Writing for myself

Escribiendo para mi mismo

Create & Share a Business Card in Passbook

While in the #WWDC2015, meeting new developers, recruters, media is imperative, reason why, you will be finding yourself sharing business cards.

I met one developer, who had an unusual way to share his card, and that way was using Passbook, I inmediately asked him to share how he did it and in my time in the conferences, beside putting attention to them, I was working on my own digital card.

Unfortunately, I found myself checking other sources to complete the task, so I decided to compile the information and share it here.

First and most importantly, you will need an apple developer account (this should be no issue anymore due on #WWDC2015, it was announced that there will be no cost to get one). Go a head a create one, then come back.

Passbook technology works around a file which its format is .pkpass, when either the mail or mobile safari detects this file, it will render the pass correctly, once you click on it, it will handle the rest for you (presenting the view to add it into the pass library).

Creating .pkpass file

Before doing anything, lets create a new directory to put all the things we will be creating.

Having said the above. The following image describes the skeleton of the pass.


As you may already saw, we can localize passes creating the appropiated directory structure, but that is something we wont do now. There are 2 files missing on that image, they are the manifest.json file and the actual signature file (which we will create soon).

Now, how is this translated to the actual pass? The following image describes that.


The actual content information resides inside the .json file.


  "formatVersion"         : 1,
  "passTypeIdentifier"    : "<INSERT_PASS_IDENTIFIER>",
  "serialNumber"      : "0",
  "teamIdentifier"        : "<INSERT_TEAM_IDENTIFIER>",
  "barcode" : 
  "message"   : "<INSERT_BARCODE_MESSAGE>",
  "format"    : "PKBarcodeFormatAztec",
  "messageEncoding"   : "iso-8859-1"
  "organizationName"  : "<INSERT_ORGANIZATION_NAME>",
  "description"       : "<INSERT_DESCRIPTION>",
  "logoText"          : "<INSERT_TEXT_THAT_GOES_NEXT_TO_LOGO>",
  "foregroundColor"   : "rgb(1, 0, 0)",
  "backgroundColor"   : "rgb(0, 0, 1)",
  "generic"   : 
  "primaryFields" : 
      "key"       : "name",
      "label"     : "NAME",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"
  "secondaryFields" : 
      "key"       : "position",
      "label"     : "POSITION",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"
  "auxiliaryFields" : 
      "key"       : "email",
      "label"     : "EMAIL",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"
      "key"       : "twitter",
      "label"     : "TWITTER",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"
  "backFields" : 
      "label"     : "EMAIL",
      "key"       : "emailBack",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"
      "label"     : "TWITTER",
      "key"       : "twitterBack",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"
      "label"     : "GITHUB",
      "key"       : "githubBack",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"
      "label"     : "WEB",
      "key"       : "webBack",
      "value"     : "<INSERT_VALUE>"

Remember I mentioned you need an Apple Developer Account, the .json file requires “passTypeIdentifier” & “teamIdentifier”. You can get the second one under Account Information area in the developer portal. The first one will be the next thing to do.

Feel free to play with the values on the .json file, you can change it entirely with the ones you have in mind. Now lest put this on hold and create all the boring stuff we need from the dev portal.

Head to the Developer Portal

Go to Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles in the dev center and click on Pass Type IDs, now add a new one - you should see something like this.


For this example be sure to use the following format “pass.com.yourdomain.appname” as the website mentions. Go a head an register the pass. Once created, go back to the pass.json file and update the “passTypeIdentifier” value with the one you just added.

Click on the recently created ID and you will have the option to edit. Then you will create the certificate to be used. In order to do that, follow the instructions from the dev center. Once you are done, download the certificate and add it into the passbook folder we created at the beginning and do not forget to add it into the keychain too.


Going back to the Pass directory

Early, I did mention we needed to create a manifest.json file, the purpose of this file is to describe what is inside the pass package. Below you will find and example of it.


Where did those weird characters come from? Those characters are their checksums, you can get them using Terminal using the following command (head to the passbook directory using terminal).

openssl sha1 pass.json

The result will be something like this:

SHA1(pass.json)= 6c5791fc47b132fe627c6b5a168b57f22bc1c3a7

Create the file and put it next to the pass.json file. Its obvious you have to do the same with the rest of the files/assets.

IMPORTANT: If you happen to update either the assets or the pass.json file. You need to update the manifest.son file. Do not forget about this.

The other file we need to create is the actual signature. Why do we need a signature? Ask Apple!

