ChronoCat 5 is on the Way

After multiple false starts I am happy to announce that version 5.0 of ChronoCat is on the way! Features include a new look, more color and layout options, a customizable icon, and a new price: free

Hoping to have everything wrapped up by the end of March or early April, should have some more status updates/screenshots soon.

Goodbye FeaturedDisplay, Hello IDX Featured Listings!

I am pleased to announce that after being acquired last year by IDX Broker, FeaturedDisplay is now IDX Featured Listings!

This 2.0 update includes a great new look, the ability to show/hide individual listings, an increased auto-update frequency, and company contact information is now shown between listings. Thanks so much to IDX Broker for giving the app a great new home and allowing me to continue to work on it with so many awesome people.

ChronoCat 3.2 on the Way!

5 new colors added for the app theme and events: Grey, Yellow, Rose, Lavendar, and Aqua. Update was submitted earlier today, should be available for download in a day or two.

Differences Between Writing tvOS and iOS Apps

A couple months back I completed my first tvOS app, FeaturedDisplay. While the process is very similar to making an iOS app I found there were a few differences:

  1. How you make icons – tvOS uses layered icons to give a parallax effect when focused. Instead of using a single file, multiple files are placed in an assets catalog and are then laid on top of each other to make the final product. Here are Apple’s images and icons guidelines for tvOS that cover all of the icon/image requirements.
  2. Library support – Even if a third party library does not explicitly support tvOS it is just a derivation on iOS so with a few minor tweaks (e.g. commenting out some iOS-specific version checks) you can likely get most iOS libraries out there to work with your tvOS app.
  3. Focus Engine – One major departure from iOS is the Focus Engine which is used to drive the tvOS interface. While it mostly “just worked” right out of the box for me there seems to be a fair amount of tutorials out there if you do run into any issues.
  4. Not a huge amount of tvOS-specific help resources – Not a big shock here but there just aren’t as many people making tvOS apps so there is less existing answers out there if you bump into something. One that I encountered was adding license text to the settings bundle similar to how the Music app does it.
  5. Linking to your app – When I first released my app this fall I noticed that there was no way  to link to it. There was no option to generate an iTunes link like you can for other apps/music/books and the Apple TV has no web browser so it was pretty much impossible to point users to your app. Luckily Apple remedied this issue in early November and you can now make iTunes links for tvOS apps.


WWDC 2016 – Initial Thoughts

WWDC 2016 ended last week and though I’m still working through the mountain of session videos it generated here is a list of the things I’m most excited about so far:

1. New Core Data Additions – Lots of neat new Core Data stuff, namely NSPersistantContainer. Being able to set up your whole Core Data stack in a few lines of code is awesome.

2. ISO8601 DateFormatter – Finally some first class support for the only sane date format in existence, yyyy/mm/dd. XKCD agrees.

3. Visual Memory Debugger in Xcode 8 – This looks so much nicer than the current memory debugging experience, I can’t wait to take it for a spin.


ChronoCat 3.1 Submitted to the App Store

After finally getting myself to sit down to finish new screenshots ChronoCat 3.1 has been submitted to the App Store. New features include being able to set colors on events, change the color of the app’s navigation bar, and a changed date picker (migrated from RMDateSelectionViewController to HSDatePickerViewContoller).

AppReviewTimes is showing 9 days on average right now but I imagine that is largely due to the holiday closure and will hopefully take a bit less time.

Simulator Screen Shot Jan 4, 2016, 11.14.08 PM