Archive for July, 2009

Silly Story Maker

Last spring, I worked with Demetri Miller to create Silly Story Maker, an adaptation of an educational, sentence making soundboard for the iPad. With beautiful graphics and multiple voices to choose from, Silly Story Maker allows you to create simple sentences by combining thirty basic words and phrases.

Since the app is designed for kids, we wanted it to be highly responsive. The characters bounce as the app speaks their names and the entire interface is colorful, tactile and interactive. Demetri and I built the entire app using Apple’s standard audio APIs and Core Animation, which made this interactivity easy.

A few weeks after it’s release, Silly Story Maker was the #2 education app in Australia!

EXIF Orientation Flags and the iPhone Camera

Layers just came out this past Monday, and it has this great feature that allows you to add a layer to a drawing from your iPhone’s photo library. Simple enough – right? Apple provides the UIImagePicker API, we call a couple functions and get an image back. For most purposes, that would work great! Write some code, test, commit, done. The problem is, the picker interface allows the user to adjust the scale/positioning of the image, and the cropped image is always returned at 320x320px (or less)…

Mac OS X Stack Overflow Status Item!

I’ve become a huge fan of Stack Overflow over the last few weeks. The community there is helpful and fast and there are quite a few questions about Cocoa and Objective-C! It’s gotten to the point where I visit SO whenever my code is compiling – so I thought it was time to take matters into my own hands and make things easier to follow.

I’ve made a Stack Overflow status item for Mac OS X (also a “menu bar item” or a “system icon”) that shows your reputation and lists questions on the front page containing your interesting tags:

SO Status Item in Action

It’s pretty primitive at this point – you can click a question to view it, or click the tiny arrow to go to your user page. It updates every 90 seconds using the RSS and ATOM feeds from the site, so the most active questions are always available at a glance. It’s compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 – so download it and give it a shot! I know there are a lot of things that could be added – so leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Download the Stack Overflow Status Item for Mac OS X (0.5 MB)