Wednesday, July 7, 2010

iPhone AdHoc Provisioning Tip

Has anyone experienced problems with AdHoc provisioning on iPhone SDK 4?
I had a problem that took me while to overcome. Each time I dragged my app into iTunes I got a message saying:
"A provisioning profile named embedded.mobileprovision already exists on this computer. Do you want to replace it?"
I had a perfectly working setup to create AdHoc distributions of iPhone apps. What has changed?
The only difference was that I created a new Target within the same project. Luckily, I had one target that still worked as AdHoc built. I could boil it down to a missing property in info.plist of the new target.
Adding LSRequiresIPhoneOS and setting it to true did the trick.
If you have a similar problem please check out also this blog entry.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our thoughts on the iPad for business published in The Age

The iPad is not just a development device to us here at jTribe. We use it in all aspects of our business as well. Recently we were interviewed for an article on how the iPad is being used for business. This has recently be published in The Age Small Business Section here - iPad for small business: hot or not?

"... Daniel Bradby, director of jTribe, which creates applications for iPads and iPhones, relies on it as an essential business tool. “We make presentations to clients on an iPad; it's great for showing our multimedia capabilities and screen shots of applications we've developed. It's a relaxed and informal way of presenting. It's a really collaborative device and clients can also use the screen.”

Bradby says the collaborative nature of the iPad also means it's useful when his team develops presentations. “It's great because two people can touch the screen at the same time. It really is a shared control device, and it doesn't have the formality of the mouse and keyboard.”

Bradby and his team use the iPad to undertake research when developing client presentations and also during client meetings. “You can Google something then and there and move on, rather than having to wait until after the meeting to find out a piece of information.”

The key application Bradby uses is Apple's iWorks suite, which includes the Pages word processing program, the Numbers spreadsheet tool and Keynote presentation software. He also consumes content such as newspapers on the iPad.

Although he's an advocate for the iPad Bradby recognises it has potential for improvement. “You can view your calendar but you can't create a meeting invitation from the iPad,” he says."

Just to clarify the last piece about calendars on the iPad. Yes you can create invites on the iPad, but you cannot currently open calendar invites from emails, or add invitees for events created on shared calendars. However I know Apple is listening and will have it fixed shortly ... please?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

jTribe looking at China markets

jTribe will be part of Games Mission to Shanghai.

We are looking forward to create great contacts in the Chinese Gaming community.

We will demonstrate some of our new games at the expo and Patrick Dockhorn will be available to meetings at the expo.

As our Touch Board games is quite a success in China we hope of following up with some more games soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Different behaviour in iOS4 for NSError and NSURLConnection

After running some of our apps now on iOS4 we were surprised that there were much more crashes. This little code section is what caused the crashes:

NSURLRequest *request=[NSURLRequest requestWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:requestStr]
NSURLResponse *response;
NSError *error;
NSData *responseData = [NSURLConnection sendSynchronousRequest:request returningResponse:&response error:&error];
if(error) {
NSLog(@"error: %@", [error localizedDescription]);

After hours of debugging we could narrow it down to the line of code that initialises the NSError. Setting it to nil did remove the crash. So make sure your code looks like this:

NSError *error = nil;

We are currently investigating more issues we have with code that ran perfectly fine in 3.x and now starts crashing with iOS4. The above line fixed approximately 80% of our problems.

Good luck making your apps ready for iOS4.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Interviewed by Computer World about iPhone 4.0 and Augmented Reality

iPhone 4.0 is coming in June and we can see already that the possibilities for augmented reality on the platform are going to be taken to the next level. Computer World magazine recently interviewed us about iPhone 4.0 and we provided careful (within the NDA) insight into what we can expect come June.

Bradby said Apple’s updated application programming interface (API) could allow location-based applications like Wikitude to create a physical environment in addition to overlaying information.

“What you can't currently do is marker-based augmented reality, where you hold up a picture frame and [it] recognises that picture frame and places an object on it.

“Unless you move that picture frame around, the object will stick to the picture frame, and what we're looking [for] is whether the API that Apple has opened up actually supports that type of augmented reality or at least a richer experience [of it].”

While the most obvious improvement in iPhone 4.0 will be allowing apps to be run in the background, we feel the improvements to the augmented reality experience are over looked and would spur innovation.

You can see the whole article here - iPhone OS 4.0 improvements to augment developer opportunities

Thursday, May 13, 2010

iPhone Development Training at OpenHub

The three day Melbourne intensive workshop at the OpenHub, May 21 -23, from 10am-6pm covers the fundamentals and advanced feature of iPhone development, enough material that you should be able to develop your own iPhone application and upload it to the AppStore. The workshop is limited in size and features hands on exercises under the supervision of the instructor and teaching assistants.
Paris Butterfield-Addison & Jonathon Manning, Secret Lab co-founder
Paris Butterfield-Addison is a founding partner and producer at Secret Lab, an innovative Hobart-based Mac, Windows, and iPhone game and application development studio. Paris holds First Class Honours degrees in Computer Science. Throughout the past 5 years, Paris has held multiple Apple-funded scholarships through the Apple University Consortium. A frequent speaker and trainer, Paris speaks at the foremost Apple evelopment conference in Australia, /dev/world, on a yearly basis and has presented training on topics ranging from REALbasic, to iPhoneDevelopment to 3D Game Development for audiences ranging from high-school to senior citizens to corporate executives.
More recently, Paris, together with business partner Jon Manning, has been engaged to write the book "iPhone Game Development for Dummies" together with Neal Goldstein (the successful author of "iPhone Application Development for Dummies"), to be published by Wiley in January 2010. Paris is an expert developer turned educator and producer, and is particularly fond of the Cocoa and iPhone platforms. He is also currently mid-way through obtaining a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction, with a focus on the use of iPhones.
Jon Manning has been freelancing since high school, and in 2005 came to Objective-C development. Jon's company, Secret Lab, was one of the first developers on the App Store, with their release of Culture, a puzzle-strategy game that was released on the first day of the store's launch.In addition to development work, Jon is a PhD student at the University of Tasmania, where he researches location-aware mobile social software. Jon has run several Apple development courses, and has presented at the Apple University Consortium's developer conference for two years running. Jon specializes in mobile application development and in the design of intuitive, enjoyable user experiences.
To reserve a seat go to:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

jTribe on Melbourne Mobile Monday panel in May

Daniel Bradby and Armin Kroll from jTribe are pleased to be on this month's Mobile Monday panel. They are discussing all things iPhone and iPad.

They have heaps of interesting stories to share about what it takes to development high quality apps and some of the traps, pitfalls and rewards of developing iPhone/iPad apps.

Their presentation will have some case studies and some things you may not know about the jTribe team.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Split Reader - GOOGLE RSS Reader for iPad

Read your RSS feeds on your iPad.

Another iPad app by jTribe. This app is called Split Reader and it allows you to read RSS feeds from your GOOGLE Reader account on your iPad.

Split Reader allow you to navigate through your feeds faster than ever and it uses the stylish new user interface elements available on the iPad to make it a breeze.

Feature of Split Reader:

  • Rotate to landscape and see a list of your unread feeds.
  • Tap a feed in the list to display the unread items in the detail view.
  • Rotate to portrait to only display the unread items
  • Switch between feeds using the Subscriptions popup in portrait mode
  • Mark items as read by tapping or scrolling past them
  • Tap links to follow through to further web content without leaving the app

Friday, April 23, 2010

SmartCompany writes about the iPad and jTribe's thoughts

We at jTribe could not wait until Apple releases the iPad in Australia. We did buy the smallest iPad model with 16GB/Wifi for AUD $950 on eBay and could hold it in our hands pretty much one week after the official iPad launch.
Finally, we could test the iPad apps Touch Boards and Split Reader we developed.
One thing we did not really expect was that many of our clients asked us to demonstrate the iPad to them. Compared to when the iPhone came out the demand and interest in the iPad seems to be huge.
We met several of Melbourne's larger Ad Agencies and some of our clients and talked about the pros and cons of the iPad. was another company we showed the iPad and Amanda Gome, founder and publisher of Smartcompany, wrote up an article based on our meeting.
Here is a snipped from the article:
"This morning I held the iPad for the first time. It was not the romantic moment I had hoped for. It felt heavier than I expected and a little smaller. But then I turned it on and after it flipped every which way, I found myself staring at SmartCompany.
It looked so slick! We filled the whole screen, the colours were bright - it looked like SmartCompany in glossy magazine format without the printing costs. In fact, it looked so great, my editor immediately queried why we would develop an iPad app. Suddenly the new phrase 'iPad friendly' that I have been seeing around the traps made sense."

We also love one of the comments that was left by "Amra, April 20, 2010". Here is a snippet of the spot-on comment:
"...I have a MacBook pro. In 6 days of having my iPad, I have rarely used it - normally it's in constant use - web browsing, email checking and replying is all done via the iPad. Magazines and newspapers ( either app or web) are all on the iPad and can be read anywhere. I have downloaded books and having them with me they get read.

I have done 12 hours of presenting to professionals, all on Keynote (but all PowerPoint slides that simply converted). I have also put together a 20 page keynote on the iPad in about 40 minutes!!

With the citric app, I have full access to my desktop which is huge and with apps like good reader (connected to drop box), I can read all my work related files and work on them.

The keyboard weakness is overstated. A wee bit of practice and it's fine and certainly hugely better than an iPhone - which many have been using for business tasks for a while now. The keyboard comment actually sounded like the sort of lame comment I would expert from a blackberry user who was 50+ and was weak with technology.

You can use the iPad for 80% of what most people use a laptop for. It's more portable, easier to use and the battery lasts forever (easily 10 hours in constant use).

For those of whose who travel it will be our business, communications and entertainment device. For heavy business use, it has limitations but in reality, it's not that limited.

I typed this on my iPad.

It's bloody brilliant.
Yeah, Amra, we can't agree more. It's bloody brilliant!

Friday, April 16, 2010

jTribe awarded prize for iPhone app for parks

jTribe has been awarded a prize at he WORLD PARKS APP COMPETITION 2010.

Our competition entry is an iPhone application that uses our content delivery platform in the context of parks.

We are very pleased and thank the World Parks App Competition panel.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

iPad Board Games Fun for Friends and Family

Touch Boards - A Classic Board Game Collection for two Players
jTribe and Conduct proudly present "Touch Boards". Our teams have joined forces to build an app that we want to have on our own iPad.

We love the traditional game box that we play at home with family and friends,

it contains classic games like Chess, Checkers or Go. We have put these boards on the iPad. We believe that Touch Boards also demonstrates some of the the possibilities of Apples incredible iPad device that will change the way we use computers.

So what is Touch Boards?
Touch Boards is a collection of classic board games for two players. Now you can take your classic box of board games with you on the road, to the park, or play it at home with family and friends. No lost pieces. No mess after the car has hit a pot whole.
We think that Touch Boards is a stylish replacement of the traditional game box.

What's in the App?
Touch Boards comes with a FREE Checkers board and pieces.

A Chess and GO board and pieces can be purchased directly from within the app. The realistic boards and pieces will make the game experience as real as possible. Touch, slide, make moves.

A manual that describes the rules for each board games is included and is presented in a popover window when it's needed.

Grab a Friend and Play a Game!
Yes, you need a second person to play. No playing against the computer here! We wanted to be as much a real board game box as it could be and you can't play against your "real" Checkers board - can you?

We believe that Touch Boards will bring people together in the same way a classic game of chess or go does. As much as the iPhone and Laptop prevents real human interaction we think the iPad will be a device that encourages human interaction. Grab a friend a play a game!

Enjoy and Spread the iPad Fun
We hope you will love Touch Boards as much as we do. As long as you don't expect some single player functionality or any AI you will be happy with Touch Boards.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our thoughts on Augmented Reality published in NETT Magazine

The March edition of NETT Magazine is out and this month contains a feature on Augmented Reality. We were interviewed for the feature to provide our thoughts as iPhone and Android developers.

Digging beneath the (shiny) surface

Daniel Bradby is co-founder of jTribe (, a mobile apps development company for iPhone and Android. He is also excited about the prospects of augmented reality.

"We've been looking at bringing static, physical geo-located information to life with augmented reality, such as animating a billboard, " he says. "Obviously , you can add things like a game or a giveaway, to get the user to engage in the product or brand itself, as opposed to a static piece of advertising that they just take in."

He believes there are many interesting applications beyond marketing, though many of these fall into specific niches.

"I work with architects and urban planners and the Victorian Government is interested in getting their geographic system information onto the phone," he says. "You could provide good information for architects and planners, to augment what they're looking at with planning information on top, such as zoning or heritage listing of a property."

However, Apple's restrictions on augmented reality applications on the iPhone are holding the technology back.

"The iPhone platform's way of offering augmented reality is allowing you to overlay animation over the current video source," he explains. "You can't process that video that's coming in and saying 'I recognise that shape and I'm going to overlay information on that'."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seminar: iPhone Apps for Business - How They Will Impact Your Organisation

First with the iPhone, and now the iPad. The hype around these devices in the media is almost deafening. To help block out the noise and focus on assist organisations to provide real business value on the iPhone, next month, on Tuesday 2nd March, we are running a half day seminar here in Melbourne: iPhone Apps for Business - How They Will Impact Your Organisation. The seminar is for business owners and marketing managers who keep hearing about the potential of the iPhone but are unsure of how it might be applied to their business.

Please follow the link to our iPhone Apps for Business Seminar and register soon as places will fill quickly!

Seminar Presenters: Daniel Bradby & Armin Kroll

Daniel and Armin from jTribe ( have been developing apps for the iPhone since the platform was released in 2008. With both a mix of their own creations, alongside delivering apps for clients, they have collected a wealth of information and experience on the platform and are excited to share it with interested businesses.

Daniel BradbyArmin Kroll

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad Remote Control for HAL is coming

Now that the the iPad is unveiled there will be a new gold rush in App Development. One area that will be dominated by the iPad will be home entertainment.

One remote to rule them all

jTribe has worked with a home entertainment company to develop a remote control. We are happy to see that the HAL remote will also work in the iPad.

The illustration above shows how HAL remote will look like on an iPad.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mobile ads or in-app purchase - what works best?

Google and Apple sharing the Mobile Ad Cake

Online advertisement is a model that works so well for the web and is the main cash cow for Google there is no doubt that ads based apps will be a logical extension for the mobile world where freeconomy works just so well.

Google acquired admob which is the biggest mobile advertisement network and Apple acquired Quattro Wireless. Both giants paid a substantial amount for the ad companies. Google acquired admob for $750 million. Rumours say that Apple acquired Quattro Wireless for $275 million.
The recent acquisition of Quattro Wireless did shake up the new world where phones become computers and new tablet devices will even increase the need for apps and ads. What Google and Yahoo where on the web is not Google and Apple on the mobile platforms.

A Business Model based on Mobile Advertisement

It's no news that free apps are much more popular than paid apps. Since Apple has recently fixed their in-app purchase model and extended it to free apps many iPhone developers are upselling additional features, content or subscriptions. Other free apps utilise ad networks like admob to make money with ads in their iPhone apps.

It seems like users are not too fuzzed about ads as long as an application stay free and offers a real value. One good example is "Urban Spoon". The iPhone app is free. I get good value out of the app because it has a large user community providing valuable restaurant reviews. The Google ads don't really bother me much because they value I get outweighs the ad annoyance.

So the three key ingredients for a popular iPhone app seem to be:
  1. The app has to be free
  2. The app has to provide value
  3. The app has a loyal user base
Free and value makes the app user-base grow. More users may create more value for crowd-source or social apps. More value for the user keeps them loyal. A loyal and large user base may generate great ad revenue.

Great apps development is expensive

With smart phones taking over the world and thousands of applications to choose from the world of mobile advertisement has changed. Mobile ads are now everywhere because they are a great model to recoup app development costs and create a large user base at the same time.

Developing a great iPhone app will set you back between $60,000 and $200,000. That is a lot of money for a small developer. Assuming that there is no VC funding involved the only way to recover the costs and keep the business going is to make the app popular - quickly as well as getting some money form the user. These two goals are usually not aligned. Quick and popular apps have a low price point or are free. However a free app does not generate any revenues. So many developers followed the model of lite and pro version.

With ad networks from Google (and soon Apple via Quattro) a viable model for developers could be the ad-supported app but...

Do Users Accept Ads?

Sabre Travel Network has surveyed 800 travellers and found that all travellers surveyed are willing to accept advertising with free use of travel applications.

It looks like Urban Spoon users don't mind the ads either.

We had some less encouraging experience with an Android app that servers admob ads. The revenue was very low and we received some negative user feedback. Finally, we decided to remove the ads and at least keep our spot in the Maketplace.

My recommendation is to use ads only in highly popular apps. Small and medium apps do not benefit from ads.

Do Users Accept In-App Purchase?

In-App purchase seem actually to work well. Users seem to have no problem with in-app purchase as long as it is not an annoying upsell. Fortunately, Apple has some measures in place to make in-app purchase a pleasant experience. Apps that abuse in-app purchase and don't comply to Apples guidelines will be rejected.

Personally as a consumer, i love in-app purchase. It gives me a new product when I want one and keeps the app fresh.

Music apps like Looptastic make it so easy to buy additional loop sets.

Games seem to be benefiting a lot from selling new characters or features. Apps like Minigore are really good examples on how to sell in app.

News magazines haven't quite managed to provide in-app purchase successfully. It looks like Media Companies are still completely relying on advertisement income. They should get more creative and explore the in-app purchase feature without upsetting their advertisers.

So, what works best?

I can recommend in-app purchase to any independent developer or small and medium company. If there are valuable things to sell then sell it via in-app purchase. User acceptance is very high and users are willing to spend more money at they point of value.

Revenue via mobile ad serving seem to work only for large app publishers with "must-have" apps.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Krafty Kuts uses DJ iPhone app developed by jTribe at Summafieldayze

jTribe developed recently an iPhone app for Krafty Kuts.
Check out this video of Krafty Kuts showing off his new Against The Grain DJ Tools iPhone application at Summafieldayze on the Gold Coast during his recent 2009/10 Australian tour.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

iPhone apps re-invent Magazines and News Papers

Paper Magazines and News Papers started to discover the iPhone as a platform to distribute their content. There is a new trend towards custom iPhone apps that complement the paper issue of magazines.

A magazine on an iPhone creates new revenue streams and is an easy door opener into a demographic of users that uses their iPhone for everything lifestyle.

It has already started
Here are two great examples of Magazine that have been converted into iPhone app. Vogue's online version is available as an iPhone app.GQ has just recently released a colourful iPhone app too. Interestingly the sales of GQ will be counting towards their total sales. So paper version and iPhone app count equally. That's very important for advertisers.

An earlier review of the Top Magazine iPhone apps in May 2009 shows some other good examples including Wired, Epicurious, Elle,, OK Magazine, Car and Driver, FHM, People Magazine.

A Packaged Solution for the Media and Publishing Industry
We realise that many media companies and publishers are looking for solutions that could rapidly produce high quality iPhone apps.

At jTribe we worked hard developing a platform for iPhone Magazines and News. Our jellymo for Media and Publishing offering makes development of custom branded iPhone apps affordable and fast. The news and magazine apps allow to present constantly fresh content in a branded iPhone app with social elements and even in-app purchase of content.

Getting your content published on the iPhone just got easier

We've seen a lot of requests for custom iPhone apps over the past 12 months. From fart apps (we passed on that one) to augmented reality (stayed tuned for that one!). However the bulk in the middle tend to revolve around publishing content onto the iPhone and adding a mobile aspect to it, either geolocation or messaging of some kind. We've been working over the past few months to put together a consistent and clear offering around these common requests.

jTribe is introducing

Choose from a selection of popular features your app might need and find the package that fits your budget. Then show us where you content lives and we'll do the rest. It won't be long before you have a live version to test on your own phone and once reviewed by Apple it will be live in the App Store!

If you're interested in getting your content onto the iPhone then drop us a line and we'll make it happen.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

jTribe developed DJ iPhone app for Krafty Kuts

jTribe is proud to announce our first music related iPhone app. The app was developed for award winning DJ Martin Reeves AKA Krafty Kuts. We worked closely with Against the Grain and we had a lot of fun when playing with the app prototypes in our office.

The DJ-Tools app is simple and effective, and is targeted towards DJs who want to use an MPC-Style device for their performances.

"I wanted to produce a sampler style app which could actually be used by DJs in clubs, on radio or even at home", says Krafty Kuts.