It is the year 2275, and earth as we know it has come to an end. The last remaining survivors have sought out to restore the planets resources using their unique space crafts known as Elementals. The Elementals have set out into deep space to collect vital elements while avoiding the deathly fireballs of deep space in hopes to restore balance to the once fruitful planet.

Time is of the essence and it’s up to you to help the Elementals in their quest to save their dying planet.

Elementals features hours of gameplay, challenging physics-based world with zero gravity all controlled via the iPhone’s accelerometer. You get 30 levels in easy mode and another 30 in extreme mode that all require extreme logic, timing, skill and lots of patience to conquer. Quite possibly the hardest game that will be on the App Store.

Features a total of 60 levels (Easy / Extreme), accelerometer, Retina Display Support, leaderboards, achievements, Facebook and Twitter Integration

I’ve started development of Elementals about 5 months ago in my spare time. I’ve done all of it myself, coding, artwork, concept and design, etc…

Main Game Menu:

Options Menu:

Level Selection Menu:

Level 2

The above are just a few of the screen shots of Elementals. I am hoping to have everything done and submitted to the app store before the end of January.

Right now I’m working on memory optimization and plugging a few leaks. I encourage everyone to follow Elementals on Twitter and like it on FaceBook to stay up to date.

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elementals-HD/127088354021100?v=wall”]http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elementals-HD/127088354021100?v=wall

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ElementalsHD”]http://twitter.com/#!/ElementalsHD

Beta Testing Begins Soon

If you’d like to be a part of the Beta Testing Team please send an e-mail with your info to [email]chrs944@gmail.com[/email] with the subject line Elementals HD Beta Testing

Please be sure to include the following:

  • Your Name
  • Your Email
  • Your Device Type: iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPad, iPod Touch, etc…
  • Your website or blog if you have one

Being a part of the Beta Testing Team will get your name / blog / website listed in the credits and also allow you to be among the first to write up a review.

Kid Tunes

Kid Tunes

Kid Tunes, one of my most recently developed apps, was approved and is now available on the App Store for purchase at only .99 cents. As usual I am doing a writeup on about the app here on chris-fletcher.com and provide links to the App Store page as well as a link to the location of the app on Empoc Media.

It was a lot of fun developing this app, mostly for my 6 year old daughter because she got to help me test it. Now that the app is finished she constantly asks me if she can play it. Needless to say, my iPhone no longer belongs to me. :)

Kid Tunes is an easy to use app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that includes 12 music sheets for famous children’s songs. Kid Tunes is sure to bring many hours of entertainment for your kids as well as for yourself, yup, Kid Tunes is fun for adults too. I’ll admit I have Row Row Row Your Boat stuck in my head.

The piano keys are color and number coded which match with the colors and numbers on the note sheets to make it easy for anyone to play the piano while learning how to read some simple sheet music. I already have some future updates planned which will include more songs to choose from as well as some other feature enhancements. Maybe I will include a play song button that will play the song for you once so that you can listen to the tune and and tempo. I think a volume bar might be a good idea and maybe I will implement some different themes.

Ideas are always welcome as well as any and all constructive criticism.


Kid Tunes on the App Store

Kid Tunes on Empoc Media

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.

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.

So… you’ve installed the latest SDK and XCode from Apple’s developer site only to find out that the only base SDK’s you are left to develop with are 3.2 and 4.0. What about if you have an iPhone 2G as your only development device? The iPhone 2G only goes up to iOS 3.1.3 and if you are stuck with the lowest base SDK of 3.2, you will not be able to push your apps to your iPhone.

This is exactly what happened to me. I downloaded the beta SDK for the 4.0 iOS when it came out. Little did I know that when you install that, it removes all SDK’s prior to 3.2.

Luckily for us, Apple is kind enough to keep previous versions of Xcode and their SDK’s available for download. Here is a list of available downloads.

You have to be logged into the Apple developer site http://developer.apple.com to download the above listed SDK’s. I downloaded the 3.1.3 Snow Leopard SDK since I already have 3.2 and 4.0 and 3.1.3 includes all of the above mentioned SDK’s as well as 2.0 and 2.1.

Once you’ve downloaded the SDK of your choice it should be in the form of a DMG, go ahead and mount that and open up the resulting volume. You should get something that looks like the image below.

iPhone SDK Volume

iPhone SDK Volume

At this point you will need to open up the Packages folder rather then running the installer because all we want are the SDK’s. When you open up the Packages folder scroll down a bit until you see the SDK’s. You should see something similar to the screen shot below.

