How to Photograph Fireworks with your iPhone

July 4, 2013

1. Use a tripod:

To capture the light from the fireworks, the camera must operate at a slower speed which means that if you move even a tiny bit, the image will be blurry and shaky. If you can’t get your hands on a tripod, try to place your iPhone on a steady surface where you can easily capture the action. I’m a big fan of Joby and their famous GorillaPods, they’re very versatile and portable. Now they have a GorillaMobile just for the iPhone!

2. Turn off your flash

3. Use self-timer:

Even a minor bump can cause the iPhone to shake when you take a picture. So it’s always a good idea to use an app that has self-timer.

For a great camera app that has self-timer you can try

It seems to be on sale for the 4th of July holiday!

4. Use long exposures:

The best way to capture the beautiful light trails from the fireworks is using longer exposure times.

has an actual light trail option. You select that option by first going to the “Capture Mode” menu:

I’ve use the following settings:

  • Shutter Speed: 1 s.
  • Sensitivity: 1/4

Just remember that the rule is:

The lower the sensitivity (1/32 lower than 1/4), the slower speed you can use to capture the action.

The slower the speed, the more time you have to get longer exposures with longer light trails. Try out different settings, eventually you’ll get to one you really like.

5. Get an app you like:

There are many options other than Slow Shutter Cam on the App Store for camera apps with slow shutter speed settings, just do a search for “Slow Shutter” and download one that suites you the best.

6. Have fun!

Just have fun, experiment and be surprised with what comes out. No two images will be alike.

Share:

Don’t forget to share with us your lovely creations! You can post your beautiful pics on our Facebook Page!

Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with either Joby or Slow Shutter Cam, we’re just big fans!

Share your favorite kid-friendly recipe

December 21, 2012

Kid-friendly Chocolate Chip RecipeWhenever the holidays roll around, there’s nothing like making cookies to get me in the Christmas spirit! Including kids in the kitchen can be a bit tricky, but helping kids feel empowered and to be able to say “I did it!” is worth the payoff (and the mess). When I was growing up, there was a wonderful series of books published by Klutz Press that all came with both visual and simple instructions, as well as a special tool. My favorite Klutz Press book was their cookbook, KidsCooking A Very Slightly Messy Manual. I still pull the book out for some favorite recipes. Its well worn edges and imperfect, stained pages bring back lots of fun memories (like making pizza at Grandma’s house– included on that particular recipe are her notes for improvement).

When I was little, I loved making chocolate chip cookies with my mom using Darrell’s “Forget-the-Cookies-Just-Give-Me-That-Batter” Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Because each recipe has pictures of the ingredients, I could “read” the recipe without being fully literate. I’d pull out all the ingredients and then my mom would carefully supervise as I’d use the Klutz Press measuring spoons to measure out ingredients. Each spoon is color-coded which was great for my pre-fraction days. My mom would step in to crack the egg and use her handheld mixer to blend the ingredients. Then we’d try our best to put as many lumps of dough on the pan, instead of in our mouths!

Here’s Darrell’s “Forget-the-Cookies-Just-Give-Me-That-Batter” Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe From Klutz Press’ KidsCooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual:

Ingredients and Tools:

1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/8 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Bag (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1/2 Cup Walnuts (optional)
Small Sauce Pan
Small Bowl
Mixing Bowl
Cookie Sheet
Spatula
Oven Mits

Getting Ready:

1. In the small pan, melt the butter. Turn the heat off. While it’s hot, add both sugars. Stir and then let cool a bit.
2. While the butter mixture is cooling, mix the flour, soda, and salt in the mixing bowl.
3. In the small bowl, beat the egg lightly with a fork, then add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture. Stir.
4. Now add the butter, egg, and vanilla to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl. Stir again, then add chocolate chips and nuts if you want them.
5. Stir everything until it’s all mixed up well and put the bowl in the refrigerator to cool for about an hour. About 5-10 minutes before you take them out, turn your oven on to 375 degrees

Cooking:

1. When the oven’s warmed up, get your cookie sheet–don’t grease it. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls, space them evenly on the cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Don’t Overcook! You want your cookies to be moist and chewy. Take them off the cookie sheet carefully with your spatula and let them cool. Yum!

