New Breakpoints Song at Renaissance!

January 7, 2013

James Dempsey and the Breakpoints will be debuting a new song at the Renaissance conference later this month. The song will be part of a noon performance on Wednesday, January 23rd, which will include old favorites along with the new single.

To find out more, I sat down with myself for a fake interview:

Can you tell us a little about the new song?
The new song has a different intent than all the others we’ve done.  Previous songs aimed to teach as well as entertain. This new song keeps to a technology theme, but is meant entirely in good fun.

Why debut the song at the Renaissance conference?
The conference brings together all iOS app builders—developers, designers and business people. It seemed the perfect place to introduce the first James Dempsey and the Breakpoints song that doesn’t require working knowledge of Objective-C or design patterns to fully enjoy.

Will the new song be available on iTunes?
Yes. The Breakpoints have been back in the studio and we’re in the middle of production. We are on track for the single to drop on iTunes as close to the live debut as possible.

What’s the difference between playing live and being in the studio?
Our live performances are acoustic, laid-back and lots of fun—we keep it simple in a live setting. In the studio, we can get more complex with additional tracks and instruments.

How’s the album coming along?
Last year we started recording a decade’s worth of technology songs. We found a great studio, got rolling on recording and laid down a lot of tracks. With this new song, we are back in the studio and working towards finishing the album.  Follow this blog or @jamesdempsey on Twitter to find out the moment there is more news about the upcoming album.

Can you tell us any more about the new song?
After working at Apple for fifteen years, it feels strange to say even this much about something that isn’t released yet. I can say that we’ve definitely enjoyed working on the new song, we think it will bring a smile to people’s faces and we’d love to have as many folks as possible join us for the live show at Renaissance. •

The Renaissance conference is January 21-23 in San Francisco.  Tickets are available here.

To save an additional $100 on registration for Renaissance contact me for a discount code.

Categories: Music, iOS

Hope to see you at Renaissance

December 30, 2012

(Jan 3, 2013: Updated ticket price and discount info added to end of post)

Renaissance, the iOS app makers’ conference, is happening in San Francisco from  January 21-23. It looks to be an excellent event and I am excited to be a part of it.

As part of the program, Chris Clark from Square and I will be presenting Beautiful Text, a session covering both design and technical aspects of text in iOS apps.

In addition, Renaissance will feature a special musical performance by James Dempsey and the Breakpoints.

My excitement for the conference goes beyond any particular session. I believe Renaissance will be an experience much greater than the sum of its parts. Here are a few things that have me looking forward to Renaissance:

The lineup of speakers is impressive.  I would go out of my way to hear any number of these folks speak individually. With so many people I respect and admire presenting, the event promises to be something special.

The conference format means that by hearing development, design and business topics woven together in a single track, you can take in everything without missing anything. I think bringing topics together that are often sequestered in separate tracks will spark a lot of interesting ideas.

Finally, I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of great people at the conference.  Twitter, Skype and email can be fantastic ways to keep in touch, but there is something about meeting people in person that has yet to be matched by communication technology.

If you are considering coming to Renaissance, the price goes up on January 1st, so now is a great time to book the ticket.   (Plus, if you live someplace cold and snowy, attending Renaissance can also be the literal rebirth of getting the feeling back in your fingers and toes.)

If you are already coming to Renaissance, please say hello. It would be great to meet you.  I really hope to see you there. •

TICKET UPDATE: The ticket price discount for Renaissance has been extended until January 8th!

ADDITIONAL DISCOUNT: Contact me if you’d like to use my discount code to save an additional $100 on registration for Renaissance.

Renaissance tickets are available here.

Categories: Music, Software Development, iOS

iOS Device Summary

October 9, 2012

One challenge as a small independent iOS developer is keeping up with evolving hardware. Some testing can be done in the iOS Simulator, but to see how an app truly behaves, it is important to develop and test on actual devices.

I created this summary chart as a way to visualize a few key iOS device properties.  This has helped me decide which mix of devices I use to get reasonable coverage for development and testing. I’ve found it useful and hope others will also.

Summary of iOS Devices Chart - Processor, Screen Resolution, iOS5+ Support

The key device properties represented are processor, screen resolution and supported iOS versions.

Chart closeup showing using an indicator for a device being used for testing.
I have two workhorse iPod touch devices.One runs iOS 5, the other iOS 6.

On my copy of the chart, I use a star to indicate that I have a particular device running a particular iOS version.  This makes it easy to see at a glance what coverage I have across all three properties.

The devices are organized primarily by processor.  Each processor represents a system on chip containing both CPU and GPU, making it a reasonable indicator of system performance.  I tend to develop on devices with slower processors, to ensure code performs well across all devices.

The rectangle for each device is a scaled version of its screen resolution, preserving aspect ratio and relative size to other devices.  Note that this represents the number of pixels, not the physical screen size.  This is why the rectangle for an iPhone 4 with a retina display (960 x 640) is just a little smaller than rectangle for the iPad (1024 x 768).

Supported iOS versions are indicated by color inside the rectangle for each device.  This summary only includes iOS 5 and later.  Since system changes that impact your app can happen between releases, it is important to test on all the OS versions you support.  Additionally, because reverting a device to a previous iOS version is not officially supported, it is also important to track which of your devices are running which iOS version.  You want to avoid, for example, accidentally upgrading your only iOS 5 device.

This summary is designed with general iOS development in mind.  Apps that depend on particular hardware features obviously have different criteria for choosing devices for development and testing.  Feel free to download a copy of the summary below.  I hope you find it useful and welcome your feedback. •

Update: I’ve gotten a number of requests for a printer-ready version of the chart with a white background. I’ve added versions for color and black & white printers below.

Update 2: Updated links below.  You can download the most recent version of the summary, or the version that originally appeared with this post.

Latest PDF Downloads:

Original PDF Downloads (Oct 8, 2012):

Categories: Software Development, iOS