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Insecure Handling of URL Schemes in Apple's iOS

By Nitesh Dhanjani
November 8, 2010

I feel the risk posed by how URL Schemes are handled in iOS is significant because it allows external sources to launch applications without user interaction and perform registered transactions. Third party developers, including developers who create custom applications for enterprise use, need to realize their URL handlers can be invoked by a user landing upon a malicious website and not assume that the user authorized it. Apple also needs to step up and allow the registration of URL Schemes that can instruct Safari to throw an authorization request prior to yanking the user away into the application.

Apple and the "last mile" to true Mobility (iOS, meet OpenDoc)

By Mark Sigal
July 4, 2010

Thanks to Apple's execution in rolling out over 100M iOS-powered devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad), we are on the cusp of completing the "last mile" to rich, persistent information mobility; a domain where compute, communications, gaming, media playback and media creation tools are literally at your fingertips. Into the mix, Sigal suggests that a long-extinct Apple technology initiative, known as OpenDoc, offers a conduit between document, device, the cloud and beyond.

Adobe Crumbling: Is Winning Mobile Flash Fight Critical to Company's Success?

By Mark Sigal
May 13, 2010

In ramping up its on-going PR blitz to try and sway public opinion in favor of forcing Apple to support its Flash Runtime model, Adobe is facing three fundamental challenges. Read more.

Should Apple Give a Rat's Ass that Developers Aren't Getting Rich off of the iPhone Platform?

By Mark Sigal
October 7, 2009

Apple's iPhone Platform is a runaway success relative to just about any metric that you can throw at it, save for one. Where are the breakout successful developers for whom the platform is a 'True Wealth' inducing moment? Read on...

O'Reilly Books Example updated: Show a different image for each book

By Elisabeth Robson
July 12, 2009

I got some great feedback on my first screencast - thank you! A few of you asked: how can you show a different view for each of the rows in the table view, instead of just showing the same view...

iPhone workshop frequently asked question: Key Value Coding error

By Elisabeth Robson
July 1, 2009

One of the most common questions from the iPhone workshops we held recently is: "What is key value coding and why the heck am I getting this error?"

Tab bars and Navigation bars together

By Elisabeth Robson
June 24, 2009

The TableView is a common way to display data on an iPhone. Combining a tab bar with a table view and navigation bar isn't very difficult, but it took me forever to figure out how to do it properly.

Big learning curve for iPhone development

By Elisabeth Robson
June 22, 2009

I just started learning how to develop for the iPhone. After helping to put together an iPhone workshop with my friend Joe Heck, I got really excited about this new platform. I've dabbled in Cocoa and Objective C before, many years ago, and figured it was time to relearn Mac development so I could write my own apps for the iPhone.

On Vibration

By Erica Sadun
January 23, 2009

Making an iPhone vibrate requires nothing more than a simple call to Audio Services. Deciding on when your application should buzz is a different matter. The code for producing that short buzz effect is this:

Opt-In Complexity

By Chris Adamson
January 16, 2009

It's an interesting trait that the Mac and iPhone stacks work this way, opting in to complexity and keeping the higher-level APIs sparser and simpler, and you have to wonder whether it's a conscious design decision or a happy accident.

Bring Airplane Mode control back to life

By Erica Sadun
January 16, 2009

At some point, my apmode utility got dropped from Erica Utilities and a number of people, particularly my pal Pytey, asked if I could find some time to bring it back to life. Last night, I decided to see if I could put this together using 2.x technology after having put this off for far too long.

Thinking about table selection: Persistent or Active?

By Erica Sadun
January 9, 2009

A colleague recently had his application rejected from App Store because he used what I can only call a noun-verb approach. He allowed items in the table to be selected, and highlighted upon selection, and then provided buttons that used that choice to perform an action. His application was rejected, with the rejection citing the following from the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines:

Defining legal input characters

By Erica Sadun
January 2, 2009

I sometimes use a little trick to ensure that a UITextInputField only accepts a certain subset of characters. Say for example, you want to ensure that a user enters only letters and spaces. A UITextField delegate can catch each character as its typed and decide whether to add items to the active text field. Here's how.

iPhone without Cocoa?

