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!

Loading an Image Asynchronously in iOS

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If you had read thru Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines, I’m sure you’d notice that it mentioned about how your app should provide a responsive user experience. If the app is processing a lengthy operation, it ought to provide a feedback as suggested by Apple, “Subtle animation can give people meaningful feedback..” Consider this lengthy operation:  loading image from a URL. This is a very common task. The problem is, UIImageView doesn’t have a built-in method that lets you load an image and at the same time give you a chance to provide a meaningful UI feedback such as a “subtle animation”.

Customizing the Facebook iOS SDK FBFriendPickerViewController; Adding a Search Bar

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As Facebook integration into iOS comes along, it feels like all applications must integrate social features. Having the ability to review your Facebook friends list within your app is one of the most important social features. Sharing the app or posts from within the app with friends is one of the best ways to virally spread the product among several people.

One of my recent projects required upgrading the Facebook SDK to the latest version, 3.1. It was using Version 2.0.

Picking an image from your Facebook photos in iOS

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Apple provides a convinient class, UIImagePickerController, that easily allows your app to display a user interface to pick an image from the photo library. There are countless apps out there that utilize this class. Since this class manages all the user interactions, end-users of the apps that use it will find consistency when picking an image from photo library. Facebook iOS app, WhatsApp text messenger, Messages and Tweetbot are just a few popular apps that leverage this class. It’d be great had Apple provided a similar class for picking a photo from a Facebook account.

In-App Facebook Authentication on iOS

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The official Facebook iOS SDK provides an easy way for any iOS applications to authenticate against a Facebook account. If you follow this tutorial, you’ll be able to add facebook authentication in your app in less than 15 minutes. It’s that simple. Once your app has been authenticated, it will possess both access token and expiration date. These two pieces of data will be used in subsequent communication with Facebook.

Android Pattern Lock on iPhone

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I’m a loyal user of iPhone. I’ve been using it since its first version and now I’m on 4S. Though I’m staying in iOS camp and don’t have any intention of moving, I occasionally get the urge to test out and see what’s out there. That’s the reason why I convinced myself to own and play with Dell Streak 5″ phone and Google Nexus S. They are both smart smart-phones. But it’s hard to pick their pros and cons by simply “playing” with it. You’ve got to use it. Daily. For everything including surfing, speed dialing, social-networking and games. Everything. And that’s something that I didn’t get a chance to do until last summer when I was traveling and in need of an unlocked phone. I could make my iPhone work (don’t ask me how) but thought I’d give an Android phone a real kick.

Dealing with JSON on iPhone

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You can easily use the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data format in client-server communications when writing an iPhone app. This blog is not suggesting that JSON is a more superior format for data exchange than its counterparts such as XML. In fact, we have many projects that don’t use JSON. However, handling JSON is relatively straight forward in ObjectiveC.

Unfortunately, Apple iPhone SDK (as of this writing, the latest is iPhone 2.2.1) doesn’t come with a built-in JSON parser. But I found out a good one called json-framework. It is both a generator and a parser. As a generator, json-framework can create JSON data from an NSDictionary. As a parser, you can pass to json-framework an NSString that consists of JSON data and it will return a NSDictionary that encapsulates the parsed data.