Mar 22, 2012 by Matt | Posted in General
The addition of a 2048×1536 pixel “retina” display on the latest model of the iPad has created an interesting conundrum: many developers will no longer be able to fit the iOS Simulator on their computer screens. If you toggle it into the mode added for the third-generation iPad, it’s too big to fit on the screen of any MacBook or iMac. According to Paul Haddad, developer of Tweetbot, it just barely fits on his 30″ Apple Cinema monitor.
If you’re not familiar with iOS development, the Simulator is used to run an Xcode project on a Mac instead of waiting for the freshly compiled binary to sync to the device and then launch. (Also, sometimes you may not have an iOS device handy while you’re making a minor bug fix…or you might not have an iPad yet at all!)
I can’t be the only one to think it strange that Apple would, in the long term, make it difficult for developers to work on their apps on anything other than a desktop Mac driving a 30″ monitor. (That’s a surefire way to cut down on software for the new iPad!)
This, to me at least, seems like a strong suggestion that a refresh of the MacBook Pro line is on the way, bringing with it screen resolutions equal to or higher than the iPad’s. Maybe the iMacs will get a resolution bump, too.
Edit: Ars Technica is now reporting (it’s uncanny, they posted just a few hours after me…) that the latest Mountain Lion beta has double-sized graphic resources, indicating that this is something Apple is at least working towards.
Sep 22, 2010 by Matt | Posted in General
It’s pretty obvious that I have a significant interest in iPhone apps and their development. I like to cover the subject here, despite the fact that the site is called “Webmaster-Source” and not “iPhone-Source.” Why is that?
I think mobile applications are as much apart of the field of webmastery as web pages are. Just as a web application can serve-up an HTML frontend or an RSS feed or a JSON result set, it can also have a mobile interface in “app form.” Modern websites generally separate the content from the business logic and the presentation layer, allowing for interface-agnostic systems like Twitter. I can use most of the functions of Twitter through the main website or through HootSuite or through one of the many iPhone apps.
True, mobile apps are not hypertext, but they’re yet another facet of the internet. Let’s face it, normal web pages don’t work terribly well on pocket-sized devices. The iPhone made it tolerable to browse the web on a mobile device, but it’s still not an optimal experience. Apps are the preferred interface, whether we all like it or not.
What do you think: is mobile app development as closely linked to web development as I consider it?
Aug 2, 2010 by Matt | Posted in Coding
Many modern web browsers have early support for the <video> and <audio> elements in the HTML5 spec. Unfortunately, their implementation varies depending on the ideals of the various browser developers. Safari expects video to be encoded in the high-quality H.264 codec, other browsers prefer Ogg Theora. Google is trying to push their own freely-licensed VP8 codec, which Mozilla is showing signs of adopting. Then there’s Internet Explorer, which doesn’t support the <video> element at all.
Thankfully, there’s a way to fairly easily support everything. You can offer HTML5 video in one or more formats and fall back on Silverlight or Flash if necessary.
MediaElement.js allows you to do that with a little bit of jQuery voodoo. After including all of the required files, you can serve-up an H.264 video for Safari and iPhone/iPad users like so:
<video src="myfile.mp4" type="video/mp4" width="640" height="360"></video>
There is also a way to specify more than one video type in the <video> element, if you have re-encoded it into more than one codec:
<video width="640" height="360">
<source src="myfile.mp4" type="video/mp4" >
<source src="myfile.ogg" type="video/ogg" >
<source src="myfile.webm" type="video/webm" >
You will want to check it out if you’re interested in cross-browser compatible web video.
Apr 23, 2010 by Matt | Posted in Monetization
One of the things Steve Jobs announced in the iPhone OS 4.0 keynote was Apple’s new advertising platform, “iAds.” It’s something I have high hopes for. I think it will promote the development of more free applications.
What’s so special about iAds? For starters, clicking on one of the small banners doesn’t take you out of your application. It just opens an overlay with an HTML5-powered “mini application” from the advertiser, which you can then exit at any time.
The page displayed when you tap an advertisement is very interactive. Video and sound can be streamed to you, freebies like iPhone wallpapers can be downloaded. You can even play little HTML5 games.
Another example Jobs showed-off a few times was using the location tools to help find nearby store or movie theater locations. Imagine clicking a Pizza Hut or Dunkin Donuts ad and having it show you where to find the nearest franchise location.
Continue reading →
Jan 29, 2010 by Matt | Posted in Featured, General
Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you’ve almost certainly heard about Apple’s new iPad tablet. The $499 device is essentially a giant iPod Touch, but with a few additional features.
The integrated ebook store (or iBooks, as Apple prefers to call them…) places the device as a competitor to the Kindle, and already they have the support of several major publishers. The form factor makes it perfect for sitting in a chair and reading, whether your content be an ebook or a web page. It also has a version of the iWork suite available that takes advantage of the touch interface.
Already, there are predictions circulating that the device will be a miserable failure. I will tell you now, so we can all look back at this and decide who gets the last laugh, that my forecast is the opposite. Apple knows their market, and the iPad will sell.
Why? Isn’t it just an iPod Touch that doesn’t fit in your pocket?
At a glance, yes. However, each device has its own strengths — and the iPad’s give it a niche that will enable it to carve out a space between the laptop and the smartphone.
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