WWDC – 2016 – Music Played Pre-Sessions

Here is a list of tracks I managed to “Shazam” from WWDC2016 that were played while we waited for the sessions to start. If you have any to add let me know via twitter @flexicoder.

  • Wow – Beck
  • Mother & Father – Broods
  • Gold On The Ceiling – The Black Keys
  • Ready For The Floor – Hot Chip
  • Help Me Run Away – St.Lucia
  • Lets Go Surfing – The Drums
  • Help I’m Alive – Metric
  • Wolf Like Me – TV On The Radio
  • Technicolour Beast – Oh Wonder
  • Flesh Without Blood – Grimes
  • California Sunrise – Dirty Gold
  • Get Some (Remix By Beck)
  • Ophelia – The Lumineers
  • Spirits – The Strumbellas
  • REALiTi (Demo) – Grimes
  • Look it Here – Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats
  • The Underdog – Spoon
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • Below – White Long
  • Clearest Blue – Chvrches
  • Evil Twin – Krum
  • One More Night – Michael Kiwanuka

And obviously don’t forget Good Charlotte

iOS 24 Hour date format

If you are using NSDateFormatter to send dates back to a server be VERY careful.  Specifying a date format string as follows…


and the time for example is currently  09/10/2013  14:00:00, if the user has set their clock to be a 12-hour clock, instead of the default 24-hour clock. You will get a string back of…

2013-10-09T02:00:00 PM

The users preferences overwrite what you are asking for!!

Read the following documentation – https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/cocoa/Conceptual/DataFormatting/Articles/dfDateFormatting10_4.html

The following sample code from that article will always return a 24-hour clock value regardless of user preferences

<br /><br />NSDateFormatter *rfc3339DateFormatter = [[NSDateFormatter alloc] init];<br /><br />NSLocale *enUSPOSIXLocale = [[NSLocale alloc] initWithLocaleIdentifier:@"en_US_POSIX"];<br /><br />[rfc3339DateFormatter setLocale:enUSPOSIXLocale];<br /><br />[rfc3339DateFormatter setDateFormat:@"yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss"];<br /><br />[rfc3339DateFormatter setTimeZone:[NSTimeZone timeZoneForSecondsFromGMT:0]];<br /><br />NSDate *date = [rfc3339DateFormatter dateFromString:rfc3339DateTimeString];<br /><br />

Freelancing – Work Sources

Now that I’ve started thinking more about my life as a freelancer I’ve been looking at where my work comes from and what sort of skills I’m being asked to use. The following is a simple breakdown of that data from Jul 09 to Dec 12. But first a brief bit of history…

I’ve been “properly” iOS freelancing since Jul 09, I started by writing my own apps and supporting this by working for existing customers. Like most app developers I didn’t really earn any money from these. Which prompted me to find iOS work via an Agency in Feb-10, like I say things were desperate and I had bills to pay. That contract ended in Dec 10, I then went back to freelancing but finding work on my own, not via agencies. This has been a really hard process and I’ve had some really good months and a fair few awful ones, especially late 2011 where I didn’t earn anything at all.

My client base has grown and I’m getting regular “quote for this app” sort of requests, sometimes these have come to nothing. In those cases I always make sure I leave with the parting comment that I’m here if they need me and a couple of times they have.  Recently most of my work has since come from either my website, LinkedIn or people recommending me. Just hope the trend carries on!

Contract or Freelance – PROS/CONS

Here are my small nuggets of wisdom regarding contract/freelance (as I see them)

Contracting – PROS

  • It should be relatively easy to find a contract if you have a good skill set, look at jobserve.com or cwjobs.co.uk – the rates do vary quite a bit
  • Once you have a contract its guaranteed income for the length of the contract – so long as you stick to the terms of the contract
  • No problems with getting paid – so long as you get your timesheet signed

Contracting – CONS

  • you have to deal with agents, they are pretty underhanded and will try and squeeze as much information out of you about your current workplace to see if they have an opportunity to sell in a new person (so be careful)
  • They take quite a big cut, the rates advertised are what you would receive but they charge another 15-20% on top to the end client
  • Most of the jobs are in London
  • Most contracts expect you to work onsite

Freelancing – PROS

  • You can work on projects you want to work on (once you have the luxury of enough work)
  • Working from home – I hate travelling into London
  • For me its a more personal approach to development, it feels like “my” work rather than going to an office and working for someone
  • Projects can be quite varied
  • Dealing with clients directly

Freelancing – CONS

  • Finding work – this is really hard
  • Dealing with clients directly
  • Getting paid – once had to wait 6 months for a payment

As you can see the Freelancing PROS/CONS are a lot more personal and I know that for a lot of people maybe not that important. I’ve contracted for about 18 years of my IT career and only freelanced for about 3 years. But I much prefer the freelance approach

You’ll also need to set up a limited company, get VAT registered and sort out PAYE. I use Nixon Williams as my accountant, who are brilliant and can set all of these up for you from the start. I also wrote an app for them that lets you work out what your take home pay would be, give it a try (if you want) iOS  or Android

