Ready to Start iOS Developing? Check 10 Essential Tools & Resources

If you are on this page I suppose you have stood on the slippery path of iOS application developer. Feel yourself like a helpless kitten? Don’t worry, this awkward feeling is temporary. Trying to speed up the process of its liquidation? Okay, take my simple advice: just relax and check 10 iOS developer tools and resources I listed below.

Of course, my previous paragraph doesn’t state the following examples are allowed to come in handy for noobs only. I’m pretty sure, even experienced developers would find something new and useful for themselves.

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iOS Dev Center

It’s a first website every iOS developer should know about. Here you can find a lot of useful information: guides, code samples, technical notes and much more. The value of info consists in the fact that it’s given from the first hands – all documentation is official.

iOS Development Tools and Resources

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iPhone Toolbox

This resource gathers different stuff for iPhone: icons, wallpapers, applications. Also iPhone Toolbox serves as a news platform with everyday updates regarding iOS development world.

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Seven Places to Find Free Responsive Website Themes

Nobody in sound mind will argue the fact that the mankind has entered the era of responsive design. Mobile device market eclipsed the one of desktop computers and still continues to grow. People got used to tablets and smartphones as they give us boundless freedom and time saving options. Our life tempo continues to hasten and the possibility to get information, work and shop on the move is really critical.

However, the situation can be called favorable for web development service providers as the more new devices appear, more software and designs are required. From this viewpoint, responsive design saves all website owners from wasteful expenses. The technology, based on media queries, flexible images and fluid grids identifies screen resolution of particular device and adapts the content to provide proper website rendering. Due to the responsive design, merchants don’t have to maintain several versions of the same website as one is enough to fit all popular screen widths.

If you need a responsive layout for your project, but don’t want to spend any money on it, there is a good chance to get the design for free. Below we’ve listed 7 places on the internet any self-seeking designer should know and visit from time to time. So, click the links below, browse the selection of templates, choose free responsive design which suits your creative idea, customize it, and be closer to your customers wherever they are and whatever device they use!

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Smashing Hub

responsive website themes

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Smashing Apps

responsive website themes

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Augment Your Web and Graphic Design Skills with Adobe InDesign

Technology has made a great impact on different life aspects and is still keeping on improvising. These days people developed numerous software and tools to carry out various operations such as documentation, communication and designing. With the time flow, people have realized the importance of media and presentation, so they are focusing on design, whether it’s print media, web or electronic media. Presenting something in the attractive manner makes things more effective and that’s the reason why people use various design applications to create enhanced and attractive web designs, print designs, graphic designs and so on.

Adobe, one of the most popular IT Companies, offers a wide range of design applications, recognized by professional designers utilizing different Adobe software to fulfill their design tasks. Among multiple design tools, Adobe InDesign is one of the most popular and feature-rich software, developed to meet the requirements of web and print designers.

Adobe InDesign is a Desktop Publishing (DTP) software. You might be thinking what does that suppose to mean? Well, InDesign offers tools both for design and layout purposes, it provides you with the ability to work with text and images. Besides this, you can create attractive document layouts for printing posters and newspapers. Some most prominent features of InDesign are discussed in detail below.

Laying out a document

This feature allows you create custom document layouts and work with layers in order to organize document’s structure. Furthermore, it offers you several different styles in terms of fonts; you can create and modify object styles as well. With the transformation feature you can transform different objects to create the unique one.

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Designing for Windows 8 – What You Need to Know!

With the advent of Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest OS, developers and designers can certainly look forward to build some really cool apps. Add to this, the growing number of tablets, Windows based smart phones and touch-screen laptops; the demand for Windows 8 applications is surely going to see an upward trend. According to Microsoft, there will be as many as 400 million devices powered by Windows 8 in coming years. This itself speaks about the immense potential for developing Windows 8 based apps. Understanding the philosophy behind the design of Windows 8 definitely helps shape your thoughts for crafting applications for this platform.

