Top iOS Developers
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Major iBeacon Improvement in iOS 7.1
No matter how much we tell people it's not necessary to keep quitting running apps from the task switcher they will continue to do it. The big issue with iBeacons in iOS 7.0 was that if you terminated an app in that way, no more proximity updates would be received until it was manually relaunched. This is now fixed in 7.1 and beacons will always be tracked if permission has been granted. Fantastic news.
Xcode 5.1 Release Notes
Along with the new iOS version this week came Xcode 5.1 with a couple of really nice features; Quick Look on UIViews, more improvements to Auto Layout constraint editing in Interface Builder and the most important bug fix of all 😎. It was crashing all over the place for me yesterday but let's just hope it was just having a bad day.
I linked to Alcatraz before but it has now made it to the big one point oh. If you missed it last time, it's an app which manages Xcode plugins, colour themes and templates. The library of installable items is quite impressive now but just imagine how huge this would be if Xcode had an official plugin model. Let's be careful what we wish for though, we don't need to up the frequency of Xcode crashes any further.
8 Tips for working effectively with Interface Builder
I started reading this article confidently thinking "I bet this doesn't have anything I don't know already!". How wrong was I? Great set of tips from Yoni Tsafir on working smarter with Interface Builder (yes, yes, I know it's not really called Interface Builder anymore but that's not going to stop me).
The concept of designated initialisers in Objective-C has been around forever but there has never been a way to indicate which initialiser was your designated one apart from in documentation (and who reads docs, right?). As Peter Steinberger notes, this macro was documented for a short while in the Apple documentation but was pulled before release, this gist puts the functionality back right now.
__attribute__ directives in Objective-C
Talking of attributes, they seem to be a fairly underused feature of Objective-C. I would guarantee that we could all take advantage of them to add more context to our code to help the compiler do its job. Nolan O'Brien gives a thorough run down on what they are and how they can be used today.
Adopting Modern Objective-C
Since iOS (and more specifically since clang) the pace of change in the Objective-C language has really picked up. This is great news but have you kept up with all the changes? This new document from Apple on modern Objective-C details all the enhancements and will bring you up to speed.
AFNetworking SSL Pinning With Self-Signed Certificates
SSL pinning is the technique of guaranteeing that an SSL connection you have is with the server you intended it to be with by including a copy of the certificate inside your app and checking it when network requests happen. Unfortunately this is broken in AFNetworking 2.2 but Eric Allam has a solution.
Ah singletons, ensuring that we still have something to argue about when tabs and spaces merge into one ultimate whitespace character. In this post (and the follow up, which you should also read) Brent Simmons gives a few options to manage objects that might tempt you towards global state. I can't say I agree with all of this but it's always good to know your options.
Images and the OS X Color Picker
I haven't been using OS X for as long as some people have, but I thought I knew everything there was to know about using the standard colour picker. Mind blown.
Business and Marketing
An Interview About Paid Apps
David Barnard being interviewed for Mac Life on the state of paid apps in the App Store. The points which stood out to me were the ideas on how Apple could actually tweak the store to give better visibility to apps that match Apple's vision for the store. For example, why don't apps that are built using the iOS 7 SDK get a natural boost in search results? Or, do we misunderstand Apple's priorities?
CSS polyfills from the future
Is hell an eternity trapped with CSS or an eternity trapped with Auto Layout? No need to choose, have both!
So the first major update to iOS 7 arrived earlier this week and is already up to ~25% adoption. It's a significant improvement and my fingerprint sensor now works again! My 5s had almost completely stopped recognising me with 7.0 and I was about to rescan all my prints but it's now working 9 out of 10 times again. Maybe the NSA upgraded their servers?Dave Verwer