June Boulder iOS Meetup Recap

Brandon Geiger

The mobile world has been turned on it's head this year, and that doesn't exclude iOS developers. Over the past several years there have been options outside of XCode to develop native iPhone apps. Frameworks like Titanium and PhoneGap allow developers to sidestep learning Objective C and still build iOS applications. On June 19th Adobe put it's hat in the ring by releasing an update to Flash Builder that lets you build iOS applications. Apple also recently released the much anticipated iOS 5 SDK for developers. These are exciting times for mobile developers, so I thought I would check out Boulder's iOS meetup.

This month's meetup was focused on unit testing. Stu Stern of Gorilla Logic demoed his open-source tool called FoneMonkey. It's basically an overlay that sits over your app that allows you to capture user input and record it to scripts. You can then use these scripts to replicate user input for testing. Quite a handy little tool. They also have a product for Flex applications called FlexMonkey. FlexMonkey doesn't yet support Flex mobile apps (aka FlashBuilder mobile apps). You can include FoneMonkey into your XCode project by a simple library reference. You then create a new build target that includes the FoneMonkey library. It looked pretty simple to setup and seemed very useful for maintaining quality as you get deep into releases with your iPhone app. Stu and his army of contributors are currently working on support for GPS, camera, and accelerometer testing.

The July iOS meetup will be hosted at Google's digs in Boulder, and Paul Franceus will be presenting on core animation. That should be an interesting topic. In August, James Ward (formerly an Adobe evangelist, now with Salesforce.com) will be presenting on "Flex Development for iOS Devices," which should also prove to be a good one.