By Daniel H. Steinberg
December 29, 2008

There are a ton of people attracted by the iPhone gold rush who want to write iPhone apps without taking the time to learn Cocoa. Come for the phone but stay for the Mac.

Useful Core Graphics functions

By Erica Sadun
December 26, 2008

Last week, I introduced several handy utilities that let you convert standard Core Graphics structures to and from strings. This week, I thought I'd continue to explore utility functions, moving on to ways you can work with points and rectangles for on-screen calculations. Like the string utilities, these are functions, not methods, and are as such called using standard C rather than Objective C.

Converting Points and Rectangles to Strings and back

By Erica Sadun
December 19, 2008

Two core graphics structures, the CGRect and the CGPoint, play a large role in iPhone development. They are used to position items on-screen and to set their size. Every time you use a UIView, you can work with its frame, its center, and its bounds--all of which use these two structures to handle geometry. Here's a quick review of the structures in question.

Converting Points and Rectangles to Strings and back

By Erica Sadun
December 19, 2008

Two core graphics structures, the CGRect and the CGPoint, play a large role in iPhone development. They are used to position items on-screen and to set their size. Every time you use a UIView, you can work with its frame, its center, and its bounds--all of which use these two structures to handle geometry. Here's a quick review of the structures in question.

Thoughts on AVFoundation

By Erica Sadun
December 12, 2008

In the beginning, or at least the iPhone's beginning, there was Celestial. It offered a fabulous QuickTime-esque approach to handling media of all kinds. Of course, this was back in the days of the first jailbreaks and there was no official SDK. When the SDK finally did roll around, its Audio Queue approach to handling audio playback and recording proved to be an extreme disappointment.

Thoughts on AVFoundation

By Erica Sadun
December 12, 2008

In the beginning, or at least the iPhone's beginning, there was Celestial. It offered a fabulous QuickTime-esque approach to handling media of all kinds. Of course, this was back in the days of the first jailbreaks and there was no official SDK. When the SDK finally did roll around, its Audio Queue approach to handling audio playback and recording proved to be an extreme disappointment.

The case of the Missing MapKit

By Erica Sadun
December 5, 2008

While wading through the new 2.2 Frameworks, I suddenly noticed that MapKit, once a Private Framework was missing in action. MapKit, which was available until SDK 2.1, offered all kinds of utterly yummy features including Trip Players, Traffic tiles, Route Views and more. So what happened to MapKit?

The case of the Missing MapKit

By Erica Sadun
December 5, 2008

While wading through the new 2.2 Frameworks, I suddenly noticed that MapKit, once a Private Framework was missing in action. MapKit, which was available until SDK 2.1, offered all kinds of utterly yummy features including Trip Players, Traffic tiles, Route Views and more. So what happened to MapKit?

Locating, tagging, and retrieving views

By Erica Sadun
November 28, 2008

Last week, I wrote about exploring subviews both of the user-added and Apple-created varieties. Many GUI components contain view classes that are hidden from the developer but are composed of perfectly standard components.

Locating, tagging, and retrieving views

By Erica Sadun
November 28, 2008

Last week, I wrote about exploring subviews both of the user-added and Apple-created varieties. Many GUI components contain view classes that are hidden from the developer but are composed of perfectly standard components.

View Spelunking Part 1: Exploring subviews and layout

By Erica Sadun
November 21, 2008

It's often helpful to take a look at your UIView hierarchy; and when I say "look", I mean all the way down. You can just as easily look at the component subviews that comprise on-screen objects like buttons, switches, and sliders, as you can at the UIImageViews and UIButtons that you add directly to your screen. UIButtons, for example, are composed of three image views and a label. Some UITextFields are built on a private UITextFieldRoundedRectBackgroundView, with a number of UIImageViews that are added below that class.

