LockMe by Paulo Fierro

Lately Niqui has been having some issues with her iPhone 5's lock button. It works now and then, but you have to press it 6-7 times before it actually locks the screen which is quite annoying.

You can set phone to Auto-Lock after a minute but sometimes you want to lock the screen at a particular point in time.

Enter LockMe.


LockMe is a tiny app that simply locks the screen and quits. It uses an undocumented function called GSEventLockDevice which does just that. Its part of the private GraphicsServices framework so the app can't be submitted to the App Store, but it does the job until she can get her phone fixed.

There's a few ways to use private frameworks but I found the simplest route was to load it dynamically at runtime. The meat of the app is just ten lines of code.

That's pretty cool if you ask me.

So if you or someone you know has the same issue, grab the app from our GitHub repository, build it for them and be a hero :)

Disabling emoji characters with Unicode variants by Paulo Fierro

I'm currently working on an internal iOS app and while I was working on putting together the About screen I ran into an issue where unicode characters in a UILabel were being displayed as emoji by iOS. While this is kind of awesome, its not really what I was going for.

So my code:

label.text = @"Made with ❤ by jadehopper ltd.";

results in:


To disable the emoji character we have to tell iOS to use the variant of this character. In order to do this we change the label text to:

label.text = @"Made with ❤\U0000FE0E by jadehopper ltd.";

which results in:


Much better! If you want to read up on Unicode and its variants check this out.


Update Jan 20, 2015

Recently I tried to do this in Swift and it didn't quite work. The trick is to set the text as the following:

label.text = "Made with ❤\u{0000FE0E} by jadehopper ltd."

interactive.ky by Paulo Fierro

When Niqui and I moved over to Grand Cayman last summer we realised that one of the things that we had been completely spoiled with while living in Brighton was the great tech-community and the amazing people that live and work there — some of which we are lucky enough to call friends.


Soon after moving over, Garth Humphreys invited me to a couple Facebook groups which allowed me to (virtually) meet other people in our industry living on our tiny island. Recently we'd been chatting with some friends at BB&P, a local agency, who were also looking to get the local community together and they kindly invited us to use their space.

So earlier this month we had our first get together so we could meet in meatspace. Our first meetup was a great success and everyone that turned up was keen for more of them.

And so we have interactive.ky — a meetup for designers & developers living in the Cayman Islands. Our next one is next Wednesday, April 3 and you're more than welcome to come join us.

Earlier today Ingrid Riley wrote a lovely piece on our group over on Silicon Caribe.