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New Apple Photos app contains 'UXKit' framework
If you've even glanced at Twitter over the last 24 hours, this probably isn't news to you. But I want to give my opinion so you're all getting a link to it anyway! Yesterday saw the release of OS X 10.10.3 beta and with it, the new Photos app for OS X. It seems it has a new private framework called UXKit which appears to be a UIKit-a-like on top of AppKit. Interesting right?
My advice would be to not get too excited just yet. Firstly, it may not be a strategic move at all and simply be a framework written to support only the development of the Photos app or it could be a compatibility layer of some kind to allow some code to be shared with iOS Photos.
If it is strategic and UXKit is intended for more than just the Photos app, would that create too much confusion in existing Mac development? As well as choosing which language you want to write your app in, now you have a choice of UI frameworks too? It's possible, but I don't think it's a no-brainer by any means.
I've been thinking whether something like this might be the future of OS X development for a long time but I always imagined it might happen in a different way. My particular theory was that one day we might see a version of iOS running on a Mac (with an AppKit compatibility layer?). I'm not saying it would be anything crazy like being touch driven, and clearly it would need Mac specific UI elements like menus to be added but it would be possible way to bring many of the advantages of iOS at a fundamental level to the Mac platform.
I guess what I'm saying is it's nice to dream and think about possible futures, but don't hold your breath! 😄
This week saw a significant new version of Reveal (which made it into my "Best of Tools" issue of iOS Dev Weekly recently). The biggest new feature is inspection (and editing) of Auto Layout constraints but there's a whole host of other features and usability improvements too.
I don't cover a huge amount of iOS game development here but I couldn't miss this one. It's a Normal Map editor for 2D sprites, very cool. It's in private beta right now but if you're writing 2D games, you'll want to check this out.
IBInspectable / IBDesignable
Both of these concepts were introduced at last years WWDC (sessions 401 and 411) but this article from NSHipster demonstrates their use in such a simple way (make sure you check out the last animated image at the end of the post!). Well worth a look if you want to break the cycle of tweaking interface variables and relaunching your app over and over.
Random Swift Things
Brent Simmons shares some thoughts on where we are with Swift. I too suffer from "Angle-bracket-T Blindness" sometimes and find some Swift examples are sacrificing readability by being overly clever. I also completely agree that Apple is not done improving Objective-C.
Sizing class for iPad portrait and Landscape Modes
This work around is something to consider when your interface on iPad differs significantly between portrait and landscape orientations. Separate size classes for each orientation could save you a lot of time and complexity instead of messing with Autolayout.
An update on Explicit Ratings
Padraig Kennedy follows up on his previous post about third party app access to parental settings. The great news is there actually is access through NSUserDefaults. Would be nice to have this documented as many third party apps that play content could benefit.
The Evolution of Audio Hijack
Christa Mrgan on the evolution of the design for Audio Hijack 3. I really love articles like this which take a look at not only the final design, but the journey to get there as well.
Designing Twitter Video
Another design walkthrough! This time Paul Stamatiou takes us through the design process for Twitter Video, concentrating particularly on the prototyping process using Framer.js. Great article.
Business and Marketing
How Much Does an App Cost?
Ken Yarmosh with an updated run down on the eternal question of "How much?". Liz Whitney also wrote on a very similar subject this week. You should read both of these 😄.
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Swift vs Objective-C
Originally written by Brent Simmons, beautifully summarised by @SwiftLDN.
Still no statement from Apple about what happened with iTunes Connect last week. I guess at this point we'll never know what happened. Oh well, onwards and upwards!
iOS 8.2 and Xcode got new beta versions this week and since it's beta 5 it would usually be getting close to release now. However, with the Watch release date now being confirmed for April, that seems like a long time for 8.2 to remain in beta. I wonder if they'll release it in advance of April with Watch features disabled until you connect a device. David Smith has a good post on what's new if you want to catch up.Dave Verwer