Detect 64bit iOS devices at runtime

So, I found myself wanting to identify whether the current device was 64bit or not, so I made a ridiculously simple UIDevice category. It might be useful to someone else, so please… have at it.

P.S. You should know, it’s really not good practice to switch behaviours or code based on the devices architecture!

Pivo featured in Daily Mail

Dos cervezas, por favor! World’s first beer-ordering app translates ‘beer’ into 59 different languages

  • App includes traditional holiday destination languages, but also includes Tagalog from the Phillipines, the Ghanain dialect Twi, Zulu and Yiddish
  • Includes video to ensure users learn the correct pronunciation
  • ‘Beer’ is probably the most useful foreign word to know after ‘hello’, claim the app’s makers

Read more:

Pivo for iOS

Are you heading off to travel the world? Visiting a new country? Or have you just booked a holiday? Before you pack your suitcase you need to download this app. Pivo teaches you how to order a beer in 59 different languages; each with the correct spelling, phonetic pronunciations and supporting videos from native speakers to help you along the way.


We landed in Prague and headed straight to the nearest bar. After catching the attention of the barmaid, we realised neither of us knew how to order a beer in Czech! We Googled it, nothing, we asked Jeeves and even he didn’t know! So we thought there must be an app for that but there wasn’t…Pivo was born.

You don’t need WiFi to play the videos that support the 59 different languages, once you have downloaded the app you can view it wherever you are in the world. Choose your language, watch the video and order your beer!

Pivo is available on the App Store Today

What is a Method in Objective-C Anyway?

You can think of this post as the first in a series of ‘The bits that nobody else explains very well’… An explanation ‘cheat-sheet’ article if you will, for anyone who’s starting to dabble in iOS or Mac OS programming and wants to not only ‘know’ how to program, but who wants to ‘understand’ what they’re coding as well. Many tutorials will gloss over these basic explanations, dismissing them as second nature, or failing to understand how fundamentally important it is that their readers understand the concepts behind the code they are being taught.

To some more experienced developers, these explanations might seem too simplistic and in some cases, even ‘wrong’ technically. That doesn’t matter here, what matters is that the fundamental concepts are understood. This article will be part of a series and if there’s a particular item you’d like me to cover just let me know in the comments section, or by heading to the contact form! Now without further ado, lets talk about Methods in Objective-C.

Continue reading “What is a Method in Objective-C Anyway?”

Thoughts on Android (from an iOS developer)

So, those who know me, will know me as an avid Apple fanboy through and through… But you know what? Okay, yeah they’re absolutely right. I love my Apple gear for its robustness, and its reliability. But recently, i’ve been becoming more and more frustrated with iOS. Specifically from a developer point of view, there are things I want to do, Apps i want to create that I just can’t because of Apples strict enforcement of the App store rules.

Now i’m aware that these rules supposedly lead to a lovely clean App store full of apps which all ‘just work’ etc, but in reality there are a ton of Apps out there that are utterly useless but have been ‘approved’ by Apple for sale. I’ll give you an example of an App I want on iOS, but can’t have (without jailbreaking of course!). An app that scans the air for all the WiFi signals in the area, tells me which channel / frequency is the best one to use for my wireless router for minimum interference. I also want to be able to monitor signal levels (in dB) around my house and make sure i get a strong signal everywhere. Basically that’s because i’m a massive geek really cool guy, but also just a little bit because Apple won’t let me!

Google Nexus 7 Tablet On Wooden Desk
Google’s Nexus 7, a small tablet with some impressive specs. A quad core processor, 1 Gig of ram all for less than £200

Android on the other hand… Well there’s no problem with android. I could make an app which did that, stick it up on the Google play store and have it ready for download in a couple of days if i really wanted to! My problem with Android, it’s not with Google and it’s nothing to do with the Core OS, rather it’s the crap that manufacturers and mobile carriers love to smother over the top of a perfectly nice clean operating system. HTC’s Sense UI is a perfect example, in my eyes it’s ugly, it’s dressing up android as a consumer level OS, when in reality it’s screaming out to be the OS of choice for geeks around the world. In some ways, efforts like HTC’s Sense is to Android, what OS X is to Unix (but not in a good way). It delays updates, performance improvements, and more… All for a (so called) pretty UI which consumers are supposed to like.

But here’s the thing, Google have had their line of Nexus devices for a fair while now, and what they provide is the very core of Android, the ‘vanilla’ kernel if you like. With no funky magical animated unicorn home screen backgrounds (although I’m sure you can enable that if you really must!) and finally with Jellybean, a system which is comparable (in my eyes) to iOS. Google have FINALLY sorted out the ‘Android Lag’ between touching the screen and stuff actually happening, and what’s more they have introduced a 7″ tablet, for under £200 that actually has some really nice specs. It really looks like a dream device for an App developer, which probably explains why i’m so very tempted to get my hands on one, and give Android development a go.

