Standard Post Double Sidebar

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam aliquam massa quis mauris sollicitudin commodo venenatis ligula commodo. Sed blandit convallis dignissim. Pellentesque pharetra velit eu velit elementum et convallis erat vulputate. Sed in nulla ut elit mollis posuere. Praesent a felis accumsan neque interdum molestie ut id massa. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nulla ut lorem ante. In convallis, felis eget consequat faucibus, mi diam consequat augue, quis porta nibh leo a massa. Sed quam nunc, vulputate vel imperdiet vel, aliquet sit amet risus. Maecenas nec tempus velit. Praesent gravida mi et mauris sollicitudin ultricies. Duis molestie quam sem, ac faucibus velit. Curabitur dolor dolor, fringilla vel fringilla tempor, ultricies sed tellus. Cras aliquet, nulla a feugiat adipiscing, mi enim ornare nisl, eu pellentesque nunc diam eu purus. Aliquam a arcu ac arcu aliquam vulputate ac a diam.
Aliquam erat volutpat. Etiam tortor sapien, elementum quis semper eu, convallis eget justo. Nulla facilisi. Curabitur cursus vestibulum turpis eget sagittis. Phasellus tempus semper tellus, sed ullamcorper libero sodales a. Fusce vulputate varius quam. Curabitur erat orci, gravida eu tempus sed, pretium non ante. Vestibulum augue nisi, vulputate pellentesque posuere id, gravida et est. Suspendisse vestibulum scelerisque metus, ut bibendum lorem pharetra nec. Phasellus vitae faucibus nisi. Aliquam erat volutpat. Etiam sed neque massa. Pellentesque at augue sed neque faucibus tincidunt sit amet nec nisl. Aliquam erat volutpat. Etiam tortor sapien, elementum quis semper eu, convallis eget justo. Nulla facilisi. Curabitur cursus vestibulum turpis eget sagittis. Phasellus tempus semper tellus, sed ullamcorper libero sodales a. Fusce vulputate varius quam. Curabitur erat orci, gravida eu tempus sed, pretium non ante. Vestibulum augue nisi, vulputate pellentesque posuere id, gravida et est. Suspendisse vestibulum scelerisque metus, ut bibendum lorem pharetra nec. Phasellus vitae faucibus nisi. Aliquam erat volutpat. Etiam sed neque massa. Pellentesque at augue sed neque faucibus tincidunt sit amet nec nisl.

Sed hendrerit dignissim odio, ut consequat neque dapibus non. Curabitur nisi sapien, malesuada id malesuada et, feugiat a odio. Donec hendrerit, dolor non tempus venenatis, libero libero posuere eros, ut mollis urna risus placerat arcu. Maecenas accumsan facilisis orci. Cras vel ante vitae libero hendrerit sodales. Donec quis est vel purus porta congue non ut lacus. Praesent pretium lectus id nunc fermentum rhoncus. Duis non justo ac ante elementum elementum sit amet ac neque. Aenean eleifend commodo orci, in porttitor enim faucibus vitae. Maecenas tincidunt diam enim, non tristique orci. Suspendisse vitae ligula ligula.  Aliquam erat volutpat. Etiam tortor sapien, elementum quis semper eu, convallis eget justo. Nulla facilisi. Curabitur cursus vestibulum turpis eget sagittis. Phasellus tempus semper tellus, sed ullamcorper libero sodales a. Fusce vulputate varius quam. Curabitur erat orci, gravida eu tempus sed, pretium non ante. Vestibulum augue nisi, vulputate pellentesque posuere id, gravida et est. Suspendisse vestibulum scelerisque metus, ut bibendum lorem pharetra nec. Phasellus vitae faucibus nisi. Aliquam erat volutpat. Etiam sed neque massa. Pellentesque at augue sed neque faucibus tincidunt sit amet nec nisl.

Sed hendrerit dignissim odio, ut consequat neque dapibus non. Curabitur nisi sapien, malesuada id malesuada et, feugiat a odio. Donec hendrerit, dolor non tempus venenatis, libero libero posuere eros, ut mollis urna risus placerat arcu. Maecenas accumsan facilisis orci. Cras vel ante vitae libero hendrerit sodales. Donec quis est vel purus porta congue non ut lacus. Praesent pretium lectus id nunc fermentum rhoncus. Duis non justo ac ante elementum elementum sit amet ac neque. Aenean eleifend commodo orci, in porttitor enim faucibus vitae. Maecenas tincidunt diam enim, non tristique orci. Suspendisse vitae ligula ligula.

