Stories From the Front Lines of Mobile App Marketing
Join us for a live chat next week with Kamo, one of the co-founders of Lolapps. We’ll talk about his role on the growth team where he acquired millions of users for their apps, and how you can apply those lessons to your own apps. If you’re interested in a crash course on how to grow your app, spend an hour with us on Wednesday, March 12 at 11am PST.
Understanding Apple's New Deployment Programs
I wasn't aware that Apple had made big changes to its volume purchase programme or that it had rolled out a new programme for registering devices aimed at large deployments. Fraser Speirs has details and while no one shouts very loud about these kind of changes, they are significant for the ecosystem.
Where Apple design is headed in 2014
iOS 7 may still feel shiny and new but it's easy to forget that we only have a few months until we get a peek at what's coming next. Dave Wiskus takes a look at possible directions for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 (or OS XI?) and speculates on possible directions. I think we can all agree with Dave that Apple will be very likely to move back to its usual format of incremental design upgrades with iOS but is it OS X's turn for a more major change this year?
Facebook have put together a wonderful collection of useful LLDB commands. There are some great extensions, especially for debugging view hierarchies but there is also an example included on how you can put together commands where you feel there are benefits to be had. I have a feeling that now I have this installed I'm going to miss them on every other machine I use.
I do feel like this email is becoming a little bit "Facebook Dev Weekly" recently. Is there any chance you guys could tone down the awesome for a couple of weeks to give us all a break? 😉
Stop Sucking At Build Environments
Alex Garibay on the state of automating builds and continuous integration for iOS projects (Spoiler: Not much good news). However he then turns the post all positive by going through best practices for getting your project into the best possible state for automated builds. The only thing I would disagree with is that committing your Pods directory is a heresy, I would argue that regardless of your build system, it's best practice in all situations, not just when prepping for automated builds!
CocoaPods, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Objective-C Dependency Management
Bryan Irace on CocoaPods. I really don't understand why there is so much controversy around CocoaPods. Yes, it's working around some Xcode issues (with the xcworkspace thing) and yes, if you give some people a package manager they will horribly abuse it by adding every pod on cocoapods.org but in my mind there is no doubt that it has been a positive force in the Cocoa community. Plus, if you don't like it, don't use it. (Note: My comments here haven't been triggered by Bryan's article but every time I see it mentioned on Twitter it's always the source of controversy).
Even with iOS 5's Static Table Views, long and complex forms can still be a pain to build. Enter FXForms from Nick Lockwood which gives us a generic form view controller which takes any object that confirms to a protocol to define the types and property names to populate with data. Looks like a nice simple solution to the problem to me.
Slide to unlock... The iconic label which introduced us all to the fact that the iPhone was really going to be a touch first device when it was unveiled in 2007. Now you get to easily add that same effect to every label in your app. Every. Single. Label... Go!
Hermes Pique with a self contained image caching module and associated category methods on UIImageView. This library does a very similar job to the UIKit category methods which come along with AFNetworking but if you are using standard NSURLConnection the last thing you want to do is pull in a full networking library for some convenience categories. This looks like a great, single purpose library.
A Typographic Approach to Email
Whether or not the next version of OS X gets a flatter user interface or not, experiments like this one are always worth taking a few seconds to look at. How would a mail client app look if it was 100% typography based rather than having traditional chrome around it. The end result would look very at home on iOS 7.
Castro's playback scrubber
Another wonderful article from Sam Page digging into the details, and then reimplementing a specific UI element in an iOS app. This time he takes on the audio scrubber from Castro (which is absolutely the best podcast player on iOS). My guess would be that the springiness on the scrubber in Castro was a simple spring UIView animation rather than dynamics but it could be either!
Apple Design Guides and Resources
This collection of new content and links to existing content like the Tech Talk videos on design is a great jumping off point if you want to really dig into Apple style design for iOS 7. I really hope to see this page expand and be kept up to date as we move forward with iOS 8.
Business and Marketing
Prompting for app reviews
I feel that the topic of prompting for app reviews is almost done now but I couldn't let it go without this article from Dan Counsel. Dan takes a look at some examples of picking the perfect time and place to ask for a review. Or if you decide not to do that, some alternative techniques to a prompt.
"Free-to-play" misleading advertising
Seems ridiculous to me that "Free to play" games should be free to... Oh wait a minute, no it doesn't. It appears that it's recommendations rather than actual legislation being discussed here but everything they are proposing seems sensible. I hope this gets followed up with action from bodies like Trading Standards here in the UK.
Luggage Tracking with iBeacon
These certainly won't be the most unusual items to ever be found by the TSA but I bet they will cause a few confused faces.
So this week we finally got to see iOS in the Car, or CarPlay as it's now called. I think this is the last of all the platforms (yes, including Apple TV) that we will get access to as developers but I'm also OK with that as there are more interesting iOS platforms to explore first (again, Apple TV!). One point which I didn't see picked up on much was that the wording on the CarPlay marketing site says "If your CarPlay-equipped vehicle has a touchscreen", which I was surprised about. They are obviously going for something much wider than a purely high end approach.
Oh, and 20,000 subscribers... Thanks everyone! 😍Dave Verwer