Update News without a Website?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by FubsyGamr, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. FubsyGamr macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2010
    Hey guys!

    I am currently in the process of learning and creating my own app, and it is based off of Starcraft 2. Everything is going pretty well so far, except for the continuous updating part of the app. I would like to be able to update the 'News' tab every day, and the 'Build Order' tab about once a week. I am wondering: is there a way for me to update the app constantly with news items, build orders, announcements, etc, if I don't have my own website up for the app to pull from, online? Can I just update it somehow from my own Mac? Or is that a requirement, that there be a website 'behind' the updating feature??

    I tried google-searching this, as wel as looking in the book that I am using, but I was unable to find a response. Thanks for any/all help!
  2. ulbador macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2010
    Ultimately something like this will be based on some sort of web based updating, whether it is XML or otherwise. There pretty much is no simpler way to disseminate updates without writing some sort of daemon, which is going to be largely out of the question for most people. You could do your updates based on Twitter feeds or something like that, but even that is a web based update at the core. The easiest thing to do is just to turn on "Web Sharing" on your Mac and dump a few XML or HTML files in the document root and learn how to issues your updates that way. That way, once you know it works, you can find web hosting somewhere for pay or for free.

    I guess the question is, how do you see yourself updating the data for this app?
  3. FubsyGamr thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2010
    Thanks for the great answer, and I will research all of those suggestions.

    As to your question, I don't have an exact plan for *how* I see myself updating the app, I'd just like to do it in the fastest way possible. For example, if there is a big tournament, I'd like to be able to throw up there "Fubsy wins the big Texas tournament, click here for details" sort of a thing.

    For the build orders themselves, they are more complicated text files, so I would like to be able to update the app about once a week, adding more selections to a list of build orders. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I appreciate your help.

    EDIT: Just to add some clarification, my app has a similar look and feel to the landscape mode of the mail app, with a scrollable list on the left hand side. When an option is selected, e.g. "Huk's Build Order," the right screen populates with information. I would like to be able to update that list with more Build Orders as time goes on.

    The announcements would be updated in similar fashion, but be on the home page of the app itself. Sort of like a mix between an RSS feed and Twitter.

    If I have to register a website I will, but if there is a better/easier way to update, then I would prefer to do it that way, and not have to worry about the website (for now).
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    You don't need to "register a website" in the conventional use of that term. What you need are stored resources that can be retrieved using website protocols, specifically HTTP and/or HTTPS.

    Any number of companies can provide such services. Amazon S3 is one example:

    If you have ever bought anything from Amazon, then you already have an Amazon account. You simply sign up for Amazon Web Services using your account (no charge for this), and sign up for the S3 service (no charge for this, either). You then use the issued S3 keys to "login" and upload content. By default, uploads are private (readable only by someone with your keys), but you can make it public-readable quite easily.

    Your Amazon account will need a stored credit card or other payment mechanism. Amazon bills at the end of each month. Fees vary based on amount of stored data and number of HTTP requests. My last few months have been under 10 cents per month. Obviously, your charges will depend on what you do. If you store nothing and transfer nothing, then your charges are zero for the month.

    There are any number of Mac programs that can connect to S3 and upload, download, delete, and manipulate content. I use CyberDuck. It's not hard to find others.

    So the basic process goes like this:
    1. You upload some stuff to S3.
    2. You make it public-readable (or tell the uploader app this before uploading).
    3. Everyone can now read what you uploaded, if they know the URL.
    4. Amazon charges your credit card at end of month.

    S3 has lots of options, such as logging accesses so you can see what is being retrieved, and different tiers of reliability. You can also view the current amount of your charges at any time.

    S3 is just one example of a web-based storage service. There are other providers, and other services, such as "compute engine" services like Google's App Engine or Amazon's EC2.
  5. FubsyGamr thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2010
    Awesome!!! Thanks again for the help.

    So, the very last step would be to just point my app at the web-based storage service (in this case, S3), which will then draw the information from it and put it up on the app?

    Thanks again.
  6. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    That's one of the steps, but it's not the very last one. You'll have to do it when developing your game, so you know it can retrieve the resources from the real storage service URLs. That means you need to setup a storage service while the game is still in development. Not first thing, but some time in the middle to later stages.

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