Category Archives: iOS

Pic-a-POD caught in US Government Shutdown

Due to the current shutdown of the US government, the NASA web sites are completely offline. For Pic-a-POD, this means that the Astronomy and Earth Observatory PODs are unavailable.

Pic-a-POD for iOS will continue showing some info about the last pics available (1st October) but will be unable to download the images.

Pic-a-POD for Mac is in more trouble as it tries more actively to fill in the blanks. With  entire domain names off the net, this can take a very long time. So I suggest turning off Astronomy & Earth Observatory in the Sources menu until the government shutdown is over.

iPad Popovers

With the iPad, Apple introduced a new user interface element called the popover. This was mainly used in apps where there was a navigation list and a larger view showing more information: what Apple calls a Master-Detail application.

In landscape mode, the list is shown fully on the left of the screen and the details on the right. Switch to portrait mode and the list disappears, but is accessible from a button in the top left that shows the popover.

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iOS version of Pic-a-POD going to be free

Last time, I wrote that Apple had informed me that “the review process will require additional time” for Pic-a-POD for iOS. Since then, I have found that this translates to “our lawyers are looking into it”.

Pic-a-POD has been rejected twice now for “Use of protected 3rd party material”. I think my initial mistake was setting up in-app purchases. While I believe this to be the best way to get people to buy an app (giving a crippled version away for free and then charging to unlock features), it made it appear that I was giving away the app and then charging for access to someone else’s photos.

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iOS App Store approval delayed…

The iOS version of Pic-a-POD was uploaded to the App Store for approval on December 6th. Much to my surprise, it moved to “In Review” on December 7th – less than a day later. I was expecting a few days like with the Mac version.

But then I heard nothing back until on December 10th, I got an email from Apple apologising for the delay but informing me that the review process will require additional time. I don’t know if this related to Pic-a-POD specifically or if they are just very busy right now.

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Pic-a-POD for iOS submitted to the App Store

I have just submitted Pic-a-POD for iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch to the App Store!

After working through the Mac submission process, it all felt quite familiar. I had to get a distribution profile and build the app using that, then archive it. The instructions at the Apple developer portal are for Xcode 3.x and I would guess that most people, myself included, are now using Xcode 4.x so they could do with some upgrading, but although the interface had changed, it was easy enough to work out what to do.

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iOS app nearly ready

Pic-a-POD for iOS is just undergoing its final tests before submission to the App Store. I’m pleased with how it has turned out and am enjoying being able to set my wallpaper more often, especially on my iPad where the screen is big enough to show detail. While the lock screen wallpaper can be anything, picking wallpaper that will work behind a grid of icons is more difficult. I find landscapes are usually the best.

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Testing iOS in-app purchases

I am working on Pic-a-POD for iOS and my plan is to have the basic app free, but with access to a single POD only. Unlocking the other PODs will be done via an in-app purchase.

For testing purposes, Apple asks you to create test user accounts inside your iTunes Connect account. You set them up for a specific regional app store and when you use them to buy, Apple’s servers respond correctly, but no money is involved.

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Setting up In-App Purchases

Today I am working on incorporating in-app purchases into the iOS version of Pic-a-POD. My plan is to have the basic app be free, but that will only allow access to the large pic from one of the available sources. An in-app purchase will unlock full access.

I was following all the steps detailed in Apple’s documentation, and the actual coding was not complex. But it wasn’t working. You have to send a product request to the App Store and every time, mine kept coming back as an invalid ID.

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