I recently decided to add iAds to PhotoTangler Lite, in exchange for removing some of the limitations. One of the problems that arose is that iAds aren’t available on older versions of iOS. Since the beginning I’ve been trying my best to make sure my app runs on every iPhone out there, including the very first Edge network devices. The steps I ended up taking were as follows:
Set the iOS deployment target low (iOS 3.1 in my case)
Add the iAd framework to Build Settings, but flip from Required to Optional
At runtime, detect the iOS version using [[UIDevice currentDevice] systemVersion]
If it’s a high enough version, enable ads and reduce limitations.
If ads aren’t supported, keep previous Lite version limitations.
I tested it in all the simulator versions, an old Edge iPhone, a 3GS and an iPhone 4. Worked perfectly on all of them for me. If you’ve got a similar challenge with your own apps, this approach might be worth a shot.
PS – One extra tidbit: [[[UIDevice currentDevice] systemVersion] floatValue] can be used to get the version number as a float.
If you’re an app developer, one of the best ways to get people to look at your app is to make a short, sweet promotional video that shows off the core features. For apps that do somewhat unique things (such as PhotoTangler), it can be very difficult to describe in words what the app is, let alone why someone should spend their precious time giving it a try. Ideally a video will solve that! In this post I quickly explain the steps I took to create the following promo video:
For starters, the core problem was finding an approach to record video of my app, which could then be cut and edited into a nice promo video. To my knowledge, there’s no reasonable way to export video directly from the iPhone, which left the following primary options: a) Run the app in the simulator, or b) Film the phone with a digital camera.
Given the number of shoddy cam videos I’ve seen for apps (and the fact that I don’t have a good camera), I decided to explore the use of the simulator. The goal was to run the app directly in the simulator, and record video using a desktop capture application. A bit of Google searching revealed a variety of desktop capture apps, at myriad price points. However when I asked my Mac developer friends, consistently the most popular recommendation I received was for Snapz Pro X (no affiliation), which I found to be simple and effective.
Equipped with fancy capture software, the next obstacle was figuring out how to record the actual demo. For apps with simple inputs, recording from the simulator is smooth sailing. In my case however, I needed to use multi-touch to effectively show the features. That’s of course a bit of a problem with a single mouse! That is, until I found out about iSimulate (again, no affiliation.)
iSimulate is a slick app (and corresponding SDK) which lets you use your actual iPhone device to control your app through the simulator. The quick version is that you link with their provided sdk library, then run your app in the simulator. It creates a listen server, which you can connect to from your phone (via Wi-Fi) using the iSimulate app on the device itself. It forwards touch events, accelerometer data, etc, to your app transparently. It can also stream video back to the phone so you can see your app on the device as well. It might sound pretty complicated, but the cool thing is that at least in my experience with it, it just works. There’s a free trial version.
Once I had a way to capture video and device inputs, the rest was a piece of cake. I scripted out a simple sequence of events to show off the main features in under 2 minutes, and quickly edited the pieces together in iMovie. The music I used came from Kevin MacLeod’s Royalty Free Music collection, which has a bunch of great content under the Creative Commons attribution license.
The entire process took under 2 hours, and I’m pretty happy with the results. Hopefully the above explanation gave you some ideas about how to get your own video made. And if you know of any better ways to capture iPhone video or input, I’d love to hear about them.
I recently found out about the option to add photos to the iPhone simulator’s library by simply dragging them one at a time to the simulator window. Safari will load the image, and you can hold the mouse button down over it to get the save option.