This is the first App by Readers feature and it showcases the awesome creations that readers and course members have created. (details on how to submit your app at the end)
This month, we feature Kyle and Larry, both of whom are course members (which is why one of the questions I ask them is if the course helped).
Kyle published an awesome looking tip calculator app with customizable themes and Larry published two(!) apps leveraging DropBox. Check out their experiences below!
by Kyle Griffin (Indianapolis, IN)
Tip-Shop Calculator Lite App Store ink: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id821816792
Tell me about your app
Tip-Shop calculator is a calculator app designed for the average consumer/shopper. The goal of the app was to be able to quickly switch back and forth between standard calculator operations, tip and discount operations, and tax operations on the fly.
For instance: a user can quickly total up several items just as they would on a standard calculator, apply multiple discounts with the discount button, and finally add the tax with the Add Tax button. The app also does tips and has ability to rounds tips to half and whole dollar amounts with a swipe gesture, as well as apply tips before or after tax. The app comes packaged with a customizable slider and several color schemes to accommodate a wide range of users.
How long did it take to build the App?
I bought a macbook in September of 2013 and had the app up and running on the app store in January 2014. I added some more features to it with Chris’s help and the final version I had done in February sometime I believe.
What was your most memorable experience?
The first memorable experience I had learning to develop was seeing my app for the first time on my phone! It is pretty amazing to see your app function and to be able to take it with you wherever you go. It’s also cool to be able to show your friends an family! The 2nd most memorable moment was obviously having my app accepted on the App Store. That is a great sense of accomplishment!
How did the course help?
I took a course in Java and VB.NET and had played around with C++ and Excel VBA a little bit in my own free time prior to learning Objective C. So I would say I understood the fundamentals of programming going in, but did not know the syntax of Objective C at all. I also hadn’t done much object oriented programming prior to learning Objective C and that is where CodeWithChris really helped me out a lot. Chris’s videos are the best and the easiest videos to follow along with by far. His videos are very professional and he gives very clear explanations.
Another big thing I like about Chris is that he always uses up to date software in his videos. How many of you have been in this situation?
1) You become overjoyed when you find an Objective C tutorial on a your desired subject
2) You decide to try it out on your own only to find out that the version of Xcode you are running isn’t the same as the version in the tutorial you just watched
3) You waste time trying to figure out how to do the steps in your version of Xcode
4) You become irritated, give up, and try to find another tutorial
Lol. This sounds funny now, but it is not funny at the time. This does not happen with Chris’s videos. If we are in a transition period between different versions of Xcode, Chris will give instructions on how to do things in the old and new versions.
The last thing I want to mention is that Chris does an excellent job at responding to your questions if you still don’t understand something from his videos. I’ve emailed him many times with all kinds of questions and he gets back to me within a day (most of the time the same day). The course discussion chats are also a great way to get feedback from Chris as well as other developers. Chris takes this course very seriously and that is invaluable.
QRPhotos App Store link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qrphoto-label-maker/id843268344?mt=8
QRPhotos Website: http://flashsolutions.us/QRPhotos
Tell me about your app and how long did it take?
The first app was the hardest and took a couple months to code and get approved with one rejection that was really not my fault since an API from a third party I was using did not work properly.
The first app is named QRPhoto Label Maker and was inspired by the fact that I am selling my home and wanted an app to help me identify what was in the boxes I would be packing. I wanted to be able to scan a QR code and have it pull up a photo of the contents of the box I am packing along with a short text description of the items inside. I programmed the app to store the photos in a users Dropbox account because Dropbox provides a sharable link which can access the photos when scanned.
The first app submission was rejected because the Dropbox authentication did not work unless the Dropbox app was installed on the device. Apples guidelines require that all authentication be done within the app itself so I had to start over with a new project file in order to make it work properly. While I was rewriting it, I added the ability to produce a single sheet of 30 labels instead of just single labels. That in itself was worth getting the app rejected.
MyAddressLabels App Store link: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/myaddresslabels/id859472940?mt=8
MyAddressLabels Website: http://flashsolutions.us/myaddresslabels
Tell me about your second app
The first app inspired a second app which I named MyAddressLabels. This app creates sheets of 30 address labels using a photo taken from your camera or camera roll and lets you select different fonts and font sizes to use on the address label. Again, the photos are stored in a users Dropbox account.
I was able to reuse a lot of the code from the first app and this app only took a couple of weeks to write although there were some new challenges to overcome. I reference stack overflow.com frequently to find answers to questions I have when encountering new areas that I don’t understand well.
What was your most memorable experience?
As to my most memorable experience, learning, or feeling of the whole journey, I don’t know that there was any one thing that stood out. It was a combination of events, each leading me further and further into understanding the nuances of IOS programming. Of course, finally getting a app approved for the App Store was quite the Coup de gras to my inability to comprehend IOS programming, for which I owe a lot credit to Chris.
How did the course help?
This was my third and final attempt to learn IOS programming. I gave up in frustration the first two times before I learned about CodeWithChris video tutorials. The CodeWithChris videos proved to be just what I needed to get me over my mental block. Had I not been able to grasp the concepts this go round, I would probably not have ever tried again as I am 67 years old and teaching an old dog new tricks can sometimes be a challenge.
I came from a procedural programming background, so I understood the concepts. What I needed to learn was where to start with Xcode, the syntax for defining classes, methods, etc. The tutorial videos provided exactly what I was looking for and I was able to leap out the slump I was in and finally get a grasp of the newer technologies. There is still room for a lot more learning and I enjoy listening to each and every video that Chris produces. He even put together a personal video for a particular problem I was having a hard time understanding. I especially like the cadence that Chris applies to his presentations. It is slow and deliberate and clearly presented.