What cookie recipe did you love making as a kid (or do you enjoy now with your own children)?

Independence Week Celebration – 50 App Giveaway – [CLOSED]

July 2, 2012

Our Independence Week Celebration Giveaway is officially closed!

Jennifer B. you are the winner! You will receive a message from us via the email you provided. Thank you!

The winner was selected at random powered by Random.org.

We would like to thank everyone who entered, without you this wouldn’t be possible. We would also like to thank all the amazing people who have supported us along the way and helped us spread the word, you know who you are!

Your 4th of July and Summer activities were amazing, it was like looking straight into a Norman Rockwell painting. We are planning on creating a special post dedicated to those magical moments. Stay tuned!

Celebrate Independence Week by entering for a chance to win an unbelievable prize of 50, yes FIFTY apps for the whole family!

After you enter the giveaway, head on over and read our Tips for Taking Fireworks Pictures with your iPhone!

Guidelines:

There are multiple ways to gather points and increase your odds of winning this bundle:

  • Tell us how you heard about this giveaway: 5 pts.
  • Tweet about the giveaway: 4 pts. per tweet per day
  • Leave a blog post comment about your favorite Fourth of July or Summertime activities: 4pts.
  • Like each Developer’s Facebook Page: 1 pt. per page.

Prize:

One lucky winner will receive:

Schedule:

This giveaway will be open for entries from July 2nd, 2012 at 12:01 AM EDT to July 13th, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT.

The winner will be selected at random on July 13th, 2012 powered by Random.org and will be announced via the Rafflecopter form and direct email to the winner right after the App Friday party.

Disclaimer:

iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc. Apple, Inc. shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC or Kid-Capsule.

Content purchased from the iTunes Store is for personal lawful use only. Prize apps are not to be sold or re-distributed in any way without prior consent.

Some app gift codes may be redeemed only by, persons in the United States, its territories, and possessions.

Some apps on the list might change throughout the week.

How to enter:

Gather points by filling out as many entries as you can from the Rafflecopter form below.

If you have accessed this page from the Facebook app on your phone and cannot see the Rafflecopter form, copy this url http://kidcapsuleapp.com/blog/?p=684 in your mobile or computer browser and that should solve the issue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Questions?

Drop us a line on our Contact Form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Remember to add the kidcapsuleapp.com domain to your Spam safe lists.

Terms and Conditions:

No purchase is required for entry. 1 entry will be randomly selected to receive one (1) copy of each of the prize apps for a total of 50 apps. Winner will be contacted via the email address provided in their entry. Giveaway ends on July 13th, 2012 at 12:00 A.m. EDT (July 12th, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. PDT). Family, friends or otherwise affiliated to Zen Labs LLC may not enter. Zen Labs LLC will not sell nor use contestants’ information for anything outside of notifying entrants or otherwise communicating with the contestant. All federal, state and local applicable taxes on the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.  Some of the prizes involve gift codes that may be redeemed only by persons in the United States, its territories, and possessions. iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc. Apple, Inc. shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC or Kid-Capsule. Apple, Inc. does not endorse this giveaway, Zen Labs LLC or Kid-Capsule. Content purchased from the iTunes Store is for personal lawful use only. Prize apps are not to be sold or re-distributed in any way without prior consent. Zen Labs LLC reserves the right to cancel the contest at any point for any reason.

Pesky reminders: please do not reproduce photos or graphic materials without our written consent. All photographs are copyright Anahelena Natera.

Acknowledgments:

Fonts used in the photo are:

Gift an App this Father’s Day and Make a Cool Greeting Card Out of It

June 13, 2012

NOTE: If you are interested in any of the featured apps, scroll to the bottom and you will find all the links!

Everybody agrees that times are tough and of course we all know shopping for dad can have its challenges. So why not mix modern day technology with a little nostalgia from the old Kindergarten days and give dad a special app he will enjoy for a long time and wrap it up in a little shirt and “app tie” greeting card project. You know you can’t go wrong with technology and greeting cards for dad.

