Updated Identicode and Pink Plaques now available

Apple have now approved the latest version of these two apps for sale. 🙂

Identicode V1.3 now has a share button allowing you to use the standard iOS share sheet to send  your coded or decoded message to fellow agents or otherwise process as you wish – perhaps filing them in your message list in the new iOS Notes app!

Brighton Pink Plaques V2.1 now uses Apple’s new SafariViewController (here is a detailed post about what it’s all about on Federico Viticci’s consistently excellent MacStories web site). This may not be super important in an app like Pink Plaques but it means that you will now have the fastest, most convenient and most secure web browsing I can offer thanks to Apple giving us developers, in effect, a cut-down Safari right in our apps. This feature is only available when running on iOS 9.

I found that the web site URLs associated with a couple of plaques no longer worked so they have been corrected. If you find any that are wrong, please email me and I will issue a correction in the next release.

I remain committed to supporting an enhancing all my apps as long as I reasonably can, though it’s possible that in future the support for older versions of iOS may be dropped.

Bargain V2.2 now available

Apple have approved Bargain for sale. 🙂

This has been tested for iOS 9 and boasts a higher quality smiley for when you discover that bargain! It also ensures that after finding a bargain and you clear one field and press Compare that it resets the screen to a correct appearance.

Enjoy finding those bargains.

App updates waiting for Apple to review

Apple now have three of my apps in their queue(s) to review. Due to some unplanned last minute changes to Dicewords and Dicewords-X I have not yet sent those two to Apple but I hope that will happen in the next few days, if not then next week.

Mostly all were running fine anyway but I’ve added a new sharing feature to Identicode, tidied up some screen reset issues in Bargain and enhanced Pink Plaques so that if you are running iOS 9 or later, it will use Apple’s new Safari view within the app to view any web pages which is more secure and convenient for you. Remember, that even if you are not using iOS 9 you can still view the same page in Safari by tapping ‘Safari’ in the top right of the screen.

I’ll post again when I have more news.

Preparing for iOS 9

I’m checking that all my apps will work fine with iOS 9 which is expected to be released in September.

All apps have had small tweaks, a few enhancements and even a new feature or two! Mostly though I’m happy to say that everything pretty much carried on fine without the need to do anything – I must be doing something right! 🙂

I’ll post again when they’re ready to release.

Apps are looking good for iOS9

I’m now running iOS 9 and all my apps are looking good except for Identicode which looks as though it was designed for a 3.5″ screen! It will be sorted before iOS 9 is released, have no fear.

I will be incorporating a few of Apple’s new features into some of the apps where it seems right.

Brighton Pink Plaques V2.0.1 now live on App Store

After the recently overhaul of my web site (thanks so much, Chris!) I’ve been able to give myself a more appropriate email address but this app and Dicewords have the old contact/support address built into them.

This app now been updated to use the correct email address and Dicewords will be updated as soon as I can.

Emails should be addressed to ‘stephen’ @ and the name of this site.

Bargain V2.1 now live

Apple have just passed my recent update to Bargain. 🙂

Previously, once you’d found a bargain, if you did “Shake to clear”, when you re-entered values in the previous “bargain boxes” the text would still appear green – that’s now fixed and it’s back to black.

The other thing is a little helper in that the flip side screen now displays the version number at the bottom in case you need to report anything.

That’s it for now.

Decisions on coding my next app

Geek Alert!

My next app will need a sophisticated database. I had planned to use Apple’s Core Data framework which seemed perfect for the job, but since then I’ve learned that there’s a relatively new kid on the block, namely Realm.

Core Data’s competence is not in question, but I’ve read a fair bit on it and many comments around the net and one thing that people seem to agree on is that it’s not straightforward to implement.

Realm, on the other hand, is very simple to implement, building, as it does, on the structure of the main code in a fairly straightforward manner. For example, a Swift code fragment using Realm might look as follows:

// Create a Person object

let author = Person()

author.name = “David Foster Wallace”

// Get the default Realm

let realm = Realm()

// You only need to do this once (per thread)

// Add to the Realm inside a transaction

realm.write {

realm.add(author)

}

I don’t have the comparable Core Data code, but trust me when I say it would be a lot more complex. The Realm code is simple to understand, if you understand this sort of thing!

However, my app needs a lot more than just a database to make it all work so I’d better get on with that first. This new app will be my first app written using Swift, Apple’s brand new programming language and I’m really excited by that. I’ll keep you updated. 🙂

Identicode V1.2 now live

Apple has just passed my latest update to Identicode – no new features but a couple of bug fixes. I’ll detail these in a day or so on the release notes page on my site.

I have one new feature which I plan to implement in 1.3 which I think could be fun.

Also, I’m sad to report that yootha.com, the site with the amazing collection of digitised 60s comics, is no more as far as I can tell. It said “down for maintenance” for about a month or more and now there is just a page error. Such a shame as it was a fantastic resource and gave me the incentive to produce Identicode and the site owner kindly put a link to my app on his page.

Maybe it will return elsewhere …

Hello and welcome

Hello readers 🙂

The Black Tablet website has just had a major facelift and I now have this associated blog. On my previous site my thoughts that I wrote from time to time were intermixed with details about app updates and the like. News about app updates will now be announced via Twitter leaving this blog to be, I hope, rather more focussed.

It will be a little patchy just for now but I hope to blog more regularly than I did and I plan to bring over posts from my previous version of the site.

 

Watch this space for more in the near future.