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Apple is indeed patenting Swift features
Before you read the title of this link and reach for your pitchfork, remember that our legal systems are complicated and imperfect but we all still have to operate within them.
I'm certainly no fan of software patents, but I'm also not a lawyer and this is not my area of expertise. There's reassuring posts in the thread by Chris Lattner (who, it should be remembered, no longer works at Apple and so can not speak for them) and Ted Kremenek (who does). Even so, there are still concerns in the thread around how this might affect these features in other languages, or other implementations of Swift.
Swift Weekly Brief
I was a huge fan of the Swift Weekly Brief before it unfortunately went on hiatus at the end of 2017. What I didn't realise was that it only took a very short break before it was back up and running! I somehow managed to get removed from the mailing list during the transition and so I had no idea it had been back for almost a year! I've always been a big fan of this project as it provides in-depth coverage of Swift evolution, so it fits really well alongside iOS Dev Weekly because my interests sit much more with iOS development rather than language development.
So, just in case you had also missed that the hiatus was very brief, it's now being run by Bas Broek who continues to do a fantastic job covering the Swift open source projects. If you're not already subscribed, go sign up.
Ever need to view a large, complex JSON file on an iOS device? Even though JSON is fairly readable, you'll still need good luck if it's more than just a few lines, or isn't pretty printed. This new app by Simon Støvring solves the problem by parsing and presenting the data hierarchically. Useful! 👍
Faster App Setup For Unit Tests
This is a cute trick from Keith Harrison on starting your app faster when it's being launched purely for the purpose of running unit tests. There's no magic here though, the technique is very simple, in fact it's the best way to get any performance gains in your app. Do less stuff. 🤘
Alamofire vs URLSession
When I linked to the new Alamofire version a couple of weeks ago, I questioned how dependent we needed to be on networking frameworks now that we have
NSURLSession. Well, right on cue Antoine van der Lee aims to answer that exact question!
Fixing your retain cycles for fun and profit
I learned several things from this article by Samantha John. First, it looks like the Apple Entrepreneur Camp is happening right now. 🚀Second, how did I not know about Hopscotch? Third, how to use
NSPointerArray to avoid retain cycles. That's a pretty valuable post!
iOS Color Wheel Using CIFilter
I tried to present a colour picker in an app once, and my first thought was "How hard can it be to generate a colour wheel? I'll just loop around some RGB values, or something!" … we ended up using some predefined colours in the end. 😂 Turns out that Core Image can generate colour wheels though! Noah Gilmore explains.
TestFlight or App Store?
Is your app running from the App Store, or from TestFlight? What if you could check programatically? Turns out, you can! Thanks go to Ben Kraus for the tip.
I've said many times before how I love sites like Pttrns, Mobile Patterns, and the sadly now defunct Capptivate. Well, here's another one to add to the collection! Not just screenshots, not just animations, but full user flows that apps use to solve their problems. 👍
Are we moving into the past, or the future?
I love this. It's so intricate and it perfectly represents the action being performed. But more than any of that, it also has a purpose. How easy is it to accidentally scroll past the current day in a calendar? Thanks to Tali Roth for highlighting this great piece of design. 👍
Navigation Should Be Boring
This is solid gold advice from Allen Pike.
Business and Marketing
The Next Box
I always find the stories about how apps come into existence fascinating and this one from Alexander Griekspoor about Agenda is no different. I also love to see in-development screenshots and videos, and there's some of those here too. It's worth a read!
Grooming the Backfog
I really liked this article from Graham Lee. When I worked as a product manager, I always took the approach that the next sprint should be fully planned, the next couple should be loosely planned but that after that the backlog is very fluid. However, the important point is that even though the backlog may be vague, the overall product direction should always be clear.
Xcode in 20 Seconds
Paul Hudson has been posting a new Xcode tip every day throughout January. That's a lot of things to be learned in less than 10 minutes! He's continuing the series into February too, so stay tuned.
Also on the same subject of Xcode tips, this thread by Veronica Ray also had some good tips, like this one from Daniel Martin. Finally, Paulo Andrade also posted a very useful tip this week. So many Xcode goodies!
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My 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard has a failing 'd' key...
I read this tweet and smiled, but it wasn't until I realised he had gone all in and created an entirely new site to support the joke that it ended up as the last link in the newsletter. Bravo Bogdan 😂
I'm not going to go into the details of the enterprise certificate drama that took place this week, you almost certainly know it all already. Here's a good recap, if you somehow managed to sleep through it!
I don't think we have seen the final act of this performance yet though. My guess is that this eventually results in new, and more tightly enforced rules around enterprise distribution. That'll be a pain for all companies in the short term, but it'll probably be a net win for the security and trust people can have in the platform in the long run. We'll see...Dave Verwer