With over 500 thousand apps in the App Store alone you are bound to find something for everybody. And come on now! You know you can’t beat the prices. The average app costs less than your average cup of coffee. If you need some ideas for what app to gift dad, the guys at Software Smoothie have compiled an extensive list to inspire you!

If you are unfamiliar with how to gift an app, the great folks at Moms with Apps have written a wonderful tutorial to help you out. So head on over there get all the apps you want to gift and come right back to get started with the project.

Are you back?

EXCELLENT! Now for the fun part!

After deciding which apps you are going to give dad, assemble the following tools and materials:

  • Printer (preferably full color)
  • 2-3 sheets of letter sized white card stock for the app icons, shirt collar and the card. This is the best type of paper for it’s sturdiness. You can find many options at your local craft or office supply store.
  • Colored Card Stock for the Tie:  You can find many options at your local craft or office supply store.
  • Scissors
  • Craft Glue Stick
  • Markers or pens
  • Corner punch if you have one. It comes in handy when you want to round the app icon edges.
  • Download our Tie Template and Collar Template

Steps:

  • Get the icons for the gifted apps: The appropriate way to gift an app for this type of project would be to select the “print” option instead of the email option. As you can see from this post on gottabemobile.com, when you select the print option, it will compose a card that will contain the icon for the app you are gifting and the redeem code. You can use the print to PDF option and then use your favorite photo editing software to crop the icons and put them all on a single page.
  • For this particular craft, the tie fits perfectly on a folded letter sized card stock sheet and the icons are 1″x1″ in size.
  • Print out the icons on a sheet of card stock: For the best results, you should print the icons in color. Normal quality is fine. And make sure to choose card stock from the paper type choices.

Mother's Day Craft - Printing App Icons

  • Print the provided Tie Template onto the colored sheet of card stock. Some card stocks come in sizes that will not fit your printer. You should trim them down to 8.5″x11″.
  • Cut out both pieces of the tie. The knot has a darker edge to give it some depth but you can always cut it and turn it around if you prefer a clean edge.

  • Print the provided Collar Template onto a white sheet of card stock.
  • Cut out both sides of the collar. They come with a darker edge to give it some depth but you can always cut them and turn them around if you prefer a clean edge. If you decide to turn them around, the right collar becomes the left and vice-versa. Make sure to mark which is which to make it easier later when you glue it to the card.

  • Take one sheet of your letter sized card stock and fold it in half to create a 5.5″x8″ greeting card.

  • Now that you have all the pieces it’s time to assemble and have a little creative fun!

  • Take the knot and trace it over where you want it to be on the tie. This is so that you have a reference to where your app icons will be visible on the tie.

  • Take your app icons and glue them to your tie in whatever pattern you prefer. Remember to glue them below the line you created in the previous step. Don’t worry about them spilling over, we will take care of that in the next step.

 

  • Turn your tie around and trim off the excess that spilled over from the previous step. Now you have a clean tie with the beautiful pattern you created.

 

  • Take the knot and apply glue to the bottom half and glue it along the line you made at the beginning.

  • Apply glue to the entire knot and glue it to the very top of your greeting card. I like to leave the actual tie unglued to give a realistic feel but you can glue the whole tie if you’d like.

  • Take your right and left collars and glue them to the edge of the greeting card to cover the knot. As before, I like to leave the bottom of the collar unglued to give it more depth.
  • And voila! You are done! Now you just need to write down the redeem codes for all the apps you got dad inside the card together with a message about how amazing he is!

If you like this craft or would like to ask a question about it don’t be shy, leave a comment below! Happy Father’s Day!

If you are interested in the apps featured in the craft, they are all proud members of Moms with Apps. You can download them all at the App Store:

Super Celebration Giveaway Commemorating a Year of Memories and Ten Thousand Downloads – [CLOSED]

June 4, 2012

Our Super Celebration Giveaway is officially closed!

Mary J. you are the winner! You will receive a message from us via the email you provided. Thank you!

The winner was selected at random powered by Random.org.

We would like to thank everyone who entered, without you this wouldn’t be possible. We would also like to thank all the amazing people who have supported us along the way and helped us spread the word, you know who you are!

