Eric Schweitzer

Eric started working with computers in the early Pliocene. He took several programming classes while working towards his PhD in Physical Chemistry at MIT, learning the hot, new language -- PASCAL. After doing some programming in FORTRAN early in his career, he moved into technical product marketing in the telecommunications industry. Eric still managed to use version 1.0 of Microsoft Word (Mac only!) on the original Macintosh computer and saw the famous Macintosh 1984 Superbowl commercial. He recently got back into programming and is now focussing iOS with several apps on the iTunes App Store and many more released as enterprise apps.

The Challenge of Flat Design

Apple iPhone iOS 7
Like just about every iOS developer, I’ve starting working on updating apps to be consistent with Apple’s latest Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). All previous versions of the HIG strongly recommended skeuomorphic design elements. The latest strongly encourages flat design and strongly discourages skeuomorphism. The reason for encouraging skeuomorphic design was to make the use of an unfamiliar device – a handheld computer with a phone or a tablet computer – more obvious by mimicking devices users would be familiar with.… continue…

Apple’s Perils of Innovation

Posted In iOS, Living in Tech
As expected, Apple recently announced two new iPhones — the lower cost iPhone 5C and a follow-on to the iPhone 5 named the iPhone 5S. In a previous entry, I said that the new iPhone would not be named the iPhone 5S. I was wrong. The iPhone 5S does make sense in that the iPhone 3GS followed the iPhone 3G, and iPhone 4S followed the iPhone 4. But I didn’t think Apple would use the “S” suffix this time, since… continue…

Cable TV Keeps Losing Ground to New Alternatives

Posted In Living in Tech
As I worked in the video delivery industry for 15 years and spent nearly two of them at Comcast, three recent news items caught my attention. First, was the introduction of Google’s Chromecast. This was followed by Comcast announcing outstanding quarterly results. Finally, Time Warner Cable could not come to an agreement with CBS over broadcast fees. So, TWC dropped CBS from their channel line up. These three items define the past, present, and future of the video delivery industry… continue…

iOS Notifications: UILocalNotifications and Remote Notifications

Posted In iOS, Working in Tech
My last post discussed NSNotificationCenter and Notification Center. I’ll now continue with UILocalNotification and Remote Notifications. UILocalNotification A UILocalNotification is set within an iOS app to trigger at a specific time. During setup, you can specify that an “Open” button be present on the alert presented to the user. When the UILocalNotification is set up, iOS adds an entry to Notification Center for the app. This entry allows the user to change if a notification message should be displayed, how… continue…

iOS Notifications: Introduction and NSNotificationCenter

iOS notifications thumbnail
I have found that the different types of notifications in iOS and how these notifications relate to Notification Center, are a source of great confusion. Recently, I gave a talk at MobiDev Philly on the subject. This, and my next blog post, summarize the talk. This post gives an overview and goes into a bit of detail on NSNotificationCenter and Notification Center. Part Two will address UILocalNotification and Remote Notifications. Apple provides three different types of notifications in iOS: NSNotificationCenter,… continue…

Programming Lessons from Online Screening Software

Posted In Looking in Tech
What to click?!
Some time ago, I applied for a position at a major university. As is typical, part of the online application was a questionnaire. One question turned out to be a minefield. On the surface, the question was simple: Do you have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science? A Bachelor’s in Computer Science was listed as a requirement in the job description, but like many of us I came to programming via an indirect route. I know several individuals that… continue…

Think Different: What a New iPhone Needs to Be

Posted In iOS, Working in Tech
Apple Thumb
As has become typical, numerous rumors are circulating about a new Apple iPhone and a new version of iOS, which isn’t surprising since June and the World Wide Developer Conference are looming. Since speculating about Apple’s plans has become a popular sport — even if Tim Cook says nothing new’s going to hit the stores until fall — I’d like to join the fun. The consensus seems to be that an iOS 7 release will coincide with the launch of… continue…

QA Lessons From iOS 6.1.2

iOS 6
Shortly after the release of Apple’s iOS 6.1, reports appeared about issues with iOS Mail and Microsoft Exchange mail servers. They said iOS devices were generating excessive interactions with the server, resulting in huge log files, and there was talk of reduced battery life on the iOS device. In February, Apple released iOS 6.1.2 to address the issue. It turned out the excess Exchange activity only occurred after the user accepted an exception to a recurring calendar event. It seems… continue…