Working with APIs on iOS

This is a presentation I gave to the University of Houston (Downtown) ACM Student Chapter on March 4th.

The topic itself was chosen by the student chapter as a general introduction on the different aspects of working with remote web service APIs on the iOS platform.

Learning by Inspecting and Analyzing Apps

I presented at the February 2015 meeting of the Houston iPhone Developers meetup about inspecting live third party applications. This session explained how to use jailbreak for educational purposes, on this specific case a way to inspect the view hierarchy of applications, allowing you to see how other developers solved a problem, or how some specific feature was implemented.

You can go to Speaker Deck for extra options, or you can browse through the presentation below:

iOS 7 presentation at the Houston iPhone Developers meetup

I presented at the October 2013 meeting of the Houston iPhone Developers meetup about iOS 7. This session gave a quick overview of the new iOS 7 SDK features, some tips/tricks on features that are often overlooked, and bugs/compatibility issues. I have some interesting examples of issues that are important for developers trying to build iOS apps that work on both iOS 6 and iOS 7.

You can go to Speaker Deck for extra options, or you can browse through the presentation below:

Client project: Houston Living app now live!

HAR got in touch with us to build a new iOS application to serve Houston citizens. The idea came from a partnership with the city of Houston, and the goal was to build an app that would provide localized information about community events, points of interest and government topics. The Houston Living application is geared towards citizens that want to know what is happening in their neighborhoods.

After several months of work the application is now available on the iTunes App Store, as an universal application for iPhone/iPad.

Update: Houston Mayor Annise Parker held a press conference about the release of the app on October 3rd, and there was some local news coverage as well:

  1. Mayor press conference video on YouTube.
  2. Houston Chronicle coverage about the new iOS application.

Here are some screenshots of this application (I especially like the rotating animation on the iPad version):

Houston Open Data Hackathon: YES Parking app

The City of Houston Open Innovation Hackathon was just this past weekend, and it was actually pretty fun to work on something for a few hours. I joined a team from Alvarez & Marsal, who wanted to build something for the iOS platform on the Hackathon. We were very strapped for time, so we ended up doing a simpler iOS application that we thought would still be useful to the Houston community.

That iOS application is called YES Parking, and the idea was to build a map based app that would help drivers find parking locations within Houston. We built the iOS app to plot parking meters, valet parking zones, special events together with their availability and rate information. We wanted to display parking citation and crime incident data as well, but we ran out of time.

It was tough building something quickly over the 6-7 hours of time that were available, while still wrangling the data formats that were provided as part of the Houston Open Data initiative. I wish there was a public web API of some sort that we could use to get access to this data in a programatic way.

In any case, at the end of the hackathon a working prototype of the YES Parking app was ready for demonstration. Hopefully I can do some polish work on the app and actually release it on the iTunes App Store in the near future.

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