If you are going to use Nixon Williams, please let me know so that I can refer you 🙂

Any PROS/CONS you think I should add then add to the comments

WWDC 2012 Songs

Here is a list of the songs that I heard in between sessions at the WWDC

  • No You Girls – Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  • Houdini – Foster The People – Houdini - Torches
  • Someone Great – LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great - Sound of Silver
  • 11th Dimension – Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension - 11th Dimension - Single
  • Man On Fire – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Man On Fire - Here
  • My Doorbell – The White Stripes – My Doorbell - Get Behind Me Satan
  • White Sky – Vampire Weekend – White Sky - Contra (Bonus Track Version)
  • Hours – Tycho – Hours - Dive
  • Ships In The Night – Mat Kearney – Ships In the Night - Young Love
  • Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out - Ceremonials
  • Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1 – The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1 - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
  • Lights – Ellie Goulding – Lights - Lights
  • I Got Mine – The Black Keys – I Got Mine - Attack & Release
  • Wavin’ Flag – K’naan – Wavin' Flag - Troubadour
  • Take Back The City – Snow Patrol – Take Back the City - A Hundred Million Suns
  • Mansard Roof – Vampire Weekend – Mansard Roof - Vampire Weekend
  • Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter - Let It Bleed
  • Uncharted – Sara Bareilles – Uncharted - Kaleidoscope Heart
  • You – TV On The Radio – You - Nine Types of Light
  • Read My Mind – The Killers – Read My Mind - Sam's Town
  • This Too Shall Pass – Ok Go – This Too Shall Pass - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
  • Don’t Leave Me – Regina Spektor – Don't Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas) - What We Saw from the Cheap Seats
  • From The Clouds – Jack Johnson – From the Clouds - To the Sea
  • Santa Fe – Beirut – Santa Fe - The Rip Tide
  • Fire – Kasabian – Fire - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (Deluxe Version)
  • Rebellion – Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies) - Funeral
  • Modern Man – Arcade Fire – Modern Man - The Suburbs
  • Jump Around – House of Pain – Jump Around - House of Pain
  • Sweet Dreams – Rec.Pro – Sweet Dreams 2009 (Radio & Video-Edit) - Sweet Dreams 2009
  • Exodus – Bob Marley / The Wailers – Exodus - Bob Marley & The Wailers: Gold

Let me know any that I’ve missed

WWDC 2012 – Post Mortem

As always at the WWDC there is a lot going on and a lot of information to try to digest to make the trip worthwhile. But this year there also appeared to be a lot more attendees than the last 2 times I’ve been, which lead to a lot of queuing! It took a couple of days for Apple to get on top of this, but by the end of the week we were organised into orderly lines.

The sessions, which I can’t talk about as all attendees are under an NDA, were good and new topics covered in enough detail to get you started. I get the feeling that the vast majority of attendees are now purely iOS focused rather than OS X, which means the iOS sessions tend to be packed. This lead to the annoying habit of a lot of people leaving 5 minutes before the current session finished, which seemed really rude, not only to the presenters but to the rest of us trying to actually listen to the last 5 minutes.

I met a few new developers and caught up with some from previous years, which I find really helpful. As I’m a freelancer I tend to work on my own most of the time and having a network of fellow developers to communicate with helps with your sanity.

Special Guest
The end of the week finished with a lunchtime talk by ????????? (sorry NDA), he is an amazing and funny story-teller, I really wished that Apple recorded those sessions as well. Something that struck me during his talk, he used to make super 8 films when he was a kid, and I got the impression that other kids in his school thought of him as weird and geeky and therefore not in the “popular/cool group”. Which reminded me of me when I was a kid, computers were very very geeky back in 1981 and the ZX81, and most other kids thought this a bit “weird”. Now days with everyone using apps on a daily basis, showing there friends these cool apps they are using, doesn’t that make us geeks the cool kids?

What I’ve taken away from this year…

  1. Watch last years videos, make time in my weekly schedule to actually watch the videos, there is a lot of information in them, some of which won’t of changed much this year
  2. Make time to work on my own projects, client work is very important, it pays the bills, but I also need to be creating my own work
  3. Have faith, I love what I do, I need to put that love into what I create
  4. Watch this years videos, when they come out
  5. Start saving for next years!

This year Apple have asked for feedback on the sessions, but I’ve given this general feedback for the conference as a whole…

  1. The sessions tend to be 80% talking and 20% demo, I’m sure we could get a lot more out of them if it was the other way around. Rather showing as a line of code on the slide, telling us what it does, this could be done while creating a demo. Seeing things work is more informative, we can always download the demo code afterwards?
  2. “Lines” seemed to be a real issue this year, spent a lot of time queuing just to get into sessions which left little time to have a break between sessions
  3. WiFi coverage was very bad
  4. This may seem like a silly thing, but it would be great if the WWDC app could have a playlist of the tracks that are played before sessions start. I know a lot of developers (including me) use Shazam to find out the names, that must stretch the WiFi and also kills our data plan

WWDC2012 – How Did My Predictions Score

Before I went to WWDC I came up with the following wish list of improvements/features that were hopefully going to be announced this year…

