Design – Finish App

Design process involves a lot of creative and critical thinking ;). I have no degree or an expert in Graphic design. However, with the observations and references to many user interfaces, I have developed a sense of design myself.

My first iOS app – Finish required me to create so many drafts.

Be it right or wrong, good or bad, I thought it would be interesting to share those.

 

IMG_2412.PNG

User Interface of iOS Reminder app:

With the stock reminder app that comes with iOS, users have to scroll indefinitely to set a date, month and year. It takes continuous scrollto choose a date.

Note: Nowadays, no one have to deal with touch or mouse to set a reminder. Asking Siri, Alexa or any voice assistant to set a reminder will solve the above problem.

With that above scenario as a problem statement, I decided to create an interface that takes only a few taps to choose a date, month and an year (and to make the world a better place 😉 ).

Here are a few of my works that I drafted for the app.

Time Dial – Draft to Design.


Home screen – Draft to Design

Month view – Draft to Design

Cocoapods

Cocoapods are dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C that maintains external libraries. I had to install this to make use of AWS libraries for iOS application.

This can be installed with the Ruby which is already available on OS X El Capitan. The installing process seem to be simple as mentioned in their official website, but I faced a couple of issues which I wanted to share, so it saves time for others who faces similar issues.

First, I updated the Ruby version. Open terminal, type the below command.

$ sudo gem update --system

Then, run the command to install Cocoapods.

$ sudo gem install cocoapods

This will ask you to enter the password. Once I typed in my mac login password and hit enter, it threw me the below error.

ERROR:  Error installing cocoapods:
activesupport requires Ruby version >= 2.2.2.

After googling this for a while, I ran this command (not sure if this is necessary).

$ sudo gem install activesupport -v 4.2.6

After it installed active support version 4.2.6, I ran the cocoapod installation command again which gave me another error.

$ sudo gem install cocoapods

Fetching: nap-1.1.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed nap-1.1.0
Fetching: fuzzy_match-2.0.4.gem (100%)
ERROR:  While executing gem ... (Errno::EPERM)
    Operation not permitted - /usr/bin/fuzzy_match

After reading a few forums, I found there is a problem with OS X El Caption which has access issues to system, so I was suggested to run this for a specific user folder.

$ sudo gem install cocoapods -n /usr/local/bin

Password:
Successfully installed fuzzy_match-2.0.4
Fetching: cocoapods-core-1.0.1.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-core-1.0.1
Fetching: claide-1.0.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed claide-1.0.0
Fetching: cocoapods-deintegrate-1.0.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-deintegrate-1.0.0
Fetching: cocoapods-downloader-1.1.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-downloader-1.1.0
Fetching: cocoapods-plugins-1.0.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-plugins-1.0.0
Fetching: cocoapods-search-1.0.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-search-1.0.0
Fetching: cocoapods-stats-1.0.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-stats-1.0.0
Fetching: netrc-0.7.8.gem (100%)
Successfully installed netrc-0.7.8
Fetching: cocoapods-trunk-1.0.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-trunk-1.0.0
Fetching: cocoapods-try-1.1.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-try-1.1.0
Fetching: molinillo-0.4.5.gem (100%)
Successfully installed molinillo-0.4.5
Fetching: colored-1.2.gem (100%)
Successfully installed colored-1.2
Fetching: xcodeproj-1.2.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed xcodeproj-1.2.0
Fetching: escape-0.0.4.gem (100%)
Successfully installed escape-0.0.4
Fetching: fourflusher-0.3.2.gem (100%)
Successfully installed fourflusher-0.3.2
Fetching: cocoapods-1.0.1.gem (100%)
Successfully installed cocoapods-1.0.1
Parsing documentation for fuzzy_match-2.0.4
Installing ri documentation for fuzzy_match-2.0.4
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-core-1.0.1
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-core-1.0.1
Parsing documentation for claide-1.0.0
Installing ri documentation for claide-1.0.0
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-deintegrate-1.0.0
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-deintegrate-1.0.0
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-downloader-1.1.0
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-downloader-1.1.0
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-plugins-1.0.0
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-plugins-1.0.0
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-search-1.0.0
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-search-1.0.0
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-stats-1.0.0
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-stats-1.0.0
Parsing documentation for netrc-0.7.8
Installing ri documentation for netrc-0.7.8
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-trunk-1.0.0
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-trunk-1.0.0
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-try-1.1.0
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-try-1.1.0
Parsing documentation for molinillo-0.4.5
Installing ri documentation for molinillo-0.4.5
Parsing documentation for colored-1.2
Installing ri documentation for colored-1.2
Parsing documentation for xcodeproj-1.2.0
Installing ri documentation for xcodeproj-1.2.0
Parsing documentation for escape-0.0.4
Installing ri documentation for escape-0.0.4
Parsing documentation for fourflusher-0.3.2
Installing ri documentation for fourflusher-0.3.2
Parsing documentation for cocoapods-1.0.1
Installing ri documentation for cocoapods-1.0.1
17 gems installed

