Rick 2016

Rick is back!

Every summer I temporarily change my name from Nick to Rick. From May 1st to September 1st I am Rick. Here is a little video celebrating the return of Rick

Got questions about the whole Rick thing? Most people do. Here’s some answers

Why do you change your name?

It’s just a fun thing that I do. It’s a way for me to become someone new for the summer. Rick is more adventurous than Nick. Rick likes to have fun and be a little crazy.

Why Rick?

It’s one letter off from Nick. I now have trained myself to listen for the sound of “ick” and I know someone is talking to me whether it's Rick or Nick.

Is it ok if I still call you Nick?

Sure. But life's more fun when you embrace Rick :)

Student Apps of the Month - March 2016

Here are a few more student apps that crushed it in March! Props to you all for a job well done.

1. Colorific! - David Voland

Colorific! is a fun, educational game and learning experience that helps kids (and adults!) learn and correctly pronounce colors in English, Spanish, and French! This app features an interactive set of colors, authentic male and female voices in various languages, and a color match game that is fun, addicting, and competitive! Can you earn the gold trophy in all three languages and get the best high score among your friends? Go ahead and find out!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colorific!-fun-color-game/id1073790557?mt=8

2. HeartGreet - Anilkumar Nandaluru

In this era of Social Networking, where everything is shared to the world, we miss few small emotional things like Miss you MOM, Hi Dad, Luv you honey, Wassup buddy etc. Heart Greet is an app that lets you GREET your loved ones, Family and Friends from your HEART. Wait...Whats special in that? you ask? It’s a little cinematic emotional way of presenting your GREETS that brings a smile on your/their face. Download the app, Signup and send/receive GREETS for Birthdays, Holidays, special occasions or every day to express to your Loved ones that they are in your heart.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/heartgreet/id1082949132?mt=8

3. Baby Phone: Your Voice - Burlpony

 
 

Use Baby Phone: Your voice to record you own messages so your child can pretend to make a phone call and play back your own custom messages.

Record messages from family members and friends so your child can here them while their away. Simple interface for children. 12 different fun sound effects.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/baby-phone-your-voice/id1091149944?mt=8

4. Waitline: Disneyland - Braun Butterfield

Waitline Disneyland is a trivia type app specifically for Disneyland. Waitline has "eye-spy" and trivia type questions that you are able to see and answer while you wait in line and experience the attractions at Disneyland California. We hope you enjoy your Waitline Experience. For more trivia and challenges follow us on Twitter @RealWaitline.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waitline-disneyland-edition/id1080150220?ls=1&mt=8

5. Local Eyes - Ryan Oppel

Ratings and reviews are great, but nothing beats a local insider's knowledge. 

LocalEyes was created to connect people with questions to those who are willing to provide timely, accurate answers. It is based on the idea that while ratings and reviews can be static, out-dated, and biased, personal interactions with people who are local to an area provide the best experience and lead to the best search results.

Instead of just focusing on ratings and reviews, LocalEyes connects you to the people in an area with similar tastes, preferences, and activities as you, allowing you to connect directly with the people most likely to give you a reliable, accurate, up-to-date, customized review or recommendation.

LocalEyes also allows you to return the favor by giving you the opportunity to respond to questions posted within your own local area. Now you can recommend your favorite places and share your own local knowledge with other users who are in your area.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/localeyes-by-light-and-var/id1049071664?mt=8

Student Apps of the Month - February 2016

We've got 5 killer apps this month! But first I wanted to share Eric Millington's story behind his very first app, "Days to Disney - Vacation Countdown". Here's a bit of what he has to say about it. 

So where did you get the idea for the app?

"As big Disney nerds my family and I have been taking at least one trip a year to Disney World. When I decided to start working on a "real app" I wanted something with "minimal difficulty" that had a single action. This felt like the most easily digestible approach. I plan on embellishing it with more features, but I asked myself: "What's the simplest, least intimidating app that I can build and still be comfortable calling an app". Since we are always counting down to our next trip, a Disney Countdown app was the perfect fit."

Was this your very first app?

"Yep! Beyond tutorials I decided to dump every piece of learning I absorbed into one project. I made a few small apps for my kids, "Guess the number" type things, but this was my first "product".

What was the hardest part?

"Tutorials are great, they walk you through specific concepts, but the app required date manipulation that I had never worked with. There was a lot of research, googling and trial and error. On top of that, there's a ton of "outdated" Swift "1" and Objective-C materials online that made it difficult to find "the" solution. I also had trouble knowing the right way to store information. CoreData seemed like the way to go based on the tutorials I had done, but a friend of mine on Twitter suggested I use UserDefaults to store small bits of data and that was awesome to dive into and get working. 

What was the most fun?

