Tag Archives: core data

Building an iOS app around the Unsplash API

Unsplash API

I enjoy discovering new APIs to experiment with.  In this case I came across Unsplash which is a source of high resolution images which are free to use.  The developer API is well documented and it is a simple process to register an app to obtain an API key.

To skip ahead and see what I built using this API, see my Unsplash demo app on GitHub.

An opportunity to build an iOS app

An Image API service provides a nice basis for building an iOS app.   It lends itself to working with table views, collection views, storage and many other iOS features.  The following screenshots show what I was able to achieve.

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Sectioned table example with videos and articles

Sectioned Tables

I wanted to write-up the result of a code challenge that I completed a while ago.   I was asked to create a tabbed iOS app with sectioned tables, pulling video thumbnails and article titles into different sections.    Clicking on a thumbnail or article title would display the corresponding video or article in a separate view.    Adding to the challenge, I was asked to provide bookmarking capability for the videos and articles.  The bookmarked content would be visible in a second tab.

SectionedTable

Challenge Details and GitHub app

The full details of the challenge and resulting project can be found at:

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Exploring the Contactually API

Contactually Overview

As a software professional I am interested in maintaining good relationships with my connections.    While I never thought to use a CRM for such a purpose, that just might change after coming across Contactually.

contactually-logo

 

Contactually allows you to collect and merge contact information from various sources including e-mail, calendars and social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter).   Contactually can help you with automatic reminders to follow-up with your connections, but that is just a small part of what the platform offers.  Some of the key features are centered around Buckets, Templates, Programs and Pipelines.

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The development of Contacts2Web

Introduction

contacts2web_512Part of the online course that I took from Stanford on iPhone app development involved choosing a final project. My top-level criteria for choosing a project included:

  • Incorporate several different iOS technologies.
  • Make use of an external web service and API.
  • Interaction with an external web site.

What I eventually settled on was a concept for allowing a user to view and edit their iPhone Address Book contacts both within an app as well as in a full web browser.

This functionality is already available as a service now at iCloud.com. My plan was to start with this capability and over time begin to add new functionality (social sharing, etc).

The Contacts2Web app is now available in the App Store.  In this document, I will cover some of the details that went into developing the app.

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Core Data issues with memory allocation

I’m using Core Data in an application that I am developing that uses the Address Book.   I created some test data and started writing some code that imported this information into Core Data.    Curious about the memory usage of this import, I used the Allocations Instrument for analysis and thus began a long process where I believe I may have uncovered several bugs related to Core Data memory management.

What prompted the analysis?

I have seen references indicating that your app risks being shut down for memory usage when you use more than 20 MB of RAM.   A couple interesting articles include:

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