Celebrate Kid-Capsule’s one year anniversary and SoGaBee’s Sight Words Hangman ten thousand downloads by entering for a chance to win an unbelievable bundle of goodies for the whole family!

What better way to commemorate our first year of memories than to team up with our great friends at SoGaBee and give away such an amazing bundle of prizes.

Guidelines:

There are multiple ways to gather points and increase your odds of winning this bundle:

  • Tell us how you heard about this giveaway: 5 pts.
  • Leave a comment about what you love most about Kid-Capsule: 10 pts.
  • Leave a comment about what you love most about Sight Words Spelling with Pixopop: 10 pts.
  • Like Kid-Capsule on Facebook: 2 pts.
  • Like SoGaBee on Facebook: 2 pts.
  • Share your favorite Kid-Capsule photo layout on Facebook and tag the Kid-Capsule Facebook Page: 10 pts. (subject to verification)
  • Share a “Word List” you created with Sight Words Spelling with Pixopop on SoGaBee’s Facebook Page: 10 pts. (subject to verification)
  • Follow @SoGaBeeLab on Twitter: 2 pts.
  • Like this blog post: 2 pts.
  • Tweet about the giveaway: 2 pts. per tweet per day
  • Write about this Giveaway on Facebook and tag Kid-Capsule and SoGaBee: 1 pt. per day (subject to verification)

Prize:

One lucky winner will receive:

  • 1 iPhone Pixopop Case

  • 1 Pixopop Stuffed Toy

  • 1 $10 U.S. iTunes Gift Card
  • 1 $20 Amazon Gift Card – Sponsored in part by Alphabet Jumbled

Schedule:

This giveaway will be open for entries from June 5th, 2012 at 12:01 AM EDT to June 13th, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT.

The winner will be selected at random on June 14th, 2012 powered by Random.org and will be announced via the Rafflecopter form and direct email to the winner.

Disclaimer:

iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc. Apple, Inc. shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, SoGaBee or Sight Words and Spelling with Pixopop.

Content purchased from the iTunes Store is for personal lawful use only.

iTunes gift card may be redeemed only by, persons in the United States, its territories, and possessions.

Amazon is a registered trademark and shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, SoGaBee or Sight Words and Spelling with Pixopop.

How to enter:

Gather points by filling out as many entries as you can from the Rafflecopter form below.

If you have accessed this page from the Facebook app on your phone and cannot see the Rafflecopter form, copy this url http://kidcapsuleapp.com/blog/?p=564 in your mobile or computer browser and that should solve the issue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Questions?

Drop us a line on our Contact Form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Remember to add the kidcapsuleapp.com domain to your Spam safe lists.

Terms and Conditions:

No purchase is required for entry. 1 entry will be randomly selected to receive one (1) iPhone Fisheye Lens, one (1) iPhone Wide/Macro Lens, one (1) iPhone Telephoto Lens, one (1) Pixopop iPhone Case, one (1) Pixopop Stuffed toy. Winner will be contacted via the email address provided in their entry. Giveaway ends on June 13th, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. EDT (9:00 a.m. PDT). Family, friends or otherwise affiliated to Zen Labs LLC or SoGaBee may not enter. Zen Labs LLC will not sell nor use contestants’ information for anything outside of notifying entrants or otherwise communicating with the contestant. All federal, state and local applicable taxes on the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. iTunes gift card may be redeemed only by, persons in the United States, its territories, and possessions. iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc. Apple, Inc. shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, SoGaBee or Sight Words and Spelling with Pixopop. Apple, Inc. does not endorse this giveaway, Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, SoGaBee or Sight Words Spelling with Pixopop. Content purchased from the iTunes Store is for personal lawful use only. Amazon is a registered trademark and shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, SoGaBee or Sight Words and Spelling with Pixopop. Amazon does not endorse this giveaway, Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, SoGaBee or Sight Words Spelling with Pixopop. Photojojo does not endorse this giveaway, Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, SoGaBee or Sight Words Spelling with Pixopop. Zen Labs LLC and SoGaBee reserve the right to cancel the contest at any point for any reason.

Moms With Apps App Bundle Giveaway

May 18, 2012

Enter for a chance to win 7 of your favorite family friendly apps!

iOS app developer members of the Mom with Apps network are excited to announce a 7 app bundle giveaway.

