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Best Resources In iOS Development – July 25th 2011

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Another week gone by, and welcome to this listing of resources shared in the last week in order of popularity.

This week once again yet another beta was released of iOS 5 for us to install.  The release date is slowly creeping up.

Some great resources were posted on the site including open source libraries for interface improvement, free game graphic sources, and some excellent tutorials.

If you would like us to submit a resource you can do so on the submit page.

Open Source: Drop In UILabel Replacement For Beautiful Text Easily – A library utilizing NSAttributedString, and core text allowing you to quickly create labels with styled text.

Design: Free Game Graphic Sets Made Specifically For iOS Games – Some great looking sets of game art styled specifically or the iPhone and iPad complete with backgrounds, characters and game objects.

Tutorial: Easy Game Controls In Cocos2D With SneakyInput – Describes how to use the SneakyInput library in your Cocos2D game so you can quickly add a virtual joystick.

Tutorial: Using And Building OpenCV (Open Computer Vision) On iOS Devices – Tutorial along with a build script for those looking to use the OpenCV library in their apps.

Open Source: Behavioral Driven Development Testing Framework – A framework made with Objective-C and specifically for Objective-C apps enabling BDD testing.

Tutorial: Objective-C Blocks (Closures) For Beginners – The basics of using Objective-C blocks including an overview of using them in concurrency programming.

Tutorial: Building Complete Games With SpriteHelper And LevelHelper – A couple of tutorials on the usage of these excellent tools to quickly build games with Cocos2D and Corona.

Open Source: Real-Time Congress App Phonegap And Native Source Code – The source code to both a Phonegap and native app that displays real time data.

Tutorial: Texturing 3D Objects In OpenGL ES 2.0 – An excellent step-by-step tutorials for beginners to OpenGL ES demonstrating how to Texture 3D objects.

Design: Creating An App with HTML/CSS And Sencha Touch – A tutorial on how to design iPhone style interfaces with HTML/CSS and Sencha Touch.

Thanks for reading, please bookmark and share this post!


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Design: Creating An App with HTML/CSS And Sencha Touch

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As you probably know there are many frameworks that allow you to develop native iOS apps with the interfaces designed with HTML/CSS.

The big question then is how do you create that app’s interface?  Sencha Touch is one possibility.

I’ve found a  tutorial that goes into detail on how to design a great looking mobile web app that looks like a native one using HTML/CSS using the Sencha Touch library that looks and feels just like a native app.   What I really like about the tutorial is that it goes through the design process step-by-step.

The tutorial is from Jen Gordon who’s set of beginner native iOS app design tutorials I previously mentioned.

You can find the tutorial here:
Create An HTML/CSS Mobile Web App Using Sencha Touch

You can test out an expanded version of the app built in the tutorial here (use your iPhone):
http://senchalearn.github.com/roookies/?style=demo

This information is great to know not just for web apps, but a useful guide if you plan on creating a native app using a wrapper framework like Phonegap.


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Open Source: Real-Time Congress App Phonegap And Native Source Code

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As you may have noticed I like to keep a list on this site of open source ios apps.

Earlier I received a submission of the url to an open source iPhone app that updates on what is happening at the US congress in real time, and provides access to data about members of the US Congress.

Politics aside, it provides an example of an app that retrieves and organizes data from an online source, and there is also a Phonegap version if you are looking for any html/javascript enthusiasts out there looking for a starting point trying to build with Phonegap.

You can find the source code for the newer native version here:
https://github.com/sunlightlabs/realtimecongress-ios

The source code for the previous Phonegap version can be found here:
https://github.com/sunlightlabs/real_time_congress-iphone_html

You can find the app on iTunes here.

I’ll be adding it to the list of open source apps soon.


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Open Source: Orbium Game (HTML5 Based – Available on iPhone/iPad)

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Received word about an interesting puzzle game  that has been open sourced.  It is currently available in the app store and runs on the iPhone/iPad (along with Android, and Palm versions).

What makes Orbium interesting is that this is actually an HTML5 based game, and the app store version runs through the Phonegap framework — and it runs well.  The game runs smoothly while animated and beautiful which really shows that the iOS devices and Mobile Safari have come a long way in running html5 apps.  There are quite a few games listed on the open source iOS apps list, but this is the first HTML5 based game.

Here’s a video of the game in action:

Because the game is HTML5 based you can test it in your browser here:
http://bni.github.com/orbium/

You can find the Github for the game here:
https://github.com/bni/orbium

The homepage where you can find links to the different versions available is here:
http://jsway.se/

Overall, it is interesting if you want some insight into HTML5 game development.


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Phonegap And iWebKit Demo (Video and Source)

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Randy McMillan sent me information on an example that he has posted this time illustrating the usage of Phonegap and iWebKit.

I have created a short video demoing the example in action:

No knowledge of Objective-C is necessary to create an app using these technologies, and as you can see the look and feel is just like a native application.  In the demo the app is running in the simulator as a native app, not in Safari.  While action games will suffer a noticeable performance lag, apps that are non-graphically intensive have pretty good performance.

You can download this example here:

The example can be downloaded here: iWebkit/Phonegap

iWebKit is a UI framework commonly used in web apps, and Phonegap is a framework used for running web applications as native iPhone/Blackberry/Android applications.

[Update: Sorry Links Removed.  Looks like the author has removed the advice, and decided to just forward the links to his about page.  Will fix if this gets corrected.]


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