"It's a big puzzle. It's fun. After taking your iOS course, and really diving into the Swift world I started to feel comfortable trying things. As I mentioned, I am a full-time graphic designer, so being able to design a product, from icon to screenshots was really fun. I had tried 5 or 6 times to learn Objective-C and then Swift and they never stuck. Feeling the confidence to try things out, programming ambitiously instead of "defensively" and having things actually WORK was incredibly fulfilling. Thanks so much, I owe a lot of that to your course."

 

1. Days To Disney - Eric Millington

It's time to get excited for your next trip to Disney! Days To Disney let's you follow the countdown to your vacation of a lifetime with a clean, modern design that let's the beautiful photography of Disney speak for itself!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/days-to-disney-vacation-countdown/id1070372446?mt=8

2. Morning Rituals - Smart Timer - Ubicolor Ltd

Already gave up on New Years' Resolutions?
This app will help you create the right habits you always wanted to implement in your life.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/morning-rituals-smart-timer/id1050452180?ls=1&mt=8

3. TripTic - CreaTECH Solutions

TripTic is a trip and distance management application.
Log your distance travelled as you go, or after the fact. 
Filter your log by travel mode or key word and email and download your logs.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/triptic/id1077430911?mt=8

4. Emoji (EM) Challenge - Ritul Patel

EMChallenge (Emoji Challenge) is best social entertaining app, in which you have to code a sentence using emojis and the user around world tries to crack your code. Also, you can unlock code of other users and earn points. Your can share any of code with nicely formatted image. More updates coming soon!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/emchallenge/id1068066396?mt=8

5. Crush36 - Anika Giftge

In 1997, US psychologist Arthur Aron conducted a study on "The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness". In his experiment the participating partners would sit face to face and alternate answering 36 increasingly personal questions, divided into three sets of 12. The questions were designed to inspire feelings of closeness by encouraging participants to be open and expressive. Subsequently, many participants fell in love with each other.

Now it's your turn to experiment and connect with a partner of your choice. You might fall in love... Good luck!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crush36/id1078662404?mt=8

Swipe to Delete Tutorial for UITableview

Learn how to add the swipe to delete functionality to your app. We're using Swift 2!

Here's the code from my view controller:

import UIKit

class ViewController: UIViewController, UITableViewDataSource, UITableViewDelegate {

    @IBOutlet weak var tableView: UITableView!
    
    var dawgs = ["Snoop", "Sarah", "Fido", "Mark", "Jill"]
    
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()
        // Do any additional setup after loading the view, typically from a nib.
        
        self.tableView.dataSource = self
        self.tableView.delegate = self
    }

    func tableView(tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
        return self.dawgs.count
    }
    
    func tableView(tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAtIndexPath indexPath: NSIndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
        let cell = UITableViewCell()
        cell.textLabel!.text = self.dawgs[indexPath.row]
        return cell
    }
    
    func tableView(tableView: UITableView, commitEditingStyle editingStyle: UITableViewCellEditingStyle, forRowAtIndexPath indexPath: NSIndexPath) {
        if editingStyle == .Delete {
            self.dawgs.removeAtIndex(indexPath.row)
            self.tableView.reloadData()
        }
    }

}

Student Apps of the Month - January 2016

Here are 5 student apps that I wanted to share with everyone :) Great work everyone!

1. Quran Radios - Mohammad Salem

Quran Radios App developed to spread the Quran among as large audience as possible, and cementing the relationship of Muslims and new Muslims with the Quran through listening to it anywhere they may go, and acquainting Non-Muslims with the tolerant teachings of the Quran through the translation of its meanings into their mother languages.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quran-radios-adha-at-alqran/id945631708?mt=8

2. Fast Climber - Mikhail Amshei

Really Cool App for climbers like myself to gain new insights of how well climbs are going.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fast-climber/id1069743891?ls=1&mt=8

3. RGB #hex - Dominik Janczak

Very easy to use app, helps anyone who deals with colors. Perfect tool for: Web Designers, Bloggers or Apps Developers. Tap of the RGB label to get to your favorite colors and save (tap and hold) current one.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rgb-hex/id1059383205?mt=8

4. LabStretch - Robert Mark

LabStretch is a real-time image enhancement app, designed specifically for rock art researches to use in the field. Images can be acquired from within the app, or loaded from the iPad photo library. They can then be enhanced to see very faint color differences.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/labstretch/id1049040326?ls=1&mt=

5. Say To-Do - Brian McIntosh

screen390x390.jpeg

Say To-Do is an easy to use to-do list for your wrist. Adding new tasks by dictating into Apple Watch is a great, natural way to create to-dos on the run. Easily prioritize your to-do items in a beautiful red (high priority) to orange (medium priority) to green (low priority) color scale.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/say-to-do/id1006092056?ls=1&mt=8