Tutorial: Getting Started with Applicasa, for iOS – Part 1

I briefly introduced Applicasa in a previous post, which is a great overview of what it can do, so I won’t go into that in too much detail here, but will use this post to instead  get you guys started on using this awesome service. This is the first in a series of tutorials that will get you started with Applicasa.
 

The aim of this tutorial is to get the Applicasa data-side set and ready for you, and the next tutorial will delve into the Objective-C side of things.

Step 1: Signing up and registering an app

Okay, before you start creating your project, why not pop over to applicasa.com and register yourself. After confirming your details, you can hit the dashboard and register a new app. So far you won’t be charged for anything. You can even customise the branding of the dashboard to meet your corporate needs, with a logo.

Step 2: Create the Objects

Where we will mostly concentrated in this tutorial will be in the Database section, so click through to that. As you can see, this is where you actually design your data models, and comes pre-baked with some existing tables, such as Users and Groups. If you take a peek in those, you can see that from the fields in place, you can already start to use this as a way of registering and logging-in new users to your database. You can choose to keep or remove this, but I would suggest keeping it, as you are not mandated with using it in your app, so it could be something you could implement later down the track.

 

So, using those pre-existing tables as a guide, start creating your own tables.

 

[box type=”info”] Note: that with the Kind option, we chose Basic but if you chose Geographical for example, the object/table would be pre-populated with some geospatial properties, such as Latitude and Longitude.

It comes in handy later down the track, when the SDK methods are auto-generated for you, you get some handy methods such as FindByRadius and FindByDistance, which saves a heck of a lot of time in you coming up with some mathematical formula to work out proximities of location-based places.[/box]

Create the fields for the object, Cats. Note, the object already comes with a CatID field,  so drag in from the right-hand column some more fields.

 As you can see, you designate a name for the field, which is prefixed by the table name, such as CatName. You add default values and a field that is CMS-friendly, for those who are just going to be entering content in. Toggling the Advanced option, you can set default values, as well as whether the field is mandatory or not. Add a couple of of more fields for each of your tables.

[box type=”info”]Each time you modify the database, whether its editing or adding new fields or objects, you get the following notice:

This icon indicates that the object was change. Click on “build database” to apply the changes

This simply denotes that you have to re-build the SDK each time, and import it back into your iOS project, as stuff have changed. Make sure to do that. It will remind you when you are enter the CMS section, that you need to rebuild in order to get an updated data scheme for both CMS and when you later import the SDK classes. [/box]

Step 3: Populate your database in CMS

Okay, now you will get a quick flavour of what it’s like to enter content. Make sure you selected Build database prior, so you can enter content. Entering content  is something you could do yourself, or delegate/outsource to someone else. If you choose the later, you can create new User accounts in the last tab on the top (don’t confuse with the Users and Groups objects you saw in the database, this is CMS-related), and fill in the users you want access.

Just enter some values, to populate the database, for all the tables you created, for testing purposes. Note you can also use this screen to search/query the table as well. This should be fairly straight-forward.

Step 4: Web Service testing

This step is highly optional, but recommended. I would actually do this in the Objective-C side of things later down the track, when you create Continuous Integration or Unit Testing harnesses within your app, as most good programmers would do :). This screen provides you with the exact Web Service API methods you can call, either within your dashboard, or within your code. On your left you have the various methods, and when you select one, like GetArray, you have other options, such as Sorting fields etc.

 In terms of working with Applicasa, you don’t have to worry about Web Services and using other frameworks for that, you can work directly with objects, that will deliver the results to you, as I will show you in the next tutorial.

Step 5: Queries

As of the time of writing this, Queries wasn’t functional yet, but stay tuned, I will update this section when we do have that exciting feature going.

Next Steps…

Thanks for reading this tutorial, and stay tuned for my next tutorial article on Applicasa, where we will dive into the coding side of things.

[box type=”info”]
Got an idea for an iPhone or iPad app? Why not boost your business visibility with a mobile app.

