Apple Opens iBookstore to Mexico, Central America, South America and New Zealand!

I received notification today from Apple that I can now sell our new iBook series iOS App Development for Non-Programmers in the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Venezuela


This now makes 50 country/territory stores that you can sell your iBooks. Again, the more the better. 

Viewing Stores for Other Countries
If you want to check out a store in another country, it’s easy. Just scroll to the bottom of the iTunes window and click the circular flag button in the bottom right corner:


Clicking this button takes you to a page where you can select the store you want to view.

Apple Improves the Book Submission Process
I’ve complained loudly in the past about how difficult Apple makes it to sell your books in the iBookstore. They have made a few improvements recently that I’ll talk about in an upcoming post.

Kevin McNeish
Author: iOS App Development for Non-Programmers Book Series 
Twitter:  @kjmcneish


Amazon Opens Kindle Market in Japan

Every morning when I first get to my desk, I check and log our sales figures for our iOS App Development for Non-Programmers series on Amazon and the iBookstore. This morning, I was surprised to see an entry for sales in Japan! I then went to the Amazon Japan store and searched for our books and there they were:

For an author, new markets are always a good thing. New markets, new potential customers.

Amazon and the 35%

Amazon offers two royalty options for authors. The 70% royalty option (where the author keeps 70% of the profits) is only available on books that are $9.99 or less, and the 35% option is available for books that $10.00 or above. However, for some countries, such as Japan, Amazon only offers the 35% royalty option.

There are options for higher royalties if you sign up with Amazon’s KDP Select program. In this program you can get a higher royalty in some countries (such as India) if you agree to only sell your e-Book on Amazon for a period of three months. For many authors, this is a no-brainer since they sell very few books on the iBookstore or Barnes and Noble. 

Amazon vs. the iBookstore

Apple continues to shoot itself in the foot (and in turn authors and readers) by limiting iBooks that use the newer iBooks 2 and 3 technologies to the iPad. You can’t even read these iBooks on a Mac! There’s really no technological reason why this is the case,so you can only conclude that Apple is more interested in selling iPads than books. This model is very confusing to readers trying to purchase an iBook. For example, here is the link to the first book in our new series on the iBookstore:

If you are on your Mac, you can see the book in the iBookstore and you can even download it to your Mac, but you can’t read it! I can’t tell you how many readers I have to explain this to. It just doesn’t make any sense to them, and for good reason.

In contrast, you can read a Kindle book on just about any device–Macs, iPads, iPhones, PCs, Android devices as well as Kindles. 

The REAL shame of all of this is that books using the iBooks 2 and 3 formats are far superior to books on the Kindle. iBooks contain high definition images (not allowed on the Kindle) as well as embedded video (not possible on the Kindle) and interactive diagrams (also not available on the Kindle). Hopefully, Apple will hear enough complaints about this and make some changes!

Kevin McNeish
Author: iOS App Development for Non-Programmers series
Twitter: @kjmcneish

Q&A: What’s the Most Cost-Effective way to Get into App Development?

I’m finally back home after a whirlwind speaking tour promoting my new book series iOS App Development for Non-Programmers. The speaking tour took me to London, Istanbul, and Phoenix Arizona!

At these speaking engagements, I’m often asked the question “what is the least expensive way to get started in iOS App development?

The New Mac Mini – Twice the Computer 

If you don’t already own an Intel-based Mac, the least expensive Mac you can purchase is the Mac mini. Yesterday, Apple released a new version of the Mac mini that sells for $599, and it’s a great machine for App development.

The Mac mini isn’t a laptop computer, but it’s a very small (7.7 x 1.4 x 7.7 inches) and lightweight (2.7 pounds) device to which you can connect your existing PC or Mac keyboard and external display.

The new Mac mini comes with a 2.5 Ghz dual core processor (its predecessor had a single core processor) 4 GB of memory (twice as much as its predecessor) and a 500 GB hard drive. The processor speed (2.5 GHz), the number of cores, and the amount of memory (4 GB) dictate how fast your Mac mini runs. Higher processor speeds, additional cores and larger memory increase your speed. The size of the hard drive (500 GB) indicates how much information you can store on your Mac mini. It also comes with four USB 3.0 ports that are about 5 times faster (in the real world) than USB 2.0 ports. For even faster access to peripherals such as displays and external hard drives there is also a Thunderbolt port which connects to newer Thunderbolt-enabled devices.

