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More Than Stickers: Exploring iMessage App Utilities
I think we can all agree that the iMessage App Store has not been a huge success. Yes, stickers are popular (and I really didn't think they would be), but app discovery and the usability of the platform leave a lot to be desired. However, it's not all negative and I loved this article by Ryan Christoffel where he takes a look at what some developers are doing with the platform.
Swift Playgrounds for iPad now supports robots, drones, and toys
News of a major, yet to be released update to Swift Playgrounds for iPad in the week prior to WWDC? If that's not a good sign that next week's keynote is jam packed full of other announcements, I don't know what is! This is a fantastic step forward for Playgrounds too, with the ability to control toys from Lego, Sphero and several other manufacturers it's a big step for the educational potential of Playgrounds.
There have been several open source projects that have provided this kind of functionality in the past, but who knew that something like this was also built into the operating system? Ryan Peterson looks into how to enable this panel in your app, and what it can show you about what's going on.
Want to see custom Quick Look views for custom objects right inside the Xcode debugging panel? Patrick Kladek has just the thing for you. This looks incredibly easy to configure and get started with so it's worth a look.
SwiftKotlin: A tool to convert Swift code to Kotlin
You've probably heard mention of Kotlin quite a bit over the last couple of weeks since it was announced as a first class language for Android development. Even though you won't be using it for iOS development, are you interested in what it looks like? If you're curious then why not check out how your Swift code would look in Kotlin?
Whatʼs new in Swift 4
I'm sure that Swift 4 will be the focus of much discussion at the conference next week, but what is it? Ole Begemann has put together a guide to all the changes as a playground so you can do more than just read about them, you can try them out too. Oh and Bart den Hollander's article on breaking changes in Swift 4 is also worth a read while we're on the subject.
I first mentioned Vapor back in Issue 238 and here we are just over a year later with v2 being released. This release focuses on speed, cleaned up dependencies, new documentation and of course some additional features too. There are breaking changes, so if you have an app already then you'll find this migration guide useful too.
Avoiding Third-Party UI Libraries
Arek Holko with a follow up to Ben Brooks' article on avoiding 3rd party dependencies. He digs into why to avoid UI libraries specifically in this post and while I agree with his conclusion that it's hard to make general rules on this topic, he makes some good points along the way.
Why Reach Navigation Should Replace the Navbar in iOS Design
The problem of reaching too far on today's larger phones has been discussed many times over, and this article by Brad Ellis certainly covers a lot of that ground. What I found interesting as I read it though was how much iOS design has already changed because of this problem. This is an area I can see iOS 11 making some small, but important changes in.
Vector Icon Speed Runs
What would a code kata look like for a designer? I love this. Oh and there's more examples if you didn't get your fill from the post.
UIKonf 2017 videos
Another year of UIKonf, another set of beautifully produced videos of fantastic talks, all produced within a few short weeks of the conference. Aren't we lucky!
Visualizing gravity through Einstein’s general relativity: A Swift Playground
Are you curious about the kind of playgrounds that got submitted for this year's WWDC scholarship programme? How about listening to Hollis Liu talk through his submission? This is fantastic!
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Look like a pro at WWDC with this handy tip
It'd be embarrassing to get this wrong in front of Apple engineers. 😂
It feels really weird not to be getting on a plane today! ✈️
As I previously mentioned I can't make it out to California this year for WWDC, so I'm going to be keeping up with the announcements from home instead. I am going to try for the authentic WWDC experience here though by charging myself $500 a night to sleep in my own bed, stocking my fridge with Odwalla and disconnecting my WiFi every hour or so. 🤣
If you're heading to San Jose for WWDC, AltConf, Layers, CocoaConf Next Door or any of the other events, I hope you have a wonderful time. Make sure to meet loads of new and interesting people (check out WWDC.family and WWDC.world to help with that) and learn everything you can about iOS 11 and all of the other goodies that we'll inevitably see for the first time.
If you're following along from elsewhere like me, then don't forget that the official WWDC app has already been updated for this year, or you could use the unofficial app if you prefer viewing on a Mac.
However you experience it, enjoy WWDC! Let's meet here next week to talk about what happened. Deal? 🤓Dave Verwer