Archive for March, 2010

Using PVRTC images to keep RAM and bundle size down.

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The App 3G download limit was recently changed to 20 megs (from 10), but there will still be times when you may find yourself needing to squeeze down that bundle size to make the cut; RAM usage is something you will always want to keep as low as possible.  Thankfully there is something you can do to your app to give you some more breathing room in both departments: use PVRTC images.

PVRTC images use far less ram then .jpg or .png images, support transparency, and compress much better in the bundle.  Unfortunately they are a little unwieldy to use, so I’ve compiled a few tips to help.  Firstly, you can pick up a nice PVRTC image converter in our resource section HERE, which was created during the development of Amazing Ninja Buddy.  This will let you convert your existing images into PVRTC form.  Now, in order to incorporate them into your project I recommend you use Apple’s Texture2D image processing class, or whatever the equivalent is in any of Apple’s newer OpenGL based sample projects.

PVRTC images do have one fatal flaw…they are quite ugly and have a tendency to contain nasty transparency artifacts.  Thankfully there is a good way to to address this:

1) initially have your assets created at double the size you need them at (so for instance 512×512 for a 256×256 desired end result).
2) convert the file to PVRTC
3) draw it in your project at half scale

This will result in images that are very close to the quality of your originals, take up less hard disk space, and use roughly 40% of the RAM…that’s a big difference!

Will the iPad revolutionize the world?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I don’t think it is any secret that the iPad is one of the most hyped devices in recent history…but I’m just not completely sold on its “magical” ability to transform the universe.  I’m not sure if my opinion is popular, but to me it seems like there were many disappointing elements to the iPad announcement: no camera, no multitasking, monthly fee for 3G despite not being a phone…and of course the atrocious name of the device itself.  Some developer friends of mine tell me that I’m not seeing the devices true potential, and I think that is fair; but to me that is all it currently embodies: a potential.  As it stands right now I’m finding it hard to see a huge demographic this device will grab.  If you want portability, you have your iPod touch.  If you want hardcore gaming, video/music production or  other intensive tasks, you have your desktop or laptop.

Don’t get me wrong, I do feel the iPad signifies an important change towards making computers more “background” to our lives…I just feel that it’s base capabilities fail to meet the challenge the hype takes on.  I mean, it has the same hard disk space as an iPod…and the lack of a video camera seems downright sinful.  The iPad would have been a perfect device for on the go/job skyping; that’s actually the niche I thought it was going to go for.

Anyway, that all being said, I DO plan to develop applications on the iPad in the near future…I just really hope by then iPad 2.0 will turn it into the magical beast I know it could be.

Site Redesign In Progress

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Hi Omegasoft Faithful,

Site redesign is well underway so please pardon our dust.  Some of the sections do not have content yet, but that will be changing in the very near future, as will the layout of existing content.  Thanks for all the support, we’re going to turn that into a streamlined and feature-full website!