That worked for me. Now, you can install the external libraries in your projects.

 

Enterprise Architect

I’m an Application Architect who is in pursuit to become an Enterprise Architect. While looking for an opportunity to learn and grow in career, I came across the Open Group Enterprise Architecture certificate program (TOGAF). I was preparing for this exam on and off for several months until I decided to focus dedicatedly for the last few weeks. I finally attended the Togaf Part 1 exam and cleared it today.

This is foundation level and I need to prepare and pass one more exam to be Togaf certified.

I would like to share the list of my preparation materials so it will be helpful for someone who stumble up on my website.

Book: Togaf 9 Foundation Study Guide: 3rd Edition by Rachael Harrison.

If you are like me who prefers paperback over pdf, you can buy it in Amazon. The book also has sample questions.

Video course: Become an Enterprise Architect with TOGAF 9.1 Part 1 by Scott DuffyUdemy.com

I bought this course from Udemy.com and the tutor makes it simple to understand.

Going through the video course and the entire book helped me pass the exam.

Before I start to prepare for the Togaf part 2 exam, I would take a small break and spend sometime to create a tiny / silly app for Apple Watch. 🙂

I hope to become a successful Enterprise Architect in near future.

Live Photos

Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus comes with several new features. One of them is Live Photos. I initially thought it is just a gimmick and not much useful. But having used it until now, I really liked it.

It adds more life to photos. Unlike static picture, it tells a little more about it. That’s awesome and gives me Harry Potter like feel to the pictures.

Here are a few Pictures (Live Photos converted to videos).

Finish

Me and my wife have finally completed the reminder app. It is called Finish.

Thanks to my wife for helping me in learning a new programming language and working with me on this app. We published it for free. It neither has ads nor In-App purchases.

Finish Codersb

It is now available on iOS App Store.

About the app:

Finish is a simple reminder app which has very minimal but required features. There are tons of To-do and reminder apps in the market, but this one focuses on a simple todo list with lovely interface. We wanted it to be easy to set a reminder date and time. Other apps would take multiple scrolls and swipes to choose a future month and year. This one requires only a few taps to choose any month of any year.

We have referred many user interface and worked on several designs to reach this point. Here’s a screenshot of app.

Finish_Today

Finish_TIme

I hope someone from one corner of the world will like this app 🙂

I am also working on a new website for this. It is codersb.com.

 

It feels good to finish something 🙂

 

 

When Mac met Windows

It was then, when I couldn’t afford an apple computer, I used to have an app that mimics Mac Dock on my windows desktop.

And now, on my Mac, I was exploring several ways to install and use windows. I’m not a fan boy of any particular product or a company, but addicted to learn and explore the technology that inspires me.

When I got hands-on with OS X Yosemite, I was quite fascinated by its awesomely flat + Translucent look. Before my excitement settles down, Microsoft has announced its early preview version of Windows 10. So I decide to try it on Virtual Machine and here we go…

What you need.

  1. Windows 10 – Download Windows Technical Preview from preview.windows.com.
  2. A Virtual Machine software. (I’m using Parallels.)
  3. USB Drive.

Let’s see how to install windows 10 on OS X Yosemite using parallels.

Why to use USB drive ? I faced No drivers found error when installing it from hard drive. So I tried using a FAT32 USB drive (not sure if the filesytem matters) and it worked 🙂 !!.

Installation steps: (Refer the video)

  • Copy the ISO image to USB drive.
  • Open Parallels and click the + button that creates a new virtual machine.
  • Click on the ISO Image icon.
  • Drag and drop the file. It will show unknown version, but never mind, just click continue.
  • Choose windows 8.1 as its operating system.

The rest is taken care by itself which takes about 30+ minutes and you are done.

