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!