Stack v2.0.0 : The Aftermath

Stack 2.0 went up on Cydia yesterday and has been a phenomenal success, racking up thousands of downloads so far. The reaction has been almost completely positive, though there have been two reports of people wrecking their setup and needing to restore because they used Poof and/or Categories and somehow they managed to crash it bringing the system down. For all intents and purposes, while 16,998 out of 17,000 downloaders seem to have had no issues, I'll have to issue a caution against using Stack, Poof and Categories together until more information has been gleaned. Regarding the future, and updates! Stack v2.0.1 • Last minute before release I had to disable the adding of WebClip icons to Stack as it was something I hadn't thought about when designing the system, and my faithful testers had come up against issues. What I forgot to do was add a block against non-fully-downloaded applications from the App Store, so until I have a fix out please don't drag any icons but application icons to Stack. • I do plan on having the stack display more customizable, for the many users who prefer to not have a stack of icons in their Button Bar. I'll figure something out in this regard. • I intend also to add a little more visual contrast to the fan view in Stack, as currently it can get confusing. Most likely I will add a shadow of some sort to differentiate the floating icons from the other icons in SpringBoard. Stack v2.0.2 and beyond • Regarding future releases, I know many of you are looking for 5-icon-dock support, and that is something I cannot promise at this point in time. I'm working on it, but it's not going to be happening anytime soon. • I do plan on making dragging items out of Stack a little more user-friendly, so that you won't do it by accident. • Hopefully I'll be able to add the rearrangement of items in Stack, and support for more than sixteen icons. • In the far future I hope to make Stack a fully independent SpringBoard icon, which can be dragged and wiggled to your heart's content and will act just like any other icon in SpringBoard. That will finally fix the overlapping issue. • I do *not* plan on making Stack remove icons from SpringBoard. That's not a safe thing to do, and there's no fallback if you uninstall Stack. If you really wish to hide your icons, I recommend using Poof by BigBoss, as it seems to work well.

Lego Mac!

Since some people like this sort of thing, here's my Lego® Mac (built from an 800MHz Titanium PowerBook G4). The screen was snapped off its hinges, so I took it apart. I wish I had access to some sort of plastic molding plant, because I'd make an awesome tablet out of this with some nice curves! Please excuse the messy desk =)

Lights Off Ported to Cappuccino!

So I decided to check out Cappuccino now that it's released, and to get the swing of it I thought I might as well port the Lights Off code to it as a semi-promotion before the App Store release of Lights Off. Of course, I haven't included the rest of the game, themes, features, but the core game is there and playable! Cappuccino was a dream to work with, I could literally port the Cocoa Touch code in a couple hours - and I have ZERO Javascript experience! In fact, it worked out so well that the 280 North / Cappuccino team have blogged about it! Check it out on their site. If you're interested in checking out a web development framework and are a Cocoa developer, by all means check out Cappuccino and Objective-J. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Adobe: Announcing Photoshop CS4

It's done, and I think you'll really like this release. I've been using it for the past 8 months and it really is brilliant, even if the new UI has taken a little getting used to; however the old UI is still available from the menu so don't fret! The canvas is drawn using OpenGL and takes full advantage of the GPU.

Stack v2 is DONE!

