Gadgets

iwatch

Is the iWatch being unveiled next Tuesday?

Next Tuesday is September 9th and is the next Apple Keynote. Excitement is circling around the new iPhone 6 and iOS 8. Another exciting unveiling may very well be the Apple iWatch or wearable device.

There is no certainty that the name of the Apple wearable device is going to be called the iWatch, but one thing for certain is that this release will be very exciting.

Just think about being able to answer your phone from your watch, responding to a text message via your watch, and enjoying health fitness tracking information similar to fitbit!

Be sure to tune in this Tuesday for the next Apple Keynote: http://wheniskeynote.com/

To read more about this possible exciting release, checkout the iMore article titled iWatch: Setting expectations for Apple’s next wearable

iphone-6-3x-resolution

Is the iPhone 6 going to support 3x retina images

Retina devices require developers to create 2 types of images, an @2x resolution for retina displays and normal resolution for regular displays. Well, Apple may be adding a 3X resolution display to iOS 8. Marck Gunman reported that Apple was testing a 1704x960px resolution display for the iPhone 6, which would be achieved by tripling each pixel from the “base resolution”.

new-iphone6-size

According to an iOS developer, James Thomson, a newly discovered bug in iOS 8 loads 3x images instead of 2x images. Is this an accident or is this intentional?

james-thomson-tweetThis means that in the future we may have to add another image size to our export list. We’ll have to export all of our asset images at normal resolution, 2x resolution, and 3x resolution. All I can say is I’m hoping this is just a fluke. The less work I have to do to make my images look nice on any device means more time to focus on other things.

It’s still to be determined whether we’ll have to export images at 3x resolution in the future, but if this is the case you’ll want to make sure to get started sooner than later. Be sure to checkout Apples next key note, scheduled for September 9th for the unveiling of iOS 8.

Learn more about the next Apple keynote here: http://wheniskeynote.com/

To read more about the possible 3x resolution, you can find more information over at 9to5Mac.

Have you checked out Chrome for iOS?

That’s right, the long awaited Google Chrome for your iOS devices has finally arrived. Just a couple days ago Google released their Chrome browser in the Apple Store and it already has 5-stars with over 3,000 ratings.

The advantages of using the Chrome browser include global bookmarks, simple search from the nav bar, quick tab scrolling and switching, and quick private browsing mode. You can checkout the tour at: www.google.com/chrome/ios/tour. (You’ll have to click and drag if you are not viewing from an iPad or iPhone)

Unfortunately we will not experience a much faster web experience with Google Chrome. The reason being is that it is not built under the same speedy Chrome engine on devices such as Android. Instead it’s been built behind the underlying Apple standard webkit. Apple has limited developing apps for the iOS so that they’re unable to change those underlying components. Additionally, for now there is no way to change your default browser on an iOS device. So when you open a link from your email or any other app, Safari will be there to greet you whether you like it or not :(

Nonetheless, head over to the Apple Store and download your free copy and give it a try.

The New MacBook Pro with Retina Display

You may have heard by now that Apple has recently released their new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. This new MacBook pro is souped up with a faster processor, thinner model, retina display, multiple ports including two thunderbolt ports, and much much more. In just a little more detail here are the best new features listed below:

The Faster Processor

This new MacBook is equipped with the Intel Core i7 processor. The Core i7 is the third generation processor from the Intel family and proves to be significantly faster. Unfortunately the only downfall will be less battery power. You can expect to get a good 5-7 hours of battery life with the new MacBook.

The Thinner Model

Weighing in at 4.46lbs and standing thin at 0.71 inches the new MacBook Pro is considerably lighter and thinner then it’s previous contenders, which makes this MacBook one of the most powerful light-weight portable computing devices available.

New Retina Display Retina

The new retina display is a pixel density so high that the human eye would not be able to notice pixelation at any viewing distance. Basically, the screen is insanely f*ing clear. The resolution on the retina display is an amazing 2880x1800px. The new iPhone 4s and iPad are also both equipped with this new retina display, so you’ll be getting the clearest image with any iOS device you are using. Take a look at the difference between the traditional display and the retina display below:

Multiple Ports

On one side of the MacBook you will find two thunderbolts, two USB 3’s, an HDMI, a headphone port, and a new MagSafe 2 power port. The other side you will find another USB 3, HDMI, and SD card slot. This new MacBook pro is packing.

Starting at $2200, this MacBook pro seems to be priced a little high for only having a 256GB hard-drive, but nonetheless, it looks to be a powerful machine.

Be sure to checkout the official Apple Macbook pro page for full details :)

Is the iPad 3 coming out soon?

According to Bloomberg News the iPad 3 will be peaking it’s head out as early as February of 2012. As I’m sure you are aware of that every time the press gets news of a new product… you can usually assume that their estimated release date will be off by a month or so, so don’t break out your cash flow just yet. Additionally if you are expecting a good tax return, you may be getting money just in time.

As many were upset by the release of the iPhone 4s instead of the iPhone 5, I hope that this isn’t another disappointment. Is it really going to be the iPad 3, or is this just going to be an iPad 2s?