In order to do it, we will need the certificate we created before on the dev center. Open KeyChain Access, find the certificate you created following the format “pass.com.yourdomain.appname” and export it as a .p12 file - for this example, I named it pass.p12 - (you will be prompted to add a password - we will use it in a few seconds).

Next, go back to Terminal app and type the following command:

openssl pkcs12 -in pass.p12 -clcerts -nokeys -out passcertificate.pem -passin pass:<INSERT_PASSWORD_HERE>

The result of this command will be a file named passcertificate.pem. Now, lets export the key using the next command and the result will be passkey.pem:

openssl pkcs12 -in pass.p12 -nocerts -out passkey.pem -passin pass: -passout pass:<INSERT_PASSWORD_HERE>

We are almost done, we need one more certificate, this time its WWDR certificate, head to KeyChain Access and look for “Apple Worldwide Developer Relations Certification Authority” and export it as a .pem file - for this example I choose the name WWDR.pem - finally, we have all needed to create the signature file. Head back to the Terminal App and type the following command:

openssl smime -binary -sign -certfile WWDR.pem -signer passcertificate.pem -inkey passkey.pem -in manifest.json -out signature -outform DER -passin pass:<INSERT_PASSWORD_HERE>

This will create a signature file. From here, we just need to zip the files, but lets make sure we have everything, the following image describe what should be on the package.


Simply, select all those files and compress them, replace the .zip file extension to be .pkpass and you will have your pass ready to share.

Sharing your Business Card Pass

There are 2 ways to share your pass, for the sake of this example we will use the email approach. As I mentioned at the beginning, iOS will handle everything if you use Mail or Mobile Safari.

Simply, send you an email to your self or any other people attaching the .pkpass file and if successfull, the apps will render the pass properly. You should see something like this.


Now, you can go even further and use the barcode message to be the URL were people can download the pass when they scanned, you will be resposible to create the endpoint and endup with something like this.


Javier Azuara

WWDC 2015 the Line Experience

WWDC 2015 has just finished and there were a lot of new experiences I got from the event, such as the keynote, the lunch sessions, the after parties, etc, but one among them is with no doubt the so called “Line” experience. For those who does not know what the Line is, its basically, arriving early to get the best seats you can for the keynote presentation.

At the beginning, I was hesitant do it, and I was always avoiding the topic with my friend and coworker Nader. But we reached a moment were we needed to decide if we should do the line or not. In order to make such decision, we stopped in the Moscone center at Sunday at 18:00. The first thing we saw was a bunch of unknown people already doing it (around 25, most of them very young guys).

At that moment we knew those guys were not playing, the worst thing its that we were not prepared to do such task. Then we meet Kevin (the CEO of https://en.neurs.com/ - check the website), we ten head to Target City (just next to the Moscone Center), in there we packed some beach chairs, water bottles, some monster beverages and blankets - yes, the night was going to be cold - and went back.

Even doing the line, I was completely thinking - “Im very old for this” - followed by - “I feel embarrassed doing this” - but I would not deny very deeply inside me I was still an Apple fanboy who was willing to commit and get the best seat possible.

Time was passing and unknown people became known people, like Jupiter - who is from Toronto and had the scholarship to attend the event, working on a watch kit app -, Douglas - very serious guy, working on an app to add parental control for kids -, several guys from Australia which I do not remember their names - I apologize for this -, Daniel Di from Italy - who gave me his business card as a pass in Passbook -, among other guys, but the one who really impressed me was Clint Wilde, who is just 18 years old and already has his app feature on the app store “Splash Canyons” on the game category, at that age I was doing something completely different, I could not resist and felt jealous about the fact.

Splash Canyons

Several people walking at the middle of the night started to: “Why are you doing this?” - one guy said - “What is this line for?” - other people in their cars were asking - We even got food for free, rumors are that the Apple was delivering the food to the people on the line, but im not sure about this.

Undoubtedly, something inside me was emerging, and that was the joy of pursuing what you want, following your plan, completing the idea you have, overcoming the obstacles your project might have. Something I lost years ago, I started surrender to first big obstacle my next billionaire idea had. I stopped researching deep enough to find a solution. I always say its not about the idea itself but the execution of it. I guess I need to follow such statement and just not reproduce it like a copy machine.

While these conversations were happening, the line was getting bigger, from 1 block length to 2, 3 & 4 blocks, by 05:00 I stopped putting attention to it. I saw community, people from the same country were creating their own group, people from Germany, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Argentina were the accents and languages I did recognize. Sadly, at that time, I did not see any group from Mexico (not until the Bash were I found Mexican people).

