Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Detect Mute Switch State on iPhone
July 8, 2009

You’re a developer! You’re the coolest person on your block! You want to know how to detect if the mute switch on the iPhone is flipped (ya know, for reminding dumb user why their phone isn’t playing any sound.) Well, I stumbled upon a solution – and I thought I’d share. Our goofy app, Wookiee Translator was about to be updated with this new detection before we pulled it from the store.

Here’s how it goes: If you’re calling a sound to play with AVAudioPlayer, and the mute switch is ON, the iPhone software doesn’t play anything, or waste time reading the audio file. (This might be true of OpenAL as well) If you create a “check” to see if anything is playing or not, you’ll get an indication of whether the switch is flipped or not!

In the Wookiee Translator, I set up a timer to calculate how long it was from when the sound file is called to play, to when it finishes playing. If that timer check returns a value less than the shortest sound files, then I know the mute switch is flipped, and can alert the user.

If your app isn’t as audio focussed, you could add a small silent audio file of a certain length, and call it to “play” and check go see if it does or not, and bingo – there’s your hardware switch state – do with it what you will.

And please, leave a comment if this is helpful!

Chronicling our App – Day 3 & 4
June 29, 2009

So the Wookiee Translator is not available on the store anymore. For now.

Angered Wookiee

Day 3 downloads: 2,029; Day 4 downloads: 2,674; Total so far: Over 7500 (in under 4 days)

We’ve received a steady stream of e-mails, as well. Here’s a few of them:

>>> “Effing amazing app. Makes me laugh Everytime I use it. My friends and family love to hear it. It deserves a big LMFAO. Sent from my iPhone”

>>>”Just a quick congratulatory message about your app. Great fun thanks.”

And to keep us humble: >>> “Its a peace of crap” Haha, we love that one.

So all-in-all we brought some smiles to faces. Hopefully you haven’t seen the last of the Wookiee Translator, either! Also, I’m going to post how to detect the hardware state of the mute switch, so stay tuned.

Developers Rejoice! How to detect the hardware state of the Mute Switch on the iPhone
June 28, 2009

Mute Switch

Up until now (as far as we know) there was no known way for an iPhone app to detect if the mute switch has been flipped on or off. This has been wanted by developers, so they can provide friendly little reminders to their app users to explain why the app isn’t working as expected – this switch is flipped!

We at InForce have figured out how, and we’re uploading the new version of Wookiee Translator (Update: Pulled on June 29th)to the App Store for review today, with mute switch detection.

To leave you hanging, I’m not going to say how – just yet. Once the update is available, we’ll be posting code and instructions. So hang in there, eager beavers.

Chronicling our App – Day 2
June 27, 2009

iPhoneColors

Wow, things are just getting better!  Yesterday’s downloads reached 1,941.

The App Store economics is completely new to us, but I think downloads going up is a good thing. Actually, the reason I say that is because on day one, you get some free promotion and some “top-of-the-list” spots that quickly disappear by day two, as new apps drown out your shine.

But if your App has a steady increase as the days and weeks go on, you know you’ve got an app with some appeal… good search interest, word of mouth, maybe a review or two on third party blogs. It all helps you get noticed and keep the masses interested.

*On a side note, while we’re working on our legitimate apps, we’re trying to put together a couple more “Translators” just for the fun of it. We’ll keep you posted.

Chronicling our iPhone App – Day 1
June 27, 2009

iphonemyface

I was pleasantly surprised today to see Day One stats for our free Wookiee Translator App on the Apple iTunes App Store:

# of downloads:
USA, 735
CANADA, 73
BRAZIL, 10
MEXICO, 6
And a few other countries, 11

835 is a crazy number – higher than we were expecting for sure. But it’s still a Pixel in the Apple Cinema Display of applications on the store, 52,355 as of yesterday.

Thanks to everyone, and we’re really enjoying the appreciative & suggestive e-mails. Keep them coming!

inforceapps {at} gmail {*} com

Thanks, PandoraBox…
June 26, 2009

I have to give a shout out to the creators of the better-than-the-app-store application, PandoraBox.

