iOSDevCampDC 2014 Coming in August!

Mark your calendars: the date for iOSDevCampDC 2014 will be Saturday August 2 Friday August 1, 2014. We’ve booked a big place this year for iOSDevCampDC 2014 – the new DIG space at Capital One in Tysons Corner. It will follow the same one-track format, although we’re thinking of having some more time in-between sessions so we can enjoy the game room. I hear foosball and air hockey are good for learning. :)

We’ve also issued a Call for Speakers, ending on March 28th, so if you’re interested in speaking, send us a talk proposal with what you want to present, a short bio and link to your Twitter (or other) profile to We would love to have at least one female speaker especially. Natalia presented along with Keith and Kiril about Harbor Master back at iPhoneDevCampDC and she was well received.

If you are interested in attending, please stay tuned and follow @iosdevcampdc on Twitter. We’ll likely be opening up early bird ticket sales sometime in April.

iOSDevCampDC 2012

About two weeks ago, on Saturday August 11th, we held our fourth iOS-related event in the Washington DC area: iOSDevCampDC 2012. We had a great mix of talks, six in all, from local iOS experts, with a select group of sponsors and a great group of attendees. Verisign hosted us and provided the venue in Reston, VA, allowing us to accommodate more people than last year. The dual screens were a nice touch too.

Let me give a brief wrap-up of the talks:

Ken (chief doer of savvy apps) gave a talk about how gestures affect the designs of iOS apps.  He talked about some good lessons learned.  I was impressed that he mirrored both his iPhone and iPad on his Mac so that he could project both on the screen.  Ken’s definitely been a proponent of gestural (or gesture-first) interfaces with apps like Agenda.

Jon (DC area Managing Director of Big Nerd Ranch) dived into the technical details of concurrency on iOS.  He covered both GCD and also NSOperation.  I hear he’s going to be giving an OpenGL class soon.

Mark (Director of Mobile Development at Politico) discussed how to make iOS apps more flexible by having them adapt to changes via a dynamic configuration that’s downloaded.  He also showed some good practices around that such as validating the configuration and having a good download manager.

Mark (Senior Lead Developer at Odyssey Computing) showed us how to do slick animations to do things like folding screens like origami and flipping screens like a book. I really liked that he wrote an app that allows you to toggle some switches and sliders to try out different permutations to see how they affect the animations.  He blogged about his experiences and his presentation titled “Enter the Matrix.”

Chris (Director of Strategy, Global Monetization Solutions at Millennial Media) explained how to use metadata to make more money with ads.  The more you know your users, the better the ads you show them will be.  One point that stood out was tangential: every app needs a privacy policy.  This is due to many forces in our industry but is probably going to be forced in the near future due to government oversight.

James (Principal Software Architect at YellowBrix) took us through how to embed Lua, a dynamic scripting language, into iOS apps.  He also discussed his open source framework for making it easier to do Lua in iOS called Gemini.

As the Lead Organizer of iOSDevCampDC, it was satisfying to put together another event and have it go well.  Sean was a great help as a fellow Organizer, heading up the delicious food that we all savored and assisting with countless other things.  Jose helped out as well, taking pictures and also giving a good overview of our local weekly (NSCoderNightDC) and monthly (CocoaHeadsDC) get-togethers.  My kids Diego and Mateo manned the registration booth and got a taste of what professional developers do. They’re getting started with programming themselves.

Special thanks to Happy Apps, Millennial Media, savvy apps and Verisign for sponsoring the event!

How to read 3rd party books on your iPad in a Post-PC world (aka how to send books to your iPad without tethering through iTunes)

I’m trying to be truly “Post-PC” (or rather, let my mobile devices live untethered from my Macs) with my new iPad 3 and iPhone 4S.  This works great as long as you’re buying everything through iTunes, since you can now download almost anything from the iTunes Cloud.

But what if you’re buying 3rd party books?  How can you experience them in the silky smoothness that a Retina screen on your new iPad 3?  Or even just get them to your iPad or iPad 2?

The official Apple way is to sync via iTunes:

Can I download books from other websites?

Yes, you can download ePub files on your Mac or PC. Add them to your iTunes library choosing File > Add to Library, or drag the ePub file to the Books library on your computer. To read these books, simply sync them to your device.

source: iBooks: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here’s another way, potentially a better way, that makes it so that you can use The Cloud:

  1. Create a Dropbox account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Install the Dropbox app on your iPad if it isn’t already installed from the App Store.
  3. Download the ePub version of the book.
  4. Move the ePub  to one of your Dropbox folders and wait until it is synced – you can see the status in the Dropbox menu item in your menu bar if you’re on a Mac.  I’ve got a Books folder dedicated to this purpose.
  5. Open up the Dropbox app in your iPad and navigate to the folder where you placed your ePub book.
  6. Tap on the ePub book.
  7. You’ll see it download and then display a screen that says “Unable to view file.  This file type can’t be viewed” with some sort of M.C. Escher visualization of the Dropbox icon.  That’s OK because…
  8. Tap on the Action icon in the upper right.UIButtonBarAction.jpg
  9. Choose “Open In…” > “iBooks”.
  10. Voila!  You’ve got your book over to your iPad without tethering.  How “Post-PC” of you!