Monthly Archives: November 2010

♥s Threadless: iPhone App Launch!

Today my newest app was approved for the App Store (and should be propagating quickly)! ♥s Threadless is what I’ve been working on mostly for the past few weeks or so. Hurry up and download and review it, then come back here for more info about the app.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of Threadless since I discovered it back in 2005 (see these blog posts for proof). I really love the fact that the community provides designs and decides which ones will be printed. The company is really only there to provide the machinery to make shirts and fulfill orders! I wanted to contribute to the community by making an unofficial Threadless app (and maybe get a little store credit to feed my t-shirt needs).

My main reasoning for writing a native Threadless app is that I found it pretty hard to browse shirts, even in a fully fledged web browser let alone an iPhone browser. The Threadless site is by no means bad, but it’s hard to see what designs look like when the images are small and on models. I prefer viewing the actual design. So I built an app that makes it easy to 1) browse and find cool shirts and 2) share them with your friends.

In order to do this, I needed to get a database of shirts on Threadless. It’s kind of unfortunate that Threadless doesn’t have an API. At all. Threadless does, however, has a few feeds of shirts: one for shirts that are in stock and another for the weekly additions. I parsed this list of shirts and saved them in an App Engine database along with some other metadata like image urls, category info, etc. I also figured out a way to get the list of all Threadless shirts, including the ones that aren’t currently in stock. What this means is that the ♥s Threadless app will help you find more shirts than even the official website can. You can filter by category, color and run fulltext searches on the entire shirt database.

As far as the front end work went, I had to build a custom table view cell to scroll through shirts and a nested scrollview to view shirt images. The shirt view looks a lot like the native photo browser app for the iPhone. I also added features for sharing, including saving the image to your photo album, posting the design on Twitter and Facebook and emailing the shirt design as an attachment. I figure that covers most bases as far as sharing goes.

So far I’ve only designed and built the iPhone version. I think an iPad version would be neat, too, but I want to gauge the interest in the iPhone/iPod app before putting more time into this. If you like the app, let me know and write up a review for it!

Finally, here’s a video demo of the app, just for fun:

ObjTweet: Helper Class for Twitter on iOS

I’ve been working on a new app (I’ll write more about it in a week or so), part of which required opening a user’s Twitter client with a pre-populated tweet or opening Twitter on a particular user’s profile for easy following. There are a lot of Twitter clients out there, so it’s hard to predict what a particular user will have installed on their device. They might not even have any Twitter client installed.

Many (but not all) Twitter clients have url schemes that allow you to open them with a particular message filled out, etc. There’s a few here, but it’s not a definitive list by any means. I gathered a bunch of the more popular ones and wrapped them in a helper class called ObjTweet.

Since I want to give back (and I wouldn’t mind the recognition), I’ve licensed this class under the GNU GPL license MIT License (thanks, Marcello for pointing out that the GPL license is pretty restrictive) and uploaded it to Github. Hopefully someone else finds it useful. My hope is also that people will help find some of the missing url schemes for other apps and build on ObjTweet. If you found this class and are using it, let me know! Hopefully it works as described.

Letterpress Business Cards!

I’ve been busy printing random stuff on my letterpress. I got some color ink and an old wood ‘H’ block. Oh, and I also ordered some blank business cards, so I decided to print myself a few.

I printed each card twice. First I printed the green ‘H’ and after that I set the type for the name, phone, email etc. I ran into a few issues with the width of the card at first. Since I wanted to have a vertical card, I only had so much space for the info. The type that I have doesn’t have the ‘@’ symbol, and “Hung AT Hung-Truong.com” wouldn’t fit on one line. So I just ended up putting it on two lines, which is nice because then the other line is just my website address.

I like the grainy look of the block ‘H’. Each one looks a little different, and at one point I mixed in some more blue to make it a darker green. It’s nice that the card itself is a slightly unique print.

If I could redo this card, I’d probably try to pick a smaller font for the info. And I’d also choose different sizes for my name versus the other stuff. I’m sort of limited in the type that I currently own (4 trays). If I end up making more cards, I might just buy a base so that I can make my own photopolymer plates. That’d be cool because I could also make my own designs for cards/coasters etc too.