Week 17 Newsletter

iOS News

Code

Let's Break Cocoa

Sometimes breaking things is best way to learn something. In this post Mike breaks Cocoa for some entertainment and learning. It includes some of the traps he himself encountered and spent hours debugging.

Extending the iPhone Simulator

What will a hacker do if he/she has to go back and forth between Xcode and iPhone simulator to simulate background fetch? - If you didn't guess it - it's - add that function to iPhone simulator. And that's what Hezi did. He hacked the iPhone simulator runtime and added "Simulate background fetch" to simulator with the help from some neat tools.

Set the Settings Set

This is more of a taking out frustration post. Graham writes about the 'Set' keyword and how it has so many meanings and how it's use in Objective-C doesn't follow the OOP concept. Reading this will make you feel good if you had similar experience with Objective-C's use of keywords.

Extracting Inline Styles in Objective-C with NUI

If you haven't used NUI, it's a drop-in UI kit for iOS that lets you style UI elements using a stylesheet, similar to CSS. Mike writes about his experience using NUI and pros and cons of using it. Worth looking at if you have a lot of design subclasses in your code.

Tools of the Trade: iOS Development

The better your tools the more productive you are. In this post Mike lists different development tools he used to build apps. There are some really good Xcode customization and command line tools listed there. I am definitely going to try those out.

Useful Xcode Build Phases

There are some really useful things you can do with Xcode Build Phases. In this post Matthew lists some things like TODO, FIXME, code complexity and code style that he uses build phases for.

Design

Design Teardown of the (Rap)Genius iPhone App

In this post Jason tears down the design of recently launched Genius app from RapGenius. It's a great example of how to translate web experiences to mobile.

Nilai Design Guide

The folks at Barley are reduilidng their app Niali from bottom up and in public. This is a great way to get feedback on design and iterate until you are satisfied.

App Store Screenshots

Great article on how to create great screenshots. A huge percentage of app discovery happens through search, where great screenshots are so important.

Business and Marketing

Want better iOS games? Then Review Every Single One You Play

Do you ask your users to review your app regularly? In an effort to keep only the good apps in the top rankings after the failed efforts from Apple on revamping app store search the folks at moWow studios urge their users to rate and review apps as much as they can. They also have some guidelines on how the reviews should look like.

Mobile-First Is Old News. Think Platform-First.

Mobile Product lead at LinkedIn writes an answer to a famous questions - iOS or Android. He compares the App Permissions, Organic Vs Transactional Behanvior, Walled Garden Vs Open Playground perspective of iOS and Android

Android News

Code

Performance Tuning On Android

Not sure how we missed this gem from November last year. The Venmo team (https://tapfame.com/app/351727428/venmo-for-ios/) writes about how they improved UI performance in their attempt to flatten view hierarchies, reduce overdraw, make fewer potentially blocking UI calls etc.

Finding Duplicate Dependencies in Your Android Gradle Configuration

If you use Gradle you might have found yourself looking through duplicate dependencies. In this post Aldo shows how to use Gradle duplicates plugin to take care of that. This can potentially be the CocoaPods equivalent for Android.

Run Chrome Apps on Mobile Using Apache Cordova

You probably heard the news - you will soon be able to run Chrome apps on Android and iOS. I am excited to try this out and see how it's performance is. I am keeping my fingers crossed about this.

Android Staggered Grid from Etsy

After looking at all the existing approached to create Android lists with multiple columns and varying row sizes the team at Etsy created their own solution for the their android app.

Thread Scheduling in Android

In Alex's own words - "An overview of how thread scheduling works in Android, and will briefly demonstrate how to explicitly set thread priorities yourself to ensure that your application remains responsive even as multiple threads run in the background."

10 Must-Have Mobile Game Development Engines You Should Use

Pretty self explanatory I guess :)

Design

Android Design: The Very Basics

Sometimes you have to go back to basics and this post is a good reminder of very basic design considerations to not forget about while designing for Android

Android UI Design Kit for Photoshop 4.4

This design kit catches you up to 4.4 and includes new action bar designs, scroll bars and more. And it is still free!