Analysis / ios / iphone / mobileNo Comments
Jun 12

Is Apple’s updated Game Center about to nibble at the heels of the XBOX?

One the items that caught my eyes in Apple's WWDC demos was the gaming extension that was layered onto the Apple TV box. Games enabled with Airplay can now mirror and even display separate content on the TV. Think of it as your iPhone and iPad as the controller but also as the gaming machine beaming the game onto your HD TV screen. Demos also showed four iPhone users playing concurrently on the same TV screen, competing with each other. Apple is not making a lot of noise about this yet – as iOS 6 is not out. But the implications can be huge. Graphics and computing power on the iPad and iPhone are respectable to say the least. Kids and adults alike are moving off of Nintendos and Playstation Portables (ok, fewer of those) onto iPod Touch, iPhones, iPads because the games are there and can do more than what they do on the platforms. The Kindle Fire and other Android devices are successful in this domain. But the Android horde lacks the bridge to the big screen that Apple TV brings to the fore with a $100 entry fee (beyond Samsung TV's built-in connectivity). Apple TV Airplay-enabled Game Center will use the iOS device as controller with the accelerometer and also as a second 'private' screen for the player using it. This is like having a Nintendo Dual Screen device where the game screen is 40", 50", 60" big. The local screen, on the iOS device, acts as the private control view. XBOX is built into the Windows Phone platform. But Microsoft did nothing to make it interesting beyond messaging for gamers. There are no mobile, GPS or context-enabled extensions for the XBOX games you love. You cannot use the phone as controller either. Who knows, maybe now the creativity will strike and this will happen. And nobody knows how the next iPhone or Apple TV will take this even further. Fun stuff.

Posted from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

May 12

Xcode 4.3.2 on OS X Lion fails to deploy app to an iPhone on iOS 5.1.1

A seriously frustrating and naturally time-consuming issue paralyzed me today.

Apple recently released the iOS 5.1.1 update to its mobile devices. Sounds minor and it probably was. But 5.1.1 also signaled the end of life for using OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard for developing for newer OS versions. Snow Leopard supports devices with iOS up to 5.1. Yup, not 5.1.1. Just 5.1. Not much of a heads up but well – time to move on to Lion. So I do.

Today came another surprise. The most current release version of Xcode – 4.3.2 – did not appear to enjoy my iPhone and its iOS 5.1.1. Organizer saw the device, added it to the provisioning portal team (removed, added, removed, added, etc.) and added and removed the provisioning profile for the app. Still, Xcode would fail to recognize the device and stick with the blank 'iOS Device' in the execution scheme.

Finally, I stumbled across this post in Apple's Developer Forum:

"The latest Xcode for Snow Leopard is 4.2 and that appears to be the highest it will go. 10.6.8 is required for iOS support.

The latest Xcode for Lion as of 5.7.2012 is 4.3.2, which requires 10.7.3 and is needed to work with iOS devices at iOS v5.1.x – v4.3.2 is an application that will be installed to your /Applications folder. Xcode 4.3.2 comes with 5.1 SDK and supports iOS 5.1.1…connect your device and let Xcode download 5.1.1 symbols."

The part I seemed to be missing seemed to be the "let Xcode download 5.1.1 symbols".

Further digging on StackOverflow had the answer: essentially power cycle your iOS device and THEN reconnect it to your Mac. Let iTunes start up and finish its scan of the device. Then close it and start Xcode. I ended up also restarting my machine. I then created a NEW project and had it detect the iOS 5.1.1 device successfully.

Still, I am unable to get projects that were created before 5.1.1 came out to detect the device. Luckily nothing is major there but this is clearly a rather grim bug in Xcode.

Mar 12

W Hotels app does it so wrong


Yup, you see it right: the desktop store comes through inside of the iPhone app.

If you embed a web page, do make sure it’s mobile friendly.

Hope it’s an error.