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SafeChat™ Goes Live!

February 16, 2013 No comments yet

It took awhile but I finally got SafeChat out and you can grab yourself a fantastic copy here from the AppStore

Safe Chat allows parents to control exactly who their kids are talking to and (in the next site release) allows you to access their chat audits, monitor for any dangerous activity as well. By creating family groups and locking down devices your kids get a fun way to communicate with you and other trusted family members. Parental controls and quiet times prevent talking “after hours”.

This works on iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads – any wifi or cell connection is fine. Unlike iMessage no cell number is required and on your child’s device iMessage should be blocked too.

Feedback welcome! Android version coming soon too.

kid friendly, parent happy™


Developer mode on the Nexus 7

January 16, 2013 No comments yet

I do find it odd that Google, great creator of Android, who sell their own hardware now – which one just must assume is going to be initially bought by developers – has developer mode disabled and hidden. I haven’t met a developer yet who just picked one up because they felt all warm and fuzzy but rather because they want cutting edge droid lovin….

Anyway – to enable developer mode, hit Settings, About, tap the build number 7 times. (can we assume a Nexus 8 will be 8 times) … I think not :p

Enjoy dev mode.

WTF, crazy osx 10.8.2 and iTunes 10.7 bugs

September 20, 2012 No comments yet

Its always been english, always – see the merging of graphics in the background … did someone rush this release? What is funny is everything is actually upside down with a neat font not another lanuage … I also included a screen shot of the screen shot which shows how fucked up things have become. The second image is what I see not what you see …. yeah, its one of those days.


Funny Apple iOS 6 Exception Message

September 20, 2012 1 comment

Clearly Apple has a couple smart asses working there :) This exception was thrown in my code when it failed to parse a string for a date and then tried to create a calendar from nothing.

*** -[__NSCFCalendar components:fromDate:]: date cannot be nil

I mean really, what do you think that operation is supposed to mean with a nil date?

An exception has been avoided for now.

A few of these errors are going to be reported with this complaint, then further violations will simply silently do whatever random thing results from the nil.

Bing, we’ll bring the virus to you!

April 9, 2012 No comments yet

So even though things with Internet Explorer’s security are slowing getting better it looks like Microsoft’s Bing will just bring the virus directly to you. I still see this as an IE issue because by default it ships with the Bing search provider and it is that search provider that has a huge security problem with it’s search results.

Twice now … yes – I was in a hurry, I typed in a common app I download on a routine basis (new virtual machines) and didn’t notice that the initial search results were actually ads, worse than just ads, they are direct spyware/adware/whateware links. Take a look at these results for the Adobe Reader download, if you don’t pay attention that ultra light background isn’t visible and those ads look like just what you wanted…

I’m sure this could be a problem for any search provider but try it with google, only 1 sponsored (spam/virus) result but clearly marked as such. Boo Microsoft … clean it up.


Titanium – XCode compatibility chart!

March 12, 2012 No comments yet

A lot of titanium developers especially those new to the tool are unaware there is a published compatibility chart between Titanium Studio and XCode. It is critical to review this before making any updates to XCode – for example, currently XCode 4.3 was released but the 1.10 version of Studio will not work and you’ll have to figure out how to get back to XCode 4.2.

Keep the matrix handy!

It is a pity things go out of alignment as new installations of OSX etc will result in the latest XCode but what you going to do :)

Budget Bum, the app that could.

March 12, 2012 No comments yet

It keeps track of what your other half is spending :) With real time push coming soon to alert you of excessive spending you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this ….

Ok, really it is just a simple and fast budgeting app to help your day to day spending. It is on the PhoneGap/SenchaT2 stack. Expenses are stored, for free, on our central server and backed up :) This lets you share you budgets with others.

Take a look, Budget Bum.

The push notifications will be out probably late next week, depends on when Apple decent to review it … hah


First live PhoneGap project, lessons learned.

March 10, 2012 No comments yet

Or maybe I should say “lesson learned” :)

I believe I already once quoted JS once when he said, if you can build your mobile app in html and java script you probably should. Well now I officially disagree. Although for this project I didn’t use some of the easier frameworks like jQT or jQuery Mobile mostly because those two are either un-supported or too slow so I decided to use Sencha Touch 2. When tested against iPads, iPhones and Android devices it had the best performance with the least amount of UI flicker/quirks.

The app I built is a simple budgeting app called Budget Bum. Not too many screens or anything too fancy. The first thing you’ll notice with Sencha is the learning curve – its just tough. Their documentation is good but very dis-jointed in terms of real apps and the requests from the community for starter projects are ignored. (unfortunately) To give the framework credit, it can do anything and integration with PhoneGap and native device functionality was pretty straight forward.

So why the beef? Well, when running on a iPhone 4s there is a distinct lack of “feel” about the app. Button taps feel sluggish, the UI changes quickly but very slight flickers and sometimes slight control alignment issues remind you it is not native. Due to the load time of PG for a small app on the fatest iPhone currently to take a few seconds of splash screen is not acceptable. The PhoneGap team rather than the Sencha team could fix this by exposing native device controls to JS. It would be awesome to get access to native controls for the UI on both iOS and Android. I know some forked projects doing just this thing.

So one huge plus that turned into a bummer was the port over the Android. Once I had the iPhone version “waiting for approval” .. it only took a couple hours to package up the app and get it into the Android market. This was great, no rewrite – not a single line of functional code had to be changed and then …. I started to find out that the Android version was full of bugs. Not bugs in my JS but rather UI issues from Sencha. I had to start marking more and more tweaks to get a solid Android version which was a pity.

So what comes next? Well – I can’t currently keep working on all these platforms, it isn’t productive to keep rewriting after these issues are found. I have 2 native iOS apps out, 1 Sencha/PG and 1 Titanium. My thinking (for another post) is to stick with Ti for at least 6 months, performance is far better and I’m still using Java Script.

Why not just Native – since I have 2 native apps out on iOS those apps don’t exist on Android and I don’t have the time to write them again so it _has_ to be cross platform more than ever.

An update on the JO framework

February 12, 2012 No comments yet

I was originally excited when I first found this framework, it looked simple and seemed to have a nice, clean UI however I soon run into a few issues.

This framework and I believe it’s lead developer/founder intended this for WebOS which was created by palm and later destroyed by their ignoranze. It does have a nice card style UI but lacks in documentation and I soon found myself running into problems that were not documented and not discovered by the community. It is also best to build the app using pure java script and if you’re going to be doing that you might as well learn Sencha Touch :)

I’ll do another in-depth post on Sencha, it is by far the fastest HTML 5 framework available to cross platform developers. As for JO, I think it will fall by the wayside like it’s inspired operating system, WebOS.

Incredible Intel 320 SSD, perfect for Macs

December 29, 2011 No comments yet

These days the choices in SSD’s just keep in increasing however my bias is currently towards Intel drives. I’ve been running their X25 series drives in all my macbook pros and the performance and reliability has been outstanding.

Now the larger, 160GB 320 series has enough space to be used in a MacPro and of course still perfectly suitable for the MacBook. Anyone running a straight Pro will know you need decent space. I still have 3 others SATA drives however I have been switching those out to the Hybrid SSD systems with good results.

The 320 incorporates Intel’s latest in SSD technology, comes in a larger size and at a better price point!