I was looking for a way to easily add a link to the iOS Simulator in my ~/Applications folder, but every explanation that worked for Mavericks seemed unnecessarily complicated to me. Here’s what I figured out myself:
Open Xcode and launch the simulator as normal
Control-click on the simulator icon in the dock, and select Options → Show in Finder
Open a terminal, and type ln -s
Drag the simulator icon to the terminal window
Drag the destination for the link to the terminal window, and hit Enter
CSS Colours presents all the standard CSS colours in nice large swatches. Mouse over the swatch for hex and RGB values.
Colors provides much nicer versions of a subset of the default CSS colours. They’re a bit less saturated, the black isn’t pure; generally it’s more like something you’d actually use in a design. You can grab the values from the page itself, or grab the stylesheets and source files for a variety of CSS preprocessors from github.
David Kadavy writes up tips to point the less the aesthetically skilled on the road to an attractive app or web page. If you want more from David, he has a book and an email course called “Design for Hackers”.
After my post yesterday on Flappy Bird, my brother pointed out that a big part of the attraction was the punishing difficulty level, and bragging rights. If need a really hard game that’s insanely addictive, you can’t do better than Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon.
You control a triangle dodging rapidly rotating walls in a hexagonal pattern. The controls tight and responsive, and are well suited to a touch device. The game is $2 on the app store. You can try the original game jam version on Cavanagh’s site.
And in a lovely bit of serendipity, I just saw that Cavanagh has posted a Flappy Bird clone called Maverick Bird that borrows from Super Hexagon’s aesthetic. (via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.)
The big news this week amongst nerd circles seems to be the disappearance of Flappy Bird from the App Store. I never tried it, so I don’t get the attraction to such a simple and kind of ugly game. For folks mourning the fact they didn’t get on Flappy Bird in time, I’d like to offer two similar suggestions that I think are much better.
Jetpack Joyride puts you in the role of Barry Steakfries as he tries to escape from some kind of evil genius’ lair. In the basic configuration, you tap to fly, but different power ups will change the mechanic. You can control a dragon, put gravity-reversing boots, and pilot a giant robot. Like Flappy Bird, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the game, it just gets more challenging as you get further in the lair. Jetpack Joyride is free, with in-app purchases, but the game is really fun without dropping a cent.
Badland isn’t free, but it is currently on sale. Badland is one of the best looking games I’ve seen on the iPad. In addition to the art style, Badland’s big selling point is the multiplayer. Up to four players can play on the same iPad, turning it into a kind of party game. At $2–the proverbial “cup of coffee” price point–this game is deserving of your time and money.
Having just finished the most advanced responsive HTML email project I’ve worked on yet, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve picked up.
Use the Zurb Ink mail framework: It’s restrictive, but it’s the fastest way to get good results in the majority of clients
Start with the desktop. There are two reasons to do this. Firstly, desktop clients are the least capable mail clients. (if you have Outlook 2011, thank your lucky stars. It actually does a pretty good job). Secondly even on mobile, many people will get the desktop view. Many mobile clients can’t parse media queries, so your finely crafted mobile view gets thrown out.
Outlook 2013 is your worst nightmare. It’s terrible. Test that first, worry about everything else next. Outlook 2007 is probably second worst of the most-used desktop clients. Remember people upgrade email clients pretty infrequently.
Try and make your mobile view simply a collapsed version of your desktop view. Many designers are used to the flexibility of responsive design in the browser. For web pages, you can practically include two or three completely different designs. Mobile clients don’t have the space or the smarts.
If your design requires you to hide an element, hide it for mobile. Campaign Monitor have detailed a supposedly effective method of hiding content for desktop and webmail clients. I’ve had limited success with it. The .hide-for-small classes included with Ink work well, though.
Inline your CSS with MailChimp Lab’s Inliner. It seems to have a few more smarts around avoiding over-ridden classes. Just remember to uncheck the option to strip out the style tags, or you’ll lose your media queries.
Test with Litmus. It’s expensive, slow, and suffers from frequent outages, but I don’t think there’s another option.
Update: The W3C have announced a community group for HTML email. It’s currently just a few days old, but looks promising. Their goal is to document the current state of HTML email and figure out a way to improve things. Hopefully client vendors and companies like Litmus, MailChimp and Campaign Monitor get involved!