Couple this with the strange goings on at Apple of late, I’m talking about things like the sudden withdrawal of all machines from EPEAT only to have the decision reversed days later, in addition to the plain ugly leaks of what is rumoured to be the next iPhone. Apple appears to be faltering. I hate to say it, but i really think Apple is going to get some serious competition in the next year or two, from the likes of Google especially, but also Microsoft who appears to be trying to drag itself back into this century with PC+ and it’s Surface offering (supposedly a tablet, with no price or release date… We’ll see Microsoft, we’ll see!). Either way, it’s going to be an interesting couple of years, and it’s about time Apple got some serious competition… Now without further ado, i’m off to buy a Nexus 7, but don’t you think for one second that means i’m going to get rid of my iPad…

Let me know what you think, Android vs Apple… Will Microsoft even get a say in the tablet market, oh and does anybody remember the blackberries?

A Fresh Start

Welcome to the redesigned site, I hope you like it! The aim is to make it slightly more focused on mobile app development rather than my degree subject (Music Technology.) I am now ‘officially’ an iOS applications developer, and have had the opportunity to work on apps for companies such as Vodafone, Cablevision and Comcast. I’m learning a lot, and hope to continue learning something new every single day.

In this blog, i will gradually be uploading tutorials for basic iOS development techniques, through to hopefully some more advanced topics like Core Data, and Concurrency programming. Now, I don’t profess to be the master of all knowledge when it comes to iOS development, far from it… (I’ve only been doing this a few years!) But i hope i can create some high quality material to act as a starting point for some of the finer (less widely covered) topics of iOS development.

In addition to this, i aim to use this blog as somewhere to collect thoughts, links, and articles to interesting developments in the technology industry. It’s not going to be your go-to site for the latest news… Thats pretty well covered by The Verge, Engadget, and TechnoBuffalo and so on… My blog will be much more my views on relevant news stories etc…

Right, well that’s it for now. I hope you enjoy the new site (It’s still very much a work in-progress, so bare with me while i get the finer details sorted out) I’d love to hear what you think, feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a tweet (@sammio2).

Why Apple’s ‘Genius’ doesn’t work for Apps…

So, i’m browsing around the App store on the iPad today and i hit the ‘Genius’ tab. It’s not a function i’ve really used before now, because I never really saw the point of it… and guess what, I was right. All it does, is show me apps that are similar to the ones I already have!?!

If I have an App, and it’s still installed on my device, doesn’t that indicate that I’m happy that this App fulfils it’s purpose? Or are people constantly searching for ‘better’ apps to fulfil a purpose? Am I wrong? It seems strange to me, that’s all.

Degree Results…

Hello All,

Just a very quick post, I am delighted to announce that i have graduated from Bournemouth University with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) Degree in Music and Audio Technology. My CV has been updated appropriately, and you can find my CV here. Additionally, I was presented with the ‘Student of The Course’ certificate for the three years of study. Additionally, Media interest had picked up on the Twinthesis Project, and it has been featured by The Telegraph, and various local BBC Radio Stations, A feature has also been produced for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and will be broadcast soon.

As always, i’d like to thank you for visiting my site, and i hope you enjoy some of the interesting and innovative projects you’ll find me working on. I am now actively looking for employment within the audio, software programming, social media, or education sector. So please download my CV here.


Welcome, from FODI 2011…

iResponse at FODI 2011, Bournemouth University

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve been directed here either by me, or by scanning my QR code at the Festival of Design and Innovation. In either case, Welcome. I’m glad you’d like to know a bit more about me, and the projects i’m working on. Feel free to browse the site, you can find my CV (I’m currently looking for employment!) and examples of my previous work, etc.

The project I’ve been exhibiting at FODI 2011 is the ‘iResponse’ iPhone application, more release information is available here. Once FODI is complete, I will be uploading the promotional materials and examples demoed at the show for you to download and experiment with. Currently the application is still in development, but release is scheduled towards the end of this year (2011.)

Another project I’ve been working on, and has become quite popular in the media recently is ‘Twinthesis’. This is a synthesiser which is powered entirely by data from Twitter in real-time. The synthesiser takes data from the 20 most recent tweets at any different time, and maps each character of a tweet to various tones, hums, and bleeps to create a unique sonification of that tweet. The synthesiser is built within the Max/MSP architecture and is available to download here.

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoy the site. Please feel free to contact me, either by email, twitter (@Sammio2) or using the built in form here. This site will be regularly updated with progress on my work and various project ideas that I am starting and hoping to work on after graduation.