A Hackintosh?

The term “Hackintosh” refers to a PC that has been hacked to run the Mac OS X operating system. In every class I teach, there are always one or two students running a Hackintosh. Although this does work, I recommend spending some money and getting a real Mac. It runs much faster with a lot less hassle and it’s not illegal!

If You Already Own a Mac

If you already own a Mac, you may be able to use it for iOS development. You need an Intel-based Mac to run Xcode (Macs have either a PowerPC or Intel processor). Any Mac built after August 2006 has an Intel processor. If you’re not sure which processor your Mac has, follow these steps:

1. Click the Apple icon in the main menu on your desktop and select About This Mac.

2. In the About This Mac dialog box, look next to Processor to see which processor your Mac has.

Becoming a Registered Apple Developer

Becoming a registered Apple Developer is free, but if you want to test your Apps on an actual device (you do) and submit them to the App Store, you need to pay an annual developer fee starting at $99—but you can wait to pay this fee until you have climbed the iOS App development learning curve.

The phrase “it takes money to make money” is very true in this case. There is a great potential for getting a return on your investment as you sell Apps in the App Store, or even write Apps for others. This initial investment is well worth it.

Kevin McNeish
Author of the iOS App Development for Non-Programmers book series
Twitter: @kjmcneish 



Q&A: Are There Still Opportunities for New App Developers?

I was recently asked the question “Are there still opportunities for new App developers?” on our new book series (iOS App Development for Non-Programmers) forum. I’m repeating my answer here for the benefit of others who are asking the same question.

iOS 6 Provides Great New Opportunities
In short, the answer to the question is–absolutely. There are always new trends and new interests in the world at large and if you can tap into these you can create an App that does very well.

Getting in on the Maps Action
For example, EVERYONE is currently complaining about the Maps App, but Apple has created an opportunity where you can create a Routing App (subways, buses, trains) that users can purchase directly from the built-in Map App.

Build a Better Mouse Trap
There are also a lot of Apps out there that you can improve on. Even though an App already exists to solve a particular problem, often there is a better approach that you can implement in your own App. Apple has been tremendously successful in doing just that–taking something that exists, and making it far more user friendly. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend checking out Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines. There are far too many Apps in the store that don’t take the advice in this guide!

Use New iOS Features
You can also get your App noticed if you create a Universal version that works for both the iPhone and the iPad (there are a lot less Apps in the iPad store). If you take advantage of new features in the operating system, you can also stand out. Many App developers are reluctant to take advantage of new iOS features because it means their Apps won’t work on older versions of iOS. If you’re willing to take the plunge with a new App, you can get noticed by taking advantage of great new features.

Passbook Offers Great New Opportunities
You can also get into the business of creating Apps for others. A great opportunity in iOS 6 is the new Passbook App. You can create coupons, store cards, boarding passes and event tickets for businesses in your area. It’s pretty exciting for a local (or national) business to see their store cards and coupons scannable from an iPhone.

Easy Integration with Facebook and Twitter
There is also new integration with Facebook and Twitter. It’s VERY easy to incorporate this functionality into your App (only two lines of code) and you can have your users sharing photos and messages from within your App. 

Finally–A Control that Lets You Add Photo and Music App Features to Your App
There’s also the new Collection View available in iOS 6. It allows you to easily create a user interface that mimics the built-in Photo and Music Apps. We’ve been waiting a long time for this functionality, and now it’s up to App developers to incorporate this new control in their Apps.

Every new release of iOS provides brand new opportunities for new App developers to throw their hat into the ring and create Apps that surprise and amaze their users.

Kevin McNeish
Author of iOS App Development for Non Programmers book series
Twitter: @kjmcneish 

Handling Autorotation in IOS 5 and iOS 6 – supportedInterfaceOrientations and shouldAutorotate

In iOS 5, the shouldAutorotateToInterfaceOrientation: method was used to specify which orientations an App supported. This method was deprecated in iOS 6.

When a method is deprecated, it typically means that you should avoid using it because it has been superseded. In this case, shouldAutoRotateToInterfaceOrientation: is never called on a device that is running iOS 6, although it is still called under iOS 5.

So, if you want your App to work on devices running iOS 5 (you usually do), then you should still implement the shouldAutoRotateToInterfaceOrientation: method.

