Live iPhone App Workshop on Thursday and 24/7 Live Chat

If you want to make an app but don’t know how to get started, tomorrow is the day for you to fill in that blank.

I will be providing a free iPhone app workshop that will show you everything you need to know to get started with Xcode and Swift . . . even if you don’t currently know what either of those words mean.

If you don’t have any coding experience . . .

If you don’t have any user interface design experience . . . 

If you think that apps are basically magic and coding can only be done by people with computer science degrees . . . 

. . .  tomorrow you will learn how to get started (the easy way!).

I LOVE working with people who have ideas but who don’t know how to get started.

It’s so INSPIRING to see real people (my students!) develop and publish apps that help populations around the world deal with things like power outages, healthy lifestyle choices, living with various disabilities, and teaching children how to read and speak . . . just to name a few.

Cute Zoo ABC by Sasha

Cute Zoo ABC by Sasha

I know technology can be intimidating—it changes frequently, leaving the uninitiated in the dust on an almost daily basis.

To bridge that gap, provide a solid foundation, and get you moving forward in your career change, Super Easy iPhone Apps is the place to start. Whether you want to switch careers or publish the next million dollar app, it’s an investment in your future.

You need to start like everyone else: learn enough technical skills to create a prototype and work with a team to execute your vision.

I’ve already helped thousands of people imagine and develop their first iPhone apps:

  • Like Bennie, who started an app to help with power outages in South Africa;
  • Or Rajee, who switched jobs from QA to iOS Developer: “I have great news...I GOT THE JOB!”
  • Or Sasha, who made Cute Zoo ABC for his 18 month old son . . . 

I hope that I can add your name to the list of people I have helped.

 I’m doing a FREE training on Thursday about making your first iPhone app (even if you are starting from zero).

I know it will be worth your time.

Register for Thursday November 19th at 2pm eastern.

This workshop is totally free—but the information that I will be sharing is potentially worth thousands of dollars if you come live, take notes, and commit to taking action.

If you are just starting to imagine app ideas, getting ready to publish your own iPhone app, or just want to up your game on your next app idea, you will walk away with actionable strategies you can use immediately.

It is really important to me that you make this small time investment in yourself and your career. It costs nothing other than an hour of your time—and could really change everything.

Register for Thursday November 19th at 2pm eastern.

I’ll see you there, live!

PS If you want to join my upcoming 24/7 live chat for people building iPhone apps, you won't want to miss this workshop.

Posted on November 18, 2015 and filed under Workshop.

Gmail Inbox Tabs Tutorial - How to Never Miss an Email in Your Promotions Tab

Watch the 19 second tutorial below...

Make sure you don't miss any important emails from me by doing two things right now (this also works for any other email you don't want to miss!).

  1. In Gmail: Move messages from me ( from your Promotions Inbox Tab to your Primary Inbox Tab (left-click and drag). 
  2. Add as a contact in your email client (i.e.: Gmail, Mail, etc.).

Using both of these methods for any email will prevent you from "losing" emails, especially important ones. If you follow these steps, you will never miss an email from me.

Watch the Quick Gmail Inbox Tab Tutorial (19 seconds)

Gmail hides emails in your Promotions Inbox Tab, this is a short video demonstrating how you can make sure you don't miss an email.

1. Go to the Promotions tab to search for missing emails.
2. Left-click and drag from the email to your Primary Inbox Tab to move it.
3. Confirm that you want all future emails to move to your Primary Inbox tab from that sender.

Additional steps

1. Click a Star on an email you want to see in your Primary Inbox
2. Add the sender (i.e.: to your contacts list in Gmail, Mail, etc.

Gmail Inbox Tabs 101

Watch the full tutorial on how to never miss an email using Gmail Inbox Tabs.

  1. In Gmail: Move messages from me ( from your Promotions Inbox Tab to your Primary Inbox Tab (left-click and drag). 
  2. Add as a contact in your email client (i.e.: Gmail, Mail, etc.).
  3. Star any email from to tell Gmail that the email is important and you don't want it in your Promotions Tab.
  4. Read more about it on Google's support site.

Like and share this video

Did I help you find missing emails?

  1. Click the Like button below
  2. Share this on Twitter by Tweeting this message.
Posted on November 2, 2015 and filed under Tips.

How to Convert Strings into Double and Float Values Using Swift 2

In Swift 2, you get native support for working with different numeric types (Float, Double, and Int) and Strings. Prior to Swift 2, you had to do a lot of extra work to convert between types.

Swift 2 allows you to quickly change a String into a number (if it’s a valid conversion).

To convert, you need to use a new style, which is Apple’s recommended best practice.

Use the initializer for the type instead of the toInt() style that was available in Swift 1.2 and earlier.

Use Int and variants like Int32, UInt64, etc. to convert integer values.

var wholeNumber = Int("27")

Use Float or Double to convert floating-point values (real numbers).

let lessPrecisePI = Float("3.14")

let morePrecisePI = Double("3.1415926536")

These conversions can fail, which is why the Int(), Float(), and Double() initializers return an optional type (i.e.: Double?, Float?, Int?, etc.). If the value cannot be converted, the value will be nil.

let invalidNumber = Float("alphabet") // nil, not a valid number

To use the numbers, you need to unwrap them – I recommend using the if let syntax for user input from a UITextField (or you can try the new guard statement in Swift 2!).

if let cost = Double(textField.text!) {
    print("The user entered a value price of \(cost)")
} else {
    print("Not a valid number: \(textField.text!)")

You will need to unwrap the optional to get the value. The if let syntax above makes it safe to use cost if it’s a valid number, otherwise you can handle the invalid case (i.e.: “alphabet” is not a valid number, so it would become nil).

The new initializers for different value types have made Swift feel more unified – the simple conversions between types are a lot easier and straightforward. User input and JSON data parsing is much easier in Swift 2.

Convert Double, Float, or Int to String

If you want to convert any number to a String, you have a quick option and a (pretty) safe option. Use the String initializer to convert numbers into Strings.

var costString = String(9.99)
var ageString = String(18)

As long as the number isn’t optional, the resulting strings will be the String type, not a String? type.

Other Methods of Converting Numbers

Before Swift 2, you had to do extra work to convert Float and Double variables from the String type.

You may find code that uses the NSString initializer to get access to a doubleValue property, or the NSNumberFormatter to convert between String and numbers.

var cost = ("9.99" as NSString).doubleValue  // invalid returns 0, not an optional. (not recommended)

// invalid returns an optional value (recommended)
var pi = NSNumberFormatter().numberFromString("3.14")?.doubleValue

The drawback to the NSString method is that it returns 0 when an invalid number string is used – you should always use the initializers described above or the NSNumberFormatter because they return optional values to show when the conversion fails.

Free iPhone App Course

Want to learn how to make iPhone apps with Swift using input from your users?

Learn how to make your first iPhone app with my Free iPhone App Course + Swift.

Posted on September 28, 2015 .