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VOIP iPhone App Icon
Connectico is a voice over IP (VOIP) iOS app. The thing that makes it different from similar well knowns apps, which provide functionality such as calling other people in your address book and displaying a list of recent calls, is that you can easily rent local numbers in many international markets and use them immediately. Managing local numbers overseas is seamless and all done from inside the app. This means people can call you on a number local to them and the call gets routed to the app on your iPhone and the same in reverse, you can choose a number based almost anywhere in the word to call from, all from within the app.


RunAnEmpre Logo
Run An Empire is an amazing digital mobile experience which crosses over territory game and fitness app. The idea represents one of the best examples of new thinking enabled by mobile devices and is at the same time fun and good for you. There aren’t too many things in the world that can claim to be that! Towards the end of 2014 I spent a few months working on an iOS version with Pan Studio.


Simple iOS Viewstack 303 January 2015

Xcode Logo
A little while back I created the first version of a view stack utility for IOS. It was one of the first things I added to my toolbox shortly after starting working as a freelance iOS developer. Having used it in commercial projects I have refined and added features as demanded by real life mobile app development.

This simple tool has such a positive impact on promoting decoupled architecture in iOS projects and this article is a thorough look at the features of SimpleIOSViewStack as I think,  given what it can do for you, this could be useful. If you are in a hurry the Git Hub ReadMe or this example project may prove a better starting point for you.


Apple's Swift Logo
Recently on my journey learning Swift, Apple's new programming language, I decided to re-write my Objective-C View Stack utility using only Swift and it turns out you can't. Well you can't at the moment, it's worth bearing in mind that Swift is in Beta at the time of writing and could change at short notice.

Working around the problem is really easy though and it is this type of situation where Objective-C knowledge is going to remain important for developers focussed on Apple's iOS and OSX platforms.


European Patent Office Logo
Last year I was approached by the European Patent Office and asked whether I could help them with their plans to produce a mobile version of their Espacenet product. The proposal provides an interesting case study in the type of consultancy that precedes the production phase of enterprise grade mobile applications..


Playfolly Logo
In my time as a freelance iOS developer I've come across two trends, true for both iPad and iPhone projects. Firstly there is a lot of contract work for apps that are preparing to look for funding and do not necessarily go into Apple's App Store at the end of the development cycle. Secondly there is a lot of contract work rescuing projects that begun life outsourced to off shore developers. Both of these are true for Playfolly, a video social network mobile app (see last year's Two Factor Authentication iOS Consulting for another example).


That's Advertainment17 November 2013

While I only have eyes for Crystal Palace someone I am friends with on Facebook is a Sunderland Football Club supporter. At the beginning of this season when Paolo Di Canio's position at the club was looking to be under threat, Sky Bet started offering odds that he would be the first manager of the season to go.

They posted the question on Facebook and when my friend interacted with the post it appeared on my timeline. At first I was curios, I am not connected to Sky Bet but how had this advert for one of their current bets appeared amongst the pictures of cats and babies that make up most of my Facebook content?

I started reading the comments and read the type of responses you would expect from a football topic. Opinions and the ability to express them ranged widely. I got drawn in, it was very entertaining and that in a nutshell, is Advertainment.

Facebook Ad


The Craftsman iPad Game 11 November 2013

Portal Entertainment Logo
Very recently the world's first thriller for the iPad hit Apple's App Store. The Craftsman is an immersive digital, plugged in to The Internet, experience which was born out of the answering the question "How would Alfred Hitchcock tell a story today"? Earlier this year I was hired as an Objective-C developer to join the team Portal Entertainment, a London startup, put together to produce an early version.


Raw Duck Incubator Logo
Two factor authentication is all the rage. Many banks have sent their customers tiny plastic devices, that look like calculators, to put their cards into when doing online banking, and Git has recently introduced it. Usually supplying a username and password is a single factor as these are things you know. By adding in a second factor, something you have, systems can be made much more secure. Recently I worked on a system that turns your mobile phone into the second factor, the thing you have. Great idea, you probably already have it with you.



App Prototype Developer

Going from prototype to market is a pain.

This article is aimed at product owners, project managers, budgets holders and business executives. Technical people are probably going to nod and repeat "Yes, I know" as they read it.

Whenever the intended audience want to create a large amount of emotional turmoil in the hearts and minds of technical folk they ask questions such like :

"Why is it that a prototype can be produced quickly and the first release to market takes exponentially more time?"

"Surely a good portion of the work was achieved creating the prototype?"

These sorts of questions are asked all the time and this thinking is quite often the seeds of later unhappiness. A clear majority of the time the prototype is used to create the first version, whether it is a minimum viable product (MVP) or not. Money and emotional investment has been spent creating a prototype and apparently an efficiency can be realised by using it as the start point for the next phase.

I propose the chances of easier early, and also sustained, success can be promoted instead by engaging with the exact opposite idea. Once the decision has been made to move forward throw the prototype away and create the first production version from scratch.


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