Configuring authentication in Windows Azure Mobile Services
Mobile Services makes it easy to store your app's data in the cloud, authenticate users, and send push notifications. Not only does Mobile Services provide a turnkey solution for authenticating users via their Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft credentials, it also makes it easy to give users a choice regarding which credentials they'd like to use. In this article packed with sample code, Chris Risner provides a walkthrough for creating a custom authentication system, giving users the choice between custom authentication via email and authenticating via Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account, and handling expired tokens.
Official iOS Version Statistics
After a mention in the keynote at WWDC last week, Apple have officially published version statistics this week for iOS. Just one thing to note here, these stats are taken from devices accessing the App Store which is a great measure for developers writing apps as we want to target people actively using the App Store but probably isn't representative of the entire set of devices in use. I really hope that Apple keep this page up to date so that we have a consistent place to find stats as iOS 7 rolls out but given that it is on an iOS 6 specific page I doubt if my wish is going to come true.
The 4th console
Paul Burford on the potential for Apple to seriously disrupt the console market with iOS 7. I think the Game Controller API that was previewed at WWDC last week might have been the most overlooked announcement of the week and whether the end game is a dedicated Apple TV App Store platform or the further extension of AirPlay (my money is on a dedicated platform, but it could go either way), we should be paying attention to this.
iOS Artwork Extractor
Cédric Luthi has updated his artwork extractor for the iOS 7 beta. If you wanted to have a look at some of the new UI assets in greater detail then this is your chance. Naturally, this requires the Xcode 5 and iOS 7 beta to be installed from Apple before it will get access to the new stuff.
It’s not about the unit tests
Jonathan Rasmusson on joining an iOS team after working in languages where TDD is a much more prevalent workflow than it is on most iOS projects. He makes some good points during the post and I completely agree with his conclusion: "Are unit tests an invaluable tool for writing great software? Yes. Am I going to produce a poor product if I can’t unit test? No".
Mattt Thompson with a look at implementing custom indexed subscripting on your own classes. The section on custom subscripting as a DSL is particularly horrifying and Mattt describes it as "Here be dragons" which I agree with. I can imagine quite a few classes where implementing this could be useful but please do approach this with caution.
UIRefreshControl Fun and Games
With the stats above on iOS 5 market share being so low and the redesign of the default refresh control changing in iOS 7 it might be a good idea to replace that third party pull to refresh with the shiny new stock version. Keith Harrison has a simple walk through of implementing it along with a workaround to a small bug when implementing it with storyboards.
How you should look in iOS 7
Max Rudberg with a great article on how you should be thinking about updating the look and feel of your app for iOS 7. One of the key phrases from just about every UI based session last week at WWDC was the phrase "edge to edge content" and while all of these tips are good, I think that's the one Apple wants us to really take to heart.
iOS7 GUI PSD
Quick work by Geoff Teehan on getting an updated version of his excellent PSD template for iOS UI (iPhone only at the moment, naturally) out there. He recommends reading the new HIG before getting started on mocking stuff up and I would completely agree with that advice, it's more than just a visual change that has taken place on iOS UI design.
What's Wrong with the iOS 7 Icons?
iOS 7 is so much more than new icons, but as the icons are the first thing that you see it's no wonder they are getting all the attention. Ian Storm Taylor takes a good look at some of the more interesting design choices with the content of the new squircles and offers some suggestions for improvement. I'm sure that the icons will be one of the places we do see some changes between beta 1 and final release so I am not too concerned at the moment.
How To Downgrade The iOS 7 Beta Back To iOS 6 The Easy Way
Just in case you are regretting that hasty upgrade to your primary phone, they don't call it beta for nothing.