iOS Dev's Guide to Surviving the Holiday Freeze
No App updates during the holidays 😬 ? You're covered! Make changes to live apps without releasing a new version 😀. The guide includes 12 different tools that let you modify live apps in real-time, without resubmission to the App Store. Fix bugs or change data in live apps during the holiday code freeze and end of year App Store review blackout. Free download.
SDK diffs in the API Reference
Apple have always posted comprehensive API diffs when beta versions of the SDKs are released, but I always found it tricky to get a high level overview of the changes. Well, this week they put a new feature live on the documentation site to help with exactly that problem. Select a version of the SDK you'd like to compare to the latest beta and you'll see changes per framework, then dig in to see the details.
Let's give a big welcome back to Dash on iOS. Now open source either for contributions or just to download and use. Obviously this isn't ever going to be as popular as it could have been on the store but I think this is the best end to an unfortunate situation. I'm really happy to see this.
Hopper isn't the kind of app that most of us use every day but that doesn't make what it does any less impressive. On the few occasions that I have needed it, it's been a life saver! This latest version includes an improved UI, better support for Swift, and many more features that I only half understand! 😬
Do you miss KVO in Swift? Well this is going to be worth a look. Károly Lőrentey has put together a pure Swift implementation of KVC/KVO that doesn't rely on the Obj-C runtime. If you want to know more, he also spoke recently about how it works. There's a warning about it being pre-release code and that the API may change, but it's still very interesting.
Said Sikira with a really nice looking concurrency library built on top of GCD. It supports deferred execution, dependencies, conditional task execution, and easy retry code when errors occur.
This is fun. Jon Parham is rewriting Zork in Swift as a way to learn the language, and blogging along with it. This is an introduction but you should read the other posts as well. It's not done yet but it's already an interesting read. Yes, it's more about developing a text adventure than Swift itself, but I enjoyed it!
Perfect code is an illusion
Wise words from Daniel Irvine, I couldn't agree more.
Designing the new Uber App
Didier Hilhorst on the process of redesigning the Uber app. He talks about how the design of the original app suffered as more and more features were added. He also talks about what I consider to be the most interesting part of the new UI, adding content and suggestions once you're on your way. Great article.
10 Essential Tips for User Interface Icons
What makes a good icon? Rebekah Wolf, John Marstall and Josh Bryant with some great tips on icon design after the release of their new icon set, Luminance.
Business and Marketing
Our Experience with App Store Search Ads
Oisín Prendiville writes about trying to find some profit in using App Store ads with a $3.99 app. There's some solid data here and details of the tests they did to try and find the right bid. The bad news is that it looks like this isn't going to be (anywhere near) profitable in their case.
Brainstorming Product Names
Naming things is one of the hardest things you'll have to do when getting an app released. Mike Zornek has a good set of tips here to make the process a bit easier.
A User-Centered Approach to Solving Micronavigation for the Blind
Really great talk by Chris Hoogewerff on accessibility. Specifically, how to build an app which lets blind users find a bus stop. GPS isn't accurate enough, so how do you do it? There's also some good tips on prototyping and planning here.
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Is your company still considering going to the cloud?
It's not that long ago that Apple promised to clean up the App Store and remove abandoned/broken apps. Fairly soon after the announcement developers started receiving notices that must update some apps and fix any issues, or have them removed. However, it's been all quiet on the subject since then, until now.
This week, data published by Sensor Tower highlighted that the number of apps removed from the store during October was up 3x over the average for the rest of the year with almost 50,000 disappearing. The games category was most affected, which isn't surprising given that many games are built and then abandoned but other categories were significantly affected too.
I've checked my list of apps that I said I'd monitor and it's interesting. Some of them have been updated, one of them has been removed (either by Apple, or by the developer) but the vast majority are still available and have not been updated. So, I don't think this is the end by any means and I expect we'll see even bigger numbers over the coming months!Dave Verwer