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Dev Tools: Introducing Paralayout – An easy to use alternative to Autolayout!

Apple has made tremendous improvements to Autolayout (Apple’s constraint-based system for specifying UI) since the last few years. While technically impressive, in practice it’s more difficult and takes longer to implement especially if you have to modify and animate the layout dynamically or if you want to performance tune the UI. Square’s Cash iOS team have embraced a different philosophy that prioritizes development speed, correctness, readability, maintainability, and performance and they call it Paralayout, a 100% Swift open source library to programmatically code layout rules.

Read on at the link below to find out more.

Source: Introducing Paralayout – Square Corner Blog – Medium

Tutorial: The Complete Understanding of Swift Delegate and Data Source!

If you are new to Swift development, understanding the delegation pattern can be a difficult topic to wrap your head around. Delegate and Datasource patterns are used quite liberally in Swift especially if you are using components like TableViews and CollectionViews and hence it’s imperative that you master the topic. 

Check out the tutorial linked below to get you started on the subject:

Source: The Complete Understanding of Swift Delegate and Data Source

iOS 11 Beta 3: introduces SFAuthenticationSession to seamlessly authenticate to a web service!

If you have been using third party OAuth libraries for authenticating a user against web services then this news will excite you. With iOS 11 Beta 3, Apple introduced a new class called SFAuthenticationSession to seamlessly authenticate against a Webservice without the need to launch a SafariViewController. Behind the scenes, it uses the session data from Safari browser and this same session data can be used across apps to offer single sign functionality.

Check out the article linked below to find out how to incorporate this new API to authenticate a user against a web service easily using the new API.

Source: iOS 11, Privacy and Single Sign On – The Traveled iOS Developer’s Guide – Medium

iOS 11: Stack View Custom Spacing!

When Apple introduced StackViews in iOS 9 it quickly became everyone’s favorite control because it was easy to use and also due to the fact that it required fewer constraints to get it going. But for all its power there was one piece missing which was the ability to set a variable spacing between arranged subviews. All this is changing with iOS 11 which introduces a small tweak to allow variable spacing among its arranged subviews. The only caveat is that it can only be done programmatically and not through interface builder.

Read on at this tutorial link below to learn how to implement one:

Source: Stack View Custom Spacing

Why App Preview Videos Are Vital in iOS 11!

With iOS 11, Apple is planning to introduce a slew of exciting new changes to the App Store and one big feature that stands out is auto playing app preview videos.  Video previews will become extremely vital for developers going forward given how prominently placed app video previews are in the app store and well they portray the capabilities of your app (compared to plain screenshots). Also, if your app listing doesn’t have preview videos they will stand out like a sore thumb.

Check out this excellent article that covers in depth the benefits of including app preview videos in your app listing and some great tips.

Source: Why App Preview Videos Are Vital in iOS 11 | App Launch Map

Catching Leaky View Controllers Without Instruments!

Leaking a View Controller could turn out to be a huge issue in your app due to the fact that they are pretty big! Debugging and finding a leaky view controller using Xcode instruments is one way to catch the leak but this normally happens during a release phase and needs to be repeated everytime a new release is made. Do you wish you could catch these leaks early on in the development cycle?

Now you can — Check out this fantastic library written by Arek Holko who has created an extension that you can quickly incorporate into your code and discover leaky view controllers in a snap.

Source: Catching Leaky View Controllers Without Instruments

Xcode: Asset Catalog Changes in Xcode 9!

Apple launched a new version of Xcode at WWDC 2017 and was praised by many developers for all the great enhancements made to the Editor. One of the less talked about features is the ability to use PDF Vector data at runtime so that your images can be scaled up or down without the images getting distorted. Previously with Xcode 8, vectors were usable in the asset catalogs, but Xcode would compile down the vectors into static images at a set size which made them less scalable at runtime. Check out this great article by Cary Bohon who introduces all the great new asset catalog changes added in Xcode 9.

Check out this great article by Cary Bohon who introduces all the new asset catalog changes added in Xcode 9.

Source: Asset Catalog Changes in Xcode 9

Library: Track which versions previously installed!

A great Swift library that lets you easily track if the app was installed for the first time (so that you can display a welcome screen) or is a new update (example, to update the database to support new features). It has a ton of other features that can help you a great deal with version management, be sure to check it out at the link below.

Source: GitHub – notohiro/SwiftyVersionTracker

Why Core ML will not work for your app!

If you have been lassoed into the recent buzz surrounding Machine learning and are intrigued by Apple’s Core ML Framework you should read the article linked below before you start coding your next big app. While Core ML could work perfectly for a particular app, it doesn’t mean it will fit the needs of the app you are planning on building.

Core ML has many limitations and could mean a show stopper for many. Before you venture into the deep end, read the article below:

Source: Why Core ML will not work for your app (most likely)

The Size of iPhone’s Top Apps Has Increased by 1,000% in Four Years!

The total space required by the top 10 most installed U.S. iPhone apps has grown from 164 MB in May 2013 to about 1.9 GB last month, a 12x or approximately 1,100 percent increase in just four years.

Check out the link below for a detailed report that delves deeper into which apps have grown the most.

Source: The Size of iPhone’s Top Apps Has Increased by 1,000% in Four Years

Swift 4: Ultimate Guide to JSON Parsing!

With Swift 4 came built in support for JSON parsing with a refreshingly easy to use API. There have been a number of great libraries for JSON parsing in the past but now that Swift 4 has built-in support for it, the use of 3rd party libraries has become questionable. The new JSON parsing API is super easy to adopt and also provides the customization required to encode and decode complex scenarios.

Check out this linked article below to learn more:

Source: Ultimate Guide to JSON Parsing with Swift 4 – Ben Scheirman

Success Story: Lessons I’ve Learned from Three Million Downloads!

Check out this fascinating story of an app developer who saw an opportunity in a simple problem that every college student faces — Timetables! It’s an interesting read, the gist of the story is that in order to create a hit app, you don’t always have to look for the next big thing, sometimes, the devil is in the details, and you have to have that eye for that elusive opportunity.

Source: Lessons I’ve Learned from Three Million Downloads