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Issue 18.4 ('Mac to iOS')
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Porting a Mac App to iOS

For MacOS programmers starting iOS development

Issue: 18.4 (July/August 2020)
Author: Tom Baumgartner
Author Bio: Tom is retired and has enjoyed programming in Xojo as a hobby for over 20 years, especially during the Canadian winter when there is only curling and bridge to replace golf, fishing, and playing tennis.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 18,896
Starting Page Number: 54
Article Number: 18405
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

This article is based on my presentation for the cancelled 2020 Xojo.Connect and on iOS support in Xojo 2019r3. Xojo has announced plans for iOS which will substantially alter what has to be done to port a MacOS app to iOS when those changes are released.

PM Practice Test

PM Practice Test was released for the Mac in 2011 to simulate PMI(R) Project Management Professional certification tests. The actual 200-question test is expensive, so taking a few inexpensive, timed practice tests is a good method of preparing. Over the years there have been changes in the reference materials, REALbasic/Real Studio/Xojo, MacOS, and the App Store. With each change to the reference materials, my content expert would have to update over 1200 questions and sometimes I would have to update the actual test engine. Figure 1 shows an example test question with multiple choice answers.

PM Practice Pad

The iPad has become so popular that many people now use it as their portable computer. Thus the iPad seemed an ideal platform for this form of study and test preparation. Having already released a game for iOS it seemed reasonable to port this app to become PM Practice Pad.

The most obvious difference to consider is the Mac screen versus the iOS screen. Modern MacOS screens have a usable area at least 1200 pixels wide by 700 pixels high. For simplicity of use, PM Practice Test has fixed window sizes. In addition to more limited screen size, the iPad is used in both landscape and portrait orientations. Auto-layout is great but can get complicated when trying to fit the Xojo View into a tight yet variable space. Figure 2 shows my first attempt at using auto-layout for a question with answer on an iPad and on an iPad Pro (12.9 inch). The View on the iPad Pro looks disorganized due to unbalanced spacing.

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