View Spelunking Part 1: Exploring subviews and layout

By Erica Sadun
November 21, 2008

It's often helpful to take a look at your UIView hierarchy; and when I say "look", I mean all the way down. You can just as easily look at the component subviews that comprise on-screen objects like buttons, switches, and sliders, as you can at the UIImageViews and UIButtons that you add directly to your screen. UIButtons, for example, are composed of three image views and a label. Some UITextFields are built on a private UITextFieldRoundedRectBackgroundView, with a number of UIImageViews that are added below that class.

The Joys of Vertical Audio

By Erica Sadun
November 14, 2008

One of the things I hate about the Media Player framework is that although it offers easy-to-use audio playback, it does so horizontally. Users have to flip their phones onto the side and access the playback controls in landscape. It's not all that hard to force Media Player into portrait mode and today I'll show you how.

Hunting down Info.plist Preferences

By Erica Sadun
November 7, 2008

I've spent some time recently trying to hunt down items for use in your Info.plist files. The natural place to look for these is the SpringBoard executable in the iPhone's Core Services folder. I ran this file through a strings filter, looking to see if I could find groupings of items that might work.

Recovering multiple touches

By Erica Sadun
November 1, 2008

A view that handles multiple touch points must announce itself. Add the isMultipleToucheEnabled handler and have it return YES. Doing so allows your touch methods (touchesBegan, touchesMoved, touchesEnded) to work with several touchpoints at once.

Creating a Full-Screen Camera Preview

By Erica Sadun
October 24, 2008

I'm not big on the whole Image Picker Camera interface. I hate how slow it is and how it prevents you from scraping the screen. So here's my work around. In the following code, I scan down the UIImagePicker presentation to find my way to the actual preview window.

Timely UI Updates

By Erica Sadun
October 17, 2008

Laggy UI updates are a frequently occurring problem on the iPhone. With operationally intense work, your GUI may not always keep sync with your requests, particularly when you try to update status information to let the user know how things are going.

Programming with Safety Scissors and Glitter Glue

By Erica Sadun
October 10, 2008

Although the NDA is on the way out, not all is restored to sparkly brightness in the world of the iPhone SDK. Developers must still deal with day-to-day limitations built into Apple's development environment.

A proposal for SDK-compliant copy & paste

By Erica Sadun
October 3, 2008

This morning, I had one of my d'oh moments: finally figuring out exactly how to do inter-app copy and paste without breaking SDK rules. It basically goes like this, in a similar fashion to the Core Location service I wrote about a few months ago:

Creating an iPhone-based Web Service: Part 3

By Erica Sadun
October 3, 2008

Over the last two weeks, I've shown you how to create a socket to listen for web requests and how to produce an artificial index.html file that advertises the files you're willing to serve from your iPhone. Today, I'll wrap things up by adding error pages and the actual file server.

Goodbye NDA

By Erica Sadun
October 2, 2008

Goodbye NDA and welcome to the age of open collaboration. Yay.

Creating an iPhone-based Web Service: Part 2

By Erica Sadun
September 26, 2008

The iPhone's "no disk access" policy shouldn't bar you from sharing your application's files with the world at large. Last week, I showed you how to build a listening socket that polled for requests on a random port. This week, it's time to parse those requests.

Creating an iPhone-based Web Service: Part 1

By Erica Sadun
September 19, 2008

The iPhone provides no disk access. The backup mechanism hides your files into mdbackup archives. Apple disabled attachments for email. So what do you do when you want to share your data with the world. Creating your own web server is one way to provide a connection between your iPhone data and your users.

And The Winner is: Games

By Oliver Breidenbach
September 17, 2008

After about 2 months of the App Store, Games clearly dominate the market place. From the 10 Top Paid Apps, 8 are games and the 2 remaining are in the category "Entertainment" which is really just another word for "Games"....

