iOS 10 - Preview - Apple 2016-06-16 10-55-58
Technology, Tutorial

Get iOS / tvOS / watchOS Betas Without A Developer Account

Did you know you can now install Apple beta software without having a developer account? Install the corresponding configuration profiles directly from your device to receive over the air (OTA) updates. After installing the profile and restarting your device, you should see the option to update from your settings under your usual system update menu. You no longer have to deal with IPSW imaging.

Configuration Profiles:

 

Disclaimer, these software are still in BETA, so use at your own risk and know that they are more buggy than release builds.

MetaReader
News, Technology

Introducing MetaReader

I’ve been drawn to the content and quality of discussion of a community blog concept website called MetaFilter. Their concept of a community type blog harkens back before the days of similar sites, Reddit and Quora. I initially stumbled upon the site way back when on an Ask MetaFilter post and have been checking in ever since. They employ moderators so the quality of discussion tends to be high and trolling is dealt with swiftly.

I haven’t found any (if at all) great iOS apps to experience or browse MetaFilter and its associated sites, so I set out on a quest to build one using the knowledge I had gathered from my experience building iOS apps. The development of the app posed an unique set of challenges, mainly, they did not offer an API, so I set out to build a framework that has the capability to easily transform a variety of pre-existing websites in a blog/forum format to a native app which is seamless to the user.

The app offers a completely native browsing experience: a beautiful design with different site themes, support for almost all device types/screen sizes (iPhone, iPhone 6/6+, iPad), and multiple orientation support. The later are pretty rare for most first-version apps, so I’m proud to announce that they will be included from day one and you should be able to enjoy MetaReader on all of your Apple devices. Also included will be some improvements over the web based version such as intuitive gestural actions.

This is an initial version and one man side project so I know there are improvements to be made. As a gesture of appreciation and as a limited launch promotion, I will be offering the app at a significant discount of over 60% off at $1.99:

Download App On Apple App Store

 

 

Please contact me directly (metareader@nathanmock.com or on Twitter, @nmock) if you encounter any hiccups or suggestions! Enjoy!

[cover photo PSD courtesy COBE]

Uncategorized

On being humble

There are always people who are going to be better than you or who you can learn from. The sooner a young designer can realize that, the more inviting the path is in front of them. Be realistic in your self-worth and recognize what you do well, but be humble and be willing to learn from others.

Dan Mall

Technology

A Great Quote On Mobile Applications

“Mobile provides a great opportunity to reevaluate what content/functionality is necessary and gives us an opportunity to strip away the cruft across the board (and not just for mobile users either). These constraints also encourage ease-of-use, intuitiveness and speed as essential ingredients to a good user experience.”

– Brad Frost
Productivity

Productivity Tip

Here are some productivity killers that I have encountered and how I have learned to overcome them:

1) Avoid checking your social networks/email during the day. If you must, set aside a certain amount of time dedicated to these tasks. Rarely is an email that important where it elicits a same hour response. If it’s important, they should have better avenues of contacting you.

2) Publish a calendar / include your contact information in your email signature. This way, those contacting you have a way of contacting you at the appropriate times if something is that important.

3) Track productivity through software. I use the free, RescueTime service. Setup is simple. You’ll feel guilty seeing how many hours you wasted performing unproductive tasks when reviewing the weekly report. Here is a sample of one of my more productive weeks, when I was in the middle of developing for Instago.

4) Turn off push notifications on your smart phone. Alternatively, enable the “Do Not Disturb” feature where you can schedule time daily where you will receive push notifications. To activate on iOS devices, Settings -> Do Not Disturb. To configure, Settings -> Notifications -> Do Not Disturb.

Technology

Next iPhone OS/Hardware Wishlist

It’s been less than a month since receiving the brand new iPhone 5. Upgrading from the iPhone 4, I can definitely attest that it has been a pleasure to use: expanded screen real estate, lighter, thinner, and all around more polished. Apple has definitely hit a home run with it’s newest release. Over at Apple HQ in Cupertino, I’m sure they already have the next iPhone in the works! Here is my wish list for what I hope they are building in their labs. I have separated the realistic and nice to have upgrades. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments!

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iOS5
Technology

Top 4 iOS5 Features

Being a registered developer, I’ve had the chance to check out the iOS 5 Beta. Here are some of my favorite features and observations so far that have been not so published/talked about.

Tutorial

POSTing Form Data From iOS

I’ve had a couple people approach me and ask me how to POST to a web form with a mix of file data and other text values. After much research and lack of resources on the internet describing how to do so, I eventually stumbled upon a library, ASIHTTPRequest which makes it quite easy to do so.

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