Archive for category iPhone

Devoxx 2012

Tomorrow, Antwerp will host – for the 11th year in a row – the biggest European Java Developers conference : Devoxx.

This year I will celebrate my 10th Devoxx attendance !  And for the first time I will have the pleasure to host two talks.

On Monday at 18:05 (Room #9), during a “Tools in Action” session, my colleague Abdoul and myself will build, live in front of the audience, a mobile application allowing to take pictures and capture geo localisation information and to send these for publishing on a web site. This demo will be built with open-source frameworks like DoJo and Apache’s Cordova, using IBM’s Worklight development IDE.  The architecture for this demo is depicted here under.

On Wednesday at 16:40 (Room #6), during the Conference, my colleague Eric and myself will demonstrate how IBM Rational Team Concert can be used to manage the lifecycle of a mobile application development, from capturing requirements to tests execution, changes and bugs management etc …

The rest of the time, you will find me on IBM’s booth in the exposition ground floor.

For those not knowing what Devoxx ambiance is, check out this nice video. Devoxx is sold out (again) this year : 3400 attendees from 40 different countries.

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Lotus Symphony Viewer – a free OpenDocument viewer on iPad

I am using OpenOffice from 13+ years, before it was an open source suite and before it was acquired by Sun Microsystems (1999). At that time, StarOffice was the only cross platform productivity suite running on Windows, Linux and Solaris.

After Oracle abandoned the suite – and many other solutions in Sun Microsystems’ portfolio – the situation around Open Office is not easy to follow, let’s try to recap.

  • A group of original developers from Sun, sponsored by Canonical, Novell, RedHat amongst others, forked OpenOffice and created LibreOffice.
  • Oracle donated the original Open Office code base to the Apache Community, now published under an Apache v2 license
  • Several large software editors have created derivative based on the OpenOffice code base, one of them being IBM’s Lotus Symphony (freely available)

Now that OpenOffice code base is not controlled by Oracle anymore, IBM decided to contribute its enhancement to the Apache OpenOffice project.  This is important news for all OpenOffice users.  This means that all improvements and changes made by IBM for Lotus Symphony will be made available for all in OpenOffice.

We are all looking forward the first release combining Apache OpenOffice and Lotus Symphony.

In the mean time, IBM released an iOS viewer application.  It allows you to view Open Document Format (ODF) text documents, presentations, and spreadsheets downloaded to your phone or tablet without the need for any network connection.

IBM OpenDocument Viewer for iOS is freely available on the Apple App Store.

 

 

 

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Participate to your business processes from your iPad

BPM is a discipline that leverages software and services to provide total visibility into your organization. Discover, document, automate, and continuously improve business processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

If you are new to the field, have a look at the “BPM for Dummies” mini ebook.

IBM offers a comprehensive set of solutions to document, execute, monitor your business processes :

  • BlueWorks Live, an easy way to document and run processes in the cloud
  • IBM Business Monitor, unites information, process, and people to provide a 360-degree view of case information and achieve optimized outcomes
  • IBM Business Process Manager, a comprehensive BPM platform giving you visibility and insight to manage business processes.
  • IBM Operational Decision Management, provides the power to intelligently automate a wide range of decisions across business processes and applications (formerly iLog)

IBM recently released IBM BPM v8.0 with many new, redesigned or improved capabilities, one of them kept my attention.  There is an iOS application allowing users to collaborate on BPM, right from their mobile devices.

“The BPM app provides a single view that consolidates tasks from multiple IBM process sources. Built with ease of use and collaboration in mind, it allows users to interact with others to ensure that the right people are working on the right thing at the right time.”

The application is freely available on the Apple App Store (but requires a BPM backend)

 

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Required Packages to install after a Jailbreak

Here is a short list of packages I am installing after a jailbreak.

