iPhone Life magazine

How-To

Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 39: 7 Steps to Being a Better App Developer

image

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 beginner app developer, 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 39 of the series. If you are just getting started, check out the beginning of the series here

Are you proud of the code that you write? Are you using a set of best practices that allows you to develop well-designed, stable apps that can adapt to change?



Tip of the Day: Siri Will Get You There Faster

image

According to a survey by Intelligent Voice last fall, only 15 percent of iPhone users have used Siri in iOS7. If you're not already using Siri regularly, you should be. Why? Because Siri makes doing certain things on your iDevice so much faster.

For example, many of iPhone Life's Tips of the Day start by saying something like "Go to Settings>General>Accessibility." This requires you to open and scroll through two different menus. With Siri, all you have to do is say, "Siri, open Accessibility Settings." or Message Settings or Privacy Settings, you get the idea.

Other things that are much faster with Siri include:



Tip of the Day: Make Text Larger & Easier to Read

image

Image copyright Goodluz, Shutterstock, Inc.

If your eyesight isn't what it used to be, you may find the small text on your iPhone or iPad hard to read. But there's no need to strain your eyes. And fortunately for you, I got my first pair of glasses at age six, so I'm way ahead of you on this being blind thing. Here are several tricks I use to make reading on an iPhone or iPad easier on the eyes:



Tip of the Day: Create Customized Vibration Patterns

image

If you find yourself checking your phone every time any phone in your vicinity vibrates, it may be time to create a custom vibration pattern to set your iPhone's ringtone apart from the pack.



Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Get Directions from Google Maps

image

Apple Maps has improved a lot since its disastrous debut. But many people still prefer to use Google Maps as their go-to navigation app. The problem is, when you ask Siri for directions, it'll automatically use Apple Maps as the default app for turn-by-turn directions. If you want to use Google Maps or some other navigation app with Siri instead, try this handy trick:



Tip of the Day: Use Your LED Flashlight for Alerts

image

I frequently turn my phone on silent while I'm at work and then forget to turn silent mode off when I get home. If this is also you, or if you have a hard time hearing your alerts, you may want to set your LED flashlight to light up every time a new message or alert comes in. 



Tip of the Day: Emoji Shortcuts

image

A couple of weeks ago we covered creating keyboard shortcuts to help you type commonly used phrases quickly. Did you know that you can also create shortcuts for emoji characters (those cute emoticons that go way beyond your average smiley face)? This is really handy if you use a lot of emoji characters and don't want to switch back and forth between keyboards all the time.

Before you can do this, you'll have to enable the emoji keyboard if you haven't already:



Tip of the Day: Choose from New Siri Voice Options

image

Although I suspect most people still use the original female Siri voice, you've had the option for a while now of changing the gender or the accent. And now the latest update to iOS 7.1 offers more natural-sounding UK and Australian English voices in both genders, so if you haven't played around with Siri's voice, this might be a fun time to try it. 



Tip of the Day: Look Up Definitions in Safari and Mail

image

One of my favorite things about reading ebooks (besides the fact that I no longer have to figure out how to fit 10 books in my carry on) is how easy it is to look up the definition of a word and then get right back to reading. No more encountering a word whose meaning I'm not sure of, realizing my dictionary is on the shelf all the way downstairs, and deciding I don't really need to know what that word means after all. (I stopped pretending to myself that I would look the word up later years ago.)

But did you know you can also look up words in Mail and Safari?



How to Add Calendar Events

image

The Calendar app on your iDevice can help keep your life organized. It can even be synced among all your devices using iCloud. You also have a choice to use separate calendars, such as one for work and one for home. When you add an event to your calendar it is automatically placed in the default calendar set up on your iDevice.

Here I'll show you how to create events, add details, and, if you choose, place them in separate calendars.



Syndicate content