I've been playing around with development for Mac OS X and iOS for a few years. I've had a pretty good grasp of how Cocoa and UIKit worked, and I've written some simple apps, but for the past month I've been working on my first Real iOS Application. I've had to solve some problems that were easily ignored when writing little apps for fun. What follows is a randomly ordered collection of some of the little techniques and tips I didn't know before, which may be useful for other Cocoa newbies.
Most of the time, I work at the Windows 7 computer in my home office with a dual-monitor setup. A lot of non-geeks have never used a dual-monitor setup: you will just have to trust me when I tell you that, for a programmer or any other person who needs to look at a lot of information all at once, it is much more productive than a single-monitor setup. It's not a luxury—it's a necessity.
When I have to leave the home office and go into the office office, I take a Windows laptop. This is less productive, due both to the small screen size and the fact that I have only one screen. So I decided to try out a couple of apps that allow one to use an iPad as a second monitor.
So, I've had an iPad for about a month and a half. Here are my impressions:
Overall, it's really nice. It fills the need for a little Internet-connected device that lets me watch video, read books, read online news, and browse the web. I used to keep my old 13-inch MacBook next to the couch for these purposes, but that MacBook is now in a closet. I've also put away my Sony Reader that I kept on the nightstand.
Some time in the next few weeks, I hope to have an iPad game ready for submission to the App Store. I am looking for people to help me test the app.
I like the iPad. A few friends and acquaintances accuse me of being stupid and easily fascinated by sparkly objects. Rather than have the same argument over and over again, I'm writing all my thoughts and predictions here. I will speak no further on the subject until I actually own an iPad.
When you create a table-view-based iPhone app, by default you get tables with plain white rows. But all the cool kids are making apps with 3D-ish gradient backgrounds. You want to make those kinds of apps too, right? This article explains how.