Student Apps of the Month - December 2015

Here are 5 student apps that I wanted to share with everyone :)

1. Snapanactor - by Lee Harris

Snapanactor, for all those times you want to identify an actor and can't remember their name. Point-click-identify!

 itunes.apple.com/app/snapanactor-celebrity-id/id1050476827?mt=8

2. Lucky Draw Tool - by Phil Portugal

The lucky draw app is a complete tool specially made for random draws. It can be: Letters, Numbers, Custom elements like names, colors, fruits, tasks, emojis, … and proceed to a random draw in your custom elements.

itunes.apple.com/us/app/lucky-draw-tool-draw-numbers/id1063332030?mt=8

3. Loony Invaders - by Christian Jens

A fun to play remake of Space Invaders. It features beautiful graphics and an easy game play, while staying true to the Arcade fun.

itunes.apple.com/us/app/loony-invaders/id1059450174?ls=1&mt=8

4. Cam Cam - by Filippo Mursia

Cam Cam is a photo reminder that let you snap pics and attach some tags to them. Is not a social network, it's an app just for you and your phone that will help you to easily find the #summer2014 pics in your phone instead of scrolling your camera roll as a maniac.

itunes.apple.com/us/app/cam-cam-organize-your-photos/id1062692748?ls=1&mt=8

5. Zlalom - by Marcello Tota

Zig zag slalom app, tap to change direction, collect bonus and avoid skulls and direction changers, pay attention to the bottleneck road.

 https://itunes.apple.com/it/app/zlalom/id1060680858?l=en&mt=8

Tab Bar Tutorial

Add that fancy little bar to the bottom of your app that all the cool kids have ;)

This tutorial walks you through how to add a UITabBarController to your app. It's easier than you think. We also talk about how to add your image to a specific tab and customize things like color. You'll also learn about UITabBarItems. Enjoy!

Adding Search to Your App

Have you ever wanted to add search to your app? In this tutorial video I'll walk through how to use UISearchController with a UITableViewController. We'll make an app that lists a bunch of dogs that we can search through. I think you'll be surprised how little code it takes to add search into your app.

If you got the error in your app, UISearchDisplayController was deprecated in iOS 8.0 then this tutorial is for you :) We use the new UISearchController that will get rid of all your warnings.

Adding 3D Touch Quick Actions to Your App

Apple has made it incredibly easy to add Quick Actions to your app. There are two types, static and dynamic. You will learn about both in the tutorial.

Here's some of the text if you need it to copy paste :0)

UIApplicationShortcutItems

UIApplicationShortcutItemTitle

UIApplicationShortcutItemSubtitle

UIApplicationShortcutItemIconType : UIApplicationShortcutIconTypeSearch

UIApplicationShortcutItemType


The 3 Best New Features of Xcode 7

I have spent the summer working with Xcode 7 in beta and now it is finally public! I'd like to share with you the 3 features that I think will have the biggest impact for developers.

1. Free on device testing

Becoming an iOS developer isn't cheap. First, you need to have a Mac which compared to PCs, are VERY expensive. Then, to test your app on your phone or to submit your app to the App Store, you need to pay $99 a year. 

While you still need a Mac for devolvement and it still costs $99 to put your app on the App Store, it is huge news that now you can load your app onto your device for free! I this is going to help get a lot more people into developing apps because there's nothing quite like seeing your own app on your phone.

2. Reminders to use constants

In Swift 1.0, whenever I was deciding whether to use a variable or a constant, i would always side with the variable. Variables had the ability to change if I ever needed them to so it seemed like the safe route. Constants are the preferred method by Apple and there are several benefits to them. A great new feature in Xcode 7 is the reminder to use constants where applicable.

If Xcode finds a variable that you are using and never change, it will produce a warning and ask you if you'd like to use a constant instead. Initially, this feature was annoying but now I am much more comfortable using constants and they are my new default.

3. Crash Logs

There are different companies out there that will help you collect crash logs but Xcode is now adding their own crash log reporting tool directly into Xcode. I think this is a big deal because it doesn't require you to sign up for some third party system and trust that they are taking care of your user's data. 

How about you?

What do you like about Xcode 7? Let me know in the comments below!

tvOS Tutorial - Make Apple TV Apps

We can finally make apps for the tv! Personally, I have been hoping for this for over 2 years. I'm so excited that it's here. I have created a 47-minute tutorial packed with walkthrough of all the cool new stuff. What's covered?

  • Making your first tvOS app
  • Top Shelf API
  • Tap and Pan gestures on the new remote
  • Parallax Previewer
  • UIKit on tvOS
  • TVML and server based apps

Play the YouTube video and start making tvOS apps!

A Word of Caution...