For an obligation-free consultation and quote, click here and we can arrange an online appointment, or in-person appointment. We service Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Central Coast.
[/box]

Tip: How to copy your XCode Provisioning profiles across to another computer

How to export/copy your existing XCode Provisioning profiles/certificates across to another computer

If you want to keep your existing provisioning profiles and signing certificates, but use them on a different computer, you can in fact do it all in XCode, rather than having to tinker with Keychains. All you have to do is go in XCode to Device Organizer and select your team, then click Export. Give your exported credentials and a name and password to authenticate, then pass it along to a shared drive/folder, to copy across onto your other machine, by coming to this same section and selecting Import. 

 

See, so easy I feel guilty even putting this up a a post.

 

 

Native Official YouTube client for iOS available again

As some of you may know, the latest iOS iteration, iOS 6 alpha for developers has seen Apple remove Google’s native YouTube app, which in a way it was good, because it was outdated by yonks, but also to allow Google to regain control of the app and update it themselves for Apple’s platform.
Anyhow, Google have made just made available their new YouTube player, for iOS, which is a market improvement, modernised and all. You can download it right away at :

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/youtube/id544007664?mt=8

GPS Map of Cyprus Available for iPhone and Android

[box type=”info”]Update: There is an alternate app you can use for Cyprus[/box]

This article was created years ago, but I thought I’d revisit it and update it. Obviously a lot has happened in three years, and
now, if you want to use a GPS app in Cyprus that is Free, I would go with City Maps 2Go.

 

This app for both Android and iOS offers offline map browsing, perfect for tourists, in vector format. You can get Cyprus or any city map you want, which is fantastic.

Get it at the following links:

iOS : http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/city-maps-2go/id327783342?mt=8

Android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ulmon.android.citymaps2go&hl=en

 

Outdated — Just thought I’d announce, and im sure it would please quite a lot of people, but I just discovered the mobile mapmakers Sygic  have made available a map of Cyprus, which I have tested and it works amazingly, considering the sparse digital maps that do exist for the country. I have seen lots of people ask whether there is a GPS map out there for Cyprus, especially considering how un-intuitive it is to get around Larnaca and Nicosia.

 

Screen_shot_2009-11-20_at_12

 

I believe the maps are bundled within the Greece map bundle, and the actual Sygic User Interface is excellent on the iPhone, in fact I prefer it to Tomtom. The Cyprus map covers the entire island and contains POI as well as street names. So definitely worth checking out guys.

Passbook. Apple’s push towards a centralised coupon aggregator

Passbook. Apple’s push towards a centralised coupon aggregator.  In anticipation of Apple’s announcement of their latest iPhone, which is expected to be NFC-enabled, iOS 6 has been available to developers for quite some time, to allow them to upgrade their apps and adjust to the new features of the upcoming operating system.

One of iOS 6’s new features is Passbookwhich is Apple’s answer to the Android world’s NFC implementation, but that doesn’t preclude Apple from also incorporating NFC into their devices, they are just simplifying and centralising the tool, and allowing it to work at kernel/system level, to reduce fragmentation.

Apple have commented on what Passbook is, albeit briefly, in their iOS 6 information page:

Your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail vouchers, loyalty cards and more are now all in one place. With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie and redeem a voucher. You can also see when your vouchers expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on that all-important café card. Wake your iPhone or iPod touch, and passes appear on your Lock screen at the appropriate time and place — like when you reach the airport or walk into the store to redeem your gift card or voucher. And if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make sure you’re not relaxing in the wrong terminal.

Essentially, it is not just a passive tool but it tracks where you are and works contextually, so quite smart. Giving developers the API to integrate their existing, and possibly new apps that are geared centrally around this concept, you can go to your regular coffee shop and automatically have your card appear in your locked screen, or if you go to the movies, have your card ready for scanning. Flying? Then if you purchased a ticket and have their app, the ticket will appear as soon as you are near the boarding counter.

Now, with iPhone 5, perhaps we might even see NFC come in, so you don’t even have to have the coupon come out and scan, but rather tap your phone. That may or may not be coming, as NFC has indeed taken its time in gaining traction, but if anyone would be able to give it a boost-shot, it would be Apple.

This isn’t an answer to Google Wallet solution either, but a first and sturdy start from Apple towards that goal. Perhaps building trust with something less risky, before going the full way. Apple has also gotten some big partners on board, from Starbucks to American Airlines, and no doubt others will be announced in the next week or two, with the imminent release of the new iPhone iteration.