Packages Folder

Packages Folder

You’ll see that there are device SDK’s and simulator SDK’s. You don’t have to install the simulator SDK’s if you don’t want to because all we are really after here is to be able to push our apps to an iPhone with an iOS earlier then 3.2. Double click on one of the iPhone SDK’s and you will be presented with an installer screen like the one below.

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

Click on Continue and and you will get to the next screen similar to the one in the screen shot below

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

On this screen you need to click on the drive you want to install the SDK to. In most cases it will be your primary Hard Drive. If you have your Developer tools installed on a different drive then you should select that one instead. Next you need to click on Choose Folder and you will be presented with a Choose Folder dialog similar to the screen shot below.

Choose Folder Dialog

Choose Folder Dialog

If you are like me and installed Xcode in the default location then you should have a developer folder in the root of your Hard Drive. Click on the Developer folder and then click choose. You will see a screen similar to the one below.

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

You can verify on this screen that you’ve selected the proper folder. It should have a blue circle around the Hard Drive and if you’ve picked the Developer folder it should say the following on the bottom “You have chosen to install this software in the folder Developer on the disk Macintosh HD. Click Continue and you will be presented with a screen similar to the below screen shot.

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

iPhone SDK Installer Screen

This is just a confirmation screen, from here you just need to click on Install. You may be prompted with a password screen. Enter your password to continue with the installation. You should see a screen similar to the one below.

iPhone SDK Installer Progress Screen

iPhone SDK Installer Progress Screen

Depending on the SDK you are installing this part can take up to 5 minutes to complete. When the installation is done you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below.

iPhone SDK Install Complete

iPhone SDK Install Complete

Click on close. At this time your installation of the SDK is complete. You can verify that the SDK installed successfully by launching Xcode. Once Xcode is launched open an existing project or start a new one and go to Project -> Project Settings. You should see a screen similar to the below screen shot.

Xcode Project Settings - General

Xcode Project Settings - General

Click on the drop down towards the bottom where you can choose your base SDK and if all went well you should see a screen similar to the below depending on which SDK you installed.

iPhone SDK's

iPhone SDK's

Pick your SDK of choice and enjoy. Hopefully this tutorial has helped someone with their project. I spent many hours the other night researching how I could install older version SDK’s and once I found an easy method I thought I would share it with the rest of the world. If for some reason you don’t see your SDK listed here then it may have been installed in the wrong folder. If you can’t get it working feel free to ask me for help. I’m always willing to help out a fellow developer.

After countless complaints of the iPhone4′s dropped calls and antenna problems, here’s what Apple has to say about it.

On a more serious note, Apple has announced that they are doing something about it. They just released an iPhone software update (4.0.1), also they will be giving free iPhone cases to anyone who bought an iPhone4. The details so far are :

  • You can get a free iPhone case from a few available options
  • If you’ve bought an Apple bumper, you can get a refund (Apple isn’t giving free bumpers because they claim they can’t manufacture enough)
  • The offer will last until September 30th, at which time Apple will do another evaluation of the iPhone4, so hurry and get your free case or refund while you can.

So, you have an iPhone and apart from the many different apps you can download and things you can do with your iPhone, you can also share your current GPS location with your friends. I’m about to show you a tutorial for doing just that.

Note: You will need to have at least OS 3.0 installed for this to work.

It’s actually quite simple, you can do this using either an iPhone or an iPod Touch.

  1. Using the iPhone or iPod Touch click on the App Store
  2. Click Search
  3. Type in Navizon Lite
  4. Click on Navizon Lite
  5. Click on Free and then click Install

Push the home button and then launch the Navizon App. If you haven’t created a Navizon account yet, you can do it from the first screen or enter an existing account.

Once you are logged in, click on Settings and change Appear Visible to On, this will update your location every 10 minutes. If you want your friends to be able to text you with a keyword at any time to find out your location then turn on Locate-by-SMS and set the specific keyword to trigger the location.

To add your friends click on Buddies on the bottom right hand corner of the App and then click the + icon on the top right corner, enter your email address and your friends email address. An email will be sent with a link to accept your invitation. Once accepted, your friend will appear in your list.

