Complete a cloud connected chat app with Ben Scheirman
In Part 2 of the NSScreencast series on building a full-featured chat app with Windows Azure Mobile Services, Ben Scheirman adds the ability to post a message, poll for updates and receive push notifications. In this episode, you'll use a pod called MessagesTableView controller to present an messages interface that closely resembles SMS.
10.8.4 and the iOS Simulator
If you haven't yet updated to 10.8.4 which was released this week then you probably want to hold off from installing it as unfortunately it seems to break the iOS simulator. I am sure there will be a patch out soon either for Xcode or Mac OS to fix this but until then, approach 10.8.4 with caution if you want to keep the simulator working!
A glimpse at Apple's new Bug Reporter
Maybe this was accidentally released too early (unlikely), or maybe it was released and a bug was subsequently found (more likely). Either way, we got what ended up being a sneak preview of the new Radar interface this week. It looks to be a vast improvement in terms of UI but no fundamental changes such as options to make reports public. Still, it's definitely a step in the right direction.
WWDC 2013 Attendee List
Adam Swinden has created a Google spreadsheet to help people connect at WWDC this year. There are over 400 people already registered with this list but that's far from the thousands that are going to be attending WWDC. So, if you are not already on this then you probably want to add yourself and sign up for the Glassboard invitation as well.
WWDC First-Timer Tips
As always, there are many WWDC first timer guides which have been published or updated over the last couple of weeks so it's hard to pick one. I ended up picking this comprehensive guide from Uli Kusterer this year so if this is your first year then make sure to read this so that you get the best out of (or just survive) the week.
Hopefully you are already signed up for a few of these as many of them are sold out. You shouldn't struggle to fill every night (and lunch, and breakfast) with an event of some sort if you want to.
I wished for something like this when I mentioned ImageOptim previously, a tool to run through different PNG and JPG optimisation techniques and export an optimal set of assets. Sure enough, Oliver Michalak has put together an app which automates the process of analysing all image resources in an app and providing a quick and easy way to get the best optimisations out. I ran it against one of our image heavy apps and it had remarkable results with almost no change in the visual quality of the app.
Beta version of a new view hierarchy visualisation app in the same vein as Spark Inspector which was mentioned back in May. Whether you choose this or Spark Inspector, it's certainly nice to have a more visual way to debug or tweak a view hierarchy. I need to check both of them out properly so I won't indicate any kind of preference between the two here just yet.
Find uniqueIdentifier Calls in Your iOS App
Carl Veazey with an article on preempting the Apple rejection caused by using private or disallowed selectors like uniqueIdentifier. It's easy to check your own code for this but harder to check third party libraries, especially if you don't have source. Learn how to use otool to track down the offending library so you are able to upgrade/replace it and get through review.
Quartz Composer for iOS
Joris Kluivers with an interesting experiment looking at whether it is possible to bring the ability to render Quartz Composer compositions under iOS. He has a largely working version, although he advises that this is still very much a work in progress. Like Joris, I don't see this as a way to build iOS apps but might work out great for an occasional transition and especially for prototyping.
Strategies, Tips, and Tricks for Sometimes Connected Apps
We sometimes take for granted the presence of an "always on" internet connection on our iOS devices but the number of app rejections I hear about which still find issues with apps running offline means we still have a way to go. This talk by Ken Auer goes through some common scenarios and has plenty of tips on how to cope gracefully with intermittent connectivity.
Why Rounded Corners are Easier on the Eyes
Anthony Tseng on why users work better with rounded corners rather than sharp edges in user interfaces. The basic theory is that we are conditioned to avoid sharp edges in real life and also that we can follow rounded lines easier than we can hard corners but have a read of the whole thing to get the full details.
Business and Marketing
App Store Description Previewer
The first two (or so) lines of your App Store description are the most important but how much text is actually being displayed? It's not even the same amount on the iPad App Store as it is on the iPhone. Find out what will actually be visible on each of the App Stores with this simple tool from Marc Edwards.
WWDC drinking game and live broadcast
If you can't make the WWDC keynote in person, maybe amuse yourself with a game of bingo while watching along?
So with WWDC rapidly approaching (I am currently at 35,000ft mid-way across the Atlantic as this is going out) I have included a few WWDC related links below in addition to the regular sections this week. Please do come and say hello if you are going to be at Moscone next week (best way to contact me is on Twitter, @daveverwer), hope to see some of you there... Dave.Dave Verwer