 

According to Mobilenapps.com,

Passbook’s user interface presents the user’s personal items in a card-like interface that is updated live as things change. This skeuomorphism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ske…) visual design is very much like the former Square Card Case (How important is Square’s new stand-alone Card Case app?) that has been replaced by the “Pay With Square” app.  Passbook goes far beyond this concept by being a truly open system that any retailer can use regardless of what payment card company is processing the payment.  There will also be a rich feature set of controls that allows the user to finely tune the use of the system covering access to personal data and location information on to prior purchase history.

Companies like Visa and Mastercard could have their debit cards work by allowing you to present a passbook and either scan (or tap if NFC follows), so it does have its merchant possibilities.

Features worth noting

Geolocation. So, as previously noted, the cards you will see in your passbook is geo-sensitive, integrated within the iOS operating system so you will see it in the lock screen, when you are near a participant, ready for you to redeem. So if you are using Melbourne’s Myki ticket system for the trams, it could present a passbook for you telling you how much rides you have left, and either an NFC tap or scan with the on-tram scanning system. A tram inspector can also validate your ticket and bring up the passbook with a device of their own that presents an alert.

Contextual Updates. Your passbook isnt passive, it reacts based on location changes, as well as content updates/server pushes, so the server can push an update, such as if a flight gate number has changed, allowing for true publishing.

Integration with other Apple apps. Passbook would work seamlessly with Calendar and Reminders, to allow you to be reminded through those avenues. Purchase a coupon, and it will remind you when it expires on a certain date. Or you can share with a friend a coupon, via a calendar invite.

The technology

Mobilenapps.com has a strong view on Apple’s approach with this, and whilst we have read about how other banks and merchants have been trying to compete with Google’s wallet solution and create their own e-payment system, Apple has taken the most neutral approach. We don’t know if Apple will bring NFC but whether they do or don’t, it would only complement and not be a necessity for Passbook. It could use the barcode scanning system and leave it up to the participants, or if NFC comes into the next iPhone, allow merchants to choose between either.

The implementation of Passbooks and it’s API is as simple as Apple’s push API, so it is enticing and easy.

When NFC is released on the next iPhone we will see far deeper integration to retailer’s existing payment systems through NFC readers that are being rapidly deployed at the larger retailers as a part of Visa’s and MasterCards mandate to have a high degree of EMV and NFC acceptance by 2014.  There will be financial and liability inducements to merchants to adopt upgrades to the existing payment equipment as nearly 100% of US payment cards will have EMV and NFC by 2014 (http://usa.visa.com/download/mer… and http://www.fastcompany.com/18128…).  There is nominal costs of less then $100 for these upgrades for most merchants and in many cases the upgrade will be free.   Apple will be at the tip of the spear with NFC integrated into the iPhone just as more NFC systems will be in use at merchants. (Mobilenapps.com)

 

So, as you can see, this is exciting and the possibilities are limitless. With Siri, as MobilenApps pointed out, we could have someone talk into their phone and remind themselves to give a tip, and it would activate the passbook, or send a passbook gift/coupon to a friend via Siri. We are certainly looking forward to seeing how Apple changes this game and what innovations third party providers come up with to make use of this.

 

Rapid iOS development with Applicasa

As an iOS Developer, you always strive to be efficient in development, focus on what is important, and for most developers, at least us indie developers, you want to focus on the beauty of your app, the code. Maybe you do your own icons, maybe you outsource it, to help de-scope unnecessary work. Well, why not think about making the database side of things easier for you by leveraging the cloud?
Everyone knows CoreData can be cumbersome and time-consuming to work with, design and implement, as is creating web services and sorting out JSON, both from a server and client-side. Well, Applicasa takes the fuss and hassle out of it, and I am a newly convert of this.

The benefits of working with them not only lies in the fact that it’s dead simple to implement their API (which I will be showing you over the

course of the next few weeks with a series of tutorials), but that it’s essentially a CMS, allowing you to give others access to insert and update content, whilst not compromising the database integrity.

When you are designing the data objects, it’s pretty much as simple as drag-and-drop, you drag the type, including foreign keys. On the CMS side, the content-editors don’t even have to be exposed to foreign key, they just the actual value they can enter for that foreign item. That is, if a User object has Profession object related to it, with the option of ‘Student’ or ‘Professor’, the CMS editor will enter the User information and for the foreign element, has a drop-down of the possible options to choose from, rather than having to remember the foreign key ID value for student to match to the User.

