- Maps update, with guidance and Siri integration.
- Updated universal colour scheme.
- Notification Centre API
- Notification Centre updated interface for iPad.
- Siri in the Notification Centre.
- Siri for iPad.
- Facebook integration.
- iCloud Safari tab sync.
- iCloud file storage.
- iPad Multiple Users.
After a good few weeks of working on this, the new design I’ve been working on for a few weeks has been uploaded. It’s a big step for me, and one that I hope will kick my career into further action.
The new additions I’ve made include:
- New minimal design – No fuss, no clutter, just plenty of white space. All the information about me is contained on one page, meaning no clicks are necessary. A lot of work has gone into this.
- Responsive design – My favourite feature, the design now alters itself according to the browser width using CSS3 media queries, so smaller screens can get the exact same experience as desktop users with less management by myself.
- Ajax contact form (NEARLY FINISHED) – Contact me directly from the homepage without any page refreshes.
- Works with older browsers – IE7 and Firefox 3.6 are fully supported.
I’m glad to get this out of the way, but there’s a few more things I need to do. First and foremost, I need to finish building in WordPress, meaning I’ll be able to post blogs directly onto my site and not on a separate domain as I have been doing up to now. The styling work for this is done, all that remains is the PHP.
I also need to complete my contact form, which has only started hiccupping recently and needed to be fixed.
I would really really appreciate some feedback for this, I’ve put in a lot of time for this and I only want to learn on where I can improve. Over time, changes and fixes will be added.
I’ve decided a new design of my website is in order. The current way that my website works and adjusts for displays is hard to manage and not future proof. After a lot of reading about responsive design over the past few months, and putting it to the test recently, I’ve decided that it wouldn’t be right not to implement it.
Currently, my website uses PHP to detect whether a mobile device is accessing my website, such as an iPhone, and changes the to a new controller that includes the files for the mobile site. This gave me the ability to implement unique features for mobile devices, such as the swipe slideshow, but was difficult to manage as I needed to update a number of files to add new features and text.
For those that don’t know, a responsive design detects the screen size with CSS media queries and lets you write CSS specifically for these screen sizes. For example two paragraphs can be side by side when on a desktop screen, but can be placed on a single column for easier reading on a mobile screen.
This article by Web Designer Wall explains the Responsive Design idea much more, and gives more examples:
So, my new design will be responsive. What else?
I’ve decided that now, instead of the current tabbed interface, I will display all sections on the page, with smaller sections being side by side and larger sections taking up the entire width of the browser. After some recent success with WordPress, I’ve decided to implement it fully into my website instead of on an external WordPress domain. On a personal level, I will also extend my custom CMS further to be able to change more data on my website without going back to code, and extend it further to be able to create, edit and delete sections for the homepage. The website will also finally implement HTML5 tags, such as article and header.
What I haven’t nailed yet is what colours to have. Initially I was going for a white and grey colour scheme, but have found myself going back to dark colours again. This is something I will continue to experiment with, and may even add the ability to change the colour scheme from the page itself.
My work so far can be found at http://josephshambrook.com/previews/anotherdesign
Any feedback would be hugely appreciated!
Apple’s App Store is the most famous software, or ‘app’, distribution service, let’s just get that out in the open. They’re famed for being the first to create such a service for their line of iOS devices, and eventually extended to Mac with the Mac App Store. However, they’re just as famous, possibly even more so, for their initially stringent rules and regulations for which apps were allowed to be distributed officially, on top of what these apps are actually allowed to do at all. For example, apps can not include an ability to change the way the lock screen is unlocked, from the usual Slide To Unlock to something else, like Android’s famed Pattern Unlock. Since then, their rules have been relaxed, but things like that lock screen example are still not allowed.
A quick browse of the Top 50 or so paid apps, and you may find apps that promise differently. Apps such as the one below demonstrate a new ability for the iPhone that it just can’t do, including one that claims you can now unlock your iPhone with a pattern, a la Android.
This app, entitled ‘Pattern Lock for iPhone‘, is charged at 69p in the UK, and has gained universally 1 star reviews since its introduction, yet still remains in the store, ready for innocent people to be ripped off. People download these apps because they believe that the iPhone or iPod Touch can be customised in such a way, until they realise they’ve been tricked.
But this isn’t all. There are more apps that give empty promises, but particularly this one shown below making the latest rounds. It is called, simply ‘Pokémon Yellow’, and you can guess what it promises.
This app promises the ability to play the hugely popular game Pokémon Yellow, but actually, when launched, the image shown in the app screenshots shows for a second, after which the app crashes and diverts back to the home screen.
Why somebody working at Apple decided to allow this to be sold in the App Store is beyond not just me, but anyone else who knows how big of a fraud this is.
