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Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 7: The Big Picture

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Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How To Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 7 of the series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here (this post has been updated to Swift, iOS 8 and Xcode 6)

In my last several posts, we have created a prototype app called iAppsReview that allows users to rate apps on their iOS devices. Whenever you build an app, it's a best practice to first create a prototype that you can give to your client or potential user base for feedback. You often need to make changes to the prototype based on the feedback you receive. However, once the dust has settled, you need to turn the prototype into a real app. This requires writing code. Since this blog series is specifically designed for non-programmers, we need to take a step back and look at the big picture of app development and learn the basics of writing code.



Are You Stan Lee's Biggest Fan? LiveJournal App Contest Ends Soon!

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I think I'm Stan Lee's biggest fan, but my daughter might be beg to differ. Lee is responsible for so many of the superheroes I grew up with and that are in the movie theatres today! Without Stan Lee, there would be no Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Avengers, and countless more.



Check your Aggression Levels with NHL Hockey Target Smash!

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I've been having fun with NHL Hockey Target Smash (free), and it's not all about smashing targets. With the hockey simulator game, you get to choose your team colors, enter your name, and customize your hockey stick and even your puck. That's something Tom Brady would love to do with his football! But that's another sport. Speaking of other sports, Concrete Software, the maker of NHL Hockey Target Smash, also makes PBA Bowling Challenge, another fun licensed app I've played and enjoyed.



Make Education Better with the Perpetual Innovation Fund from Digital Harbor

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The Digital Harbor Foundation wants to give you a 3D printer. Thanks to their new Perpetual Innovation Fund, they have set aside funds to give 3D printers to worthy schools and teachers who can make a case for it. In addition to 3D printing, the foundation teachers technical skills like electronics, and web and app programming in their after-school and camp classes.



Review: Shifts Calendar App

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If you're a shift worker, look no further than Shifts for your scheduling needs.

Some weeks, I babysit, and others I don't. Every week, I have classes, except during holidays. Sure, these aren't shifts, but they provide the perfect example. With the calendar app Shifts ($1.99), I can create a "shift" programmed with the hours I work every week.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 6: Finishing the Prototype

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Do you have an idea for an app, but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How To Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 6 of the series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here (this post has been updated to iOS 8, Xcode 6 and Swift.)

In my previous post, you were introduced to several user-interface controls including the text field, text view, image view, and rounded rectangle button. We finished the main iAppsReview scene and added a new App Category scene.



Stream Super Bowl for Free Via Free NBC App

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On Sunday, February 1, the Seattle Seahawks will square off against the New England Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl XLIX. And for those of you who don't remember your grade school introduction to Roman numerals, that would be Super Bowl number 49. If you don't have cable TV, NBC has announced that it will be streamed live for free — no cable or satellite TV login needed. 



Apple Macs to Adopt CPU Chip from iOS Devices?

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Every year, Apple updates their "A" series of chips that power the iPhone and iPad, prompting speculation that such a chip might find its way into the Mac product line. There are a lot of compelling reasons why that could happen, but there are usually more compelling reasons against it. Which is probably why it hasn't happened yet. However, the buzz is growing around an A-series chip in Apple's next low-end MacBook Air. Apple could control their destiny, using their own chip instead of relying on (and paying) Intel.



Vent Up: Express Yourself Freely and Annonymously

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Everyone would choose to keep things positive and spread good vibes in social media, but from time to time, there will simply be circumstances which can prompt us to lose it. Whether it be a rant about an irritating reality TV celebrity, a boyfriend who is late again for the umpteenth time, or lousy customer service, we want an outlet for unloading these feelings.



New Version of Free Google Translate Lets You Translate Using Camera

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On Wednesday Google released a new version of Google Translate (free) in the App Store that has some great new features. Most importantly, it now includes Word Lens: you can point your camera at some text in a foreign language, and the translated text will instantly overlay the image on your screen. You don't even need an Internet connection. According to the announcement on the Official Google Blog, the translation works between English and French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, with more languages to be added.



