Tag Archives: ios

IOS tip: Add a Smart App Banner To Your Website

So you tried to get by with just a mobile-optimized version of your site, but it wasn’t cutting it and you built an app. How do you let iPhone users know you even have an app? Companies have tried pretty much everything under the sun and 99% of them are annoying as hell. Thankfully with IOS 6, Apple has provided a super simple standard to incoporate this.
Start by adding the snippet below into your site:

<meta name="apple-itunes-app" content="app-id=myAppStoreID, affiliate-data=myAffiliateData, app-argument=myURL">

There are three parameters you can play with, but really you only need the first one to get it up and running. The parameters are: app-id, affiliate-data and app-argument. The app-id is your app’s unique 9-digit identifier code which you can easily find at the Apple Link Maker site. Affiliate-data is only needed if you are an itunes affiliate. Now the app-argument parameter, which is also optional, is what makes this snippet so useful. Here you can pass in a deep-link that that will help the user return to the same spot in the app where they were in the site.

This is so easy. Hopefully with this smart app banner code, people will stop resorting to full page takeover pop-ups that force people to decide if they want the app before even getting to your site. Make sure to read over the full documentation here.

Diving back into iPhone app development

Man. It’s been 2 years since Felix and I build the Alphie app for Hasbro. At the time, our boss came to us and said “Which one of you knows how to make iPhone apps?” We looked at each other and said, “…Uh, neither of us?” To which our boss replied, “Well, you’d both better start learning. We already told the client we could.” What followed was a few months of a torturous crash course of trying to build an app that was a cross between a childrens learning game and a provide a backstory for the companion toy they were selling. After that, Felix went on to develop apps full-time, while I returned to my comfort zone of building Adobe Flash websites. Two years later, Flash is all but dead, I’m developing HTML / Javascript websites for a living and I’m wishing I had kept learning IOS.

Well, I finally got back into the iPhone app saddle and I’m spending all my free time learning Objective C. I’m taking a class a Santa Monica college, devouring a steady stream of tutorials and building a few different apps simultaneously. It won’t be quick but my goal is to be a bona-fide IOS dev in about 6 months. My goal is to post some tips and tricks here that I learn along the way, and also take note of any growing pains I come across that might help any other developers out there.

iPhone 4 is finally here

iPhone 4 2 years. Thats how long it’s been since my buddy Felix & I waited in line at 6 AM in front of the AT&T store to get the iPhone 3G. I held off from getting last year’s model; I guess the $699 price tag was enough to keep me at bay, but just barely. So two years later, with a new job across town, I find myself once again standing in line at 6 AM with my buddy Felix to get Apple’s latest toy. But instead of 20 people ahead of us, this time there was roughly 500.

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the iPad vs Flash: A tragic tale of hope lost

Apple iPad vs. Adobe FlashApple product launch days always start with a wave of crazy anticipation; tech fans hold their collective breath when Steve Jobs is launching a new mysterious product. But really the only things still mysterious about Apple’s new tablet computer were the finer points: Would the iPad have a webcam for video chat? Would it run Adobe Flash? Would it give you the best web experience ever, with 10 weeks of battery life, all while curing world hunger and giving your car 75 miles to the gallon? Was it going to revolutionize the way we compute? I was hoping for a yes on at least one of those; then I might be able to justify buying one. And I really want to have a reason…

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