This tutorial assumes you have some knowledge of iOS programming. If you don't, please check out my iOS programming class. It's the class I wish I had when I was first learning how to make apps. Go to iOS9class.com to enroll. Use coupon code tvos to get over 75% off.

Making your first tvOS app

To make tvOS apps you need Xcode 7.1 or higher. You can get Xcode here. Once you have Xcode open, create a new project. On the left side of the screen, select Application under tvOS. Then select Single View Application and hit next.

 Choose a place to save your project. Once you have that. Hit the play button and let's see what an empty tvOS app looks like. If the simulator window is too big, go to the simulator's top menu and select Window -> Scale and then choose something like 50% so it becomes more manageable on your screen. You'll also want to get the Apple TV remote to show up by going to Hardware -> Show Apple TV Remote in the top menu.

You'll find that the rest of the process is SUPER similar to doing iOS apps. I'd recommend going to the storyboard and grabbing a ton of stuff and throwing it on the view controller to try out. Note that these view controllers are huge and if you're using a laptop like I am, you're gonna have to do a lot of zoom in, zoom out, and scrolling. If this is your computer, you're gonna have no issues ;)

For navigating around your app, use the arrows on your keyboard.Your return/enter key acts as the selection button too. As you use the arrows, you'll notice that there's a glow that will move behind whatever thing you are currently selected on. This is the focus. There's tons of good information about this in Apple's documentation here.

Top Shelf API

Top shelf is a way for you to show of some images of content in your app. Users can select 5 apps to be at the top of their home screen. If your app makes it to the coveted top 5, then when the user is "focused" on your app, it will display images of your content at the top of the screen.

Card Counting and Creativity

Last weekend, I was flying home to Utah from visiting a friend in North Carolina. It had been a long day of travel and to pass the time I had been playing the card game Hearts on my phone. The more I played, the more I realized that being able to remember which cards have been played is a huge advantage.

My first thought was "there's got to be an app for this...". But I was on an airplane with no wifi. I then thought, "why don't I just make it?". It'd be a fun way to spend the next 90 minutes and I'd have a new app on my phone that I could call my own! The remaining time on my flight flew by as I made this card counting app. It was fun because something that was a thought in my head moments ago, was now a functioning app on my phone. 

My new app on my home screen. I made the icon my girlfriend's face because the next time we play I'm gonna use this app and destroy her ;)

My new app on my home screen. I made the icon my girlfriend's face because the next time we play I'm gonna use this app and destroy her ;)

The app in all it's glory!

The app in all it's glory!

This is why I love programming. You can take ideas and turn them into something real. Something that you want to exist. Whenever I'm making a new app, I feel like I'm playing in the world's largest sandbox where I can create anything. The only limit to my creation is my mind.

Have you felt this creative rush before? Tell me about it in the comments :)

How I Got into Teaching People How to Make Apps

I got into iPhone programming in 2010. I had just come back from a two-year Mormon mission in Japan. As a welcome home gift, my old man bought me a brand new iPhone 4. That thing was DOPE. It had an HD camera, it had the slick metal frame and had these cool things called apps. It blew my mind how there were apps for EVERYTHING. I could use Facebook on my phone, get driving directions, play games while waiting in line, and make movies. I knew things were insane when I was playing Scrabble with my family and my aunt had a Scrabble dictionary app. What!?

I decided that I wanted to get into the app game. The app I wanted to build was a mini-golf scorecard. I spent a lot of time sketching out drawings of what it would look like. After I had a good idea what it would look like, it was time to build it. The only problem was I had no idea what to do. How do you start making an app? What software do you need? I had a lot of questions. I spent around two years reading tutorials and taking online classes. None of them were helping. I felt like tutorials and online classes didn’t understand how much of a noob I was. They all seemed to assume I had been programming since birth.

Eventually, through making friends with iPhone programmers and getting an internship making apps, I started to get a hold of things. It was freaking exciting. Seeing an app that I made run on my own phone was an incredible feeling. It was like I had this new super power. With this new power, I went app crazy; I became an app freelancer and made apps for tons of different companies. I made and posted over 12 apps on the App Store. A couple of months ago I finally created my mini-golf scorecard app and even made an Apple Watch version of it!

When Apple came out with Swift, a new programming language used to make apps, I thought it might be a good time to get into teaching. I remembered what it felt like to start from nothing and the frustration caused by teachers that never connected with me. I thought I could speak to those who were in my same position. Since June of last year, I have made three online classes teaching people how to use Swift, make iPhone apps, and Apple Watch apps. I have been lucky enough to teach over 20,000 students. One of my favorite parts of teaching is installing apps on my phone that my students have made and posted on the App Store. So freaking cool :)

I'm excited to continue to teach and make more classes. Let me know in the comments if there's something you'd like to learn more about. Maybe it will turn into my next class ;)