Home > Articles > Mobile Application Development & Programming

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Recipe: Live Touch Feedback

Have you ever needed to record a demo for an iOS app? There’s always compromise involved. Either you use an overhead camera and struggle with reflections and the user’s hand blocking the screen or you use a tool like Reflection (http://reflectionapp.com) but you only get to see what’s directly on the iOS device screen. These app recordings lack any indication of the user’s touch and visual focus.

Recipe 1-13 offers a simple set of classes (called TOUCHkit) that provide a live touch feedback layer for demonstration use. With it, you can see both the screen that you’re recording as well as the touches that create the interactions you’re trying to present. It provides a way to compile your app for both normal and demonstration deployment. You don’t change your core application to use it. It’s designed to work as a single toggle, providing builds for each use.

To demonstrate this, the code shown in Recipe 1-13 is bundled in the sample code repository with a standard Apple demo. This shows how you can roll the kit into nearly any standard application.

Enabling Touch Feedback

You add touch feedback by switching on the TOUCHkit feature, without otherwise affecting your normal code. To enable TOUCHkit, you set a single flag, compile and use that build for demonstration, complete with touch overlay. For App Store deployment, you disable the flag. The application reverts to its normal behavior, and there are no App Store unsafe calls to worry about:

#define USES_TOUCHkit    1

This recipe assumes that you’re using a standard application with a single primary window. When compiled in, the kit replaces that window with a custom class that captures and duplicates all touches, allowing your application to show the user’s touch bubble feedback.

There is one key code-level change you must make, but it’s a very small one. In your application delegate class, you define a WINDOW_CLASS to use when building your iOS screen:

#if USES_TOUCHkit
#import "TOUCHkitView.h"
#import "TOUCHOverlayWindow.h"
#define WINDOW_CLASS TOUCHOverlayWindow
#else#define WINDOW_CLASS UIWindow
#endif

Then instead of declaring a UIWindow, you use whichever class has been set by the toggle:

WINDOW_CLASS *window;
window = [[WINDOW_CLASS alloc]
    initWithFrame:[[UIScreen mainScreen] bounds]];

From here, you can set the window’s rootViewController as normal.

Intercepting and Forwarding Touch Events

The key to this overlay lies in intercepting touch events, creating a floating presentation above your normal interface, and then forwarding those events on to your application. A TOUCHkit view lies on top of your interface. The custom window class grabs user touch events and presents them as circles in the TOUCHkit view. It then forwards them as if the user were interacting with a normal UIWindow. To accomplish this, this recipe uses event forwarding.

Event forwarding is achieved by calling a secondary event handler. The TOUCHOverlayWindow class overrides UIWindow’s sendEvent: method to force touch drawing and then invokes its superclass implementation to return control to the normal responder chain.

The following implementation is drawn from Apple’s Event Handling Guide for iOS. It collects all the touches associated with the current event, allowing Multi-Touch as well as single touch interactions, dispatches them to TOUCHkit view layer, and then redirects them to the window via the normal UIWindow sendEvent: implementation:

@implementation TOUCHOverlayWindow
- (void) sendEvent:(UIEvent *)event
{
    // Collect touches
    NSSet *touches = [event allTouches];
    NSMutableSet *began = nil;
    NSMutableSet *moved = nil;
    NSMutableSet *ended = nil;
    NSMutableSet *cancelled = nil;

    // Sort the touches by phase for event dispatch
    for(UITouch *touch in touches) {
        switch ([touch phase]) {

            case UITouchPhaseBegan:
                if (!began) began = [NSMutableSet set];
                [began addObject:touch];
                break;
            case UITouchPhaseMoved:
                if (!moved) moved = [NSMutableSet set];
                [moved addObject:touch];
                break;
            case UITouchPhaseEnded:
                if (!ended) ended = [NSMutableSet set];
                [ended addObject:touch];
                break;
            case UITouchPhaseCancelled:
                if (!cancelled) cancelled = [NSMutableSet set];
                [cancelled addObject:touch];
                break;
            default:
                break;
        }
    }

