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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately developing new iPhone and iPod Touch apps. In this post I will list some of the new apps that I’ve developed and give a brief description of each. First I will cover 2 new apps that were approved by the App Store as of today and then I will cover 2 more apps that should be approved soon.

Recently Approved:

2012 : Mayan Countdown – This app for the iPhone and iPod touch is an application designed and developed specifically for counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until December 21st 2012 at 11:11:11 AM.

I don’t have a personal opinion as to what will happen on this very important day in the history of our planet but I do know that many people believe that it will be the end of life as we know it. In either case, with this app it will make it easy and fun to count down to this day no matter what you believe will happen.

2012: Mayan Countdown was developed with optimized graphics for the new iPhone 4′s retina display. The graphics in this app are what makes it truly unique from all of the other Mayan Countdown apps available at the App Store.

The settings you can change for this application include the ability to turn on or off the second ticks as well as the background music which is great for relaxing and sets the mood for the countdown clock with ambient noise from the ancient Mayan times. You can also choose if you want to use the default setting of the iPhone or iPod Touch’s auto lock mode. With this mode disabled the clock will stay on the screen and you can watch and listen while you fall asleep.

You can get 2012 : Mayan Clock from the App Store today for only .99 cents by clicking on the above “Available on the App Store” link. If you are one of the first 50 people, go to http://empoc.com and request a promo code to download the app for free. The deal is, you get a free copy and in return you write a review and rate the app on the App Store.

Convert To Mayan – Convert To Mayan is an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that I developed after the development of 2o12 : Mayan Countdown. During the development process I’ve had to go back and forth to double check my calculations and make sure that the decimal numbers were being converted correctly to Mayan numerals.

I thought that it would be a great idea to have an application to do the conversion process rather then having to do it manually. Doing the process manually isn’t difficult, its just converting from a base-10 to a base-20 counting system and then figuring out how many bars, dots and shells you should have.

However as the numbers get bigger it becomes more difficult to figure out what the Mayan numerals should look like and that’s where this application comes in really handy. Since finishing the Mayan Countdown app, I don’t have any further use for this application but I’ve heard that there is at least one college math course that requires you to convert from decimal to Mayan numerals.

Convert To Mayan will make the process of double checking your work as simple as launching the app and then typing in the decimal value and clicking on convert. The app then instantly gives you the Mayan numeral representation of the decimal value that you entered.

Just like 2012 : Mayan Countdown, this app has a price tag of .99 cents and as all of the other apps developed by Empoc, you can get a free copy if you are one of the first 50 and write a review and rate the app on the App Store.

Coming Soon:

There are currently 2 apps waiting for the App Store approval. The 2 applications are “A Mayan Clock” and “Kid Tunes”. A Mayan Clock was inspired by 2012 : Mayan Countdown and Convert To Mayan. After searching the App Store and finding only one Mayan Clock, I only thought it was fair that everyone had more than one clock to choose from.

This isn’t just any old Mayan Clock, this is a sleek futuristic digital clock representing the time in Mayan numerals with a beautifully designed alien theme.

Kid Tunes is a piano app for the iPhone and iPod touch, designed to be easy for kids ages 5+ to use. It’s fun for kids and entertaining for adults. Kid Tunes is sure to provide you and your kids with hours of fun playing and learning the piano with the included note sheets of famous children’s songs.

Some other upcoming applications include a Trivia Game, a Learn To Multiply Game, and an app that will measure your car’s 0 to 60 speed.

To stay up to date on all current and future apps developed by Empoc Media please visit the companies site at http://empoc.com and subscribe to the RSS feed.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Just after building the Php script for generating iOS icons, I thought it would be a great idea to have a native OS X app that does the same thing. The app is very simple and requires only a few steps to produce all the icons you will need to support all of the current iDevices.

If you need some instructions to follow then read on, otherwise you can download below:

iOS Icons has been submitted to the Mac App Store for approval and will no longer be available for download from my blog. Please be patient for the app to appear in the Mac App store. When the app has been approved I will post here.

How to use iOS Icons:

After downloading iOS Icons, go ahead and unzip and move the App to your Applications folder. After you have done that you can double click the app and you should see a user interface as in the screen shot below:

iOS Icons - User Interface

After iOS Icons has launched you can drag your 512 x 512 icon file into the big window. If the application successfully accepted your image you will see your image loaded within the 512 x 512 window. At this point you can click preview to see what your generated icons will look like. If you click on Preview you should see something similar as in the screen shot below:

iOS Icons - Preview

It’s up to you if you want to click the Preview button or not, all of the icons will be generated regardless. Now all you have to do is click on Save and a Choose Folder Dialog will appear, as in the screen shot below:

iOS Icons - Choose Folder

You can either choose a folder to save your newly generated iOS icons to or you can choose to create a new folder and save them within the new folder. Once you have a folder picked out you can click on open. After clicking on Open, iOS Icons will quickly generated and save your icons to the specified folder. If all went well you should get a notification similar to the screen shot below:

iOS Icons - Finished

That’s it, that’s all there is to it. To me this is an invaluable tool and saves a lot of time. As always I’m hoping that the applications I develop help very many people and if it helps you feel free to drop me a comment saying thanks. Donations are always welcome.

Since the introduction to the iPhone 4, we now have some additional icons we need to create to support the Hi-Res graphics of the iPhones Retinal Display. Altogether we now have a total of 6 app icons, each with a different pixel size in order to support all devices they are as follows:

  • iPhone 4 Hi-Res App Icon ( 114 x 114 )
  • iPhone App Icon ( 57 x 57 )
  • iPad App Icon ( 72 x 72 )
  • iphone 4 Hi-Res Spotlight Icon ( 58 x 58 )
  • iPhone Spotlight Icon ( 29 x 29 )
  • iPad Spotlight Icon ( 50 x 50 )

After recently developing a few iPhone apps, I found it to be a redundant task to create 6 icons every time I make a new app. To make this process faster, I’ve created a php script that takes the highest resolution icon and converts it down to the 6 icons required.

You can find this script at my company website at http://empoc.com/ios-icons/

It only takes a few seconds to create all of the icons and when the script has finished running you will be able to download them all in a nicely zipped up file. I’ve also got instructions there that will show you what to do with the icons once you’ve downloaded them.

Please have a look and let me know what you think…

Applications are that access the internet / network upon startup are becoming more and more common. With that in mind, have you ever developed an iPhone app that needs to parse some XML data upon startup? Do you know what happens when your app is launched and it has to sit and wait while data is being received? Nothing happens, nothing but a black screen until your app finally loads.

As far as I’m concerned, that is not the best way to convey your companies image to the end user. Why not put something up for the user to look at while they are waiting for your app to load.

Apple has made this process quite simple.

Start by making yourself a splash image in Photoshop or any other graphics editing software you would prefer. There are 2 different resolutions you can use depending on if you are hiding or showing the status bar.

If you are showing the status bar then you should use 320 x 460 if not then you can use 320 x 480

When you are done creating your splash image, save it as Default.png (Note: the image name is case sensitive)

Copy the created image to the root of your resources folder within your XCode project.

That’s it, that is all there is to it. The Default.png image will load up as soon as you launch your app and will go away as soon as your application is done loading.

A word of caution, Apple implemented this feature to make loading times less visible to the user and recommends that you should use a screen shot of your app’s main view. There have been reports of apps being rejected on the App Store for including lines such as “loading…” or “waiting…” on the splash screen, although these are few and far between.