What if you want to share your location with someone who isn’t using Navizon? or doesn’t have an iPhone? Stay tuned for my next article on updating your FireEagle location with Navizon.

If you’ve  never used Latitude before, you should definitely check it out. Latitude allows you to easily share your location with your friends and vice versa. Think of Twitter, but instead of providing your friends with status updates, you are providing them with Location updates.

Google has already released the Latitude application on Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Just recently, Google released Latitude as a web app that can be launched on an iPhone via Safari. Latitude on your iPhone utilizes the iPhones GPS device to update your current coordinates so that your friends always know where you are.

You can choose who you want to share your location data with, so that your privacy is not invaded. The only downside is that since this is a web application and requires the Safari Web Browser to run, you will either have to keep the browser up, or launch the browser when you want to update your location.

Google was initially working on a Latitude App, to run natively on the iPhone but Apple requested that they make it a web app instead, as to not confuse consumers with the current Maps application, which utilizes Google Maps, for GPS and location. This seems more like a demand rather then a request. Speculations are that Apple will be releasing some sort of proximity awareness feature so that iPhone will behave differently based on your location (e.g. At Work location, iPhone will be auto set on Vibrate). 

Having Latitude running as an app in the background would make it quite the essential app. Think about having an app on your iPhone that constantly updates your location. For example, say you have the app running in the background and you lost your iPhone, just log on to your Mac or PC and go to Latitude and look up the current GPS coordinates of your phone. That would be very useful

One last note is that the Google Latitude web app only supports iPhone/iPod Touch OS 3.0 or above. So if you have a lower firmware version then you’ll need to upgrade.

Setting Up Google Latitude

Because the iPhone and iPod touch don’t allow Safari windows or apps to run in the background or while your device is locked, your location will only be updated when Latitude is in the open, active Safari window. To have your location detected and updated:

  1. Check that your device has the latest iPhone OS version 3.0 firmware or above (See:http://www.apple.com/iphone/softwareupdate).
  2. Open http://google.com/latitude in Safari on your device.
  3. Sign in to your Google Account if you haven’t yet (Google Apps users learn more).
  4. Allow Safari and/or Latitude (google.com) to access your current location when prompted.
  5. Check that automatic location detection is enabled from the Latitude privacy menu.

Add Latitude to your Home Screen to be able to quickly open Latitude in Safari and update your location when you arrive at a new lace. Just open Latitude in Safari and tap the + icon > Add to Home Screen > Add

Your location will continue to be detected and updated while Latitude is the open, active Safari window and will stop being updated if you switch browser windows, leave Safari, or allow your device screen to lock.

Note: If you’ve disabled location services for your device, you’ll need to also enable them by going from your Home screen to Settings > General and turning “Location Services” to On.

Here’s a good way to get discounts from Apple. I am listing a few links here. Just accept the agreement and check out the discounts you can get.

Just as an example, using one of the links above, you can get a MacBook starting at $939.00 vs. going to http://store.apple.com and getting it for $999.00. Hey $60.00 saved is an extra $60.00 in your pocket.

By now you should get the general idea. This information is listed for informational purposes only. You should adhere to Apple’s Employee Purchase Program and only accept the terms if you meet the criteria.

Just thought I’d share some knowledge with all the Apple Fans :)

I recently came across a site advertising an easy way to unlock your iPhone to work with other carriers that use sim cards. The site is http://www.unlockanyiphone.net

This company has come up with an easy plug and play solution. Basically they sell you a modified sim card that your sim card connects to. Think of it as a mod chip for your iPhone, it couldn’t get any easier, and as for the price, $37.95. I think its a small price to pay to be able to use your iPhone with other services.

Below are some of the features:

  • Full Unlock, Use your iPhone on ANY Network. Worldwide!
  • Safe iPhone Unlock: No warranty void, Fully reversible!
  • No knowledge required, Easy Plug and Play Solution!
  • Works on any iPhone, Version 2.2.1 Included!
  • No Signal Loss – like other Unlocks Available!
  • Lifetime Updates and Unlimited Support!
  • ALL Functions on your iPhone Working!
  • Enable SMS/MMS & Instant Messengers!
  • Access to 1000′s of Free iPhone Applications! 
  • Satisfaction GUARANTEED!
If you want a free way to do it, I found a great article at PCWorld that should help you accomplish this. Here is the link