Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

iOS 7 redux

Two days after the WWDC 2013 keynote I wrote a post about the iOS 7 changes, mostly driven by gut feeling. Now, a week or so later and after constant daily use of iOS 7, I feel I should write a bit more about this.

I used iOS 7 on my second device (iPhone 5) but made sure I use it 90% of time, practically for everything I usually do expect phone calls / SMS (I put data-only card in it).

A few notes, about the NDA, this being early beta and such: I whole-heartedly agree with several others that publicly speaking about beta 1 of iOS 7 is far from inappropriate. This is not mere iteration of the established - this is radical departure, a reset of the whole UX and not only it’s not wrong to discuss it, it should be welcomed by Apple. We are not haters - we are the most passionate advocates of iOS. We care and we want it to flourish and improve. This is not hating, this is caring.

I re-watched the iOS 7 part of the keynote today to make sure I speak about and use screenshots of publicly shown stuff.

Strange issue with the App Store

In the last larger update (2.5) to my most popular app, Try couch to 5k, I made a serious error during packing and included a wrong data load file for the app. Instead of the 9 weeks running program I included a much simpler 4 weeks program from my other app (Run 2mi).

When I realized this - and realized in horror that there is no way in hell a fix is possible without re-installing the app - I immediately removed the app from sale and submitted a new build for app review. I asked the App Review Board for an expedited review which they granted (many, many thanks for that) and it blazed through review.
I removed it from sale because it affected only new installs/customers, not the existing installations.

Late last night (by CET time) I got the email that 2.5.1 build is ready but is “developer removed from sale”. All fine, I re-selected all the stores and push to sale. It went to “Ready for Sale” and at that time went to sleep.


So, now you have the context of the story. This morning, about 10h later, I deleted the copy of the app on my main iPhone and went to install it fresh from the app store. Now, in iOS 6 App Store, when you go to a card for an app you already have installed, it shows you Install button. I checked the version in the details below, it was 2.5.1. All good. Tapped Install button and went to home screen waiting for installation to finish. Start the app and…was horrified to see the wrong data again. Deleted the app from the phone, back to App Store app, tap Install again…again the wrong version. I checked the version string that I display inside my app and it was showing 2.5.

At that point I panicked that I again packed the wrong file.

iOS 7

WWDC 2013 keynote was two days ago and I’m still struggling to come to terms with the changes introduced to my beloved mobile OS and, for over a year now, the field where I make my living.

On one hand, I’m extremely impressed with the stuff Apple introduced. There are very important and good API changes that are introduced, things that would help me and fellow developers make much better apps.

On the other hand…visual changes are…appalling, simply shockingly bad. This, from a company universally hailed as masters of making things that create emotional connection. Starting from lock screen, over the app icons and to the way UI controls are done, it’s heartbreaking.

RTFlyoutMenu - drop-down menu component for iOS

I’ve long had a fascination with fly-out or drop-down menus. One of my most successful web components was ADxMenu which I continually developed for years, as things and technologies evolved in web space.

On iOS though, screens were smaller in the beginning and different UI concepts were dominant thus I mostly forgot about this. Until recently, when I had the need to implement a multi-part filtering component for an iPad app I was creating.

So, RTFlyoutMenu was born.