any other compatibility issues. [...] Letting any of these secondary runtimes develop a significant base of applications in the store risks putting Apple in a position where the company that controls that runtime can cause delays in Apple’s release schedule, or worse, demand specific engineering decisions from Apple, under the threat of withholding the information necessary to keep their runtime working.

Louis Gerbarg # 12th April 2010, 5:24 pm

Flash CS5 will export to HTML5 Canvas. This looks pretty awesome—Illustrator CS5 and Flash CS5 can export to a new “FXG” format, and Adobe are providing a JavaScript library to load that format via Ajax and render the contents (including Flash animations) in a canvas element. Could be great for displaying newspaper infographics on the iPad. # 11th April 2010, 6:33 pm

We all think of Java as a boring server-side language now, but the initial idea behind Java was that software developers could write applications in Java rather than writing them for Windows, and that those applications would work everywhere, thus defanging Microsoft’s desktop OS monopoly. Microsoft took various steps to prevent that from happening, but they lacked a tool like App Store that would enable them to just ban Java. Apple has that card to play, so they’re playing it.

Rafe Colburn # 10th April 2010, 6:42 pm

Who Can Do Something About Those Blue Boxes? John Gruber makes the case for the fading significance of Flash, brought about by Apple’s point-blank refusal to support it on the iPhone or iPad. “Flash is no longer ubiquitous. There’s a big difference between “everywhere” and “almost everywhere”.” # 31st January 2010, 12:05 pm

owlsnearyou.com. Nat and I built this over the weekend. It asks for your location, then tells you where your nearest Owl is (using sightings data people have entered on WildlifeNearYou.com). If you’re using Firefox 3.6 or an iPhone it grabs your location using the W3C geolocation API so you don’t have to type anything at all. # 19th January 2010, 2:45 pm

Notes on designing the Guardian iPhone app. By John-Henry Barac, the principal designer of he iPhone application who also previously worked on the Guardian’s print transition to the Berliner format. # 20th December 2009, 12:55 pm

Guardian iPhone app. Released today, ad-free, £2.39 for the application, has an excellent offline mode. I helped build the backend web service, which is a Django app running on EC2. # 14th December 2009, 1:29 pm

Programmers don’t use launch-fast-and-iterate out of laziness. They use it because it yields the best results. By obstructing that process, Apple is making them do bad work, and programmers hate that as much as Apple would.

Paul Graham # 19th November 2009, 10:13 pm

We’re at a critical juncture in the evolution of software. The web is still here and it is still strong. Anyone can still put any information or applications on a web server without asking for permission, and anyone in the world can still access it just by typing a URL. I don’t think I appreciated how important that is until recently. Nobody designs new systems like that anymore, or at least few of them succeed. What an incredible stroke of luck the web was, and what a shame it would be to let that freedom slip away.

Joe Hewitt # 15th November 2009, 8:50 am

This is very interesting technology. But that Adobe would go to this length suggests that they suspect that Apple will never allow the Flash runtime on the iPhone.

John Gruber # 6th October 2009, 7:33 am

Developing for the Apple iPhone using Flash. A brilliant feat of engineering: Adobe worked around Apple’s “no runtime allowed” rules by writing a compiler front end for LLVM that compiles ActionScript 3 to ARM assembly code, and apparently ported the regular Flash drawing APIs as well. # 5th October 2009, 9:15 pm

Gmail for Mobile: Reducing Startup Latency. Cheeky iPhone optimisation trick—parsing 200 KB of JavaScript takes an iPhone 2.2 device 2.6 seconds, so Gmail embeds code components in /* comments */ in a script tag and evals them on demand later on when the features are needed. # 23rd September 2009, 10:29 pm

Developing for the iPhone at the moment is like picking up dimes in front of a bulldozer.

Tim Bray # 21st September 2009, 5:30 pm

iPlayer usage, for streaming, peaks about 10pm—just a little later from TV. But interestingly, iPlayer on the iPhone peaks at about midnight. So people are clearly going to bed with their iPhone and watching in bed. And we also see on the weekends, there’s a peak of Saturday and Sunday morning usage at about 8 to 10am in the morning on iPhone.

Anthony Rose # 23rd May 2009, 12:42 am

Fake Reviews. Now now kids, play nice... Not at all surprised to hear this—nefarious iPhone app developers (in this case the team behind “London Tube”, an inferior version of Malcolm Barclay’s marvellous “Tube Deluxe”) have been caught leaving fake negative reviews on rival applications in the App Store. This is an excellent argument for adding friends/followers or importing an existing social graph—I’d much rather see reviews from people in my social network than strangers who may turn out to be sock puppets. # 22nd May 2009, 12:49 am

Perhaps it’s just frustration speaking here, but when Apple ties my hands behind my back and lets users punch me publicly in the face without allowing me to at least respond back, it’s hard to get excited about building an app.

Garrett Murray # 22nd April 2009, 12:17 pm

The App Store has an inscrutable, time-consuming, whim-dependent approval process. The App Store newsgroup postings are full of angry claims that this is a bug, but I bet it’s a feature. If you can’t get an app approved until it’s working perfectly, and you have to wait a week or two -- or more -- between approval rounds, you’re much more likely to put a lot more effort in up front to get it right.

Marc Hedlund # 12th April 2009, 1:49 pm

Switching from scripting languages to Objective C and iPhone: useful libraries. Matt Biddulph collects together some very useful libraries for developers just getting started with Objective-C (though I’m not too keen on the title). # 27th January 2009, 5:50 pm

Apple shows us DRM’s true colors. The EFF reviews the various places that Apple still applies DRM (including locking iPhones to carriers, licensing authentication chips for iPod accessory vendors, preventing OS X from loading on generic PCs) and concludes that “the majority of these DRM efforts do not have even an arguable relation to ’piracy.’” # 18th January 2009, 10:16 am

How could the major players have left a gap in the market so wide that a complete novice in mobile telephony could so instantly shame them?

Stephen Fry # 10th December 2008, 6:21 pm

BBC Programmes iPhone webapp experiment. More clever BBC hackery from Duncan Robertson, a really classy iPhone web app for viewing the BBC’s TV schedules, built against the BBC Programmes API with source code available. # 8th December 2008, 6:21 pm