Many sources as well as insiders from CES 2012 have said that the iPad 3 will have many new features including 4G LTE speed, faster processor, improved camera, and a higher resolution touch screen. Releasing with iOS 5.1, the new iPad is supposedly going to have a 32 and 64 gig version with an available SD slot!

Although, these facts have not been officially released by Apple, you should make sure to check out their latest conference…

IPad 3, I hope you are not a let down, many of us with iPad version 1 have been holding out for you.

 

Youtube – iFrame not displaying correctly on iOS devices

The new Youtube iFrame embed is great; however, it seems that there are still some bugs that YouTube is trying to fix. One of those bugs is displaying the iFrame embed code on iOS mobile devices. If you try embedding an iFrame youtube video on a page and view the page on an iOS device you are probably going to see that the width and height of the video are either expanded or not displaying with the correct ratio size.

There is a simple resolution to this. If the user is on an iOS mobile device we will display the object embed code; otherwise we’ll display the iFrame embed code. I am going to use the code that I explained in the previous article titled: Detecting iPhone, iPad, or iPod device using PHP

Using the code from this article we can simply solve this problem with the following code:

<?php 
 
if(strstr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'],'iPhone') || strstr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'],'iPod') || strstr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'],'iPad')) {
?>
 
<object width="560" height="349"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Q5im0Ssyyus?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0&amp;hd=1" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Q5im0Ssyyus?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0&amp;hd=1" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
 
<?php } else {  ?>
      // display default iframe embed code.
<?php  }  ?>

Now, if the user is on an iPhone, iPad, or iPad device the page will display the old youtube object embed code. If the user is on any other device we will show the youtube iframe video embed. Hope this fix helps someone else ;)

Best iPhone Game Frameworks

Do you have a general knowledge of programming and want to learn how to create iPhone, iPad, or mobile games? If you are unfamiliar with Objective-C or Cocoa; you still have many alternatives. There are several great game frameworks available for download. Some of these frameworks require little to no programming experience and, best of all, some of them are free. In this article you will find a list of the best to date iPhone and mobile game development frameworks:


CORONA MOBILE DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM

Skill Level: Intermediate (Basic knowledge of programming techniques)

Corona, as it claims, is one of the world’s most advanced mobile development platform. Built by Anscamobile, Corona makes it easy for any user with little programming knowledge to create full featured mobile applications. Corona abstracts Objective-C from mobile development and brings to life the ease of the LUA programming language. Using Corona and LUA, you can easily create a ‘Hello World’ application in one line of code, or easily implement physics in only 5 lines. Creating mobile games has never been easier. Corona has a fantastic built-in mobile simulator, so you can test and build everything out without having to use Xcode.

Unfortunately, in order to distribute your game using the Corona SDK, you will need a license, which will cost as follows:

iOS developer: $199/yr

iOS+ Android developer: $349/yr

The trade off for the price and the Corona SDK is well worth it. So, be sure to head over to Ansamobile’s site and begin learning and creating. Click here to go to the Corona Framework site.


COCOS 2D

Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced (basic programming knowledge and basic understanding of the C-programming language)

Cocos2d for iPhone is a framework for creating 2d games, demos, and interactive interfaces. Cocos2d is an open source Objective-C library. Using Cocos2D, you will need a basic understanding of the C-language. The libraries and API’s for Cocos2d allow developers to easily use scene management, sprites, effects, particles, menus, and much much more. If you would like to start creating 2d games for your iPhone and have a basic understanding of the C-language, then Cocos2D is the framework for you.

Best of all this Application is Open Source and available for:

FREE

Cocos2D has a great library of functions and API’s that will have you creating the next popular iPhone 2d game in no time. So head on over to Cocos 2D and start creating your 2D game.


GAME SALAD

Skill Level: Beginner

GameSalad is an excellent tool/framework for creating iPhone games. It’s not only for beginners, even if you are an advanced game developer you will still be able to take advantage of some of the awesome features that GameSalad has to offer. GameSalad has a WYSIWYG creator where you can literally drag and drop images and objects onto the creator. Then you can assign specific attributes to these objects and images such as collision detection, gravity, animation, and much more. You don’t need to have any programming experience to develop your iPhone game masterpiece. Mmmm… Salad never tasted so good :)

And fortunately enough the cost for this download is… Drum-roll please…

FREE

What more could you ask for in an application. So, break out the spoons and forks with a side of ground-breaking ideas and put them together with GameSalad, click here to begin your iPhone Game journey!


iTorque 2D

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate (A little knowledge of C++ would be helpful)

Torque Game Builder is one of the worlds easiest to use 2d game creator. GarageGames has now created a branch of the Torque 2D game builder which is called iTorque2D.  iTorque2D has a WYSIWYG interface which allows users to drag and drop elements onto the interface and add functionality to each object through a simple to use interface. There may be some portions of this engine that may require a user to manipulate a little C++ code; however, the engine is very intuitive to new game creators.

Torque is known for having great documentation and delivering good products, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that iTorque2D can be purchased for a small price of:

$99

If you have ever used any of GarageGames engines, you will be certain to get the same great experience with iTorque2D, so open up the hood and head over to GarageGames to start constructing, click here to checkout iTorque2D.


