FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

I’ve played with the new Beta SDK to see how iPhone apps behave on the iPad simulator.

The pixel double effect is just that. Vector objects such as text, PDFs etc look terrible. The screen raster created for viewing is just doubled.

The new SDK does allow you to build app code for the iPad and use the new APIs present.

The trick to making an application support both the iPhone and iPad at the same time, is you need to write a universal binary - in effect 2 apps in the single file.

For my work so far this means the following. Ebook apps using the PDF reproduction model don’t really care at the code level, and it’s a seperate interface builder element used to define the size of the screen, and hence the content fits it.

For the other ebook apps I have some viewport sizing info buried in the content display code. I think this is solvable by having a header string containing this info, and being able to graft this onto the start of the main content string.

However with the advent of a larger screen and more powerful processor, I think the RPG stuff is better done in the richer PDF reproduction model method, or a proper data driven method. I’m still debating what will be best.

Device detection is going to be something I need to work through, as this is going to be the key to making content use decisions.

At present the SDK is a BETA and you cannot build universal binaries.

Of interest is the fact I’ve already created a working version of the Library Data v1 version that operates on both the iPhone and iPad simulators. I’ve also converted Derelict v2 which uses the XML based one. On iPad it’s ignoring my viewport info!!!!! So these should be okay. I also converted Elf Name Gen Classic and that needs real work, because it’s content is for a small screen.

This means all my recent work for PDF reproduction model based ebook apps can be very easily transitioned and made ready to go. And they look fantastic on the iPad simulator and very readable. A glitch happens during rotation to landscape, which disappears after a pinch and zoom. I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the SDK Beta, or something inherent with the OS that will be trouble with the real device. But should be okay.

I’ve pushed through all those ebooks this weekend in anticipation of the forthcoming iPad availability.

I’ll hammer the rest into shape as well.

The XML books are okay, but are not as sexy as the PDF reproduction ones on the larger screen. I have some ideas about doing a better XML ebook method for iPad. But for compatibility sake, they can be converted without trouble.

My other apps are going to need a bit more work.

The generator utilities that dominate my software will need significant work. The content will have to be completely redone for iPad, in terms of layout and higher resolution graphics. For performance I wouldn’t use the iPad data for the iPhone, until a 4th gen iPhone is released with the same hardware as the iPad.

I’ve played with some data driven samples and looked at how the iPad renders them. Some cosmetic differences exist between the iPhone and iPad, but some of my future ideas will be fantastic and be nice between both the iPhone and iPad.

But all looks good to proceed with iPad support as soon as a final SDK is released. :-)

Categories: Development

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