{ by david linsin }

November 15, 2010

Universal App - Word Buzz goes iPhone/iPod touch

114x114.png We have been working on bringing Word Buzz to iPhone and iPod touch for more than a month now. We started out with an iPad only version, because in the beginning we thought the concept of Word Buzz wouldn't work on a smaller device. After a none-stop coding weekend and a heavy testing session, we knew it would work and started hacking on iPhone and iPod touch support.

We decided to build a universal App, because of pervasive Game Center support and a unique selling point! The latter is a no brainer: you are willing to spend a couple more bugs, if you get an iPad version for free. The former is a technical limitation of Game Center. You can only hook up your leaderboards and achievements with one App Id.

Although it was easy enough to port Word Buzz to iPhone and iPod touch, we ran into a couple of pitfalls and one of them is worth sharing with you: the default device of your universal App! What does that mean? Well, if you want to have different xib files in your App for iPhone and iPad, you need to qualify them with a suffix -iPhone / -iPad. In your Info.plist, you configure your alternate main xib with NSMainNibFile~iphone / NSMainNibFile~ipad. Since we started out with an iPad App, we decided to make iPad the default, meaning my alternate main xib configuration in Info.plist was NSMainNibFile~iphone and point to MainWindow-iPhone.xib.

This works great for iPhone and iPads, but it doesn't work for iPod touches and it also doesn't work with iOS 3.x. Somehow iPod touches (even with iOS 4) and iPhones with iOS 3.x don't respect the NSMainNibFile~iphone configuration in Info.plist. They always use the NSMainNibFile config without any suffix.

We only found out about this after testing on an actual device, which shows how important testing on each and every device is. We decided to make iPhone / iPod touch devices the default and qualify every iPad resource with -iPad, just like Apple actually intended it to be done.

Word Buzz for iPad is available on the App Store, the iPhone / iPod touch version is coming in a couple of days as a free update. Let us know what you think about it in the comments or on Twitter.



  • mail(dlinsin@gmail.com)
  • jabber(dlinsin@gmail.com)
  • skype(dlinsin)