I got a few emails after my comments last week asking why I didn’t mention Xcode for iPad. It’s an interesting subject, but I deliberately didn’t bring it up as I was primarily talking about the consumer perception of the iPad. But, I don’t think the time is right for Xcode for iPad, and I’ll tell you why.

What makes Xcode different from Swift Playgrounds? I think the biggest difference is that Xcode builds apps that run independently, whereas playgrounds are neatly self contained. Yes, of course there’s more to it than that, but that’s the fundamental difference.

So why don’t Apple make Xcode that can build and install other iPad apps? Sure, they could. But what about iPhone apps? I’d say that until Xcode can build and deploy to other devices, especially phones, it’s probably not going to see the light of day. Can the iPad do that? Of course it can, but I don’t feel like that’s where Apple’s priorities lie, or should lie, right now. For now, the Mac is an amazing platform to build iOS apps on and Apple are focusing on building the platforms out for consumers first. Us developers can come along later, it’ll be fine. 👍

Now, I could be completely wrong and I may be eating my words after next week’s event, but I’d be really surprised if this is the year that happens.

Dave Verwer


Why Shortcuts Matter for Accessibility

I hadn’t really considered how amazing Siri Shortcuts are for accessibility until I read this post by Steven Aquino this week. If you needed yet another reason to add support for this to your , this should definitely be it.

Now Apps Can Track You Even After You Uninstall Them

Of course this works, but ugh… Please don’t do this. 😞 It’ll only end badly for everyone.

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Sharing secrets with your team

How do you share the API keys and other secrets that need to be present to get your projects built and shipped? Obviously you don’t want them in source control, but then you end up manually transferring files between developers which is painful. Jason Pepas suggests checking in encrypted secrets and has kindly shared the script he uses to do that.


Extracting open source libraries from your apps

It’s always nice to see people take components they have developed as part of building an app, and open source them. It’s also a good chance to think about those components from the point of view of how other people would use them, which also makes them better for you to use. Ryan Nystrom did this in style this week with four(!) libraries extracted from GitHawk. Could you open source anything from your apps?


By introducing Markup in iOS 12, Apple have set expectations of what users will be able to do with images they bring into your app. You can’t use Apple’s Markup tools directly, but you could use this library by Steve Landey to achieve similar functionality. There’s also a blog post introducing it.


You may have read Dave DeLong‘s series of posts on a better MVC back when I linked to them in Issue 327. You may also have seen him give conference talks on it too. But, if somehow you missed both those things, he’s just released this implementation of a To Do app which uses the concepts he’s advocating for. It’s always great to see advice like this turned into something this practical!


There’s a new UI element which is becoming increasingly common in Apple’s iOS apps. You might have seen it in your search history in Apple Maps, or when searching for actions in Shortcuts, but it’s used quite often. A panel with a handle to pull or push it up and down on the screen. Want to implement something similar? This library from Shin Yamamoto has you covered.

There’s also a similar project from Antonio Casero, Panels which is also worth a look.

macOS Development

Implementing Support for Continuity Camera

Thomas Zoechling with a quick write up on implementing Continuity Camera in your app. Quickly taking a photo and sharing it to your Mac is such a common task for me, I’m happy every time I see this implemented.

Dark Mode and CSS

I know we’re straying quite far from iOS development with this article from Craig Hockenberry. But, you all have sites to market your apps, and people look at those sites on macOS in Mode. Justified! 😂


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And finally…

Some of Apple’s Forgotten iOS Apps

As soon as I saw this title, I knew Texas Hold-em was going to get a mention. I don’t even remember iAd Gallery though! 💀

I must also apologise to Ellen Shapiro and Anders Borum for getting their hopes up earlier this week. You never can tell what’s going to end up as the And Finally… until it happens though! 😂

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