Part of our team has recently been working on a version of WorkMobile™ that specifically targets Apple’s iPad. In Apple’s terms, we’ve made WorkMobile™ “Universal”. This means that a single application can be downloaded from the App Store to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad and it will work on any of the platforms. More importantly perhaps, it means that we get to take advantage of the large screen size when we’re running on an iPad.
At the start of the development cycle, I’ll admit that I was somewhat sceptical about the ease, according to the documentation at least, in which iPhone targeted apps could be converted to Universal. The documentation always says it’s easy, but as a developer I know we’ll usually find 101 tiny little annoyances. All of those niggles need to be hunted down and given a stern talking to, and that’s a time consuming process.
After changing the relevant build settings, we set about building our new iPad sized screens and wiring them up to the code behind the scenes that makes things tick. That task in itself was far less laborious than it would have been in days of yore, largely thanks to the (long overdue, but most definitely welcome) ability to wire up the code to your user interface visually in the relatively new and completely re-vamped XCode 4 (the software used to build applications for Apple’s platforms).
After building and wiring up the new screens, the next step was to get our hands dirty with the actual code and inner workings of WorkMobile™ on the iPad, and see if things go horribly wrong when you flip WorkMobile™ sideways, or upside down. This is where I expected all the dreaded niggles to start appearing. In reality, there were relatively few. For the most part we had to just switch on the ability of the application to rotate when the user spins the iPad around, making sure that WorkMobile™ was always the right way up so we can live up to the “There is no right way or wrong way” of Apple’s marketing campaign. It just worked.
Sure we had to make some changes to the actual inner workings of WorkMobile™ for the iPad version, but far, far fewer than expected.
I guess I’m going to have to eat humble pie (or maybe humble apple pie), and admit that my scepticism was misplaced.
Simon (Senior Developer)
WorkMobile™ for iPad hit the App Store on Monday 19th September and should now be available for download.