Guidelines:

There are multiple ways to gather points and increase your odds of winning this bundle:

  • Tell us how you heard about this giveaway: 4 pts.
  • Tweet about the giveaway: 2 pts. per tweet per day
  • Like the participating developer or app’s Facebook page: 1 pt. per liked page
  • Follow the participating developer or app on Twitter: 1 pt. per follow
  • Leave a comment on this blog post: 1 pt.

Prize:

A 7 app bundle of some of your favorite family friendly apps, all members of the Moms with Apps network:

Some apps will be awarded as promo codes and some as gift codes.

Schedule:

This giveaway will be open for entries from May 18, 2012 at 12:01 AM EST to May 25th, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST.

The winner will be selected at random on May 25th, 2012 powered by Random.org and will be announced via the Rafflecopter form and direct email to the winner.

Disclaimer:

iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc. Apple, Inc. shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, Learning Touch, Jellybean Tunes, PicPocket Books, Murky Reef, Software Smoothie, Smart Apps 4 Kids or Moms with Apps. Apple, Inc. does not endorse this contest, Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, Learning Touch, Jellybean Tunes, PicPocket Books, Murky Reef, Software Smoothie, Smart Apps 4 Kids or Moms with Apps.

Content purchased from the iTunes Store is for personal lawful use only.

Some app gift codes may be redeemed only by, persons in the United States, its territories, and possessions.

How to enter:

Gather points by filling out as many entries as you can from the Rafflecopter form below.

If you have accessed this page from the Facebook app on your phone and cannot see the Rafflecopter form, copy this url http://kidcapsuleapp.com/blog/?p=549 in your mobile or computer browser and that should solve the issue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Questions?

Drop us a line on our Contact Form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Remember to add the kidcapsuleapp.com domain to your Spam safe lists.

Terms and Conditions:

No purchase is required for entry. ONE (1) entry will be randomly selected to receive one (1) copy of each of the prize apps for a total of seven (7) apps. Winner will be contacted via the email address provided in their entry. Giveaway ends on May 25th, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EST (11:00 a.m. PST). Family, friends or otherwise affiliated to Zen Labs LLC may not enter. Zen Labs LLC will not sell nor use contestants’ information for anything outside of notifying entrants or otherwise communicating with the contestant. All federal, state and local applicable taxes on the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.  Some of the prizes involve gift codes that may be redeemed only by persons in the United States, its territories, and possessions. iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc. Apple, Inc. shares no affiliations with Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, Learning Touch, Jellybean Tunes, PicPocket Books, Murky Reef, Software Smoothie, Smart Apps 4 Kids or Moms with Apps. Apple, Inc. does not endorse this giveaway, Zen Labs LLC, Kid-Capsule, Learning Touch, Jellybean Tunes, PicPocket Books, Murky Reef, Software Smoothie, Smart Apps 4 Kids or Moms with Apps. Content purchased from the iTunes Store is for personal lawful use only. Zen Labs LLC reserves the right to cancel the contest at any point for any reason.

Kid-Capsule Version 1.2.2

May 10, 2012

What’s New:

  • Now in Spanish

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed a bug that assigned the wrong category to imported events under the “Other” sub-category.

Gift an App this Mother’s Day!

May 9, 2012

Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower

NOTE: If you are interested in any of the featured apps, scroll to the bottom and you will find all the links!

Everybody agrees that times are tough and of course we all know shopping for mom can have its challenges. So why not mix modern day technology with a little nostalgia from the old Kindergarten days and give mom a special app she will enjoy for a long time and wrap it up in a little craft project. I assure you, she will love you going the extra mile.

With over 500 thousand apps in the App Store alone you are bound to find something for everybody. And come on now! You know you can’t beat the prices. The average app costs less than your average cup of coffee.

The great folks at Moms with Apps have written a wonderful tutorial on how you can gift an app.

On a side note, as our friends at KinderTown have pointed out, it’s Teachers Appreciation Week and this craft would be perfect for that very special teacher in your little one’s life!

OK, now comes the fun part!

