Welcome to Issue 118 of Swift Developments! Before we dive into the links this week, I just wanted to mention that this is going to be the last issue of Swift Developments for this year. Much as I did last year I’m going to take a break from writing over the Christmas period to spend time with family and friends and to also wind down from a busy 2017. As a result the next issue of Swift Developments will be back in your inbox on January 9th with all the best links from over the festive period! So with that in mind I just wanted to say a big thankyou for reading this year, thanks for all the comments and support over the last 12 months and I hope you and your family have a very Happy Christmas (if you’re celebrating) and a very Happy New Year!
After the announcement earlier in the year, yesterday saw the completion of the Swift.org email list migration over to the Discourse platform. As part of the migration the forums have been re-structured into four main categories: Evolution, Development, Using Swift and Site Feedback with the Evolution and Development also having a number of subcategories beneath them. From what I can see so far I think it’s a big improvement on what we had previously and will hopefully open things up to a wider audience.
As @annekate says in this article – “Acquiring your first 100k active users is an art, but a messy one – especially if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing and paid acquisition.”. Some great tips for launching and growing your apps user base.
Halide has rapidly rocketed toward the top of the App Store charts becoming one of the most popular photography apps on store but when it was first launched, rumours of a new iPhone were already reaching the ears of Halide designer @sdw, so faced by the prospect of a new Apple device on the horizon (what we now know as the iPhone X) Sebastian and the Halide team set about set about redesigning Halide for the new device, a device they knew little about, and in doing so, learnt some valulable lessons about designing for the iPhone X.
I still find type erasure one of the most complicated topics to get your head around in the Swift language and my guess is that I’m not alone. With that said, in the latest of his Friday Q&A’s @mikeash has written a great introduction to the topic in which he explains the problem type erasure tries to solve along with a number of worked examples of how to use type erasure with classes and functions.
Core ML was one of major new frameworks introduced at WWDC this year and with machine learning likely to be a big theme for 2018 @vhanagwal has written a step-by-step tutorial on how to work with Apple’s new machine learning framework.
Great to see one of my favourite tools, fastlane, continue to evolve this week with the addition of support for writing your fastlane configuration files using Xcode and Swift! This new Swift support is still in beta but docs are already available here. Go take a look if you want to avoid having to write Ruby in your next Xcode project. 😉
Sake is a new Make-like build utility from @pepibumur. Written in Swift, it allows you to write build tasks using Swift and Xcode and requires no additional dependencies to install. Looks promising.
The team at @ramotion are renouned for their eye catching animations and their latest open source component – fluid-slider – is no different, providing a custom slider with popup value bubble for displaying the precise value that is selected. Very nice. 👏
User research and testing are relatively common practices for most mobile projects these days but can often be resource-intenstive and time-consuming to carry out so if you’re a small team or an indie developer looking to refine the user experience, is there a way that you can get the benefits of user research and testing whilst minimising the cost and time implications of doing so? The good news is that there is and it comes in the form of guerrilla testing. @101babich explains more.