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Expert Blogs

Tip of the Day: How to Add More Dictionaries for Define Feature

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One of the great things about using an iPhone or iPad is that you can look up the definition of any word you encounter in Notes, Safari, Mail, and more with the Define feature. (See the tip on how to do that HERE.) But what if you are traveling or you speak more than one language and you want to be able to look up words in those languages as well?



Tip of the Day: How to Change What Day Your Week Starts in Calendar

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The Calendar app on your iPhone or iPad has Sunday set as the first day of the week. But considering the work week tends to divide quite distinctly into weekdays and the weekend, with most of our appointments and business meetings taking place Monday through Friday, you may prefer to set Monday as the first day of the week. Or if you have an unusual schedule, you could set any day of the week you prefer to be the first day of your personalized week. Here's how:



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 18: Core Data Behind the Scenes

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Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin build it? In this weekly blog series, 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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 18 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here(This post has been updated to iOS 7.1.)

We've been discussing Core Data in my last several posts and now you should understand the basics of:



Tip of the Day: How to Teach Siri to Pronounce a Name Correctly

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Using Siri to call or send messages to people can be very convenient during those times when your hands or eyes are otherwise occupied. Just don't try to call any friends or family members who have an unusual name, because if Siri doesn't know how to pronounce that name, the virtual assistant won't understand what you are asking. This can be extremely frustrating and lead to you yelling at your iPhone in public (don't ask me how I know), and it's why it can be worth it to take the time to teach Siri how to pronounce names correctly.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 17: Core Data Test Drive

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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, 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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 17 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here(This post has been updated to iOS 7.1.)

In my previous post, you learned how to generate Objective-C classes from entities in a data model and you were introduced to the mmBusinessObject class, which provides an easy-to-use wrapper for Core Data classes. In this week's post, we're going to create our app's custom business controllers and take them for a test drive!



Tip of the Day: How to Clear Cookies and Browsing History from Safari

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Whenever you browse the web in Safari, your iPhone or iPad logs the sites you visit, which allows you to easily go back and visit those sites again. Your iPhone and iPad also store cookies and other data, which is what allows you to revisit sites without having to log in each time. 



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 16: Tuning Up Core Data

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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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 16 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here(This post has been updated to iOS 7.1.)

In my previous blog post, you learned how to add Core Data to a project and how to design entities in a data model. In this post, you will learn how to generate entity classes from the entities in a data model and use them within your app. You can get the latest version of the iAppsReview project at this link.



Tip of the Day: How to Restrict Access to Adult Websites

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If your children have an iPad or iPhone, you may want to restrict which websites they can visit. There are two options for doing this. You can set the website restrictions to only allow access to a list of preselected websites, which is ideal for very young children. For older children, you can restrict access to to adult content and designate specific websites as always allowed or or never allowed.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 15: Core Data 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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 15 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here(This post has been updated to iOS 7.1.)

In my previous post in this series, I discussed some of the basics of Core Data, the technology that allows you to store and retrieve information on an iOS device. You learned about entity data models, databases, and how you can improve on Apple's default Core Data implementation. 



Tip of the Day: How to Adjust Siri's Volume

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Have you ever wanted to tell Siri to keep it down or to speak up, but couldn't find where in the settings to adjust the virtual assistant's volume? That's because there is no Siri volume control in Settings.

Asking Siri to adjust it's own volume doesn't work either. You may recognize these Siri replies from your own attempts to adjust the volume:



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 14: Core Data

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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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 14 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here(This post has been updated to iOS 7.1.)

Core Data is the technology that allows you to store and retrieve information on an iOS device. Although it is an advanced technology often difficult to grasp, my goal in this post is to simplify Core Data so it can be easily used by beginners.



Tip of the Day: How to Take Pictures While Shooting Video on Your iPhone

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What do you do when you're recording a video on your iPhone and a perfect picture-taking moment arises? Do you stop recording? Or do you let the moment go by? If you have an iPhone 5 or later model, you can relax and take the picture while you continue to record your video. Here's how:



Tip of the Day: How to Turn on Character Count in Messages

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Apple does not limit the character count for iMessages; but if you are sending a message to a non iUser it will be sent as an SMS and will therefore be limited to 160 characters. This means characters over 160 will be sent in a second text or possibly even deleted, depending on your recipient's carrier. To avoid this situation, turn on Character Count so you can always know when you've reached the SMS character limit.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 13: App Architecture

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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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 13 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here(This post has been updated to iOS 7.1)

This post contains some of the most important information you need to know to build a well-designed app that easily adapts to changes requested by users, the constant changes Apple makes to iOS, and the ever-changing landscape of iOS devices. It all comes down to a solid app architecture. We're going to take a quick digression from the iAppsReview app this week to look at a simpler Calculator app to help us establish good architectural principles.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 12: Hardening Your Code

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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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 12 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 7.1.)

One of the best software development books of all time is Steve McConnell's Code Complete. Whether you are a seasoned software developer or a brand new programmer, regardless of the platform or language in which you write code, I highly recommend checking out this book. It will change your way of thinking and vastly improve the quality of the code you write.



Tip of the Day: Siri Can Flip a Coin, Roll Dice, and Make Hard Parenting Choices for You

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Siri can flip a coin, roll dice, or pick random numbers for you.

These may seem like amusing but ultimately useless tricks, unless you are a parent. In which case they can help you navigate all the tricky situations you deal with on a daily basis. 



Swift 101 - Swift Meets the Cocoa Touch Framework

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Even though Apple has provided the new Swift programming language for building iOS apps, one thing remains the same—we still use the Cocoa Touch Framework libraries to build iOS functionality into our apps. However, since the Cocoa Touch Framework is written in Objective-C, how is this accomplished? In this article I'll show you the mechanics behind how Swift accesses Objective-C code, and how the Cocoa Touch APIs (application programming interfaces) change when you access them from Swift.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 11: The Photo Library

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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 11 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 7.1)

Now that you have some of the basics of Objective-C programming under your belt, it's time to dive into some deeper coding territory. However, first let's talk about the homework assignment I gave you last week. I asked you to enhance iAppsReview so that it pulled the name of the app from the Write Review scene's text field. 



Tip of the Day: How to Set Speakerphone as the Default for Hands-Free Calling

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If you spend most of your free time elbow deep in garden soil, if you have a long commute, or if you otherwise need to take calls on your iPhone hands free, you will probably be pleased to know that it is possible to set your iPhone to automatically answer calls in Headset or Speakerphone mode.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 10: Social Media and Collections

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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 10 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 7.1.)

In my previous post, you learned the basic mechanics of sending messages. There's very little you can do in Objective-C, the language of iOS development, without sending messages. In this post, we're going to put into practice what you have learned about messages and integrate social media into the iAppsReview app we've been working on in this blog. I'm also going to introduce a new Cocoa Touch Framework concept known as collections. You can get the latest version of iAppsReview from this link.



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