After deciding which apps you are going to give mom, assemble the following tools and materials:

Mother's Day Craft Materials

  • Printer (preferably full color)
  • Card Stock: this is the best type of paper for it’s sturdiness. You can find many options at your local craft or office supply store.
  • Scissors
  • Glue: craft glue and regular white glue
  • Markers or pens
  • Skewers or Popsicle sticks: you can find these at your local supermarket or craft store.

Steps:

  • Get the icons for the gifted apps: The appropriate way to gift an app for this type of project would be to select the “print” option instead of the email option. As you can see from this post on gottabemobile.com, when you select the print option, it will compose a card that will contain the icon for the app you are gifting and the redeem code. You can use the print to PDF option and then use your favorite photo editing software to crop the icons and put them all on a single page.
  • Print out the icons on a sheet of card stock: For the best results, you should print the icons in color. Normal quality is fine. And make sure to choose card stock from the paper type choices.

Mother's Day Craft - Printing App Icons

  • After you cut out all the icons with a pair of scissors, turn them over and write down the redeem code for the corresponding app. You could also write down a nice message representing what your mom means to you.Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower
  • Lay out the icons unto a pretty flower. Just eyeball it to your liking, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Mothers Day Craft - App Flower

  • Make sure the last one you lay out has it’s left corner on top of the left icon and the right corner at the bottom of the right icon

Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower

  • Take out one of the icons and add some glue to the bottom right corner on the front. Flip it over and add glue to the bottom right corner on the back. You will now have 3 connected icons.

Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower

Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower

  • Take out the next icon to the left and follow the same procedure as before.

Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower

  • Follow the same procedure with the remaining icons

Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower

  • Take the skewer or Popsicle stick add a dab of white glue and glue it to the back of your flower.

Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower Mother's Day Craft - App Icon Flower

  • And voila! Your final product!

If you are interested in the apps featured in the craft, they are all proud members of Moms with Apps. You can download them all at the App Store:

Pesky reminders: please do not reproduce without our written consent. All photographs are copyright Anahelena Natera.

Kid-Capsule Featured on WSVN’s “Parent to Parent”

April 25, 2012

We are proud and honored to be featured in South Florida’s WSVN’s Parent to Parent

How to Create a Facebook “Fan Gate” from Scratch

February 24, 2012

Also known as Facebook “Landing Pages”, they are very useful tools to display exclusive content to your loyal fans and give an added incentive to attract more likers.

There are a few plugins, apps and tools out there to create these Fan Gates but the beauty behind doing it from scratch is that you have full control over every detail of your page. Including the ability to create as many tabs as you want and using your own thumbnail logo for your tabs.

To see a live demo, you can visit our Facebook Page.

This article is divided into 5 sections to make it easier to navigate:

Create and Configure a New Facebook App

Build a PHP Page for the Tab

Add the Tab to your Facebook Page

Make the Fan Gate your Landing Tab

Extras

Create and Configure a New Facebook App

  • Register as a Facebook developer: The very first thing you should do is become a Facebook developer. The reason behind this is that the way fan gates work is through Facebook apps. To create a Facebook app, you need to be a registered Facebook developer. Go to developers.facebook.com for more information.
  • Create a new Facebook App: You must create a new app that will produce your Fan Gate. This app will eventually pull and display the PHP page we will create later on in this tutorial, on your Facebook page tab.
  • Give your App a name: This name is just for identification purposes, it will not be the name displayed on your Fan Gate tab.
  • Select how your App integrates with Facebook: The two important sections you must select here are: “App on Facebook” and “Page Tab”. The former is to define a “canvas” for your app and the latter is used to define the actual page that will be displayed to your Facebook Page tab visitors.A very important note here is that Facebook requires you to have a secure host for your pages. To find out more about secure pages you can go to this blog post from the people at Fanpage Connect. It gives great insight and guidance on this subject.
    • App on Facebook: Set the Canvas URL and Secure Canvas URL to the directory where your files will be hosted. It’s very important that you add the last forward slash (/).
    • Page Tab:
      • Page Tab Name: The title you want to display for the tab.
      • Page Tab URL: This will be the URL for actual web page that will be displayed inside your tab. It is usually defined as the “index” default page (e.g. index.php) but it doesn’t have to be. If you have different tab apps and want to host the files in the same directory you may give them different names.
      • Secure Page Tab URL: Secure URL for the web page that will be displayed inside your tab.

