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iOS apps should be inside a network sandbox
Felix Krause continues his campaign to increase the security of iOS apps. In this post he talks about App Transport Security now that it has been implemented for two years and a potential new feature for the App Store of listing what domains a site is authorised to make connections to. The UI change to the App Store suggested in the post doesn't feel quite right to me but it's certainly a direction Apple could move in.
xcprojectlint: A security blanket for Xcode project files
Would you like to automate some consistency in your Xcode project files with checks for settings defined at the project level (rather than in an xcconfig), missing files and empty file groups? This tool does exactly that, and more. Also, I like the way it's described:
Provides a security blanket, ensuring neither your co-workers, nor git screw up your Xcode project file.
Build Incrementation Techniques for iOS Apps
Do you increment your version numbers automatically, or manually before an App Store release? Shashikant Jagtap has some options for automating the process using agvtool as well as PlistBuddy and fastlane.
Previewing The System Share Sheet
Initially inspired by TweetBot's addition of the URL that's being shared being placed above the share sheet UI, Ryan Ackermann has enhanced the idea by including a preview of the content as well and turned it into a reusable component. I like the idea.
NSAttributedString in Swift using SwiftRichString 2
Daniele Margutti with a new release (a rewrite) of his library SwiftRichString for building attributed strings. It includes integration with Interface Builder as well as simple HTML parsing and regex based parsing too. Looks good.
Swift Tip: Type-Safe Initialization using Storyboards
This is a great tip for making your view controller code a little more robust.
Introduction to the Network Extension Framework
This article by Alexander Grebenyuk is a great reminder of how big the iOS SDK is these days.
How to Build a Better Product with UX Writing
Anastasiia Marushevska with a long but interesting article on a pet passion of mine, UI copy. Do me a favour, read this and then go and change at least one message presented in your app. 😀
Business and Marketing
Illustration in the App Store
I've admired the new App Store Today view many times here, but Khoi Vinh makes some great points that I hadn't really noticed before. It's great to see this much care and attention going into the store.
UIKonf 2018 Videos
UIKonf may only have finished a week ago but that hasn't stopped the organisers from already publishing these videos though! Enjoy 📺
Skeuomorphism ➡️ Flatism ➡️ Glitterism 😂
It's likely that if you're on Twitter, or if you read other words on the internet, that you've seen the Developer's Union site that launched this week.
The idea is that iOS developers form a "union" of sorts (it's not an actual union of course as app developers are not employees) to ask for changes from Apple to make running small businesses on the App Store more sustainable. The first issue that they have chosen to tackle is free trials.
I must say, I don't like this at all for a few reasons:
First up, and most importantly, I don't believe this will be effective. It is certainly important that we give feedback to Apple on how to make the App Store better for developers, but I really don't feel an online petition or "union" like this is the best way to go about it.
The choice of free trials as the first issue to campaign about is also a strange one too given that we already have mechanisms for implementing free trials on the App Store. What is (presumably) being asked for here is a free trial system for traditional, paid up front apps. Maybe something that could be as simple as checking a checkbox in iTunes Connect?
If it's that, I'd say we have something better and certainly something more flexible than that already. Was it plain sailing to get where we are today with free trials? Absolutely not. But we do have mechanisms to implement a range of different types of free trials through the use of In-App Purchases and outright free trials with app subscriptions. Apple even called out apps with free trials in a recent App Store promotion.
If this site is to be effective, I think the focus of it needs to completely change. Instead of focusing on a deadline for this to be implemented by and a list of people who have signed a petition, it think it needs to detail what is actually being asked for and what it is about the existing mechanisms that doesn't work for developers today. What specific changes would make a difference?
Apple certainly won't respond to the site as it stands right now and they won't respond even if the changes I suggest above are made. However, they will read it and if not just a list of names and a demand then they might even pay attention.
Note: I know this opinion may not be popular and I genuinely don't mean to cause offence to anyone at all with what I've written here. Creating things is hard, and I really don't like to put something down that people have put time and effort into. My first instinct was simply not to link to it, but I've had so many people email and DM me suggesting I link it this week that I felt I had to comment on it.Dave Verwer