By 07:00 - 07:30, Moscone Center opened their gates and as you might imagine, this is were the game started, people ignored the line and started to walk or running. We then were directed to a new line making several stops to reach the 3rd floor, while this was happening, new people was in the first at the front, but I continued to see familiar faces. We wait and saw how the press had special treatment to reach the Presidio (An area inside Moscone where the Keynote is). I did not like this treatment, I felt like cattle, I felt disappointed, used and most importantly, I needed to go to the bathroom but I was unable to do it. Apple did not hesitate to start taking video and pictures, they wanted the best picture, capture the excitement, but we were tired, exhausted, we just wanted to get to the holy grail.

We finally reach the Presidio, even when we were told not to run, people did it, like if they were running for their lives, chased by zombies. People who we just met, changed behaviors like in a jungle, but instead of survive, we wanted the best seats. We did it, we got the seats in the middle column, 4th row. We were happy, we knew something was coming and we get what we wanted.

Javier Azuara

PayAnywhere 3.1

Yesterday, the company I work for just released PayAnywhere 3.1 which contains a full redesign on the iPhone version, plus a parity feature with the previously released iPad version in 3.0.

Among the features, you can find:

  • Full iPhone redesign,
  • Multiple prices per item,
  • Item Modifiers & Discounts per Item,
  • Discounts per cart has been updated,
  • Support for displaying Split Tender receipts,
  • Easy reporting,
  • And finally, favorites items.

Be sure to check the app here.

PayAnywhere – Accept Credit Cards With PayAnywhere's Mobile Credit Card Reader

You will require an account with PayAnywhere to take any payments, but test drive will showcase you all features.

Javier Azuara

New Business Cards

I recently decided to print a new set of business cards and here is the design I went with.

Edit: I did a huge mistake and put the wrong twitter account T_T. The real account is @javitoazuara

Mi Experiencia Con El Fitbit [Spanish]

Recién pillé el Fitbit Charge HR, el cual es un brazalete que continuamente mide tus latidos cardiacos y aun conserva otras funciones como el podometro, la habilidad de medir tu calidad de sueño, cronometrar ejercicio, entre otras.

La pregunta del millón de dolares es: Por qué gaste $150.00 en este aparato? Quiero motivarme cuando hago ejercicio - pensé - Quiero tener retroalimentación en tiempo real - añadí.

La realidad es que:

  • Ya tengo el número real de calorías que quemo al día. Al principio la app de Fitbit (sin tener el brazalete) - usando mi edad, peso y género - calculaba un estimado de 1,835 calorías diarias. Cómo puedo bajar de peso si al menos ingiero arriba de 2,000 calorías - pensé - pero después de usar el Fitbit, el número real fue 3,300 - 3,600 calorías (haciendo o no ejercicio).

  • Siempre he odiado usar la caminadora, escaladora y bicicleta por al menos 30 minutos, acabar agotado y no saber que hice. Con el Fitbit, tengo un estimado real de las calorías que gaste en el ejercicio.

  • Puedo ver de acuerdo a mi ritmo cardiaco (durante el ejercicio), si debo incrementar / decrementar la intensidad para mantenerme en la zona de cardio (nunca he podido mantenerme en la zona de quema grasa, puesto que tendría que casi caminar). Ahora puedo aguantar jornadas más larga corriendo.

  • Al ir a la cama, es muy conveniente no tener que hacer nada más que dormir - a comparación de otras apps existentes en el iPhone - para poder medir la calidad del sueño.

  • Algo no tan bueno es que debo recargar la batería al menos una vez al día, cosa que es diferente en la pagina oficial donde se menciona que durá al menos 5 días. Igual, se debe entender que durante el ejercicio las pulsaciones son tomadas cada minutos y durante el día cada 5 minutos.

  • Para mi infortunio, solo tengo 3 personas en mi red que usan Fitbit, así que la motivación por esa parte es casi nula.

  • Es tedioso tener que registrar lo que comes (igual el agua que tomas) en la app. Aunque al hacerlo tienes un estimado gráfico de cuanto entra y sale (hablando en calorías).

  • Me agrada ver los gráficos generados por la app y el sitio web, sobre mi progreso, inclusive puedo ver en que zonas estuve durante mi ejercicio (pesas o correr). Aunque me gustaría poder exportar esos datos a Health app de Apple.

En todo caso, al final de día lo que importa es que, usando o no el brazalete, hagas ejercicio y conozcas más de tu cuerpo y si te motivas con aditamentos como el Fitbit que mejor.