About HKWarnings! Beta 1

Welcome to HKWarnings! It’s just a simple app to display the current HK Observatory weather warnings.

This is my first attempt at an iPhone app so expect some bugs.

Well, second really. I completely re-wrote this app after learning a lot about iPhone dev and Obj-C during the first attempt.

In addition to re-writing all the Obj-C code, the app now looks at a middle layer between the Observatory website and the iPhone.

This was done for a two reasons:

  • The Observatory occasionally change the format of their page, so if they do, I can quickly react to the new format by changing my parsing PHP code rather than changing the iPhone app and having to re-submit to the iTunes App Store and wait for review. This happened recently and the iWeatherHK app didn’t work properly for two weeks!
  • Parsing and formatting. Much easier to do in PHP than Obj-C!

It does however mean there are two network legs to the data retrieval. My testing shows that it takes around 2.5 seconds (min=1.32s, max=11.13s) for the app to get the data over 3G and WiFi. The amount of data retrieved is tiny (1KB) so 3G/WiFi should make little difference. The time is taken up by network transfer.

The app still isn’t totally finished though:

  • Some warning icons are not complete yet (T8 is a big one missing!)
  • The splash screen is a bit naff
  • It will only ever display a max of two warnings. I’ve not seen three in force, but it could happen. I’ll decide about this later.

However, for version 1.0, I think I’m done and will start the app approval process once I have the T8. I still don’t know how to provision and build for the store yet. Lots of plist settings to tweak.

Anyway, there are a few moving parts that can go wrong, so I appreciate if you can test it now and then to see if the links and parsing is working in addition to general usability and crashes.

If the app does crash:

1. Sync your phone to iTunes.
2. Browse to the following folders. Note that Device_Name will be the name if your iPhone as shown in iTunes:

  • Mac OS X : ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/Device_Name/
  • Windows XP: C:Documents and SettingsUsernameApplication DataApple computerLogsCrashReporterDeivce_Name
  • Windows Vista: C:UsersUsernameAppDataRoamingApple computerLogsCrashReporterMobileDeviceDevice_Name

3. Each log file will begin with “HKWarnings!”. Create a zip file from these applications (Mac: Right-click->Compress, Windows Right-Click->WinZip) and then email it to support@tiberius-hk.com

I also appreciate any ideas you might have for development. Please check my ‘roadmap‘ to see what I have planned.


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