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Robot Media


RMStore: a lightweight iOS framework for in-app purchases

We recently released RMStore, our latest open source contribution. RMStore is a lightweight iOS framework for in-app purchases. It adds blocks and notifications to StoreKit, plus receipt verification and purchase management. All in one class, without any external dependencies.

Purchasing a product is as simple as:

[[RMStore defaultStore] addPayment:productID success:^(SKPaymentTransaction *transaction) {
    NSLog(@"Purchased!", @"");
} failure:^(SKPaymentTransaction *transaction, NSError *error) {
    NSLog(@"Something went wrong", @"");

RMStore currently supports consumable and non-consumable products. Subscriptions, content downloads and OS X are on the roadmap.

The project is still on an early stage but we already use it internally. The code is well documented, contains unit tests and is released under a Apache 2.0 license via GitHub. Contributions and feedback are more than welcome.

RMPaint: an Open Source Painting Library for iOS

Touch painting is a very requested feature in our children’s book apps and is also a part of Storybuilder, our children’s book authoring tool. Instead of repeating code over and over again we decided to create a library just for it: RMPaint. And we made it open source while we were at it.

RMPaint is an iOS painting library based in the GLPaint example by Apple. Its main features to date are:

  • Paint with touch gestures
  • Dynamic brush and color
  • Save and restore painting sessions
  • Designed for iOS 5 with ARC
As usual, we invite developers to fork RMPaint and contribute or request improvements. We will be adding more features shortly.

Using JavaScript in iBooks Enhanced ePub


It’s been known for a while that iBooks supports JavaScript on its ePub files, albeit without any technical documentation whatsoever to date.

Yet when we started experimenting with JavaScript within iBooks, we couldn’t find any open-source working examples. So we created one. :)

JQuery Hello World is a bare-bones ePub that shows a Hello World alert using JQuery. Not only it shows that JavaScript is supported within iBooks, but also that complex libraries like JQuery might be used.

Both the ePub file and the source code are available in our github account. Make sure you update to the latest iBooks version before trying it.

Happy coding! We will be publishing more iBooks ePub experiments shortly.

Android Billing Library: in-app billing made simple

Android Billing Library is an open-source Android library to work with Android Market’s in-app billing service.

The library provides high-level functions (as simply as requestPurchase(“android.example.purchased”)) for the full in-app billing specification, in addition to an obfuscated transaction database that is automatically populated and can be easily queried. The code also works as an example in-app billing implementation.

This is our third open-source contribution, with more to come shortly. If you’re interested in in-app billing, we invite you to fork the code on github and contribute with issues or pull requests.

How to create an Amazon EC2 instance with Apache, PHP and MySQL (LAMP)

At Robot Media we want to spend as little time as possible worrying about anything that isn’t mobile or tablet related. That is one of the reasons why we use Amazon EC2 -and Amazon AWS in general- for the backend components of our apps.


In this tutorial we will show you how to set up an Ubuntu Amazon EC2 instance with Apache, PHP and MySQL (also known as LAMP), which should be enough to host a simple dynamic web site.

Some familiarity with Amazon AWS and LAMP is assumed; you can adquire the former from the book Host Your Web Site On The Cloud: Amazon Web Services Made Easy.

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How to register your mobile app to publish Facebook stories

Mobile apps that want to publish Facebook stories on behalf of an user need to be registered on Facebook first. Here’s how.

Step 1: Where?

Log in to Facebook and go to facebook.com/developers. Click on + Set Up New App.

Tip: The Facebook account that you use will not be visibile to your app users unless you want to. Avoid personal accounts as the app developer might need to have access to this account.
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How to register your mobile app on Twitter to post tweets

Most mobile apps these days have some kind of Twitter integration. The less the app can do on behalf of an user, the simpler this integration is.

Mobile apps that want to post tweets need to be registered on Twitter and cleared by their API team. Here’s how.

Step 1: Where?

Go to Twitter developers, sign in with the Twitter account that will be linked to your app, and click on Register an app.

Tip: The Twitter account that you use will not be visibile to your app users unless you want to. Avoid personal accounts as the app developers might need to have access to this account if things don’t work.
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WP Android Shortcode: a WordPress plugin to add links to the Android Market

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Linking to Android Market apps is somewhat problematic. Because Android Market links only work from Android devices, the most common way to link to an Android app is to offer a QR code of the app link that can be scanned with an app like Barcode Scanner.

However, when browsing from an Android device, a direct link to the Android Market is preferred. What works well for Android devices does not suit the rest and viceversa.

To solve this problem in our website we have created a very simple WordPress plugin called WP Android Shortcode. The plugin uses the [android] shortcode to convert Android Market links to the best option based on the platform. Android devices get a direct link to the Android Market, while the rest get the corresponding QR code. In both cases our nifty Android Market badge is used to clearly indicate that this is a link to an Android app.

For example, the following shortcode…


…is rendered as:

Android Market badge

You can also specify the app name like this:

[android href=”market://search?q=pname:net.robotmedia.findtherobots” title=”Find the Robots!”]

…which is rendered as:

Android Market badge

We encourage you to download the WP Android Shortcode plugin from WordPress.org and use it on your website.