Introducing Browse500, the first Nougat app on the iOS App Store!

I’m more than thrilled to announce the immediate availability of Browse500.app, the very first app written in Oxygene “Nougat” to be submitted to and approved for the iOS App Store.

Dog-fooding is important, and as you know, we do a lot of it here at RemObjects. In early December i started out creating a small “real life” iOS app with the goal of (a) putting Nougat thru its paces, test it and find bugs, (b) create a nice sample application that illustrates Nougat and core iOS and Cocoa concepts in a real application and (c) “test” App Store submission.

I did not expect any problems with app store approval — after all, Nougat creates 100% native Cocoa apps that are virtually indistinguishable from those created with Xcode and Objective-C, but i wanted too “prove” that a Nougat app gets accepted (even with “Oxygene” in the compiler meta data, for example).

I was not disappointed. I submitted Browse500 on December 28th, the day the iTunes Connect (the place where you submit apps) was back from its holiday shutdown, and version 1.0 was approved just a few days later. I did not put 1.0 live in the store for two reasons: for one i’ve been working on the app and kept improving it while 1.0 was waiting for review, and for another, there were a few bugs and leaks that would kill the app after some period of browsing because it ran out of memory. Those were easily fixed thanks to Instruments. 1.0.2 was submitted last week and approved last night.

So what is Browse500?

From the user’s perspective, it’s a nice little app to browse the 500px photo community. It lets you browse popular and, as they call it, “fresh” photos, view individual photos full screen, and drill into individual user’s portfolios to see all their photos.

It’s simple, it’s quick, and it turns out i actually use it all the time myself to browse photos.

I’ll be expanding it over time; i have a “bookmark” feature in the works that’s not active in 1.0.2 yet (but that i’ve been using frequently), i have more navigation ideas, and i want to add support for logging authenticating (right now the app browses anonymously only), voting, favoriting, etc.

From the curious developer’s perspective, Browse500 is an open source app, [available on GitHub], written in 100% Oxygene Nougat that illustrates a wide range of iOS technologies and concepts, including:

  • The awesome and fluid kind of standard UI you get by using the proper iOS frameworks rather that weird hack frameworks that aren’t native
  • Use of UITableViews and iOS 6’s awesome new UICollectionView, which i use to implement the main “album” view of the app
  • Using custom UICollectionViewCells and custom UIViews
  • Working with both XIB-based and all-in-code views
  • Using Grand Central Dispatch to write asynchronous code that loads images and data from the net on demand and in the background — you’ll see that the album view is an endless stream of photos that just keeps filling with more as you scroll until 500px runs out of photos to show you
  • Using iCloud to sync settings (1.0.2 as one setting) and data (the 1.1 will have the bookmark feature alluded to above)
  • Using third party Objectve-C APIs (the app uses the open source PXAPI library to talk to 500px.com)
    … and much more

As mentioned, the app is on the App Store now, so if you are mainly interested in playing around, go get it (it’s free). And of course it’s a Universal app for iPhone and iPad.

The app is also fully open source. You can get the full source code from the GitHub repository (you will need the latest Nougat beta), and i would appreciate feedback, comments and &mdashl of course — pull requests.

Also, don’t forget to rate the app on the App Store!


(Disclaimer: The photos in this view are not by me.)

marc hoffman

Chief Architect and CEO here at RemObjects Software. Project Manager for Elements and lead developer of Fire, our awesome new development environment for the Mac.

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