In it’s first day on the store, our new app Wookiee Translator has received more attention from their app than anywhere else. They do an excellent job of organizing and keeping track of new apps and new price drops, and their model put us right near the top of the list.

PandoraBox

Here, Wookiee Translator is listed about 20 from the top of New Free Apps. Here’s an email I got tonight:

“Had a sh***y day… Very gloomy.
Was going through pandora box and I found the wookie translator.
I, literally, laughed aloud twice and couldn’t wait to forward it off to all my friends.
Thanks for making my day better.”

That made our day better too!

Wookiee Translator Live!
June 25, 2009

Our new entertainment App, Wookiee Translator, is now available on the App Store. It’s free, and you can download it here.

Thanks App Store approval team!

App submission legal woes
June 24, 2009

Apple is stompin’ down on any possible legal issues with applications. We created a free app, Wookiee Translator, just for kicks, and we are having a hard time getting it past Apple’s approval team.

I admit it is using a copyrighted franchise as its main basis, but here’s the inside scoop: We want to deal with Lucasfilm on this one, not our babysitter, Apple.

Here why: The app is a simple concept. Hold the record button, say something into the mic, and it is magically translated into the Wookiee language (Shyriiwook for all you hardcores) and played back to you. We think the big shots might make a really successful marketing app from this concept.

But, being an independent development team, it is impossible to market our idea to a large corporation – unless you grab their legal team’s attention. This is essentially what “PhoneSaber” did, and THQ Wireless (The mobile rights holders for anything Star Wars) liked the idea and released an official version.

Of course this could backfire and we all could be sued. But Apple, let us make that foolish business decision!

New iPhone 3GS sparks the next App Download spike
June 20, 2009

The newest iPhone & updated pricing was released yesterday, and over 24 hours later, the demand for the new device is still prompting lines around the world. While we wait for actual sales numbers, we can speculate on the effect this new device will have on App Store Sales.

Without a doubt, June 2009 is the next $pike – and all you developers best have your Apps out. Not only is the spanky new 3GS attracting tech geeks and performance pundits, the new lower pricing of the lesser 8gb iPhone 3G will attract a whole new demographic with the most affordably cool phone on the market.

We at InForce are working our pants off to get our applications ready for mass market, and we hope you are too.

New iPhone App Idea? Save hours and make a better App!
June 12, 2009

So you’ve got a crazy cool idea for an App, but a long road ahead. Here’s some tips to save you time & frustration in development – Prototype.

Prototyping means you will take your idea and turn it into an interactive, non-functioning application right on the iPhone in an extremely short amount of time. By doing this, your team will get to feel your App’s layout and design in their hands right on the device, all before any hard-coding work is done.

With a working prototype you can stir up feedback: What works? What doesn’t? Is there another approach that might work better? By spending a day creating a visually appealing prototype, you’ve saved yourself hours of coding that may have been in the wrong direction. Here’s what the creative process can look like:

1. Lay out your idea on paper

2. Work with your graphic designer to create true to life screenshots of what you feel your app will look like, using native iPhone UI elements and as much original artwork as you can whip up. You should have “screenshots” that look like your finished product.

3. The developer must now hardwire simple code to link these photos together in transitions / page flips / simple animations / touch responses, to create a living breathing application that shows off the feeling of what you want to accomplish. Remember, don’t spend hours doing this – do as little work as possible, and fake anything difficult.

4. When completed, play with the App, and get as much feedback as possible. Involve everyone early on. You will probably find your original idea needs modifications, and you will come up with even better ideas in the process.

5. Make any necessary changes, and build a new prototype to match.

The benefits? Everyone in your team understands exactly what the App should and should not do. You’ve sidestepped wasted time building and coding an application that may have had serious flaws that should have been addressed early on. And you have a beautiful working demo to show investors, higher-ups, or media. And all of this in just a short amount of time.