Audio Recording for Apps

For anyone who’s purchased my latest app, OOOG, you’ll hear some sound effects while playing the game and tapping buttons on the screen. I’m particularly proud of the option menu button sound effect.

I recorded and edited all of the sounds myself. It was a highly enjoyable process. More surprising still is the fact that all the sounds were recorded by an iPad mini using GarageBand. I used an iRig mic pre amp and hooked up a semi-pro microphone.

I didn’t edit the audio on iOS. For that I turned to Adobe’s Audition app on the Mac. I enjoyed editing and recording the audio so much that I’ll probably not buy or download anybody else’s sound effects again. Subject to being able to capture the original sound, of course. If I need the mating call of an exotic Panda I’m going to be a bit stumped!

I’ve already recorded all the audio for my next app project with the same set-up and I’m super impressed by the lack of background noise on the source audio. I’m definitely going to record some new sound effects for a Words Inside update in the future.

App UI sound effects will no longer be a last minute addition. They’ll be something I work on much earlier in the development process from now on.

With UI sound effects it’s very important to get short sounds that begin instantly. If you purchase or download sounds from the internet they often make your app feel less responsive because they don’t start playing instantly.

Obviously if an app needs longer audio or original background music I’ll still be turning to my brother, Owain, who’s a truly gifted composer. We worked together on the Sum Maths and GBFF apps.


App Store Pricing

This piece and the links within it are worth reading if you’re interested in App Store pricing and why it’s all gone so pear shaped.

It seems that very few apps made for the general public are going to recoup their development costs. It’s not to say you can’t make any money from ‘hobby’ apps.

As the post points out most developers need to focus on working on apps for clients who already have a business model where an app can add value to their business but the app isn’t the money generating factor. I could be information, a store front, a map of their retail outlet locations or something they do to promote their brand via an app.

The gold rush is over.

Update: Or is it?

And excellent rebuttal to the above posts

PS World 2.0

At the iOS Dev UK 2012 conference in Aberystwyth last year I got to know Shawn Welch, an author, speaker and independent iOS app developer from the United States.

Today he released the Photoshop World Conference app (App Store link) version 2.0.

Boy oh boy, what an app it is. Congratulations to Shawn. He’s done an amazing job. I’m especially impressed with how the app transitions to iPad size from the excellent iPhone version. I often feel TableView apps look gawky on the iPad but this one is a splendid example of how to reuse iPhone view controllers on the iPad.

Shawn’s also created a unique UI element worthy of an usability award. He’s called it the SWHorizontalSplitViewController (twitter post link). You can flick the control horizontally to change the date but you can also slide the whole control up and down on the screen to swap between a list schedule view and a graphical schedule view.

It’s a beautifully designed app and well worth a download even if, like me, you can’t make it to the Photoshop World conference itself.

iOS7 ideas concept video


I really like some of the ideas presented in this video. I think Apple could make some of them look a bit better. Some of them would add a real power user level to the OS that wouldn’t make it any harder for new users. I think the tap-and-hold gesture is under used.

Sub-classing UINavigation Controller on iOS6

If you’ve ever needed to rotate just one view controller on iOS6 but struggled to get control of the situation this gist may help:

Simply add that class to your Navigation Controller in Storyboard.

Then simply add this method to the view controller you don’t want to rotate:

-(BOOL)shouldAutorotate {
return NO;

As you can see. I need to find a source code plug in for WordPress!