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.
So after the upheaval of last week with the announcement of Parse’s demise, things have settled down a little this week. I’ve still got some great articles though along with the announcement of a number of new tools and frameworks that will definitely make things easier going forward so without further ado, let’s dive in.
This week has seen Apple expand the capabilities of it’s CloudKit server-side API and cloud storage solution with the addition of server-to-server web service requests. Up until now, these capabilities had been restricted to APIs that Apple provided natively within their APIs but now, through the use of an API key, server-side applications will be able to perform actions on behalf of the user and update data held in iCloud storage without the need for a Cloud-Kit powered application to connect. Who knows whether the timing of this announcement is coincidental but whatever the case, it may further raise the appeal of CloudKit for developers who are now searching for alternative server-side solution to Parse.
Continuous Integration Now Available for Swift.org
This week has also seen more of the infrastructure around the Swift project coming together with the announcement of a Continuous Integration setup for the various different projects. The new system is powered by Jenkins and has jobs covering both iOS and OS X along with a couple of jobs running things on Ubuntu. One of the nice things is that they’ve also set things up so large pull requests can also be passed through the CI system before the request is merged, allowing potential changes to be tested via the CI system before they are merged. You can see the latest builds for all the different projects here.
Learning something new can be hard and it’s easy to beat yourself up about it. You think people are smarter than you. But often, that isn’t the case. In this article, @_bartjacobs gives some sage advice which is particular applicable if you are just starting out.
The Swift language was first announcement just over a year and a half ago and along with it came Playgrounds, a powerful and flexible way to experiment with Swift without the need to setup a full-blown Xcode project. Since then many people have been experimenting with different code examples and to help curate all of these, @uraimo has put together a nice collection of some of the best. Worth checking out.
Giving back to the iOS community seems to be one of the core mantras of the iOS team at Artsy and this week is no exception. In this new article from @orta he gives some great advice for those just starting out with their iOS development career, from where to look for jobs and how to put together a portfolio to how to prepare for your interview and what to expect. Well worth reading.
If you were stuck on the train commuting to work 10 hours a week what would you do? Listen to podcasts? Zone out? Not these guys. In this article @ookpixels recounts the story of @darrinhenein and @stephanleroux, who put their unproductive travel time to good use by developing their continuous scroller game Lastronaut.
Setting up the infrastructure for a new iOS app project can be a significant factor in whether that app ever sees the light of day. In this article, @nikant_vohra highlights 7 key things that you should do to start your project off in the right direction.
In this article, @tutec takes a look at how often you should release versions of your open-source project as well as what version numbers you should use for those projects. It’s a nice introduction, especially if you’ve never come across the concept of semantic versioning.
In this, the first of a series of posts looking at different topics in ClockKit, Apple’s framework for adding new custom complications to their watch apps @kristinathai takes a look at how to add a complication to an existing watchOS project.
I’ve covered the basics of Swifts fixed size integers and operators previously on the blog but haven’t covered their use with the bitwise operators in detail. In this post, @uraimo fills in some further detail and looks at how to deal with bit sets in Swift.
This week saw yet another option arrive for JSON parsing in Swift, with the announcement from @bignerdranch of their new framework Freddy. Billed as a framework that seeks to maximize safety, use familiar Swift idioms and provide speedy performance, the framework based a lot of it’s structure around the additional power and flexibility provided by Swift enums and associated values.
So, as we just saw, with the announcement of Freddy, we have yet another JSON parsing framework available to us in Swift but with so many now available, how do we choose which one we should use? To help with this decision @yannickloriot has put together a nice review of all the major options.
I think I’ve mentioned before but I’m a bit of a sucker for beautiful iOS animations and iOS design. This week I saw this example from the team at @Ramotion which definitely brought a smile to my face. I’ve not managed it yet but I can’t wait to have a poke around the code to see just how it works.
Ironically it was only last week that I was thinking to myself that there must be an easier way to follow the different mailing lists for the Swift project. Little did I know, only a few days later, @terhechte announced this great little tool that takes much of the pain out of it. Definitely worth checking out if you’re following along with what has been happening with the development of the Swift language.
There is no two ways about it, provisioning and code signing will less than straight forward and the `Fix Issue` button that Xcode provides can be huge man-trap for the unwary rather than some sort of saviour. With this in mind, this lightening talk from @timothyekl provides a great introduction about how app provisioning works.
With the demise of Parse, many developers will be looking to alternative platforms on which to build their back-end app infrastructure. Apple’s native solution, iCloud and the associated framework CloudKit, is one such option and in this talk @krzyzanowskim provides an overview of the CloudKit architecture and the web services it provides. Combine this with the news announcement above and CloudKit could be a viable alternative for many.