Media Markt iPhone App

Posted on 16 August 2010 by Johannes Fahrenkrug. Tags: iPhone Cocoa Programming

I will be on vacation till the 6th of September. Before I go I'd like to share 3 little pieces of news, though. A few days ago, the official Media Markt iPhone app (iTunes link) hit the AppStore. (Update: For some time, I have not been involved with the development of this app anymore.) Media Markt is like the German Best Buy or Fry's. I had the opportunity of developing it. I did not, however, come up with the concept for it. Any praise or criticism for it has to be directed elsewhere :).

Some technical background might be interesting for you. The app uses Three20. It's a great framework, but I'm not sure if I'll use it again. It greatly simplyfies the loading and displaying of remote resources, the persistence of the navigation stack, caching and style. But I've found myself fighting the framework quite frequently when I wanted to do something non-standard. I think I can still say that the benefits outweigh the bad parts, especially for this kind of application. But it does add quite a bit of (source-)bloat which I'm not particularly fond of. Anyway, I don't want to complain, it's a powerful and free framework and thank you to all the developers that have put time, thought and engery into it!

Also, the zooming of the diffenent pages of the ads is done using CATiledLayer. Each page is cut up into tiles on three different zoom levels (25%, 50%, 100%). So the initial pages load rather quickly, and when as you zoom in, the higher resolution tiles are loaded and smoothly displayed. That way you get a fast and smooth zooming experience and only the data is loaded that the user actually is interested in seeing. A much better solution than making the user wait long while an 8MB high-res PDF is being loaded. The cool thing is that I had an opportunity to get THE Apple UIScrollView expert, Eliza Block (of ScrollViewSuite fame), to answer my questions and give me advice at WWDC this year.

The app was released on 12 August and jumped into the top 5 of free apps in the German AppStore within a day, briefly being number 3:

Another app that I've developed and that is available now is the Liebherr Ice Crusher (iTunes Link).
It uses Cocos2D and Box2D for physics simulation. I've created VertexHelper while working on this app. I just did the development, the design and concept are nothing I can take credit for.

The third piece of news is that I was mentioned in the major German newspaper "Die Zeit" in an article about cloud computing security.

That's it! See you in September.


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