Build a PHP Page for the Tab

You must build a webpage that will show or hide content depending on the “Like” status of the user accessing your tab. For this tutorial we will be building a PHP page but you can use other languages if you prefer. This page should have the same name as the one in the URL you provided in the previous step.

  • Download Facebook’s PHP SDK: This SDK will provide the functionality needed to access Facebook’s server-side API calls. You can download the SDK from github here. For more information on the SDK you can go to Facebook’s documentation. Copy the Facebook PHP SDK files into the same directory where your Page Tab URL file will reside on your host.
  • Include Facebook’s PHP SDK: The very first thing you must do is include the Facebook.php file:
    PHP
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    require 'facebook.php';
  • Get App Id and Secret: For the page to “understand” what app it corresponds to, you must include the App Id and App Secret provided by Facebook
    PHP
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    $facebook = new Facebook(array(
    'appId' => 'YOUR_APP_ID',
    'secret' => 'YOUR_APP_SECRET',
    'cookie' => true
    ));
  • Get “liked” Status: In order to show or hide content, we need to figure out if the user making the App request has liked the Page to which the tab belongs to. In this case we are talking about your fan page. It will look like this:
    PHP
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    $signed_request = $facebook->getSignedRequest();
    $like_status = $signed_request["page"]["liked"];
  • Display Content: Now that you have the user’s “liked” status, you can display the appropriate content:
    PHP
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    <!--?php if ($like_status) { ?-->
    FAN CONTENT GOES HERE
    <!--?php } else { ?-->
    NON-FAN CONTENT GOES HERE
    <!--?php } ?-->
  • Full PHP: The entire basic PHP should look something like this:
    PHP
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    <!--?php require 'facebook.php'; $facebook = new Facebook(array( 'appId' =--> 'YOUR_APP_ID',
    'secret' =&gt; 'YOUR_APP_SECRET',
    'cookie' =&gt; true
    ));$signed_request = $facebook-&gt;getSignedRequest();
    $like_status = $signed_request["page"]["liked"];
    ?&gt;
    YOUR PAGE TITLE HERE
    &nbsp;
    <!--?php if ($like_status) { ?-->
    FAN CONTENT GOES HERE
    <!--?php } else { ?-->
    NON-FAN CONTENT GOES HERE
    <!--?php } ?-->

  • Add Formating: This is just a basic PHP page to illustrate how you can show content depending on the user’s like status. You can always add styles and formatting to your pages just as you do for your website, blog, etc.

Add the Tab to your Facebook Page

Now that you’ve done all this work it’s time for you to share it with the world! To do so you need to follow these steps:

  • Go to the following URL: http://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=YOUR_APP_ID&next=YOUR_PAGE_TAB_URL
  • You will be presented with a drop-down list of your Facebook pages, pick the one you want to add the tab to
  • Once you click “Add Page Tab” you will have a new tab on the left listed under your Wall and Info tabs

Make the Fan Gate your Landing Tab

Now that you have added your tab to your Fan Page, you want to make it the default tab people land on the first time they go to your page. This is how it’s done:

  • Open your Fan Page
  • Click on the “Edit Page” button on the top right
  • Go to “Manage Permissions” on the left menu
  • Select the newly created tab from the “Default Landing Tab” drop down

Extras

The 520 Grid System

The canvas size for a Facebook app or tab is 520 pixels wide. The 520 Grid System allows you to create content that will fit this limitation. If you are used to implementing a grid system for your regular website or just want a straightforward way to keep things under the correct specs without headaches, this is a very convenient way to achieve that.

Getting rid of those pesky scrollbars

Sometimes, even if you keep everything under 520 pixels, you still get scrollbars on your tabs. Sometimes what happens is that your canvas is too long to fit the initial dimensions so you get an internal vertical scrollbar which will throw your horizontal dimension out the window. So as a consequence you get a horizontal scrollbar. There is a great tutorial by Atomiku that helps you resolve this issue.