    // Create pseudo-event dispatch
    if (began)
        [[TOUCHkitView sharedInstance]
            touchesBegan:began withEvent:event];
    if (moved)
        [[TOUCHkitView sharedInstance]
            touchesMoved:moved withEvent:event];
    if (ended)
        [[TOUCHkitView sharedInstance]
            touchesEnded:ended withEvent:event];
    if (cancelled)
        [[TOUCHkitView sharedInstance]
            touchesCancelled:cancelled withEvent:event];

    // Call normal handler for default responder chain
    [super sendEvent: event];}
@end

Implementing the TOUCHkit Overlay View

The TOUCHkit overlay is a single clear UIView singleton. It’s created the first time the application requests its shared instance, and the call adds it to the application’s key window. The overlay’s user interaction flag is disabled, allowing touches to continue on through the responder chain, even after processing those touches through the standard began/moved/ended/cancelled event callbacks.

The touch processing events draw a circle at each touch point, creating a strong pointer to the touches until that drawing is complete. Recipe 1-13 details the callback and drawing methods that handle that functionality.

Recipe 1-13. Creating a Touch Feedback Overlay View

+ (id) sharedInstance
{
    // Create shared instance if it does not yet exist
    if(!sharedInstance)
    {
        sharedInstance = [[self alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectZero];
    }

    // Parent it to the key window
    if (!sharedInstance.superview)
    {
        UIWindow *keyWindow= [UIApplication sharedApplication].keyWindow;
        sharedInstance.frame = keyWindow.bounds;
        [keyWindow addSubview:sharedInstance];
    }

    return sharedInstance;
}

// You can override the default touchColor if you want
- (id) initWithFrame:(CGRect)frame
{
    if (self = [super initWithFrame:frame])
    {
        self.backgroundColor = [UIColor clearColor];
        self.userInteractionEnabled = NO;
        self.multipleTouchEnabled = YES;
        touchColor =
            [[UIColor whiteColor] colorWithAlphaComponent:0.5f];
        touches = nil;
    }

    return self;
}

// Basic Touches processing
- (void) touchesBegan:(NSSet *)theTouches withEvent:(UIEvent *)event
{

    touches = theTouches;
    [self setNeedsDisplay];
}

- (void) touchesMoved:(NSSet *)theTouches withEvent:(UIEvent *)event
{
    touches = theTouches;
    [self setNeedsDisplay];
}

- (void) touchesEnded:(NSSet *)theTouches withEvent:(UIEvent *)event
{
    touches = nil;
    [self setNeedsDisplay];
}

// Draw touches interactively
- (void) drawRect: (CGRect) rect
{
    // Clear
    CGContextRef context = UIGraphicsGetCurrentContext();
    CGContextClearRect(context, self.bounds);

    // Fill see-through
    [[UIColor clearColor] set];
    CGContextFillRect(context, self.bounds);

    float size = 25.0f; // based on 44.0f standard touch point

    for (UITouch *touch in touches)
    {
        // Create a backing frame
        [[[UIColor darkGrayColor] colorWithAlphaComponent:0.5f] set];
        CGPoint aPoint = [touch locationInView:self];
        CGContextAddEllipseInRect(context,
            CGRectMake(aPoint.x - size, aPoint.y - size, 2 * size, 2 * size));
        CGContextFillPath(context);

        // Draw the foreground touch
        float dsize = 1.0f;
        [touchColor set];
        aPoint = [touch locationInView:self];
        CGContextAddEllipseInRect(context,
            CGRectMake(aPoint.x - size - dsize, aPoint.y - size - dsize,
                2 * (size - dsize), 2 * (size - dsize)));
        CGContextFillPath(context);
    }


    // Reset touches after use
    touches = nil;
}
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020