Sandbox: Think like Apple

By Erica Sadun
September 12, 2008

Apple allows read access to nearly the entire iPhone file system. This is a mixed blessing. Your Application can read that data -- but it shouldn't. Apple has been rejecting apps that stray outside their sandbox. From the various rejection letters that I've seen, Apple cites non-specific "violations". These violations have nothing to do with the actual reason that application will not get into AppStore. It helps to see a cross section of these letters because you wouldn't necessarily pick up the point directly from the email.

Uncovering Notifications at Run Time

By Erica Sadun
September 5, 2008

Quite a while back, I posted about uncovering selectors at runtime. Detecting selectors allows you to reverse engineer the way Apple uses delegation calls to communicate between objects and clients. Delegation is a key way that objects communicate. Another way is intra-application notification. As with selectors, you can uncover notifications at runtime. Notification are electronic semaphores that pass between objects within a program.

Scraping AppStore Reviews

By Erica Sadun
August 28, 2008

I know I promised last week to post about intra-app notification, and I'm still planning to but after chatting with Ĝivind Kjellnĝ over email, I decided to change directions for a little while. I'll get back to notifications but for today, I'm going to show you how to access your app reviews throughout the world.

SDK Code Samples at iDevKit

By Erica Sadun
August 28, 2008

iPhone developer Mxweas (author of mxtube) writes "I made a forum for iPhone SDK and Toolchain development called idevkit.com. There are tons of code samples already up and it currently has about 460 members. Feel free to check it out."

Finding iPhone inter-app notification names

By Erica Sadun
August 22, 2008

A few weeks ago, I wrote about listening to iPhone inter-application notifications. Several readers contacted me, through the post comments and through private mail, asking if I could explain how to create the list of notifications that was omitted from the original post. So today, I'm going to walk you through the basics of doing that

Retrieving Device Information

By Erica Sadun
August 15, 2008

As the open iPhone toolchain reveals, Apple has supplied a limited device-specific information class. You can retrieve far more information from your iPhone through its IO Registry. As on the Macintosh, the IO Registry provides a great deal of hardware specific information, which can be queried and used by your programs.

Tweeting

By Erica Sadun
August 8, 2008

So today, keeping in the theme of posting useful code snippets that do not rely on privileged SDK calls, let me show you how to Tweet. The API itself is really simple: you provide a user name, password and a Twitter message. What complicates this from an iPhone point of view is that you can't just assemble a URL and shoot it upstream to Twitter.com. The request requires POST.

iPhone Notifications

By Erica Sadun
July 31, 2008

Listening to notifications isn't hard. Just call CFNotificationCenterAddObserver and add your application as a listener. Unfortunately, unlike standard notification centers, the Darwin forbids eavesdropping. You must specify exactly which notification token you want to listen for.

iPhone 2.1 SDK goes live. Beta 2.1 firmware available

By Erica Sadun
July 25, 2008

Head on over to the iPhone developer site to get your fresh hot copy of the iPhone 2.1 sdk and beta firmware. It's unclear whether the SDK beta NDA agreement still applies to this new release. In other news: pwnage is now out of date.

Pwnage, Jailbreak and now...what?

By Erica Sadun
July 24, 2008

Now that the iPhone has been jailbroken, may people are asking "So now what?" What use has the jailbreak been, especially considering the easy advantages of App Store distribution. The answer to that depends on how you use your iPhone.

“Opening up” the iPhone

By Richard Thally
July 23, 2008

The iPhone Dev Team have released their pwnage tool for 2G and 3G phones. The tool jailbreaks both generations of phones on the 2.0 software, and also unlocks the 2G’s. (Full disclosure, I am on the Dev Team) “Ebony and...

Hello. Again.

By Giles Turnbull
July 23, 2008

New Inside iPhone contributor Giles Turnbull says hello.

A Place for the Novice iPhone Developer

By Matt Twomey
July 19, 2008

Opening the book on my journeys in iPhone development, mistakes and all. Come read along, follow along, and join in the discussion.


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