Simple News-Reader App – Beginner’s help needed!

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by davethackwell, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. davethackwell macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2010
    Somerset, UK
    Hello everybody,

    I am a complete beginner and I wondered if anyone would be kind enough to offer me some advice and maybe a little help with an app I am trying to create.

    I’ve spent the last couple of days playing around with and creating a few very basic apps using various tutorials from around the web and so far I’ve been pleased with what I’ve managed to do. Hopefully the time I’ve spent so far will have given me at least the basic knowledge I need in order to follow any advice you may give me here!

    Let me start by explaining a simple version of what I am trying to create:

    I want to build a simple ‘news-reader’ style tab-bar app. When on a tab I want the user to see a navigation bar at the top, a scrollable ‘list’ of news stories that the user can select and the tab bar at the bottom. Once a news story is selected the view will move to the right and show a ‘detail’ view of that particular news story. On the detail view I want the same navigation bar to show a ‘back’ button, the scrollable news story in the middle and a separate bar with different buttons at the bottom (replacing the tab-bar). The closest example of a real app to this that I imagine some of you may have is the Engadget app.

    What I can do so far:

    I have created an app with a few tabs. Some tabs load a static view with pictures and text while others are set up with a WebView which displays a particular URL.


    One of my main queries is regarding the source of the news list and news detail pages. After reading and watching many tutorials I can’t decide which of the following is for the best:

    News Story List - Webpage in HTML
    News Story Detail - Webpage in HTML

    Create a view that features a WebView that displays the story list and let’s the user choose a news story.

    News Story List – Table with custom Cells that pull data from the web
    News Story Detail – View set up to pull data from the web

    Create a view that displays the table with custom cells that let’s the user choose from to move across to the detail view.

    I would much prefer to go down the 1st route but my main problem here is with the selection and animation. I want each news story in the list to show a picture, a headline and a subheading and for the user to be able to touch the whole ‘cell’ (highlight in blue like a list on the iPhone) to select it and not just the text or picture. Is this possible using HTML/CSS or do I have to use my second option above? I also want the transition animation where it moves to a view on the right when a user picks a news story.

    Please accept my apologies if I haven’t used all the correct terminology! Any help or advice with what I am attempting would be very much appreciated.

  2. boyplunder macrumors regular


    Sep 8, 2008
    I would probably look at using an RSS feed to populate the initial list. There are a number of examples of such tutorials on the web for this type of app.

    I would suggest the app then shows a tab view with two tabs: the details of the news item and then a webview if the user wants to see the actual article on the site. Option 1 in your post may not get approved anyway, because it doesn't offer any additional worth past the website you are showing. [At least if I understand you well enough.] The user might as well go to the website in Safari. The app needs to have a functional worth in itself. Can you add some information that the app has that then leads you to the web feed?

    Try this one as a good start for review.
    RSS reader tutorial
  3. davethackwell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2010
    Somerset, UK
    Thank you boyplunder for your very quick reply.

    Thank you also for providing me the link to that tutorial - I'll take a look and see if I can get any good info from it.

    I just re-read my original post and I realise that there are certain parts that I didn't explain properly. Here is a little more info:

    1. For the beginning this will be a dummy app and I won't be trying to submit this to Apple. If I manage to create what I am after it will be shown to staff at my company and used as an example of what will be possible in the future. Because of this, the data for the news items themselves (headline, sub-heading, picture, article etc.) could even be stored locally to the app if that made development easier.

    2. If I was to go down my Option 1 route, the webpages I mention wouldn't be the full normal news webpages but new iPhone formatted ones that are built specifically for display in the WebView I create.

    Here is a slightly better explanation of what I want:

    The majority of the tabs will do the same sort of thing so I should only need to explain how I want one of my tabs to work. When the app loads, the first tab is displayed and shows the following from top to bottom:

    1. Status Bar
    2. Image
    3. Scrollable list of news stories (Table view?)
    4. Tab-bar

    Each news story in the list will show an image on the left, a headline, a sub-heading and one of those DisclosureIndicator or DetailDisclosureButton icons on the right.

    When a user touches a story I want the whole ‘cell’ to highlight in blue and for the view to move to the right to show a ‘detail’ view of that particular news story.

    The detail view will show things such as the headline, sub-heading and the full story but I also want a navigation bar to appear at the top with a ‘back’ button that takes the user back to the table/list and a separate button bar at the bottom which replaces the tab-bar when on that view.

    Is there anybody out there willing to help me create this app? Maybe someone knows of an existing tuitorial that covers the creation of an app a bit like this?

    I would extremely grateful to anyone who may be able to offer some advice.


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