Embracing Technology 101

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On December 01, 2013 I’ll be celebrating my one-year anniversary at Grio as their HR Administrator. I’d like to share some of my story with you. It’s a tale of a technology trailer turned technical achiever; that’s me!

Perspective: I’m 58 years young, my most recent experience prior to Grio was in the non-profit sector where the PC is king and paper pushing is commonplace.

Contrast: Grio is a software consultancy firm catering to a wide spectrum of clients spanning across industries. Grio is a gun for hire with respect to mobile apps and web development.

A quick look at Android 4.4 – KitKat

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On Thursday, October 31st Google announced their new flagship phone, the Nexus 5. Along with their newest device they announced it would ship with Android 4.4, codenamed “KitKat” (much to the surprise of the entire Android community that was expecting “Key Lime Pie”.)

I received my Nexus 5 on November 7th, and have had some time to get used to KitKat as well as the device itself. Originally this post was going to review the device and the new Android version, but instead I want to discuss several of the key changes that have been introduced with 4.4 and my thoughts on them.

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];