October 12, 2011

iOS 5 Means Artsiness App Updates


Several of the Artsiness Apps received updates to take advantage of the newly released iOS 5.  They are all now using ARC (Automatic Reference Counting) internally, although nobody except me probably cares about that part since it’s not a user-facing feature.

• Ball had some small bug fixes and now uses CoreMotion to determine gravity, as the older accelerometer methods are being phased out.

Keystroke can now show the Twitter system keyboard and can also send Tweets.

Meteorology is able to toggle showing various topography layers when viewing a regional map, has better use of popovers on the iPad, and received a few under-the-hood optimizations.

Represent fixed a long-standing ugly user interface bug and was also updated to be Universal (i.e. it works natively now on both iPhones and iPads).

Slasher also now uses CoreMotion to determine shakes, and was updated to be Universal.  Wait… what’s that?  A Universal build?  What ever happened to the App Store policy that “do-nothing” Apps are not allowed on the iPad?  What ever happened to them denying a Universal build of Slasher oh-so-long-ago for just that reason?  Oh yeah.  Just as I suspected.  It’s a totally capricious system.

Waft has iCloud for saving Playlist Files, shows more now-playing info on the lock screen, can Tweet station and song info, and also includes a new section to display an Icecast radio station directory.

I’m probably most excited about the changes to Waft.  Adopting new technology is always fun (i.e. iCloud, ARC, displaying now-playing info on the lock screen, etc.).  Including the list of Icecast stations is also a major step-up in terms of the variety of music available directly in the App itself.  Disappointingly, the Icecast directory is only able to show one thousand stations at a time.  The limitation is not in Waft, but instead comes from the directory server itself, which is not a component under my control.  Also, scrolling through the list of stations is slightly sluggish, but I have some ideas for how to speed that up in future updates.  (I wanted to get the iOS 5 / iCloud update out as soon as possible and then revisit optimizations later.)

Download away and give the new updates a try!

October 1, 2011

Website Refresh

The Artsiness website has received a fresh coat of paint!

It may take a discerning eye to spot the changes at first — they’re minor right now.  But I wanted to take a moment to describe what I did.  I stopped using iWeb to create the site, and now everything is hand-crafted HTML.  I kept the main look-and-feel of the website as much as I could.

There are a number of benefits with the new approach, only some of which are:
  • I can now put anything I want on the web pages and am no longer restricted to the limited set of objects that iWeb provides.
  • Resizing the page reflows content, as web pages are meant to be!  (iWeb used a static page height and width.)
  • The layout is legible when viewed on an iPhone instead of being a squished-up small version.
  • I am no longer dependent on iWeb, which appears to be a dying product anyway.

There is only one single drawback I’ve found so far:
  • Updating a web page is going to be a tiny bit more difficult for me, as manipulating raw HTML is slightly more complicated than using a higher-level web authoring tool.

Clearly the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  Give the refreshed site a look.  Please let me know if anything appears strange.

July 20, 2011

Address Book Dates — Back From The Dead!

At long last, Address Book Dates works again!  Sadly, no, not on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).  Apple never fixed any of the bugs I reported.  But now that Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) has hit the streets, I managed to get everything up and running once more.

As always, you can also use the iOS counterpart, Dates, if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

June 14, 2011

Circle Theory Review

Circle Theory just got a nice review at Evolver.fm.  I laughed pretty good at the following part:

Circle Theory’s interface is boringly straightforward. This is as it should be, because too much clutter would confuse the whole point of the circle of fifths:  to include almost all the relevant information to Western harmony in one simple chart.
I agree!

February 22, 2011

Circle Theory Plays Notes

I am excited about the brand new version of Circle Theory that recently went live on the App Store.  A handful of bugs were fixed, and the entire inner core of the App was rewritten to be more efficient and testable.  (Now no more old bugs should ever creep back in accidentally.)

The biggest new addition, and often requested feature by many, is the ability to play notes.  Circle Theory now has the ability to show notes on a staff and play scales in the dialed-in key signature.  Give it a try!