Category Archives: iOS

Could C# be the one language to rule them all?

Being a developer, it is important to continue to learn about new languages as you are being asked to create solutions for multiple platforms.  The reason why we have so many languages is because on a hardware level each CPU uses a different assembly language to run their instructions.  Due to this fact not every language is able to run on every platform.  For this to work you would need to have multiple companies that are able to understand these CPU differences to write compilers for the same language.


For a time, the language Java (which as owned by Sun Microsystems for a time until Oracle purchased the company) was set out to solve this problem.  From 1995 through the mid 2000’s it seemed like Java was supported on almost every computer and device.  That was until the iPhone come along with its first version of iOS in 2007.  It wasn’t unusual that a new device didn’t have support for Java on the initial release but then Apple announced that they will never support languages like Java (

The reason is because their terms of use do not allow developers to create apps that were written from interpreted code.   So that means you are only able to create apps that are written in a low level language like Objective-C which create compiled programs.  This was bad news for developers as there was one more language that we needed to learn.

The folks over at Google decided on using Java (although you can also use C++) to write your mobile apps for their Android operating system.  Meanwhile Microsoft relies on their .NET Framework to create Windows Mobile apps which includes the Visual Basic .NET and C# languages.

By now you see the problem.  If you wanted to write a mobile app for each of these platforms, you would need to learn three different language on three different frameworks.  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone created a new language and would allow programmers to create apps for all of these types of devices?  Well the short answer is no.


The solution to this problem has been solved for us already by the Mono group (  The Mono project was started back in 2004 as an open source project to port the .NET Framework to run on Linux and Mac.  This project was original independent from Microsoft but now it is being included in the latest version of its developer environment: Visual Studio 2015.


This is all possible because of Xamarin ( which takes the ported version of the .NET Framework and uses it build apps that run on both Android and iOS devices.  However it isn’t perfect.  For instance, in order to create iOS apps in Visual Studio 2015 you are going to need to purchase a business account from Xamarin ($89/month) plus have access to a Mac.  This will then create the compiled programs that iOS will allow to run on its devices.

Also the version of the ADK (Android Development Kit) that is included with Visual Studio 2015 isn’t the latest version so you will need to manually go out and download and configure the latest version on your machine before you are able to create Android apps.  At any rate you will be prompted to log into Xamarin.  You can find more information about this here:

Not exactly plug in play, but it is still early days.  Hopefully, future versions of Visual Studio will allow developers access to a more “turn key” solution for creating mobile apps in a single programming language.

Hands On with WatchOS 2 Beta 4

On Tuesday this week, Apple released WatchOS 2 Beta 4. There wasn’t a whole lot that was new; however, there was a hell of a lot that got fixed. As we get closer to the public release of WatchOS 2, iOS 9, and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, there are going to be more and more videos like this, where there isn’t a lot of new features but there are bug fixes to show.

Have a look.

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iOS 9 and El Capitan Public Beta 2 Now Available

Yesterday, Apple released developer beta 4 of iOS 9, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and WatchOS 2. They also released the public beta of Xcode 7. Since that happened yesterday, that means that the second public beta of iOS 9 and Mac OS X 10 is now available.

If you’re already on the first public beta, all you need to do is go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. If not, you can go to Apple’s Appleseed web site and sign up and download a configuration file to your device.

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WatchOS 2 Beta 4 is Now Available to Developers

Today, Apple released its normal round of betas, including iOs 9 Beta 4, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan Beta 4, Xcode 7 Beta 4, and of course, WatchOS 2 Beta 4.

WatchOS 2 Beta 4 is the only one of the above that isn’t available through a public program. You need to have a developer account. Well, or know someone with a developer account.

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iOS 9 Beta 4 Now Available

Today, Apple seeded iOS 9 Beta 4 to developers. If you’re looking for the public beta, it will probably be available tomorrow. This came alongside WatchOS 2 Beta 4, Xcode 7 Beta 4, and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan Beta 4. There is still no sign that the third generation Apple TV will continue to be supported, as there is still no beta and it hasn’t been updated since iOS 8.3.

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Apple Refreshes the iPod Touch with Major Improvements

The iPod Touch is one of the most debated Apple products. Should they refresh it or shouldn’t they? The fifth generation model used an A5 processor, so it’s decision time for Apple.

Well, they hit the refresh button, and there’s some major improvements. I always had that feeling that the rumored 4″ iPhone is really a new iPod Touch. It looks like I was right, unless they still have an iPhone Mini in mind.

The sixth generation iPod Touch uses Apple’s latest A8 processor, which is awesome in itself. The iPhone 6 doesn’t lose performance due to heat issues, so the new iPod Touch will not either. The rear camera went from 5 MP to 8 MP.

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Hands On with the iOS 9 News App

By Rich W Woods

Ever since WWDC, we’ve been hearing so much about News, Apple’s new app that comes preloaded in iOS 9. Apple is very proud of this new app and service. After all, they made a point of saying how there’s a special experience that comes with each preinstalled app. They didn’t make the same huge deal about Find My Friends, which now comes preinstalled in iOS 9.

Have a look at the new News app in iOS 9.

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