The good guys at Applicasa also provide you with an easy-to-use push functionality, right from the dashboard screen. You can schedule a push, choose the sound notification and add parameters to the push payload, all so easily. Coming soon, you can base a push notification on certain data criteria, using custom and powerful queries.

Well, there is tons more features to talk about, I am very excited with this product and will be providing you with some great tutorials in the next few weeks, which will hopefully illustrate and emphasise why Applicasa is the way to go. In the meantime, visit applicasa.com and register. It’s great, and the pricing model is fantastic.

 

 

 
[box type=”info”]
Got an idea for an iPhone or iPad app? Why not boost your business visibility with a mobile app.

For an obligation-free consultation and quote, click here and we can arrange an online appointment, or in-person appointment. We service Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Central Coast.
[/box]

Location-based Social Media: Why business can’t afford to ignore this


Over the last five-to-eight years we have no doubt seen the explosion of social media networks across the globe, but in the last two years, we have certainly also seen another micro-explosion, in mobile social media. It has become a more important medium for consumers, who not only like to check their Facebook feed post tweets on Twitter from their phones, but actively participate in location-based tagging and checking-in, using services like FourSquare and even Facebook with it’s location-based check-ins.

The exponentially increased availability of smartphones, especially lower-end ones that appear in the market, and the greater difficulty in obtaining non-internet capable phones these days, means there has never been a greater scope of consumers who have the capabilities to participate in GeoSocial Interactions.

Location-based sites like FourSquare have certainly seen growth on their side, of very high magnitudes, for the ability to attract customers to their stores, events or specific locations. Whilst Facebook does have the standard check-ins, which allow people to check in at a location, leveraging the high popularity of the Facebook network in notifying their friends and tracking their friends, FourSquare goes the extra step, in allowing companies to create interactive geo-promotions to attract people to their stores.

I have recently worked on a project with a Sydney-based coffee shop, to implement social media strategy, to attract customers to the coffee shop through a combination of Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare campaigns. For FourSquare, we looked at a two-pronged initiative:

For existing customers, and ensuring we maintain loyalty, we looked at rewarding customers who checked-in every ten times, with a 50% off their next coffee. We could have also gone with having the leading check-in-et (the mayor), get an extra 10% off their coffee.

For new customers, and enticing new people to the store, we implemented the initiative of Friends Special, come in with your friends and you all check-in and there will be a table discount of 20%.

There are many different variants of specials and promotions that could be initiated, and managed by the store, even for a particular period of time.

The result of creative and heavy campaigns such as the ones mentioned, allows the place to be a featured or dominant position, whilst allowing the store to be able to directly engage and publish news and alerts to their customers. FourSquare also provide strong metrics for tracking users who check-in and interact with the store:

[box]
Total daily check-ins over time

  • Your most recent visitors
  • Your most frequent visitors
  • Gender breakdown of your customers
  • What time of day people check in
  • Portion of your venue’s foursquare check-ins that are broadcast to Twitter and Facebook
  • If you’re a chain with multiple locations, see aggregated stats across all of them.[/box]

Scavenger Hunts

With my client being a bookstore as well as coffee shop, some businesses have employed creative scavenger hunting campaigns, such as checking-in to the store and following clues, posting the results on the FourSquare tips/notes section, and the correct combination would unlock certain prizes, whether it would be books or food/beverage rewards.

Social Swarm

Another type of special that can be employed, would be to invite a mass amount of people to check in at the same time (they don’t need to be friends) and when a certain threshold is reached, for the number of check-ins, within a specific period (such as 2 hours), a special is unlocked. This is what is called a Social Swarm.

 

So what will happen if businesses don’t look at emerging socio-trends?

People are always on their phones, and especially when you are waiting for your order to arrive, you would sit aimlessly on your phone, searching the web, Facebook and twitter trends. Why not point them your way, give them incentive, and build your brand in the process? People walking on your street would be able to use the explore feature of the FourSquare app to see if any specials exist. If your business doesn’t have any location-based presence, the person might just skip past your store and walk to the next place that has that reward…

 

 

[box type=”info”]
Ask us how we can help build a complete website for your business, complete with e-commerce, and keyword optimisation SEO to put your website at the top of Google searches for your area.

For an obligation-free consultation and quote, click here and we can arrange an online appointment, or in-person appointment. We service Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Central Coast.
[/box]