Evernote Scannable: A New Vista for Mobile Scanning

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For many of us who rely upon smartphones as part of our work flow, chance are we’ve used a scanning app or two. We might even have broken down and gotten one simply for scanning barcodes when we’re out shopping. But a fairly new development from Evernote looks to change the field dramatically. That development comes in the form of Scannable, their iOS app that’s now available in the App Store.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 5: Next Steps

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Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How To Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 5 of the series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here.

In my previous post, you learned about navigating between different scenes in your app, and learned about using custom user-interface controls in your apps. We started building the Write Review scene (shown on the left side of Figure 1), which we will finish in this post, and we'll move on to the App Category scene shown on the right side of Figure 1. (This post has been updated to iOS 8, Xcode 6 and Swift). 



This Week's Gaming Distractions: Mujo

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As puzzle games become more ubiquitous, developers need to have a hook to really nab a player. Mujo is evidence of what happens when the market is saturated; its gameplay is fairly standard for a puzzle, but the design around it is both creative and frustrating.



ChaChinga App Sparks Family Conversation on Financial Responsibility

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Missouri frugal blogger Enza Ketcham recently teamed up with her co-worker, Andy Walleck, to create a new app for both kids and adults. The app is a fun game that you can play with your children to bring up the topic of financial responsibility–avoiding credit cards and shopping when products are on sale. The free ChaChinga app is available now in the iTunes store



CES 2015: Imagination Technologies Demonstrates Their SoC Prowess

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The best of the CES show is often not on the beaten path. One key vendor we make sure to lock in on every year is the Imagination Technologies meeting rooms in South Hall at CES 2015 (way back in the corner). These guys are one of a select number of innovators that design the low-power, system on chip (SoC) technology needed to run our smart homes, smart cars, and smart mobile devices.



CES 2015: Upgrade Your Home Lighting System with a Zuli Smartplug

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We were given a demo of the new Zuli Smartplug system ($135-3 Pak/$50 for single) at  CES 2015. The first production units should start shipping next week. The Zuli smartplug can turn any electrical device into a smart appliance. You simply plug it into a wall socket and your appliance, and you can monitor and control your devices remotely (to include power utilization.) The included app also works with your Nest! 



CES 2015: Check Your Little One's Temp from Another Room with TempTraq!

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If you have had a sick baby, then you know how terrible you feel to have to wake them up to check their temperature. With Blue Spark's TempTraq you can do it easily and remotely, and all you need is your iPhone and an ingenious smart sensor which adheres under your little one's arm. We were able to get a demo of this new monitoring tech at the Sands Expo booth at CES 2015.



CES 2015: Cool and Colorful Wireless Wearhaus Headphones

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I loved the sound and comfort level of the new Wearhaus ARC headphones. I found theem over in the Sands Tech Expo area at CES 2015 (booth 75045). Though they do look cool with the flashing color-changing lights on the earpiece, the innovation extends beyond mere looks. Well-made material with smart wireless features set these $199 Kickstarted (and successfully funded) headphones apart.



CES 2015: GreenIQ Offers Nest-Like Capability for Your Garden!

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You could do it the old way, of course. Water and monitor your garden and lawn health manually. You may also waste a lot of water, and potentially kill your newly planted hydrangeas in the process. GreenIQ ($249) purports to take some of the guesswork and dilemma out of the proper care and feeding of your outdoor environment by monitoring the weather and adjusting your irrigation to optimal levels while you get to sit back on the porch and enjoy your garden.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 4: Adding Navigation

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Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How To Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 4 of the blog series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here (This post has been updated to iOS 8, Xcode 6 and Swift.)

In my previous post, we finished up the main screen of the iAppsReview iPhone app. In the process, you learned how to configure a table view, how to add images to a project, and how to use them as launch images as well as in the rows of a table view. 



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