Well, one need not be a hard-core technical expert to build applications for this platform. However, there are various things you need to know while crafting apps for Windows 8. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Modern UI – Brainchild of Microsoft, the Modern UI is basically language and design style. Taking its root from Swiss Typography and Bauhaus School of Design, Modern UI was created with objective to help users interact seamlessly with content. In order to design a Windows 8 application, you must have a considerable understanding about this design style. Modern UI revolves around five principles. These are briefly discussed as under:
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Skeuomorphism Infographic That Would Remind about Real Life

People are programmed in their instincts to fear everything unknown or at least treat it with suspicion. As an example we can take darkness phobia of some persons – its roots stretch from pre-historical times, when our ancestors could expect a saber-toothed smilodon jumping out of the night at any moment. So there is no need to be a psychologist to agree with an obvious fact that a human prefers familiar things. Therefore, creating something we should take into consideration this simple truth to cause sympathy (or even for more delicate effects on consumers’ minds).

A method following the concept in design has its own name – skeuomorphism. The term comes from Greek: skeuos (σκεῦος) means container or tool, and morphê (μορφή) means shape. Skeuomorphism is a technique when composition uses something unnecessary for functionality as it is in the original product. Talking strictly about web design, skeuomorphism appears to be a method when usual things from real life are transferred as simulacra into virtual user interfaces. This is a very widespread trend recently: skeuomorphism became extremely popular especially after smartphone boom – new simplified forms of user-device interaction caused development of new simplified user experience. Nevertheless, the method emerged long before this: once graphical user interface took stable shape with certain global standards in metaphors, IT companies begin to implement skeuomorphism projects.

A lot can be told about the subject and I have one thing intended to help you to know more. A remarkable infographic about skeuomorphism in web design was presented recently by TemplateMonster. It reveals many aspects less or more related to the subject: beginning from the history of skeuomorphism development and up to pros and cons of using this technique in web design. Moreover, the infographic is designed in attractive retro style with the skeuomorphism shown in it on practice. The central element is a vintage CRT television: information is broadcasted through it after clicking on interactive skeuomorphism elements.

Below I represent static JPG version. A click on the picture or on the link in the previous paragraph would lead you to the full interactive skeuomorphism infographic.

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Tired of Empty Space? Try 10 Dummy Image Generators for Web Designers

Sometimes there is a need to create a random picture without making efforts. It’s not only about laziness: in some cases illustration indeed is permissible to be whichever without requirements of deep concept. You can be surprised, but this can be used for the benefit of a project – proper distribution of efforts gives a real opportunity to pay more attention to other elements.

Dummy Image Generators

Generated by lorempixel.

Web designers, you have a way out – dummy image generators. These helpful services would easily provide with placeholder and dummy images, which are intended to fill useless empty space. Below I listed 10 dummy image generators considered to be the best for web designers. Read More

10 Top Tips for Ranking Well in Your Area

You already know about the good that a killer search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can do for your business. As an offshoot of general search practices, local SEO can also have a number of excellent benefits, especially for small businesses looking for new ways to promote themselves in their community. It is a way for local companies to ensure that anyone looking for their service can find the most convenient option, while also ensuring that they can grow their own business.

What are the top 10 tips for ranking well at a local level, and how can you achieve them?

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Delving Deeper into the Beauty of HTML 5 Canvas

The web development landscape is evolving constantly. Thanks to the introduction of new technologies such as HTML5. For those of you who do not know what HTML5 exactly is, it is the latest version of the hypertext mark-up language, which is mainly used in web design & development by designers across the planet. With each passing day, more number of designers seem to be joining the HTML5 bandwagon since the technology promises to take web design to a whole new level! HTML5 brings with itself an entire new range of exciting elements including the canvas that allow developers to add awesome touch & dynamic capabilities to their web applications. This article provides you with an in-depth idea about HTML5 Canvas. So, let’s get going…

Before we start exploring this major element of HTML5, let’s know a bit about its history as well. HTML5 Canvas was pioneered by the tech giant Apple somewhere around 2004 for the use in Mac operating system. It was meant to power their Safari web browser and dashboard applications too. Ever since then, the canvas has been adopted by Opera, Mozilla and finally W3C for its use in HTML5. Today, all the modern web browsers support this HTML5 element completely.