  • OpenSSH
  • ToggleSSH (GUI to quickly toggle SSH on/off) – security tip : keep SSH off as long as you don’t need it
  • Core Utilities – core set of GNU utilities
  • adv-cmds – brings “ps”
  • network-cmds – arp, ifconfig, netstat, route, traceroute
  • SQLite 3.x & Libs
  • Vi iMproved – command line editing

Then connect to your phone using ssh (root/alpine) AND CHANGE THE ROOT PASSWORD !!

And because I care about security, I also apply the following :

  • Create
    .ssh/authorized_keys

    to copy my public SSH key.  This allows key based authentication

  • Disable SSH’s password authentication in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    PasswordAuthentication no
    PermitEmptyPasswords no
  • Restart sshd dameon
    iPhone:~ root# launchctl stop com.openssh.sshd
    iPhone:~ root# launchctl start com.openssh.sshd

Enjoy !

 

<UPDATE  date=”23 September 2012″>

iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 owners can jailbreak iOS 6 in tethered mode (need a cable connection to boot the phone)

http://www.ijailbreak.com/jailbreak/how-to-jailbreak-ios-6-and-install-cydia-mac-os-x/

</UPDATE>

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Using Apple’s XCode for open application development

When developing iOS application for jailbroken devices, you have to take care of many dirty details of application deployments on iOS.  In particular, you have to take care of creating and registering your own development certificate, as detailed below.

This is where IOSOpenDev comes into the game, this packages a set of XCode plugins that automates most of this process.  More than that : it also provides templates (aka empty project) to build your own Widgets, command line applications, SBSettings etc …

IOSOpenDev is a must use if you are serious about jailbroken app development on iOS.

But just for the sake of archiving – or if you want to do it manually, here is the process to code sign an application without using Apple’s provided certificate.

1/ generate self signed certificate using the Certificate Assistant in KeyChain Access application

2/ tell Xcode to use that identity

 

3/ change XCode signature method (and restart XCode)

marsu:Contents sst$ sudo cp Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Info.plist Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Info.plist.orig
Password:
marsu:Contents sst$ sudo /usr/bin/sed -i .bak 's/XCiPhoneOSCodeSignContext/XCCodeSignContext/' Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Info.plist
marsu:Contents sst$ ls Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Info.plist*
Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Info.plist      Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Info.plist.orig
Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Info.plist.bak

 

4/ create, compile and deploy your application
scp -r MyApp.app root@ip_address:/Applications

 

5/ restart SpringBoard (Respring) or reboot

 

Enjoy !

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Beta Testing iPhone Applications

I am about to release another iPhone application allowing users to visually manage voice mail messages left on their enterprise messaging solution, based on Oracle Beehive Collaboration and Communication Suite

This application is similar to Apple’s Visual Voice Messaging application that is deployed for some carriers.

Testing an iPhone application before it is deployed through the App Store might be tricky and is reserved for users having a minimal technical knowledge.  This article describes the steps required to join a testing program and to collect logs and debugging information to be reported to the developer.

Before installing an application on your iPhone, it has to be digitally signed by the developer and by Apple (when distributed on the App Store).

For ad-hoc distribution, i.e., without going through the App Store, the application will be signed specifically for your device.  The developer needs to know your Device ID (UDID).

Step #1 – collect your UDID and send it to the developer

First step for beta testing an iPhone application is to collect your UDID and send it to the developer.

To do this, connect your device to your Mac/Windows and launch iTunes. In iTunes, select your device in the ‘Devices’ section and navigate to the Summary tab. Click on the Serial Number label to reveal the Identifier field and the 40 character UDID. Press Command+C (CTRL-C on Windows) to copy the UDID to your clipboard.  Then paste it (Command+V or CTRL-V) in a mail message.

Step #2 – Install application

Once the developer knows your UDID, he will generate an application’s release authorized to run on your device.  Most of the time, you will receive the application as a ZIP file through email or web site download.

  • Unzip the file you received
  • Drag’n drop the application in iTunes
  • Sync your device with iTunes to install the application

You should then see the application icon on your device.

