Archive for July 5, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

GPS in Airplane Mode

Dave Rullo:

Airplane Mode turns off all internet functions, phone calls, and texts. Prior to iOS 8.3, Airplane Mode also disabled the GPS in your iPhone/iPad, which crippled most of Gaia GPS. Now, with the latest iOS updates, you can use Airplane Mode, and Gaia GPS will be able to plot you on the map, and record your trip.

Presumably the GPS does not perform as well without access to cellular towers or Wi-Fi. But this could potentially save a lot of battery life when you’re in an area with poor cell service. Plus, it would let you track your flight process while on an airplane, if you had the maps preloaded.

Installing Fonts on iOS

Norbert Lindenberg:

iOS comes with a selection of fonts that cover the major writing systems of the world. Some apps, however, need to install additional fonts for system-wide use. […] This article describes how such apps can package and install fonts, based on my experience bundling the Ubud font with the Balinese Font and Keyboard app. Note that this is about system-wide use – if you need to bundle a font just for use within your own app, Chris Ching has a tutorial for that.


For some parts of the Unicode character set WebKit now looks for fallback fonts, for other parts it doesn’t (Balinese was one of the lucky scripts). Recent code changes in WebKit indicate that this will finally be completely fixed in iOS 9.


While support for third-party keyboards was highlighted as a new feature in iOS 8, support for third-party fonts received much less attention. This is probably because the support that exists was primarily targeted at enterprise customers: Fonts for use across apps are packaged in configuration profiles, which otherwise serve to configure virtual private networks, disable games and unsafe web sites, locate network printers, and do other things that matter in corporate environments.


[Apple] Configurator creates and uses a self-signed certificate, which iOS doesn’t trust, so you get the same number of warnings, just saying “Not Verified” instead of “Not Signed”. […] I ended up buying a COMODO code signing certificate from KSoftware, which cost US$95 and quite some time because their support for Macs is a bit flaky.


Installed fonts do not get updated automatically. When the user installs a new version of your app that includes a new version of the font, you likely have to remind the user to re-install the font.

So I guess Font/DA Mover is no longer the hard way to install fonts.

Another Downside of Automatic App Updating

I have long had Settings ‣ iTunes & App Store ‣ Automatic Downloads ‣ Updates enabled but Use Cellular Data disabled. I thought the latter would protect me from unreliable cellular connections and wasting bandwidth. Unfortunately, I did not account for unreliable hotel Wi-Fi or what I consider to be an OS bug.

On a recent trip, iOS started downloading an update to Editorial but apparently couldn’t finish the process. This would be OK except that it left the app in an incomplete state where the home screen showed that it was in the process of updating, but the app would not launch. So I was unable to access my important notes. (Other Dropbox text editors would have worked but didn’t have the files cached on the phone.)

Previously: Downside of Automatic App Updating.