Review of Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

A quintessential catalogue for mobile developers, this is a no-frills systematic guide to common patterns. It tries to be device-neutral but does illustrate good and bad patterns on both droid and iOS devices in an easy to navigate and follow reference book. It doesn’t spent too long on explanations but provides a fantastic depth of every possible combination, allowing you as the developer to pick and choose in building your entire application navigation and controls.

The book has over 400 illustrative examples, and its categorised into 10 sections with patterns, anti-patterns (what not to do), discussing conventions as well as times when you can stray out to differentiate provided it meets UX requirements. The book details these patterns for tables (UITableViews), forms (and how to focus and fit the appropriate input controls), charts, help guide controls etc, so you should find the precise combination that would suite your application.

I have this book handy in my development toolbox, when i look at the conceptual stage to do the wireframes in Omnigraffle, and for me, translating existing websites into mobile apps, I need quick references to the controls that replicate the core functionality of the web-app.

I rate this book 9 out of 10, it’s fantastic, what I need without the bells and whistles of theory I don’t need. Just a comprehensive reference book to get you designing the right way from the start.

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery: UI Patterns for Mobile Applications by Theresa Neil

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Optimizing Connections to the Apple Push Notification Service

iPhone Developer News

The Apple Push Notification Service provides a high-speed, high-capacity interface, so you should establish and maintain an open connection to handle all your notifications. Connections that are repeatedly opened and closed will affect the performance and stability of your connection to the Apple Push Notification Service and may be considered denial-of-service attacks. You should also connect regularly to the feedback service so you don’t send notifications to devices that no longer have your app installed. Learn more about connecting to the Apple Push Notification Service.

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Review of Publishing with iBooks Author .

The recent iBooks Authoring tool released by Apple has given amateur book writers and enthusiasts a direct enablement to self-publish their own interactive books to Apple’s bookstore, in a similar way that developers have been given access to the app-store. Nellie McKesson delivers soon after the iBooks Authoring release with a handy book that guides the user through the basics of laying out the structure of the book.

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Upgrading to XCode 4.3 and solving the /Developer issue

With the upgrade to XCode 4.3, one of the significant changes is that the /Developer folder is gone and instead bundled within the /Applications/ content bundle. One thing that you have to remember is that for the command-line tools (of which now you should be downloading individually within the Apple Developer Site) is that you have to switch those command lines to use your new path, rather than the old Developer path.

An excellent article from UseYourLoaf, outlines what needs to be done. 

For example I often used the agvtool to manage build version numbers but if you try to run it after installing Xcode 4.3 you will get the following error message:

$ agvtool
Error: No developer directory found at /Developer. 
Run /usr/bin/xcode-select to update the developer
 directory path.

The xcode-select utility allows you to switch between versions of Xcode which makes it easy to correct the problem:

$ sudo /usr/bin/xcode-select -switch /Applications/

If you are wondering where all of the files that were previously under /Developer have gone you can find them by right-clicking on the file in the Applications folder and showing the package contents. The old /Developer/usr/bin directory is now in /Applications/

Don’t forget to clean up your shell environment if you previously referred to anything under /Developer. So for example, if you added /Developer/usr/bin to your PATH and /Developer/usr/share/man to your MANPATH you will need to prepend /Applications/ to these settings in your shell login script.


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Review of jQuery Mobile: Up and Running .

This book does indeed seem like a pre-released even though it has alredy been published, but it feels a bit incomplete in many areas, which was the general gist I got from reading this book and comparing it to various other books that I have come across. The second thing I noticed was the way the author structured this book, starting with a theoretical background of JQuery followed by the various controls (such as lists, navigation), leaving out DOM and selector stuff, which falls under the more fundamental JQuery literature, which means this book is catered towards people who have a basic/general understanding of JQuery. Whether the author will in fact later include those in chapters I am not sure of, but I would certainly like to see that summarised in a chapter or two.

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Review of ‘Mastering Advanced Git’ by McCullough and Berglund

I probably own about one or two git books, I use git quite a bit but I don’t go beyond my normal basic routines. I then was given the opportunity to review Mastering Advanced Git, a 3-and-a-half-hour video by Matthew McCullough (@matthewmccull) and Tim Berglund (@tlberglund).

After the introductory video warning us that the topics are quite advanced, I decided to review the predecessor set of videos, Mastering Git which went through the basics. Whilst reviewing that set of videos is beyond the scope of this review, it is vital that anyone who is new to Git take that up first as you will be completely lost if you attempt the master version without the pre-requisite knowledge of the first set.

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Review of iOS 5 Programming Cookbook

The follow on from iOS 4 Cookbook, which I thoroughly enjoyed by , is the opposite of what you might find being the more concise O’Reilly books on specific iOS topics, that I normally review. Depending on how your mind operates, this book may be an excellent first book, otherwise it makes an even greater secondary reference book. It is certainly not concise, but it doesn’t have the problem that normal iOS books have of going through chapter by chapter skimming certain topics, this one has it all.  It goes through the normal problem–>solution–>discussion process to allow you to quickly identify which topic matches your needs and then explains that topic concisely with an example, rather than go through all the fluff. The fluff is left for the discussion part in case you wanted to know more. But if this isn’t your ideal way of learning, in a non-linear but contextual method, then keep this book as a reference.
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