I loved the Parallels coherence mode which shows windows task bar on Mac desktop. I’m yet to explore more on OS X Yosemite and Windows Technical Preview.

When Mac met Windows…

Live tile winks and iTunes sings,

Safari and IE shared Links,

It was such a FaceTime!!

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 8.08.18 PM

I have composed a screencast as well.

Set WOW – 32 bit .net application on a 64 bit PC

My development computer at work was a x86 PC that has windows XP. Recently I had to upgrade to a windows 7 64 bit PC which brought a lot of trouble. One among them is running a .net 32 bit application. After a lot of research I found a way to enable WOW (Windows On Windows). This is quite old and most of the techies knows about it, but I thought its worth to share it.

Here you go…
1. Open command prompt.
2. Navigate to ‘C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\’.
3. Type ‘Ldr64.exe SetWow’ and hit enter.

This will enable 32 bit CLR applications to run properly. You can always revert the settings with the command ‘Ldr64.exe Set64’.

Happy Coding!

iPhone 5

September 21 2012 was a FriPhone5Day :). I had Pre-Ordered an iPhone online last week and the ship date was September 28 but I couldn’t wait for it. so I drove to Verizon store on Friday morning and grabbed a 32 GB black iPhone 5 and then cancelled my preorder. This is the first time I drove my car all alone to a place other than my office. The store is less than 4 miles from my home, but I drove extra 6-7 miles just because I was not able to change my lane :). Thats a different story…Here is my review on iPhone 5.

What I like:

The phone is super thin. I did not like the phone when I first saw it online, It looked as it was stretched from it’s original size. But in real, the phone is awesome. It is so flat and thin which even makes it hard to pick the phone from desk. The product design is so good. Kudos to Jonathan Ive. The Apps makes it more powerful and interesting. Also I’m jumping form GPRS to LTE. I got 25.27 Mbps download speed which is double the times faster than my wifi connection.

Thing of beauty.
Fun with SIRI.
Kings island ticket in Passbook. However I was not able to use it as the scanning machine in King island wasn’t working.

What is not exciting:

The User Interface is pretty old. Since the first iPhone, It has the same rows of jelly icons. It is cool, but aren’t we bored on seeing the same interface for 5 years ?. IOS 6 comes with features like Facebook integration, Passbook, Panorama which are new to iPhone that already exists in every other smart phones. Maps is not accurate. I had to use google maps on safari to get the correct route. Why not apple come up Edge to Edge display. I don’t like the bars at the top and bottom of the phone 🙂

What disappointed me:

The phone gives a thud sound when I shake it. Yes, the brand new phone has a loose component (battery not properly secured) inside. Even the display item in the store has the same issue. I called Verizon immediately but they had only white color phones available to replace, I did not want the white one so I took it to the Apple store to get it fixed. I appreciate Apple’s support. No more thuds now 🙂

What I miss from my previous phone (Windows Phone 7):

I’m a great fan of Windows Phone. It’s user interface is awesome and there is no other UI that’s so live and interactive. I totally depend on office docs and skydrive but now I need to make use of the notes on iCloud. The only major concern with my old phone was the battery. I had to charge it twice a day. iPhone is good for a day. Also syncing content from windows phone to mac was not that straight forward. May be I will switch back to windows phone (8) next time 😉

IOS Icons vs Windows Phone Live Tiles.

Overall, iPhone 5 is good.

Tamil Alphabets – My first iBook

I have created my first iBook named Tamil Alphabets. This book is about Uyir Ezhuthukal and Ayutha Ezhuthu of Tamil.

iBooks got me fascinated by its multimedia integration in to books. So I decided to create an interactive book about Tamil Alphabets. I have spent almost a month to complete this book and finally published it today. It just took 4 1/2 hours for Apple to review my book and now it is available on iTunes.

Features:

  • Video is integrated in all pages that teaches you how to write the letter.
  • A writing pad is available to practice what you have learnt.

Here is how my book looks…

Cover page
Left to right. 1. Page with images and widgets. 2. Writing pad. 3. Video. 4. Another sample page.

Book Walkthrough: The video won’t be much clear as it was taken on my phone camera.

The book is available here for free. I hope somewhere someone will download this book 🙂

This book is dedicated to all who love their native language.
PS: I thank Indira maa and Vandhana for helping me with their beautiful sketches and pictures.