Version 1.1 has been completed, sent to Apple, approved, and on now on the App Store to download. This version added a chart for Aortic Regurgitation, in the Valve Disease collection.
This upgrade was made more complicated because the Apple Developer online site was largely taken down for a while, apparently after some hacking event. So some stuff which should be automatic was made a lot more difficult. For each App, Apple requires what are called “Certificates” for development and distribution, as well as “Provisioning Profiles” and “code signing.” Information about the App and the developer has to be coordinated online, in the testing device, in Xcode, and in the App Store. All of this is for protection, but makes things complicated, especially having to do it manually. But the documentation was relatively easy to follow, and I ended up learning a lot and understanding it more by having to go through the process. Future upgrades (which will be coming!) should be much easier.
I did find one mistake! When the new version is opened on the iPad, the home page still indicates “Version 1.0.” I forgot to change that text. So the next version will go from 1.0 to 1.2. Everything else seems to work OK. (I haven’t received any reports of problems or any suggestions from anyone yet).
Apple has a nice system for following detailed stats about your App’s sales. I was happy to see the there were some sales in the first week! But most interesting was that there were sales all around the world, in every continent (except Antarctica).
HeartCharts sales have occurred in these countries: USA, UK, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and Nigeria.
The HeartCharts iPad App Version 1.0 is in the App Store for review as of 7/3/2013.
In anticipation of approval (!) information about the App has been added to this site. Choose “HEARTCHARTS APP” from the menu and take a look. There is a video, as well as screenshots and some explanation. The plan is to add more charts regularly in future versions.
I had to learn Xcode, the Apple program for developing apps. Some books and the internet provided good sources of information. I did basic reading about Objective C (the programming language), then moved on to more practical stuff.
iPad Application Development for Dummies was good. That was a 2011 edition, and Xcode evolves quickly, so this type of book get out of date very fast. I notice the same author has a new edition for 2013: iOS 6 Application Development For Dummies, which I would recommend.
Even better was Sams Teach Yourself iOS 5 Application Development in 24 Hours by John Ray. The 2013 edition from the same author is Sams Teach Yourself iOS 6 Application Development in 24 Hours. This book is extremely well organized and well written. Maybe you could read the book in 24 hours, but it probably took me about a month to work through it, since each chapter is a project. You can only learn by doing. The explanations were excellent…I finally could really see how to implement what I wanted in my app.
The next level up would be Ray Wenderlich’s tutorials on the internet. These are deeper, a little more difficult, but excellent. I downloaded the pdf’s for iOS 5 and iOS 6…well worth the money.
There are many other tutorials and discussions on the internet, including YouTube videos. These were useful when I came upon some issue in implementing what I wanted. Searching about the problem would usually provide an answer.
My favorite things in Xcode to do what I wanted: Storyboards, Auto Layout, Tab Bar, Collection Views, and Animating Images.
I decided an iPad app would be an excellent way to implement some patient education ideas. And I wanted to do the design, content creation, and coding myself. This was all new to me, and I wanted to remember what I was learning and doing, so I am keeping a hand written notebook, now up to 129 full pages and counting.
Artwork and animations were done with a program called Animate from Toon Boom Animation. This is a high level, very sophisticated, and somewhat expensive program, but it turned out to be a great choice. Each scene is created in vector format, so I could then easily export bitmap images at any resolution, which was very helpful to experiment with how different sizes might fit best on the screen. This also makes it easier to duplicate images at different resolutions for standard vs retina display screens. A Wacom tablet is essential to get the most out of Animate.
I used a program called Acorn for manipulating bitmap images, creating custom buttons and labels, etc. Acorn is a very nice substitute for Photoshop, much less expensive and easier to use. Every Mac user should have this app.
The content creation for the iPad app is mostly done. However, my plan is to add more in future version.
I happened acrossthis article from Consumer Reports online entitled “What Bugs You Most About Your Doctor?” The number one gripe, receiving an average of 8.1 on a 10 point scale, was “Unclear explanation of problem.” So improving patient education is something all providers need to work on.