Well, the day has finally arrived; Stack v2.0 has been completed and is almost ready for release. Stack is one of my oldest, and undoubtedly most successful, iPhone endeavours and is one I'm particularly proud of. I bought an iPod touch the day they were launched back in '07, and as soon as I could I began developing software for it. Looking at the design back then, the Button Bar (or Dock) on the iPod touch looked similar to that in Mac OS X 'Leopard' , and near instantly the idea popped into my head: why not recreate 'Stacks' on iPhone OS? I played around with it in my head, as I knew it would be pretty simple to pull off visually as all 'Stacks' did was translate an icon in y and rotate it - dead simple to do with CoreAnimation. Pretty soon I had a demo version up and running and it looked great! Complexity soon set in. I had to create a seperate application to manage the settings of Stack (singular, as there currently is only one Stack onscreen at a time ;-) ), and Stack itself originally modified the Button Bar icon list and placed a blank icon behind where the Stack should be. On top of that, Stack had to run on launch as an application displaying above SpringBoard. Former users might recall that adding items to Stack was a messy, convoluted process involving XML editing and restarting the Stack application. Similarly, the original had reported issues of being unable to install, and I never developed it past iPhone OS 1.1.2, leaving many users stuck. Then came the iPhone SDK, and iPhone OS 2.0, and it was exalted. But, for Stack, it meant DOOM. iPhone OS 2.0 prevents any application from running above SpringBoard and drawing a UI to the screen, and any such attempts equalled a nasty crash. For a long time I thought Stack was dead, undoable for 2.0. For a long time, I was wrong =). Dynamic Library Injection was its saviour. Basically, it means that the Stack code could be *injected* into Springboard, and actually run as part of SpringBoard. Thanks go to Nate True without whom I wouldn't have figured this all out. But wait, there's more! Since I was now part of SpringBoard, I had full access to add everything I had dreamed about adding to Stack v1 but never found a way to. With a bit of ingenuity, I was able to detect the dragging of SpringBoard icons and dynamically add items to Stack with but drag & drop. I was also able to pick up on WinterBoard themes, the #1 requested feature before v2. To seal the deal, I added the ability to drag-remove any item in Stack, replete with the familiar Mac 'poof' animation; a puff of smoke. Where before Stack was a complex, power-user tool to set up and manage, it is now a user-friendly, drop-dead simple tool. I couldn't be happier with the results, and I'm proud to announce that it will be freely available next week from Ste Packaging in Cydia. A big thanks to all whom have e-mailed me over the past months, and I hope you all enjoy Stack v2! -S

Lights Off + Animations

Got the old animations implemented, using the same sequences as the original. Still have things to fix up first, but it's looking good. Thanks go to Craig Hockenberry [and Lucas Newman] for sharing the old code. video

Nuker v2.0 source posted to GoogleCode

The latest source for Nuker has been posted to the GoogleCode project site, if you fancy checking it out do so. It should build for the iPhone Simulator with the public iPhone SDK, and for device for those so inclined.

Most beautiful Apple product ever

Jony Ive must be a really proud man right now. The new iPod is only matched in its beauty by its OS, which has been heavily tweaked and made more gorgeous than ever. Spoken menus are a welcome addition, as is the lightning-fast (iPhone-speed) CoverFlow implementation. But exteriorly iPod nano in it's silver/black incarnation is incredible; curved glass screen, black top and bottom, really responsive click-wheel, and a vibrant display. Now all I need is for some kind soul to donate me the brand new iPod touch for development work =D

iPhone Development is fun

Asides from developer backlash at Apple for draconian regulations and anti-competitive tactics, and a certain NDA, developing for iPhone is quite a lot of fun. Looking back at all the stuff I've worked on and/or contributed to recently: • Doom for iPhone • TextGuru (with Pater and Francis of Brancipater software) • NES for iPhone (with NerveGas / Jonathan Zdziarski) • Gameboy for iPhone (with Zodttd) • SNES for iPhone (with Zodttd) • An iPhone VNC Server (with Saurik / Jay Freeman) • My own creations : Speed, Nuker, Lights Off, SameGame • Rewrote Stack completely for iPhone 2.0 • Testing and UI design for Last.fm (with c99koder / Sam Steele) • Redesigning and other stuff for Sam Steele's other secret upcoming apps ;-) • img3decrypt - a modified tool based on the pwnagetool sources to decrypt img3 files I find myself having great fun and getting to know the most amazing people in developer circles, and big names I look up to myself. So, amidst all this App Store drama, I have to say thank you to Apple. Thanks for making a platform that inspires me.

Speed -> Future! (Please comment on this post)

While I won't post any teaser screenshots yet, I can give you a peek at what is coming in the next version of Speed on the App Store: • Max Speed • Average Speed • Altitude • GPS Co-ordinates That's just so far! But I want to hear from you; leave here in the comments the feature or features you really really want to see in Speed, and I'll see what I can do about adding them to the free application. With your input, hopefully Speed can become the most useful free speedometer on the store. -S