Posted on 1 Comment

Felt blessed: looking back at 2010

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s Christmas eve 2010. Baby already fell asleep. Wife is tweaking her new Toshiba R705 laptop, and I was reading some Navigation controller stuff while watching TV (PBS Christmas program, KMOV news).

This year is obviously one of the most significant years in my 13 years stay in this country. In early March, we got a baby girl. Before that I changed job after 15 months stint at a decent size software company. Things did not work out as good as I thought in Oct/Nov 2008 (the middle of financial crisis). The good thing is, after some hard work and luck, I got a new job at local software company, and got to do what like to do.

In July I signed up the Apple iOS developer program, paid the $99 annual fee and became more seriously on iOS app development. I have thought about it and bought Macbook and iPhone 3G back in Jan 2009, but between my old job, our expectation of baby, and my shear inaction, I did not get to finish the Beginning iPhone Development book in 2009. I started fresh again in 2010 (got the new iPhone 3 dev book, for one). Since the birth of baby, I felt more and more the importance of spending time with family. I think iOS app dev gave me a decent shot at this desire. In middle Oct. I went to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia (again, I went there in May with my in-laws), for the Voice that Matter iPhone dev conference. I think I learned quite a few things there, besides technology, there is design and the business of going indie, which both are important to me (being from developer background).

Looking forward, baby is growing much faster than I thought, especially since she started to crawl and stand. She likes my gadgets (iPhone, iPad, and macbook), much more than her own vtech laptop. I hope I can spend more time with her before she grows up.

Posted on 1 Comment

The first bug reported for myNestEgg v 1.2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This morning I received an email from a user saying that the app stopped working. After one round of back and forth, I realized I shipped the product with a serious (show stopper) bug: I was playing around with adding a comma separator around the time I made change for v 1.2, and I left the code there when it shipped. Now I break pretty much everyone’s nest egg if they run the updated (v 1.2) app.


This little incident again illustrate the thing I mentioned last week: testing

and another topic I would like to talk some time later: source code control.

Luckily, the fix was relatively easy: I comment out the code where I put in “exta comma” for numbers. Because the app persists the number to the file system, I need to do some String manipulation in Objective C (basically remove the extra comma) when reading from the file during app loading. Here is a StackOverflow discussion thread I followed on this topic.

BTW, the user has entered the opportunity to win the $25 Amazon gift card, as I said a bit earlier.

PS: it appears the ratios (saving progress; income ratio) are still correct in those cases, despite the error of dollar amount. Note the ratios are more important in reality, though I can understand the dollar amount are more important in most people’s mind.

PS 2: it’s interesting to see sometimes, when things are broken, it started to get attention. This reminds me a story in which an app got a lot of “ad click” because the useful data feeds were broken, and all the user can see is the Ads.

Posted on Leave a comment

Check list for submit iPhone App

Reading Time: < 1 minute

(Update 08-31-2010) I submitted my app myNestEgg (a retirement savings calculator) last night. Some quick thoughts on things not directly related to coding but important during submission.

1) Screenshots and icon file. Apple is very strict on those files. Icon file has to be 57×57 (in png format). “The iPhone/iPod touch screenshot must be a .jpeg, .jpg, .tif, .tiff, or .png file that is 320×480, 480×320, 320×460, 480×300, 640×960, or 960×640 pixels, at least 72 DPI, and in the RGB color space.” (quote Apple)

2) SKU number, tax information (iTune connect). I found this MacRumors discussion thread on SKU number to be useful. As to fill out tax information, iphoneDevSDK has a good thread.

3) Rename a project (target, app) in Xcode. This is a tough one in Xcode 3.1.4. It has been solved in Xcode 3.2. That being said, I saw one interesting article for changing project name in old Xcode.

(Original) Got it from “Prepare for App submission” section of iPhone dev center (subscription required). I need to work on the bold material.

Application Name
Application Description, a working page is over here. I think it can also be used for Application URL below? How about a Support URL, is that something user can talk about problems by filling out a form?

Primary and Secondary Category
App Rating

Continue reading Check list for submit iPhone App