cairngorm on the ipod touch

Thu, Apr 30, 2009

I took delivery of an iPod Touch recently, paid my dues to Apple and downloaded the iPhone/iPod SDK. Then I went over to The Pragmatic Bookshelf and got a few screencasts of Objective-C, Xcode and iPhone development. By the end of the day I’d learnt Objective-C and knocked up i-aws:

Cairngorm AWS on the iPod Touch

Objective-C is a bizarre and rather archaic set of object oriented extensions to C. Its XML handling is rudimentary, being confined to SAX and the iPhone OS has no garbage collection so you have to manage memory yourself. There are libraries you can add to make it all easier but I wanted to keep the application as simple as possible for release and distribution.

It took another day to grapple with developer certificates, provisioning profiles for the device and distribution profiles, all managed in your iPhone Portal account. You create them online and download to Xcode and the device.

First step was complete on the first day, running the app in the iPhone simulator that comes with the SDK. Next step was tricky, installing it on the iPod Touch itself. For that, you need a developer certificate and development provisioning profile. Last step was even more tricky. Creating a new distribution profile and distribution certificate and getting Xcode to use them to build an App Store enabled application.

I’ve now uploaded the app to the store and its currently “In Review”, which going by accounts on the ‘net, can takes weeks and that includes bug fix updates. That’s not acceptable for software development so for developing for $WORK an in house distribution method would have to be used. Apple have a secret review process and you have no idea when your app will become available. We shall see.

But hey, a new tool in the lingo-box and I have the app installed on my device using the release provisioning profile which only works for that specific device as it’s linked to the UUID of the iPod.

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