Step #3 – Provide feedback and collect log files for crashes

We are interested to collect all kind of feedbacks and testing conditions

  • General application usage, ergonomy, performance etc … many of these are subjectives but all suggestions will be considered.  Sometimes suggestions will be integrated immediately, sometimes they will be planned for a future release.
  • Different devices – you’re mostly welcome to test on older iPhone, iPod Touch or even iPad.
  • Slow / poor network connection.  Real life network conditions are difficult to test on a development machine, only real life usage, on the street, in a cab, in an airport etc …

If the application crashes or if you think you’ve find a bug, please report it as precisely as possible, in particular, I would like to know

  • what version you are using ? (version number is provided in the mail with the application)
  • what device you are using ?
  • what are the precise steps to reproduce ?
  • is it always reproducible or not ?

The application generate a log file that contains a precise description of what happens within the application.  Here are the steps to collect and send me log files.

  1. Download Apple’s iPhone Configuration Utility (Mac and Windows)
  2. With your device connected, run the iPhone Configuration Utility
  3. Click your connected device
  4. Go to the Console tab (see screenshot below)
  5. Clear the log (button at the bottom to the left)
  6. Try to install and/or launch the application and reproduce the error
  7. Select the relevant log lines (or just everything)
  8. Click the Save Console As… button and save the file
  9. E-mail the file to me

That’s all for now.  Thank you for your valuable feedback !

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QR Codes for your business cards

You’ve probably already encounter QR Codes, these signs you can scan with your mobile’s camera to get some extra information about a product, a song, a TV program etc …

While there are many QR generator application available on the Net, I recently found a Business Card generator.  It is able to generate either VCARD or MECARD format, as well as a contact PDF sheet ready to send to the printer. (MECARD is a special encoding of personal information, suitable for QR Code Encoding.  This was popularized in Japan by NTT Docomo)

And, … it’s free :-)

I tried it with QR Reader on the iPhone and found it particularly well integrated.  In particular MECARD can directly be added or merged to your address book.

Have Fun !

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Modern version of a web site

Today, Apple published my third publicly released iPhone application.  I’ve been asked to develop it for a French school of cinema, sound, 3D animation and other arts and technology for video and sounds professionals.

The application allows to discover the different departments of the school, get access to the latest news, to the contact details and look at some video and animation created by students.

As of today content is general purpose and rather static, it is a modern version and mobile version of a web site.  It looks like everybody wants its own iPhone app these days:-)

Future version might include some student-specific content and features such as restricted access to course schedule & content and push notifications towards registered students.

Today’s content is 100% in French, English version might be proposed in the future.

You can discover the application on the App Store.

Enjoy !

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Put a Java Brain into your Lego Robot

Our JavaONE session today went very well.  The room was packed (roughly 150 persons), with people standing in the back.

All demos went well, after a few surprises and tuning :-)

Comments and questions during the talk were very positive.

As promised to the attendees, here are the slides, the source code of the REST API (as a NetBeans project) and the source code of the iPad application (as an XCode project).

Feel free to leave comments and remarks here.  Thank you for attending and enjoy !

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Playing with Lego’s Mindstorms, LeJOS, GlassFish and an iPad

I will co-present three different session, hands-on-lab and BOF during JavaONE 2010.

One of these has actually nothing to do with usual business, it just aims at being fun and at playing with geek toys : we are hosting a BOF about Java programming for the Lego’s Mindstorms, i.e. the LeJOS project.

Neither David or myself are directly involved with LeJOS community, we are just regular users willing to share our experiences with people discovering Lego’s Mindstorms kit and the LeJOS project.

So, if you happen to be around in San Francisco next Wednesday, be sure to stop 45 minutes at 02:15 pm in the Parc 55 Hotel (Room Divisidero)

David will demo how to interface Lego’s NXT brick with an Arduino device.

I will show how to create a iPad controller for a robot, using a REST interface hosted on GlassFish.

Does it sounds geeky enough ? A short videoshow all this in action.

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