Have been meaning to upgrade to an iPhone 4 before releasing the Picklets app so I can test on a device with the retina display. It only occurred to me last weekend that I could just buy a current gen iPod touch and satisfy that requirement. So on Monday I did and the display is amazing. Updated the launch image/grid view wallpaper for the doubled resolution.

Now testing on three iOS devices. (see Platform fragmentation)

It’s a shame the workflow is set up for 320×480 at the moment – the resulting picklets look strangely fuzzy with pixel doubling on the retina display. That’s my first order of business once the app is submitted to the iTunes reviewers, which will happen this week!

Decided not to distribute a picklet pre-installed with the app. Forces a new user to experience navigating to the store and downloading content. I figure if that’s too challenging for a user, they’re not a potential customer anyway. I think the process is sufficiently similar to installation of apps that it should be familiar.

Settled on the tag line ‘bite-sized digital popup books’. Sets an expectation of short-form content, which is what feels right to me. Not sure what ‘short’ means precisely, but using the builder app in the last few days it’s starting to get awkward making something longer than about 12 panels. So, need to fix those tools.

Including a call to action in the ‘About’ tab in the app, appealing to ‘digital media storytellers’ to follow me (@PickletReader) on twitter. Did some fiddling in the UIWebView to open links from the embedded in either Safari or the Twitter app, if its installed, and alert with a helpful warning if it’s not.

Spent some time in the Instruments tools checking for memory leaks in the app. I may have fixed a few things, but in the end got a bit frustrated with not understanding what was causing the indicated leaks, and gave up without fixing all the reported issues. Will need to address this at some point, post version 1 release.

Added the first bit of API for the picklet javascript framework to communicate with the Picklets app. Something I’ve had in mind but not implemented in any form. Essentially it means in the picklet javascript code I call something like this;

window.location = 'picklet://navbar?show=false';

and the Picklets app will hide the navigation bar.

Changed too the way the PickletExport.jsx script handles saving PNG images. Now using;

pngSaveOptions = new ExportOptionsSaveForWeb();
// [...]
docRef.exportDocument(saveFile, ExportType.SAVEFORWEB, pngSaveOptions);

Which still exports 24-bit PNG with alpha, but equivalent to the ‘Save for Web’ output which produces lossless compressed PNG files.

The other aha moment I had at the end of the week was to do with the left-to-right slider movement used for animation and page turn on picklets. It was originally meant to reference the ‘slide to unlock’ gesture, but it started to feel like I was repeatedly unlocking the device, rather than turning pages. Realized that the page turn gesture actually goes right-to-left, so spent a couple of hours making it work that way. Didn’t want to make the call on it without spending some time with it. Turns out I think it’s much better.

I’ve rewritten the introductory ‘What’s a Picklet?’ picklet, and will submit the app to iTunesConnect as soon as I have that picklet online. So the reviewers have something to look at. Should be Monday or Tuesday.

 

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