Tip and tricks for learning a new code base

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As a consultant, approaching new code bases is something that happens every day. As exciting as it sounds however, working on many different projects can be really tough. This is because in many occasions we are not provided with all the details that we need, but we just requested to fix something that is broken.

What makes these tasks difficult is that the data and code structures can be very large and not very intuitive. Also, it might not be clear who holds the knowledge on them, or in some cases the knowledge can be even lost; for example being held by people who left the company.

Android Studio: Not Ready For Prime Time

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As one would expect with a fine product, it would work best right out of the box. In the case of Android Studio, some assembly is required. The issue I found was that a newly created project with default settings wouldn’t compile. I thought that this bug might have been specific to my setup, but after reproducing it on 3 different computers and finding several outstanding questions as well as a few open bugs with Google concerning the issue, I decided that a fix would be a fine thing to write up, hoping it enables other people to develop as painlessly as possible.

Is iOS Dying?

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ios7 logo

Apple and Steve Jobs started the smart phone revolution. Just 7 short years ago we had the first iPhone, a technical marvel in its day. The craftsmanship of not only the device but also the iOS operating system was a thing to behold. Apple continued with its excellence in both hardware and software design for years. Unfortunately, the wild ride has ended, at least for the moment. While the hardware has kept up relatively well (although there is not a heck of a lot of innovation), the iOS operating system has, sadly, regressed.

Upgrading Your iPhone App to iOS 7: The New Status Bar

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With the release of iOS 7, there are several changes in how you lay out and customize the appearance of your UI. In particular, the status bar is now transparent, and your views will show through it. Now this is a great opportunity to redesign your app and take advantage of this new look and feel, but what if you aren’t ready and you want to the old iOS 6 status bar back? Well, I’m excited to tell you that there is a way to do this!

Setting screen orientations in iOS

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Recently I started a project which required an iOS app to be locked in landscape orientation. The method mentioned below was always the standard for locking/setting the orientation, but iOS 6 deprecated this method. This post will show and explain some other options that I came across when investigating alternative options for locking the screen.

 
[[UIDevice currentDevice] setOrientation:UIInterfaceOrientationLandscapeRight];

Announcing Flipout! 2.0!

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Flipout! Logo

I am very pleased to announce a major update to Grio’s memory matching game:  Flipout!

Flipout! is a game of luck and skill where you need to match pairs of cards… similar to the game of Concentration.  We throw a few twists at you, however, to add to the challenge.  What if suddenly the cards decided to up and swap themselves?  Can you keep track of entire rows moving as one?  And just when you thought you had a handle on things, one of the cards explodes, scrambling all of the cards around it!

Filedart 1.0 Released

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Filedart

Today we launched a new productivity app for Mac OS called Filedart (filedart.com). Filedart allows users to share files and screenshots in seconds. Drag a file or take a screenshot and your file is on the cloud. A URL is instantly in your clipboard, ready to be pasted into chat windows, emails, or sharing tools. On the receiving end, users click on the URL link to access the file or image in their browser. No sign in or registration is required.

This isn’t a new concept, but we think we’ve done it better. We intentionally kept the feature set minimal, focusing on design and usability. As we developed the tool, we made frequent use of Filedart for collaboration. We darted screenshots of the product page, various iterations, of the logo, nightly builds, and marketing strategies. It quickly became apparent that we were settling into a new way of working. After a few tosses, using Filedart becomes as intuitive and natural as Copy/Paste. While you don’t need Copy/Paste to work on a Mac, most of us would hate to go without. Filedart starts to feel the same way.

In terms of privacy, we don’t request user data and promise not to peek at your files. We don’t know who you are, and we are not interested in snooping. Ultimately we hope that the tool we created is useful, reliable, and secure.

We would love to hear your feedback on how to make Filedart better – just email us at feedback@filedart.com. Happy darting!

Brad