App Development

Updating your apps with silent push notifications

Published on: November 20, 2019

A lot of apps rely on data from a remote source to display their content. Sometimes the content on the remote source changes regularly, sometimes it changes only sporadically. In all cases, your users will want to see the most up to date version of the information that you have to offer them, and in most cases, you will do your best to make sure that your users always have up to date information. There are many ways to make sure your users always see the latest data from your server. For example, you might be using web sockets if...

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Adding support for multiple windows to your iPadOS app

Published on: November 4, 2019

Now that Apple has split iPadOS into a separate OS, and launched Catalyst to enable developers to compile their iPad apps for the Mac, there’s a whole new multi-window paradigm we must understand and cater for. Up until this year, we only had to worry about a single window for our iOS applications. This meant that we never had to worry about the user being at two places in our app at the same time. For instance, what would happen if a user has two windows of an app open and both are on the edit profile page? In this...

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Understanding the iOS 13 Scene Delegate

Published on: October 28, 2019

When you create a new project in Xcode 11, you might notice something that you haven’t seen before. Instead of only creating an AppDelegate.swift file, a ViewController.swift, a storyboard and some other files, Xcode now creates a new file for you; the SceneDelegate.swift file. If you’ve never seen this file before, it might be quite confusing to understand what it is, and how you are supposed to use this new scene delegate in your app. By the end of this week's blog post you will know: What the scene delegate is used for. How you can effectively implement your scene...

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Optimizing Your Application’s Reviews

Published on: October 14, 2019

We all love the idea of getting loads of App Reviews, preferably with five stars and a description that explains why our apps are amazing. Unfortunately, users often don’t take the time to reviews the apps they enjoy. Instead, users will review your app when they’re unhappy. If something about your app doesn’t please them or something doesn’t work as expected, they will happily write an angry review and rate your app one star. So how do we get people to review apps when they are happy so they give us five stars? That’s exactly what I would like to...

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Supporting Low Data Mode in your app

Published on: September 23, 2019

Together with iOS 13, Apple announced a new feature called Low Data Mode. This feature allows users to limit the amount of data that’s used by apps on their phone. The low data mode setting is available in the settings app. Whenever a user is on a slow network, a very busy network or on a network that might charge them for every megabyte they download, users might not want to spend their limited data budget on large fancy images or clever prefetching logic. With Low Data Mode, users can now inform your app that they are on such a...

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High performance shadows for UIView

Published on: July 8, 2015

No app is truly complete without some subtle shadows. Especially now that Google's Material Design is showing us that shadows are cool again we need a way to properly add them in our apps. In my previous post I wrote about a way to create a custom UICollectionView layout. There was one problem with that post though, that shadows are incredibly heavy on the iPhone and scrolling stutters. So can we fix this? The answer is yes and the solution is (surprisingly) easy. A Google search led me to this Stackoverflow question about shadows. The solution I tried first was to simple...

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Creating a custom UICollectionViewLayout in Swift

Published on: July 7, 2015

Note: This blog post has been updated for Xcode 11 and Swift 5 👍🏼 If you’re looking to learn more about the new collection view layout techniques that were introduced in iOS 13, this post should contain everything you need. If you've ever built an iOS app that uses some kind of grid layout or displays a list in a way that doesn't fit a UITableView you have probably used a UICollectionView. This component allows for very simple grid layout creation and it even allows you to dynamically change layouts with beautiful animations. UICollectionView becomes even more powerful and flexible...

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