Swift Developments is a hand-curated newsletter containing a weekly selection of the best links, videos, tools and tutorials for people interested in designing and developing their own apps using Swift.
And we’re back!…. Did you have a good WWDC week? All-told, I’m pretty happy with all of Apple’s announcements. There was obviously nothing completely earth shattering (although Siri Shortcuts has potential for that), but I’m actually relatively pleased that Apple decided to go for year of polish and refinement as it gives me a chance to focus on refining my existing knowledge and building things rather than learning completely new stuff. For me, the break has also been good in that it’s given me a chance to try out some of the new ARKit features (which are suprisingly easy to get up and running – only a couple of configuration parameters in alot of cases) as well as trying out Create ML which makes training a simple Core ML model super easy and don’t get me started on the new dark mode and Xcode improvements! 😍. Anyway, lets dive into the links – the’re some good stuff this week.
So last year we got the ability to run our own machine learning models natively on the device with CoreML. This year, Apple have focused on making the creation of those models significantly easier with Create ML. @sai_k1065 shows you how get started.
One of the bigger announcements this year was the introduction of Siri Shortcuts. Whilst they might not seem like much on the surface, they may actually be the Siri access we wanted first time around. Although the app isn’t available in the beta yet, @olbrich_jan has been taking the development side of things for a spin.
Wanting to taste of the future now? If Apple’s announcement of it’s multi-year project to enable the porting (at least in large parts) of UIKit applications to macOS got you interested (and you’re one for living on the absolute bleeding edge), this project from @biscuitehh is the one for you…
Another pleasing aspect of WWDC this year was the wide range of improvements that have been made to Xcode including parallel testing, multi-line editing and the completely new build system which is now active by default. @Shashikant86 has a nice write-up on many of the new features.
I can’t remember if I’ve linked to this before but with so many videos to catch up on this week my tool pick this week is the wwdc.io app from @_inside. He’s done a great job with it and it makes working your way through all the session videos super easy. Well worth checking out if you’re not using it already.
Not wishing to completely swamp this issue with WWDC announcements this article did strike a chord this week. In my experience balancing the need for working on customer facing features with the need to address non-feature work such as refactoring, tooling and infrastructure is a constant challenge. Often, non-feature work loses the battle as it can often be difficult to articulate the cost of NOT addressing this work to project stakeholders. Not any more though. @johncutlefish has put together a very nice explanation that I’m sure will come in useful in future conversations 🙃.
I’m debating whether to make this ‘Getting Started’ section a permanent feature of the newsletter as I think it might be useful for those just getting started with iOS development. Anyway, this weeks link is for the budding game developer. If you’re wanting to develop games with SpriteKit, having a good grasp of trigonometry is essential. If it’s been a while since you were at school (or you weren’t paying attention in maths class), this two-part series from @rwenderlich and the team might be just what you’re looking for. It’ll stand you in good stead for both SpriteKit and if you decide to make the jump to 3D.