— Cognitive Neuroscience

The 8 Hour App…

The 8 Hour App…

On weekends my girlfriend and I (and sometimes others who join) have been attempting to set aside a block of time (ca. 3 hours) where we play around with some sort of coding project unrelated to our work/research.

This Saturday my idea was to combine a couple of things I wanted to do/learn into a single project. Those things were:

1. Can I quickly/easily (relatively) build an iOS app?
2. Is there something fun I can do with the MTA lost and found xml data that I found last week?

For [1] I wanted to build from start to finish – i.e. uploading a completed app to the app store. And for [2] I decided that I would like to specifically use the lost umbrella data to pull into the app and display.

I managed to do both, though it is now almost 6am – the three hours stretched into more like 8 or so.

A brief run through of those 8 hours…

  • Nice, here’s a website with a guide to making an app with no experience. First on the checklist, get XCode. Well, I already have it, so that was easy. Step 2, “Know Swift”. That’s literally what it said. Step 2: Know Swift.
  • Here’s what looks like a pretty interesting course on Swift taught by a Stanford prof on YouTube.
  • Wait, am I really going to learn Swift right now?
  • I feel like I remember that you can make apps in Unity and then more or less package/export them automatically for iOS
  • Okay, yes, it seems like you can more or less do that
  • Now to figure out how to read JSON files from the web into Unity
  • Okay found a decent tutorial, working through this
  • Ah. This is not a JSON file, it is XML
  • Undo the code I had been writing (You script in C# for Unity)
  • How do you access a specific single element in an XML file?? (googling, googling)
  • Cobble something together
  • Okay, seems unlikely that it will work but lets test
  • Wow, it worked. That was surprising.
  • Okay, mess around with trying to make it look a bit nicer. This led me to the Monoid font, which I like
  • Alright, figure out how to build from Unity (it creates files which you then open in XCode)
  • Ugh, XCode needs a 6GB update as I have iOS 12.1 on my phone
  • Okay build works, it is on my phone and functioning!
  • Okay now to upload to the app store
  • So many headaches…
    • wrong Bundle Identifier
    • need to update XCode with my developer ID
    • need to create App on Itunes Connect
    • need to provide a screenshot (wrong resolution, wrong resolution, alpha channel error, need an iPad version as well…etc…)
    • need to fill out a bunch of text fields, including checking off a laundry list of items that they use for providing a rating for your app (re: pornography, violence, etc.)
    • Read that if I use a https call that I have to provide an annual report to the US government???!
    • Try to submit. Failed. Need a Privacy Policy. Go to auto Privacy Policy generator…
    • Try to submit. Failed. Need a Support web page. Make a very minimal one.
    • Finally approved
  • Submitted and waiting for approval…I’ll add a link when it goes live.

UPDATE: Rejected from the app store.

I was told there was not enough functionality.