In iOS 6, Apple has replaced this method with two other methods:

  • supportedInterfaceOrientations:
  • shouldAutorotate

If you don’t implement these methods, your App will support the following orientations by default in iOS 6:

  • iPhone - All orientations exception portrait-upside down
  • iPad - All orientations 

If you want to limit the orientations supported by your App in iOS 6, you need to implement the new supportedInterfaceOrientations method to indicate the orientations your App supports. This method returns a bit mask specifying which orientations are supported. For example, the following code indicates the App supports portrait, and landscape-left orientations:

- (NSInteger)supportedInterfaceOrientations
   return UIInterfaceOrientationMaskPortrait | UIInterfaceOrientationMaskLandscapeLeft;

In this example, the vertical line indicates the Objective-C bitwise inclusive OR operator.

The shouldAutorotate method is intended to temporarily disable automatic rotation. By default, this method returns YES. You can override this method and return NO to turn off automatic rotation.

When moving your App to iOS 6, you should also check your project’s app delegate class to see if there is code in its application: didFinishLaunchingWithOptions: method like this:

[window addSubview:viewController.view];

If there is, it will prevent autorotation from working properly. You need to change it to:

window.rootViewController = tabBarController;

After making these changes, your App should autorotate properly in iOS6.

For more information, check out Apple’s Supporting Multiple Interface Orientations documentation.

Kevin McNeish
Author of the iOS App Development for Non-Programmers series 

Twitter: @kjmcneish 


Book 1: Diving In – iOS Apps For Non-Programmers, FREE in the iBookstore, $1.99 on Amazon Oct 9-11, 2012

Oak Leaf Enterprises, Inc




You can get a free copy of my new book in the iBookstore on Oct 9-11, 2012. This coincides with my speaking engagement at the webIT conference in Istanbul this week.

This book jumped to #1 on Amazon in the “Apple” category after just three weeks on the store. It takes full advantage of the iBooks 2 format including embedded videos, high definition images and hyperlinked glossary. This book assumes you know *nothing* about programming or writing Apps.

This offer coincides with my speaking engagement at the webIT conference in Istanbul this week where I’m speaking on the subject “Unleash the App Developer Within!”

To get the book, go to the following link from your iPad’s web browser. Your iPad needs to be running iOS 5 or newer, and you need to install the free iBooks 2 App.

If you don’t have an iPad, you can get Book 1: Diving In, greatly discounted ($1.99) from Amazon at this link (if it’s not set to $1.99 yet, give it a few hours and check again):

You don’t need a Kindle to read the version on Amazon. You can read it on just about any device using the free Kindle App.

Best Regards,

Kevin McNeish 


An Indie Book Publishing Journey – We Hit #1 on Amazon with "iOS App Development for Non-Programmers Book 1: Diving In!"

I’ll be sharing more details of our book series journey when I get back to the U.S. (I’m in Istanbul this week for a speaking engagement at the webit conference), but I’m very surprised and amazed to see Book 1: Diving in reach the #1 spot on Amazon in the following categories:

Books > Computers & Technology > Apple

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Computers & Internet > Programming

And we event hit #2 in the broader Books > Computers & Technology > Programming

I’ll share some of the keys that got us to this place in future posts, but just wanted to share the great news for now.  This book series is self-published and self-promoted, so that makes the achievement even more gratifying (especially given the amount of money traditional publishers have earned from my books over the years).

It’s gratifying to read emails from new readers each day who are excited to finally learn how to create iOS Apps.

Kevin McNeish  

Cool Angus, Simon MacLean and learning to write iPhone Apps

I heard from a fellow Scotsman today, Simon MacLean, who discovered our new iOS App Development for Non-Programmers book series. He has a web site called “Cool Angus” that describes his “climbing the iOS learning curve” nicely. He wrote a great blog post about the series that you can find here:

Best Regards,

Kevin McNeish

Free in iBookstore and our web site Oct 1-3 – Book 1: Diving In – iOS App Development for Non-Programmers!

Just wanted to let everyone know that Book 1: Diving In of our iOS App Development for Non-Programmers series is free October 1-3, 2012 in the iBookstore:

And the Kindle version is free to download from our web site:

We’re offering the book for free to coincide with my speaking engagement at Apps World 2012, London this week!

If you have an iPad, I highly recommend our iBooks 2 version. It has embedded video, interactive diagrams, a hyperlinked glossary, and high-definition images.


Kevin McNeish