iPhone proximity sensing IS in the API

16 years ago, at the end of November | Leave a Comment

There seems to have been a lot of misinformation flying about of late. With Google releasing a new version of their app incorporating proximity sensing, some blogs have claimed this is breaking AppStore rules by using undocumented hidden (non public) API calls. I’m here to tell you that’s just rubbish. All that has happened is the people reporting it haven’t even bothered to check. Want to prove this to yourself?

1. Start Xcode and pick one of the templates.
2. Load up the AppDelegate code and skip to ‘applicationDidFinishLaunching’.
3. Type ‘application.’ (note the full stop after the word application)
4. Hit escape and you’ll get a list, scroll down to items starting with P
5. Oh look there it is…

For those without Xcode here’s a picture.

Oh, that must be the non-public public api...

Oh, that must be the non-public public api...

For those that want to see the what the documentation says


A Boolean value that determines whether proximity sensing is enabled.

@property(nonatomic, getter=isProximitySensingEnabled) BOOL proximitySensingEnabled

YES if proximity sensing is enabled; otherwise NO. Enabling proximity sensing tells iPhone OS that it may need to blank the screen if the user’s face is near it. Proximity sensing is disabled by default.


Available in iPhone OS 2.0 and later.

Declared In

Unfortuneately once some people grab hold of false information no facts will get in their way. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m really not fond of either Google or Apple, but let’s just get stuff right shall we.

I’ve had some discussion on irc and it was felt that I should point out that proximityStateChanged is used and following some additonal chatter on IRC with UncleBob who pointed out that “It’s not private in the OBjC sense just the Apple documented SDK sense. ” he then went on to say “the whole thing is definately a peanut-gallery cockfest” which sums it all up really.


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November 28, 2008 11:43



Concept iPhone Application

16 years ago, mid-November | 3 Comments

I’ve been messing about trying to learn how to write iPhone apps. There’s a lot to take in but at the moment I’ve managed a concept application. A little shop (of horrors ;). At the moment it simply reads data from an sqlite database and then displays information on the product. The buy now button currently just jumps to the product url at

Update: Added a screenshot when rotated. The iPhone SDK handles the rotation automatically, all you need to do is specify which parts of which objects move or resize. All that can be done from Interface Builder. Easy as pie. Also note the changed title bar colour, in keeping with LinITX, and the title text. The shop title (LinITX) and shop base product URL are read from a plist file. I suppose they could be read from the sqlite db but I am experimenting so learning how to read a plist file is useful too.

Update 2: Spent ages last night trying to work out why some of the text descriptions for products came out of the database as null. Discovered that when importing the data file it wasn’t using UTF8 encoding, which is apparently all sqlite deals with. Loading up the source data file into TextEdit under OSX and saving it as UTF8 then reimporting solved the problem. I also modified how things are displayed. The image and text are inserted into a UIWebView so are now scaleable by the user. The images are also base64 encoded and in the database. This increases the database size but means the application can still be used offline. Before none of the pictures would display if there was no network connectivity.

Update 3: Added the ability to search the list. The search bar appears when the search button is pressed and hides again when the search is complete.

Product ListProduct detailProduct detail rotatedAdditional toolbarSearchSearching for DDR2 memory

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November 11, 2008 20:35



Meet JO Black

16 years ago, at the start of November | Leave a Comment

Having the IMIV in the car makes driving around much more fun but up until recently I had my iPhone and prior to that my iPod Classic flapping about on the passenger seat. It worked but wasn’t particularly elegant and of course the moment I had a passenger in the
car there was a problem. This week I finally broke and decided to sort out the problem. To be honest I was looking for something cheap and functional. A quick search lead me to the JO BLACK from x castro design. This is a rather simple frame with what I can only describe as a bulldog clip on the back. The JO works rather simply. You squeeze the clip to open it and slip it onto one of your car air vents. Your iPod or iPhone or other device slips into it, gently held by the neoprene arms. The arms can be bent to allow more or less grip, so, although it seems to be an iPhone or iPod holder it isn’t just that, it can safely hold pretty much any handheld device – within reason of course. The fact that it has an open base means I can have the IMIV cable connected with no issues.

The JO is available with the neoprene in one of 7 colours, the base frame is always black but the colour range is varied enough for most tastes.

If you’re looking for a passive holder for your phone or music player then for the money the JO series suit. One thing I did notice when looking at the pricing on their site compared to Amazon was that although the x castro site and Amazon prices matched (after shipping), there seemed to be no way to select the free shipping for the UK. The 3 options in the dropdown box all added more to the price.

Front viewFront viewSide viewAngle sideWith battery

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November 1, 2008 14:37



Free World Dialup not so free

16 years ago, at the end of October | 1 Comment

I know it’s late but I really hate to write this post. I really, really do. It saddens me deeply. Free World Dialup the pioneering VoIP service has gone ‘pay only’. For a $30 yearly charge you can now get exactly what you used to have.

Sad but true

For me Free World Dialup represented what should have been happening in the world of VoIP. While everyone else acted like money grabbing whores Free World Dialup weren’t out to make a fast buck. It was the ultimate social network – Where else could you phone complete strangers for help and end up being good friends. Community members offered support to those just getting started with VoIP.  It was a wonderful time. Sadly this is no longer true.

The unfortunate thing about Free World Dialup now charging is that there are so many other services that offer the same thing for nothing. To me it seems a rather odd decision particularly as it was held in such high regard buy its users and supporters.

Jeff Pulver has commented on this on his blog but I still find it difficult to understand. As far as I am concerned Jeff is one of those totally awesome people you sometimes get to meet. He’s like an ideas factory. I have nothing but respect for him but this is almost like finding out your favourite uncle dresses up as a woman and heads down the docks at the weekend.

So I guess it’s goodbye Free World Dialup…

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October 30, 2008 12:32



Fullscreen iPhone WebApps

16 years ago, mid-October | 1 Comment

Web applications on the iPhone have always been second class citizens without access to the really interesting features. To add insult to injury web applications lost a large chunk of screen real estate to the top and bottom Safari toolbars.

Well, now they don’t need to. For users with firmware 2.1, if you add the following lines to the <head> section of your web application page then, when someone adds your web application to their home screen and then uses it all they will see is the standard bar showing carrier name, signal and battery level. As ever the pictures should make it much clearer. Notice that there is no address bar or lower toolbar at all, even when scrolling.
Read more…

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October 19, 2008 16:44

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