Sparrow Framework

Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced (You will need knowledge of basic C-programming techniques)

Sparrow Framework is an open-source project which eliminates the need for any OpenGL code. Sparrow Framework allows developers to write clean C-code which blends seamlessly with Cocoa. Additionally, Sparrow allows users to leverage their Flash and Flex skills with no need to learn a new API. If you consider yourself a good C-programmer and would like to leverage features that cut your development time in half, you may want to check out the Sparrow Framework.

This excellent framework is also offered as open-source and:

FREE

Head on over to the Sparrow Framework website and find out if this is the right framework for you. Check out the features they offer, and soon you can start creating your game in less time. Click here to head over to the Sparrow Framework site.


Unity 3D Game Development Tool

Skill Level: Advanced (You will need basic programming knowledge as well as 3d knowledge)

Unity 3D has the all-in-one programming and graphic creation tools for mobile, console, and desktop game publishing. If you are familiar with 3D rendering tools and have a basic knowledge of programming and scripting, you are well on your way to create your first 3D mobile game. The easy-to-use tools by Unity 3D integrate easily and seamlessly with each other.

Unity is offered as two different types of licenses. Unity and Unity Pro. If you are a company that turned over more than $100,000 for the previous fiscal year you must purchase Unity Pro. Otherwise, as a small indie developer you can have the license for free:

Unity Pro: $1500

Unity: FREE

Unity 3D is one of the greatest 3d Game platform tools. If you have a craving to create the next 3D hit game for the mobile platform (or even the computer platform) head on over to Unity 3D and get your game on. Click here to visit the Unity 3D site to begin.

Lastly, there is a similar framework to Unity is called Shiva, which may be worth taking a look into. With Shiva, you can develop games for the computer platform, console platform (such as the Nintendo Wii), and the mobile platform.

So there ya go!

You should have more than enough resources to begin your iPhone game creation journey. Simply select the framework that works best for you and get your creative juices flowing ;)

PhoneGap.com – Build native mobile apps using HTML/CSS/Javascript

I’m sure most people who are into the new mobile device revolution have thought about creating an app one time or another. The hassle with creating an app may be the lack of knowledge you have about programming languages. It’s kind of a large ‘Gap’ to fill from having a great mobile app idea and learning a new programming language. Well, thanks to the smart people over at PhoneGap.com they have built a framework that can compile HTML, CSS, and Javascript web pages into 6 different types of mobile applications. If you have a little knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Javascript you are only a few skips away from creating your first mobile application.

PhoneGap.com has well-documented resources to help you get started. Click Here to figure out just how easy it is to begin.

Another great thing about PhoneGap, is that they have an API for you to use many mobile device functionalities such as:

So, be sure to head on over to PhoneGap and start creating your mobile apps. Creating mobile applications could’nt have been easier ;)

PhoneGap External Link

When I began learning PhoneGap, a simple HTML/CSS/Javascript mobile framework, I immediately found out how easy it was to create an iPhone app. The only problem with PhoneGap is that it opens all links inside of the application itself. So, instead of the application opening up an external link in Safari, it would open up right in the app. This was really annoying, but luckily for you there is an easy solution:

Navigate to appnameAppDelegate.m and replace the following function:

- (BOOL)webView:(UIWebView *)theWebView shouldStartLoadWithRequest:(NSURLRequest *)request navigationType:(UIWebViewNavigationType)navigationType
{
	return [ super webView:theWebView shouldStartLoadWithRequest:request navigationType:navigationType ];
}

with:

 
- (BOOL)webView:(UIWebView *)theWebView shouldStartLoadWithRequest:(NSURLRequest *)request navigationType:(UIWebViewNavigationType)navigationType
{
	NSURL *url = [request URL];
 
	// Intercept the external http requests and forward to Safari.app
	// Otherwise forward to the PhoneGap WebView
	if ([[url scheme] isEqualToString:@"http"] || [[url scheme] isEqualToString:@"https"]) {
		[[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:url];
		return NO;
	}
	else {
		return [ super webView:theWebView shouldStartLoadWithRequest:request navigationType:navigationType ];
	}
}

So, basically what the code is doing differently is it’s telling the application if a link contains ‘http’ in the url to open up the link in Safari. And that’s it. Hope this helps out someone else ;)

Dell Streak 7 Android Tablet from T-Mobile

T-Mobile has recently released their first 4G tablet, the Dell Streak. The Dell Streak 7 features a 7-inch display with multi-touch support and a display resolution of 800×480 display. The 7 inch display will keep you entertained for hours on end, as it is ideal for ebook reading, gaming, surfing the web, or watching movies.

Here are some of the other highlighted functionalities of this tablet:

  • 7” multi-touch screen
  • Watch your favorite shows on-the-go with T-Mobile TV
  • Thousands of family friendly apps like BrainPOP, Zinio, Kindle for Android and Blockbuster
  • Talk Live with T-Mobile Video chat powered by Qik with front and rear-facing cameras
  • Full Flash support for a rich Web experience

Additionally check out the following videos for the cool new looking device, Dell Streak 7: