I want to start this week talking about Xcode, and how wonderfully stable this current beta is. Ever since last year’s Swift rewrite of Xcode 9, our favourite developer tool has been a pleasure to use and I’m happy to say that the upgrade to v10 continues that trend! 🚀 It’s fast (except for loading Storyboard files), reliable and feels really solid.
The platform betas this year are also relatively stable by all accounts, but they get talked about a lot and Xcode seems to be so solid I’m not even seeing conversations about it, which is amazing.
I can’t remember the last time I had to switch back from an Xcode beta to the release version and I never hesitate to install new betas (although that’s partly because they can run alongside the latest release). Xcode isn’t perfect, but it’s a great tool, it’s really stable and should be celebrated. 🎉
Last year we had the ten year anniversary of the original iPhone, which means that this year it’s the turn of the App Store. Yes, this is a link to a press release, but it’s still worth reading. It’s a lengthy look at the history and some of the highlights of the store so far along with various quotes, not only from Apple employees and executives but also from independent developers.
Instabug is a feedback channel between you and your users right inside your app. With a simple shake gesture, users are able to submit feedback which arrives at your dashboard packed with complete device details, network logs, and visual reproduction steps. It only takes a line of code to integrate the SDK. Get started now.
I love Fluid! I was always losing important web apps in the mess of tabs that I accumulate every day. This new beta now uses WKWebView and so won’t fall foul of the eventual deprecation of WebView. Whether it’s GitHub, JIRA or any other web app you use, this will make your life easier.
I linked to Mint back in Issue 334 but it didn’t stick straight away and I must admit I still don’t use it now (I still just install tools with
brew). That’s mainly because I’m a solo developer though and not part of a larger development team. If needed to keep tool versions consistent between members of a larger team, I’d certainly be all in on it. Wolfgang Lutz has some advice for getting it set up.
This is a really nice idea from Maxim Kotliar. It dynamically changes the status bar colour based on the content underneath it. It won’t be that useful if you’re working with navigation bars, but if you’re working with full screen content, you’ll want to give this a look.
Marc Palmer with a new framework for helping to separate apps into features. It’s not going to be necessary for every app but I can see a place for this kind of approach with larger apps consisting of lots of interconnected features. I’d also recommend listening to this interview on the iDeveloper podcast which helped me understand it much better.
Like Shaps Benkau, I’d also like to see Apple give us a nicer API with type safety to UserDefaults. Until they do, here’s an approach so you can do it yourself!
I liked this simple, chainable, animation API from Taiki Suzuki. It’s not going to cope with every animation scenario but it does have simplicity on its side and there’s some good options in terms of timing functions. The API is clean and it’ll save you some time.
Adam Wiggins on creating a gesture based command interface for iPad apps. The idea of a “no wait” interface (as opposed to the pauses needed when accessing iOS context menus, for example) is really interesting but discovery and memorisation of the gestures is going to be a really hard problem to solve successfully. If a standard set of gestures can be adopted by popular apps (and Apple?) then I can see this turning into something, but I remain skeptical until that happens.
Business and Marketing
This inspirational article from Max Seelemann should keep you going if you’re ever struggling with the motivation to keep at it. It’s also a great reminder that age should be no barrier to getting started in our industry.
Join Europe’s most successful cycling and hiking app and change the way people explore!
I know it really doesn’t matter and I know I spent the comment this week praising Xcode, but the distribution quirks of Xcode 10 beta 3 did make me smile this week. 😄I also wonder what the final release will be named! 🥇