Issue 161


So, 9.9.2014 has been announced and as always, the rumours are going crazy. I think there's a secret announcement hidden in the numbers though. 9+9+2014 divided by 64 (the 5s is a 64 bit processor) divided by 10.1 (Puma, because no one ever gives Puma any love) comes out close enough to π that I think this definitely means that next week's big announcement is that every purchase at an Apple retail store gets free Apple pie. You heard it here first.

As for a wearable/watch/band/unicorn if you want my opinion on what's coming on that front then I'll be sitting here on this particularly comfortable fence. I have absolutely no idea but I'll have my credit card ready and waiting on the 9th.

Dave Verwer


Ideas for Open Source projects in Swift

After last week's post about getting started with contributions to Open Source projects, you might be looking for something to get your teeth into. Well, it just so happens that Chris Eidhof published a list of open source Swift projects he would love to see but hasn't got time for this week. Go crazy 🚀.

New Ad Formats from iAd

It's been a while since iAd has seen any major changes (at least any major changes I have heard about) but they recently put live some significant new features. No longer limited to banner ads, you can now include full screen interstitials and pre-roll videos. Is this part of Apple's solution to the sustainability issue for independent developers on iOS?

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Replacing Launch Images with Storyboards

Ole Begemann on an undocumented feature of Xcode 6/iOS 8 which allows a storyboard to be used in place of a launch image. Apple's vision for launch images has always been very clear, they should show a data-less view of your initial UI, rather than a splash screen. However creating them has always been a bit of a pain, especially since you needed to create tens of different versions for various devices and resolutions. This is the perfect solution and I hope it leads to better quality launch images on iOS 8.

Swift's Answer to #pragma mark

Do you miss #pragma mark in Swift files? I know I do. Turns out Swift has a lovely syntax for achieving the same effect using regular code comments rather than compiler directives. Simply put // MARK: // TODO: or // FIXME: in your code (I'm sure you'll never need that last one 😇) and they will magically show up in the jump bar drop down. Neat.

Update: A few people have told me this is not specific to Swift at all and these comments also work with Objective-C as well. Great news!



Who wants a better UIWebView? You do? Well, you're in luck. Along with iOS 8 comes WKWebView which is a better organised and a significantly more powerful interface to WebKit. This, along with the Nitro JavaScript engine finally becoming available to3rd party apps means that web views are getting a big boost in iOS 8. NSHipster has all the details you need.

Swift Unit Testing Tips and Tricks

There are some great tips here for getting started with unit testing in Swift. How to combat the access control problem (just make everything public, right?), how to easily initialise objects for testing purposes and dealing with testing optionals.

Auto Layout with minimum pain

Omar Abdelhafith with a fantastic set of tips for keeping yourself sane while using Auto Layout. Apart from tool support in Xcode 4.x, much of what has made Auto Layout painful to get to grips with is it's a much more sophisticated system than we have had in the past. With that sophistication comes the need for much more knowledge about how to work with it. So it's great that posts like this and Jonathon Mah's recent post are being written.


Mattt Thompson with an interesting experiment looking at shorthand syntax for creating various Cocoa types. I fully expect the language to expand to officially support this kind of thing as it matures and Mattt is not recommending it for production use for that reason.

Now the really important question for Mattt. When do we get a Swift version of the British Invasion? It's time... 😝

Business and Marketing

Are you interested?

When sending out a press release the silence in terms of replies can sometimes be deafening. It's hard to know from not getting a reply from someone whether they liked what you were doing, but just didn't reply because they were busy or whether they hit the trash, or even the spam button. This also lets the receiver of the press release know you care about their inbox and I love this idea, super smart.

Is your product a Hafta or Wanna?

Joshua Porter talking about Nir Eyal's recent article Why Behavior Change Apps Don’t Work. I've never seen it put into words quite as effectively as Joshua does but this is a very real issue that you almost certainly will have felt yourself when using apps.


iOS Developer at Big Cartel, Remote

Support artists, love what you do!

Senior iOS Developer - Mutual Mobile, Austin TX

Help create apps for some of the best known brands in the world.

iOS Developer at Neoscape (Boston)

Creative agency for real estate marketing seeks iOS developer.

And finally...

Why is programming so hard?

Like Graham, it's a bit of a mystery to me how I went from PRINT "HELLO" to where I am today.

Previous issue

Issue 160

22nd Aug 2014