iPhone Developer News RSS Feed

With all the bustle associated with the last week of classes, I didn’t get around to mentioning this until now. I wanted to point out that Apple recently made their iPhone Developer News and Announcements site available via RSS. This site contains information on a wide range of topics including tips on submitting apps to the App Store, current turnaround time for app review, program updates, development and testing techniques, and much more.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed at:


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Lecture 28 — iPhone Web Development

iPhone Web Development

iPhone Web Development

Lecture 27 — App Performance

App Performance

App Performance

Capturing Screenshots

Since you have to submit screenshots as part of your Mock App Store Submission, I thought I’d take a moment to detail some techniques for doing so.

iPhone Simulator

If you’re on the iPhone Simulator, the easiest way to take a screenshot of just the screen is to hold down Control and select “Copy Screen” from the “Edit” menu. This can also be accessed by pressing Control-Command-C.

Copy Screen

Copy Screen

Then, the easiest way to create an image from the clipboard is to open the Preview app (can launch via spotlight) and select “New from Clipboard”.

New from Clipboard

New from Clipboard

Then you can simply save the image as a PNG.

iPhone Device

There are 2 easy ways to get screen captures from an iPhone OS device — through Xcode or using the iPhone’s built in screen capture utility. I prefer using Xcode as it takes a lossless PNG images, whereas the device seems to capture lossy JPG images.

To capture using Xcode, plug in your device and bring up the Organizer by selecting “Organizer” from the “Window” menu.

Opening the Organizer

Opening the Organizer

Once open, select your iPhone OS device and then select the “Screenhots” tab. To capture a screenshot, simply press the “Capture” button and the most recent screenshot taken will be displayed in the right panel and all screenshots will appear in the left panel. Though not obvious, you can easily save any image on the left by simply dragging it out of Xcode’s Organizer into a Finder window.

Screen Capture using Organizer

Screen Capture using Organizer

To capture using the iPhone’s built in screen capture utility simply hold the home button and press the sleep/wake button. You should see an on-screen flash when a capture is taken. The screenshot will then appear in an album in your Photos app, which you can then email or sync off of the device.

Final Project — Presentation & Demonstration

Due Date (for Slide Submission)

Wednesday, December 16th — 11:59pm


Final project presentations and live demonstrations will occur during the time allotted for the final exam (Thursday, December 17th 6–8pm). Each group will be scheduled a 4 minute chunk of time for their presentation and demonstration. This 4 minute time limit will be strictly enforced. The specific order of presenters will be determined next class.

Your presentation should consist of a minute or so of slides which present an introduction to your application, followed by an actual live demonstration of your app.

Your slides must be in PDF format and should contain the following content…

  • Title slide — consisting of app icon, app name and team member names
  • App Description slide — a one slide overview of your application
  • Frameworks and Libraries slide — a one slide that lists frameworks or libraries used by the app and mentions what they were used for
  • Backup Demo Slides — in the event that something fails during your live demo, you should have screen captures that are capable of being used as backup

Your demonstration should highlight the key features of your application. You are strongly encouraged to rehearse your demonstration ahead of time.

Demo Information

I will be building and installing all apps into the iPhone Simulator on my laptop for the demonstration. To ensure a smooth demo, I recommend the following…

  • When testing your app, I would strongly suggest that you remove your app from the simulator and try a fresh install before submitting to avoid any issues caused by (lack of) residual artifacts.
  • Perform a dry run on the demo hardware — I will be holding special office hours Tuesday, December 15th 5:30–7:00pm where you can stop by and do a dry run on the actual machine that will be used for the demos.

If your app requires features that are not supported on the simulator (such as camera, accelerometer, etc.) email me as soon as possible so we can make the necessary accommodations.


To submit your slides, open up a terminal, navigate to the directory containing your slides then issue the command:

submit cs491i final-slides slides.pdf

Final Project — Mock App Store Submission

Due Date

Tuesday, December 15th — 11:59pm


If you were publishing an application on the App Store, you would need to provide information about your app for submission. To simulate that experience, you will prepare a “mock App Store” submission.

For this write up I’ve provided a zip file which you must use as a template for writing up the details of your app. This zipfile includes an HTML file that when viewed in a web browser displays a page similar to that on the App Store.

Specifically you must edit the following in index.html:

  • Copy your app’s icon (a 57x57px PNG file) into the directory and update the app icon’s image tag to show your icon. Note, you needn’t try to apply Apple’s rounding, beveling, or highlighting — I have a script that will generate the rounded version as seen in the simulator, including honoring the “Icon already includes gloss and bevel effects” flag.
  • Update the HTML to include your app’s name.
  • Update the HTML to include your name(s).
  • Update the Apple Frameworks Used list to include all frameworks imported by your app.
  • Update the Third Party Libraries Used list to include all libraries used by your app. If you aren’t using any third party libraries or classes, you may remove this section.
  • Replace the sample description text with your own app’s description. Do not use any special HTML or emoji within the paragraphs. If your app requires features found on certain devices (i.e. a camera) state so in the description. Do not include testimonials or reviews like you may see in some descriptions.
  • Include up to 5 screenshots (must be 320x480px or 480x320px PNGs) and captions from your app.

All “Mock App Store” submissions will be aggregated and posted on the course blog prior to the final presentations.

To get a feel for the content provided in app descriptions, I encourage you to take a look at apps that are on the store. Some of the more popular apps that I feel have pretty good descriptions are included below:


Once you’ve made the changes to the provided HTML file and swapped out the sample icon and images with your own package it up by zipping up the entire directory.

To submit your mock app store submission, open up a terminal, navigate to your zip file then issue the command:

submit cs491i final-appstore appstore.zip

Final Project — Source Code Submission

Due Date

Monday, December 14th — 11:59pm

Grading Criteria

Grading criteria for the final project will be based on the criteria from the week-long assignments…

  • Correctness of application
  • Appearance of application
  • Adherence to Objective-C and iPhone coding conventions
  • Neatly formatted and indented code
  • Well documented header files
  • Absence of significant performance issues
  • Absence of memory leaks

…as well as…

  • Scope — Is the app sufficiently complex? Does it deliver what was proposed?
  • Polish — How polished is the app? Does it have a launch screen image? Does it have an app icon? Is the app appropriately named? Is the user experience well thought out?
  • Interesting, novelty and uniqueness — Is the app interesting, or is it just a remake of an already existing app? What’s the overall coolness factor?
  • Required Elements — Does it contain multiple views? Does it persist some form of data?
  • Suggested Elements — Does it contain sound effects? Does it contain animation?


Like all of the week-long projects this semester, you will need to submit your source code and necessary resources for grading. You should remove your build directory and zip up the directory containing your Xcode project.

To submit your final project source code, open up a terminal, navigate to your zip file then issue the command:

submit cs491i final-code project.zip