Content Creation Game Development Programming

iPad – Programming on the Go

While some folks continue to claim the iPad is a “consumption device” other people are using it for creation. And not just the artsy-fartsy types who use it for cool “finger paintings” but more and more programmers are getting into the act.

Apple still has some rules in place that keep the iPad from being a total portable software studio, but it’s really close now — depending on what kind of programming you’re into.

Game Development

Probably the leading tool for game programmers is Codea ( It uses Lua as the language and includes a graphic framework that allows you to “easily” create games, from simple to complex. All of the games you write have to run right inside Codea — that’s part of the Apple restrictions I mentioned earlier.

However, the guys behind Codea created a “wrapper” that can be used with a Codea-based game and fed into Xcode — and out pops a native app that can be submitted to the App Store. With that addition you can now work on a game on the go (Riding the train to work? On your lunch break?) and when it’s done, convert into a native app.

Web Development

There are a lot of text editors on the iPad that cater to programmers (Textastic and Diet Coda are my two favorites) but there’s a new app available that’s aimed at PHP programmers — and even allows you to run PHP code on your iPad. Offline. You don’t have to be connected to the internet.

That’s an awesome advantage to those of us who have wi-fi iPads and are running from place to place and writing bits of code here and there.

It’s called Kodiak PHP and is brand new on the App Store ( Full disclosure, I was given a pre-release copy to play around with but it was with the understanding that I wouldn’t promote it unless I really liked it.

And I do. It’s a very cool tool for anybody who does PHP programming (or wants to get into it). The editor does syntax highlighting and includes an extra row of buttons along the top so you can get to things like $ and ; without needing to switch keyboard layouts.

It’s only $10 after the launch special, but even if you miss the sale it’s worth the price for the ability to code and execute PHP right on your iPad.

If you’re into web development/programming and find yourself away from your desk with time to kill, Kodiak PHP is a cool tool to have at your fingertips.

Look at one of the examples in the screenshot below — grabs info from a Twitter URL in JSON format, decodes it, and displays it on the screen. In PHP, on your iPad. Just way cool.

Kodiak php screenshot1 480

Product Creation

Upcoming New Product

I’m waiting on review from Apple for a new app I created, it’s called AK Leads and is aimed at salespeople — specifically those who target their products and services at new businesses.

AK Leads – Sales Leads for B2B in Alaska

As soon as the app has been approved I’ll post a link. 🙂

Feature Miscellaneous

Griffin Elan Folio Sucks – Griffin Customer Service Stellar

A couple months ago I bought a Griffin Elan Folio case for my iPad 3 and hated it from about day two. A couple days ago I was fed up with it and sent a “nastygram” to Griffin:

This is the absolute worst case I’ve ever used. And I can’t get my
$50 back so I’m stuck. And I hate Griffin every time I use this case, which
is daily.

Someone should be fired for releasing such a piece of crap. Seriously, fired.

When it’s used in the vertical orientation the iPad is heavy enough that it
slides down — and then the front bottom of the case obscures any buttons
that are down there.

Did nobody test this out before hitting the “Ship It!” button? Or do you just
not care?

If you had made the flap that slides behind the iPad with a rough surface it
*might* work okay, but as it’s slippery (but pretty!) the weight of the iPad
just pushes the flap down and you end up with the crappiest iPad case ever.

Pretty, but non-functional in the vertical orientation.

At this point I doubt I’ll ever buy another Griffin product again — and I’ll
continue posting online that Griffin Elan Folio sucks. People need to be
warned off if you’re going to sell a $50 piece of garbage.

Nice looking, but garbage in use.

Jay Jennings

Yes, it was harsh, but I felt it was fair. Including the part about someone being fired. (My wife thought it was horrible that I would send out such an email — but she’s a girl, so there you go.)

This morning I received such a tremendously professional response from Griffin that I just wanted to share part of it:

Sorry to hear about your poor experience with Elan Folio for iPad 3! We haven’t heard too many reports of this issue, but I’m sorry to hear it isn’t working out for you. I’ll also pass your feedback along to our Quality Assurance and Product Development departments. We appreciate any customer input, and if there is any other feedback you have for us, please let me know.

I’d be happy to replace your Elan Folio, even with a different case, if you’d like. Please send me the following information:

Here is a link to our current cases for iPad 3; just let me know which you would like:

I can then send you a return form via email.

Thank you,

Customer Support
Griffin Technology

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the correct way to respond to someone blasting you via email. I’m seriously impressed that they never sank to the level of my original letter — although I still stand by it and would send the same one again, I love that they ignored my tone and responded to only the factual part of my email.

And to offer me a different case after a couple months? Awesome.

The Griffin Elan Folio (that I have) still stinks and I don’t recommend it for anyone who might want to use their iPad in a vertical orientation.

But as a company that listens to customer gripes Griffin has proven to be superior. Thank you!