  1. Ability to run apps on the Apple TV and use your iOS device as a controller, including multiple devices at the same time
  2. Open up Siri to 3rd party apps, although how they work out which app gets to answer the question could be interesting
  3. NFC, this could open up some interesting projects
  4. Allow companies to create internal documentation using iBooks and give them a secure way of distributing those documents to staff
  5. Increase the number of testing devices that can be used
  6. Improved battery life on the iPhone
  7. 4G iPhone, but at the moment I’m not fussed either way, being based in the UK
  8. A nicer gift, like a limited edition iPad (I can dream)
  9. Move away from Google Maps
  10. Ability to use maps offline

So how did I do…

  1. Apps Running on Apple TV, turns out you can already do this, but its by using the Second Screen feature that is in iOS. I just need to think differently – YES (sort of)
  2. Siri to 3rd party apps – YES (I think I remember that from the Keynote?)
  3. NFC – NO
  4. Internal iBook Documents – NO
  5. Increase the number of testing devices – NO
  6. Improved Battery Life – NO
  7. 4G Phone – NO
  8. Nicer gift – NO, I now have a black jacket with a number 12 on it to go with the one that has a number 10 on it
  9. Move away from Google Maps – YES
  10. Offline maps – NO

So thats a grand total of 3/10 and one of those I could of already of done!

WWDC 2012 – Apple TV Apps

I’m lucky enough to be attending the WWDC this year, as it reaches closer to the “day of the long queue” my thoughts are turning to what I hope will be announced at the conference. So here they are in no real order (apart from the first one)

  1. Ability to run apps on the Apple TV and use your iOS device as a controller, including multiple devices at the same time
  2. Open up Siri to 3rd party apps, although how they work out which app gets to answer the question could be interesting
  3. NFC, this could open up some interesting projects
  4. Allow companies to create internal documentation using iBooks and give them a secure way of distributing those documents to staff
  5. Increase the number of testing devices that can be used
  6. Improved battery life on the iPhone
  7. 4G iPhone, but at the moment I’m not fussed either way, being based in the UK
  8. A nicer gift, like a limited edition iPad (I can dream)

I’ll add to the list as I think of things, but its a start, wonder if any of them will come true.


  • Move away from Google Maps, with the ability to use maps offline

Let me know what you hope to see announced?

See what I do

Úll Conference – Review

I’ve just come back from Dublin, Ireland, where I attended the Úll Conference to cover all things iOS related. When the tickets where first released, the conference was advertised as a 3 day affair, starting on Friday 27th April and ending on the Sunday. A friend from Ireland, @realmikebutler, had told me about the conference so I got an early bird ticket as soon as they came up, without knowing any details.

The actual schedule, without talkers, wasn’t released until later and it looked like the conference was in fact only 1.5 days, talks Friday evening, Saturday and a BBQ on Sunday. I’d already booked my flights and hotel, arriving on the Thursday and coming back on the Monday, as I’d expected 3 full days of iOS talks. A couple of talks were later scheduled for the Friday afternoon, so I signed up for Josh Clark (@globalmoxie), TapWorthy talk.

So when the day arrived to head to Dublin I was heading off feeling pretty disappointed, but saw it as an opportunity to meet Mike again so all would not be lost.

I’m pleased to say that once the Friday talks started my disappointment vanished, Josh’s session was fantastic, really got you thinking about how to go about designing apps. Then the evening bash at the Sugar Club, was just inspired, the talk by Horace Dediu (@asymco) was informative and Aral Balkan (@aral) brought amazing humour to the evening, I’ll never forget the toilet videos.

We all agreed by the end of the first day that the conference was worth attending and we still had a day to go!

Conference Schedule

The main talks could not of been better, all of the speakers were enthusiastic about their subjects and gave everyone a lot to think about. A couple really stood out for me, Chris Harris (@_ChrisHarris) gave a demo of the app he created for the BBC, Wonders of the Universe. During a break he also showed me how he had created all of the graphical content using the iPad itself, using the power of the device to the max. The other talk was by Jim Dalrymple (@jdalrymple), writer of the blog The Loop, it was interesting to hear the app marketing nightmare from the other side of the fence.

There was also plenty of time to talk to fellow attendees, and as a freelancer this was as important as the talks themselves. You realise that you are part of a community, that there are others out there trying to do the same as you, with the same doubts and uncertainty, and that really does help. The BBQ on the Sunday just kept that feeling of community going, what a great idea.

I’m now ashamed of my initial disappointment, as the old saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”. The conference was one of the best I’ve ever attended both speakers and fellow attendees. The organisers, Paul Campbell (@paulca) and Dermot Daly (@dermdaly), did an amazing job and deserve a big THANK YOU.

I can’t wait for next years conference, I just hope they don’t sell out as quickly as WWDC

Worthing Digital – Local Tech Community

If you are local to the Worthing/Sussex area, please check out the new Worthing Digital group, they’ve arranged a number of good talks and also started up a co-working event.

If you have any ideas on helping the community grow you can also post comments on the forum

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