These are just examples of why Apple needs to look yet again at their approval process. I’m pretty sure that their initial guidelines would never have allowed the above apps to be distributed, and Steve Jobs would’ve ordered the removal of these apps in a heartbeat. These apps are horribly misleading, and developed for the sole purpose of ripping off anyone without knowledge of the restrictions that app developers have. This must stop to protect the integrity and strong reputation of the App Store.
I will be emailing Tim Cook about this, that’s how much I hope Apple rectifies this problem.
Let’s face it, new years resolutions don’t usually stick. There are the people that swear that they’ll stick to their resolutions but ultimately fail, people that don’t bother making resolutions as they know they won’t stick to them, and the rare lot that actually make a resolution and stick to it. I hopefully can start to fall into that last exclusive group.
Using the hugely useful task management sync tool WunderList, I’ve kept my list safe and secure, but most importantly staring at me throughout the next 12 months. They’re realistic, definitely achievable, and would most certainly help my career and myself, so I thought I’d share them :]
- Replace Coca Cola with Diet Coke – This has been urged by friends, my girlfriend and my family. Although Diet Coke isn’t good for me neither, it’s certainly better than regular Coke.
- Take better care of car – A habit of mine is to clean my car and leave it for months, recalling that last clean every time I’m urged to do it again. This will be beaten.
- Create first iPhone app – A biggy. I have had a couple of ideas, including one that I feel is pretty great and hasn’t been replicated in the App Store as of yet. I’m most interested in mobile development, so this could be a huge stepping stone towards a dream job.
- Learn color theory – This is to do with design. I’ve struggled with coming up with firm color schemes previously, so I hope that learning what colors work and which don’t will help.
- Start using Git versioning – Specifically GitHub, I’d like to start implementing version control into my work. Too often now I’ve deleted code only to wish I could have it again, plus collaboration with other developers makes this a must.
Today I’ve uploaded a few changes I’ve made to my website, both on the front end and back. I’ve been using this design since July 2011, and whilst continuously trying to think of ways to improve it, I decide to implement it on the basis of it helping my progress into a career of web development. So, here are the changes:
- More tabs for homepage.
The homepage has retained much of its style since this design was implemented, with three tabs being the only options for visitors: Portfolio, Experience and Contact. These were the three items that I felt were most important for visitors to find out more about me. Now though, I’ve released two more tabs, Social and Previews.
Social is one I’ve been thinking of for months and stalled on implementing, but have finally got around to developing. Right now it only consists of a Blog feed from my WordPress blog, and a feed from my Twitter account @JoeDevelops, but I have more plans in store for this. Previews has been a separate part of my site where I include links to projects or experiments I’m working on for testing, debugging and public advice. Today I’ve decided to implement it into my homepage, as it’s being visited and used more often, and has gained a bit of traffic. I felt adding it to the homepage was important for new visitors, so that they can get a taste of what I’m practicing with right now.
- Sprite icons.
Using sprite images has also been on my agenda for months now, but thanks to the fantastic SpriteRight app recently released, it’s made the task of creating a sprite image faster and easier than I could’ve possibly ignored. This is only implemented on the homepage for now for a few icons, but will gradually be rolled out across all of my pages and as many of my images as possible.
- Behind the scenes.
On coding terms, I’ve been integrating new coding technologies and methods I’ve recently learnt to make my website faster. The tabs on the homepage now use new code built from the ground up, and is so good that I’m considering creating a jQuery plugin from it for others to use. I’ve also improved the iPhone slideshow slightly, but have big plans for that coming soon.
One thing I desperately want to start doing is give back to the community. I’m aiming to start developing tutorials and plugins once I get good ideas and free time, but I want to make sure my website is in fit working order before I get started on making myself very public. My coding skills and knowledge have been hugely improving recently, so I’m not far off. Plus, due to my new Social tab, I have to start blogging more often now ;]
Another year, another expected major release from Apple for their iOS platform. Have to say, with all the previous releases filling some much-missed functionality holes, this list has been the hardest to compose by far.
- Apple Television/iTV: Apple is widely expected to release their own revolutionary (and enormously expensive) television set, and iOS 6 will be baked straight into it. Apps functionality, Siri, iMessage, etc, all built for the big screen.
- Third Party Access to Siri: Would open up a whole new generation of using applications. “Tweet happy new year to everyone!” “What’s the latest score for the Arsenal – Man Utd game?” “Check-in to King’s Cross Station on Foursquare.”
- Settings Toggles in Notification Centre: Already demonstrated by a clever Jailbroken hack by SBSettings, this could make changing certain settings considerably easier and faster, as well as being something that users have been asking about for a while now. Plus, with Siri integration, this could prove Siri’s growing intelligence and usefulness.
This is a work in progress, and more predictions will be added at a later date.
Things that won’t be included in iOS 6:
- Siri for older generations: Think of it as when people discovered the iPhone 3G could in fact support video recording, but only the 3GS officially supported it. It can be done, but Apple need something to brag about with each device release, and Siri is the icing on the iPhone 4S cake.