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What’s There on Your Back?… April Fish! (Vintage April Fools’ Day Postcards)

“A sense of humor is the only divine quality of man.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

How do you feel today? Have you checked the socks for toothpaste inside? Was your sugar replaced by salt this morning? Or maybe all eggs in your refrigerator turned into hard boiled ones? Today is the first of April, “All Fools Day” and nobody can feel safe from pranks neither at home nor at the office. Everything mentioned above seems funny as long as it’s not happening to you. Nevertheless, we hope that our respected readers possess good sense of humor and enjoy a wonderful possibility to laugh.

So, what do we know about the holiday? Frankly speaking its origin is rather questionable and disputable. However, the most popular version dates back to 16th century. In 1582, the beginning of the New Year was moved to January 1. Some people, who hadn’t heard about this sweep, continued to celebrate the holiday on April 1. These “April Fools” became the earliest objects for public mockery.

Of course, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to make you smile on “April Fools’ Day” and cooked something really odd for you. Below you will find a collection of funny vintage French postcards, developed especially for the first of April. Their designs are cute and original. All of them obligatory have fish somewhere in the composition. Actually, in France, April fool is called April fish because of the traditional prank, played on the first of April. Friends and relatives tried to stick a paper fish onto somebody’s back and when poor thing discovered it at last, all of them bursted into laughter crying out: “April Fish!” This prank is played till present and can be called a gentler prototype of “Kick me” signs.

As Plato said: “Even the gods love jokes.” So, we wish you to get a good portion of positive emotions today and begin smiling right now with our funny vintage April Fools’ Day postcard designs.

By the way, today is the best day to propose a girl. If she doesn’t accept you can always tell her that it was an April Fools’ Day joke.

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April fools' day postcards

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Virtual Fitting Rooms – e-Commerce UX of the Future

Do you buy clothes online? Surely, each person can tell about at least one-time experience of online apparel shopping. And what about apprehension before the final click? Buying clothes online is always entailed with a certain percent of probability that the item won’t perfectly fit because of the wrong size, color, fabric or cut.

According to statistical data, online apparel sales reach nearly 7 percent, notwithstanding the fact, that this e-Commercial category is considered the largest. This figure is negligibly small in comparison with those of books and computers, for instance.

However, a breaking technology (slide 98) of augmented reality, which becomes more and more popular among European and USA merchants, is able to change the situation drastically. The idea is as follows: you can try on all selected models not leaving your home, then change them for the recommended ones, share your images with friends and get their feedback. Don’t you think that such innovative approach can convince even the most hesitant buyers?

virtual fitting room

In other words, the augmented reality is achieved with the help of software using webcam (some solutions don’t require the webcam, just customer’s measurements), motion capture interface, and social media integration.

The application developers even promise up to 60% sales increase and up to 30% returns reduce, which sounds very catching, isn’t it? You know, some online brands, which have already incorporated virtual fitting rooms into their websites, confirm certain positive dynamics in their conversion rates.

No doubt, while the technology is not so widely-spread, there is still much space for perfection. Software’s universality lets merchants use it for a wide range of products like glasses, jewelry, furniture, etc. Maybe in future, the option will completely erase the border between virtual and physical reality, allowing customers not only try on the clothes, but feel the fabric’s texture and weight…

At present, we can arrive at the conclusion that virtual fitting rooms can boost e-Commerce UX from both sides.

From side of brands and merchants conversion rates growth, returns reduce as well as customers’ satisfaction increase can be expected.

From side of buyers, a greater percentage of completed checkouts, stronger confidence in their choice, less stress and disappointment along with stronger loyalty to favorite brand are rather predictable consequences.

If you are impressed with the technology, believe in its cloudless future and even think about incorporating it into your e-Commercial projects, here are some helpful links to developers, providing the service.

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