Archive for category: Apps

iTerm 2: iTerm successor

iTerm 2: iTerm successor

 
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I’m not very fond in reviews because I think I’m not really good at it. Anyhow, yesterday I discovered the existence of iTerm 2.

For me, iTerm, is really not an option over Terminal (the terminal emulator shipped with Mac OS X). The latter feels a little bit dizzy starting from the selection (try to select a path in Terminal.app) and ending to the poor tab management in Terminal compared to the one brought by iTerm.

When I hit iTerm 2 website I jumped to the features page to see what’s actually is different and I saw a lot of cool-but-useless things except for three killing ones:

  • The split panes

  • The set mark capability

This latter feature is somehow hidden, in a very loose sense. It allows you to mark a position on your terminal screen and come back to that position with the “Jump to Mark” menu item.
It comes to be very handy when you have commands that print out a lot of garbage and you are interested in reading the output starting from the top instead of the bottom.

There are a lot of more features such as the instant replay (that I don’t think I will ever use it) or the autocompletion (that is somehow interesting but so much time has past since I started using the UNIX console that I don’t think I will remember this feature while using the terminal).

Does it sound interesting? Then give it a try!

May 11, 2011 0 comments Read More
Free over-the-air distribution

Free over-the-air distribution

 
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Few days ago, Matteo Kuzeko, pointed out to my attention a web service that easily allows iOS developers to share they own application over-the-air in order to do beta testing: TestFlight

In my previous related post I briefly told you how to do the same all by yourself; with TestFlight the goal is the same but this service brings altogether few interesting features. Practically speaking, you have to build up a Team. The latter is usually composed by the developers and the testers.
With the online control-panel you can invite people by using their email addresses (one at a time) or you can generate an URL to send to all of them an invitation to join the beta testing.

Once your teammates subscribe to the website, they will have to register their devices as well. Once they do that, the developers have to add their device to the list of “compatible” devices. This step is required only the first time you set up the team.

The cool features that TestFlight brings are the instant report of what’s going on in the team (it displays the status of all the teammates and what they did so far) and it sends notifications every time the developers deploy (and hence upload) a new version of the app. This way the mates are automatically notified by the system.

I found it to be very interesting and quite immediate and I will definitively propose it to my team in the next days.

May 1, 2011 0 comments Read More
Adobe Lightroom 3: Backup watermark settings

Adobe Lightroom 3: Backup watermark settings

 
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Adobe Lightroom 3 has a really handy way to create watermarks: using the UI you will create a professional-looking watermark in just five minutes.

Anyway, Lightroom also provides a system for making backups of the Catalog. Usually, Lightroom proposes the user to make it once every week. That’s great but it will definitively not contain all the settings you care about, for instance watermarks’.

After digging a bit into the “well-known” directories where applications are used to put stuff into, I discovered where Lightroom actually puts the watermarks. Guess where? In the Watermarks directory!

Fire up Finder, go to ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Watermarks and copy your watermarks template anywhere you like. Since I rely on Dropbox for backing up my stuff, I just dropped it there. Don’t forget to backup the font as well, especially if you use a custom one.

P.S.: I’m pretty sure that folks using Windows may find the watermarks in a similar location C:\Users/YOURUSERNAMEHERE\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom/Watermarks or something like that.

February 20, 2011 0 comments Read More
Reeder, fix login issue

Reeder, fix login issue

 
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Today, out of the blue, it happened that Reeder (a very nice RSS client for Mac OS X) just stopped working.

Every time I opened it, it was asking me for my Google Reader credentials. Even if I issued them correctly, it would keep on giving me error about being unable to connect to Google services.

Very quick fix: open Keychain Access application and remove the line corresponding to Reeder application and then restart Reeder.

alt text

Easy, isn’t it?

February 7, 2011 0 comments Read More
iOS4 and wireless application deploy

iOS4 and wireless application deploy

 
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Starting from iOS4 it is possible to publish applications on to a generic webserver and allow people to download an application with just a single “tap” without using iTunes or Xcode.

The operation is quite straightforward and also well documented in the related Apple Documentation. This is only possible, of course, if you have a valid developer certificate and a list of UUIDs of the devices enabled to run the application onto. Such list is part of the so called “provisioning profile” that is generated through the Apple Developer Portal. The idea is that this method is useful for enterprise development (aka Ad Hoc) and you don’t want to deal with colleagues asking for a new deploy or for the latest version every time you update your application or fix some bug.

So let’s start setting up our system. Fire up Xcode and select Build -> Build and Archive. The Organiser will pop-up. Select the build you want to publish and click on the Share... button above the list. Select then the identity you want to sign your code with (usually this is the same you use for signing the code for a standard deploy on the device). Click, then, on Distribuite for Enterprise..

At this point a form will appear asking you from which URL the application should be downloaded from. Let’s suppose your website is available at www.example.com and your application (the file .ipa) is hosted at www.example.com/download/myapp.ipa, then http://www.example.com/download/myapp.ipa should go in that field. [See the update below]
Fill the other fields as you wish; you can get more information about that in the Apple Documentation

Once you filled the form and clicked OK select the place where to save the generated files (ipa and plist).
Congrats you are done!

Now the tricky parts comes when you have to deal with the webserver-side code. I have created a small example page below.
Remember that you have to put on your website all the files: myapp.ipa, myapp.plist and myapp.mobileprovision.

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Install your application</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <ul>
      <li> <a href="http://www.example.com/download/myapp.mobileprovision">Install Team Provisioning File</a></li>
      <li><a href="itms-services://?action=download-manifest&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2Fdownload%2Fmyapp.plist">Install Application</a></li>
    </ul>
    </div>
  </body>
</html>

Please notice that the second href is nothing just a plain old-fashioned URL. Nothing special into that. If you are wondering about those weird %2F and %3A they are normal urlencoded symbols (for ‘/’ and ‘:’ resp.).
Once you did this you are definitely done.

Maybe if I find some time in the near future I will upload a php page that updates automagically the links to the new application snapshot you publish.

Happy sharin’ :)

[UPDATE 11st January 2011]
Please remember that in the URL textfield you should put exactly the link to the file that is going to be hosted on your website. Is it then necessary that you put the same filename both in that URL field as well as in the filename field where Xcode asks you where to put your archived application (the ipa and plist files).

December 21, 2010 25 comments Read More