iOS. Apple. Indies. Plus Things.

A Best-in-Class iOS App

Check out the popular post with hundreds of tips to help take your app to the next level. Updated all year round, especially alongside mid and major iOS releases.

Updated: Swift Keywords

All of Swift 5.5's keywords, uncovered and with(code: .samples).

Spend Stack Acquired

Read the story behind how my last indie app was acquired. Trade-offs abound!

  • I replaced my tips with the nascent iOS 17 TipKit framework. Along the way, I was able to ditch AppStorage as well.

  • Asking AI to Refactor Swift Code in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Are the robots coming for our Swift jobs? I wanted to run a little test to find out.

  • Introducing Elite Soccer Club in The Indie Dev Diaries

    My next app is ready for prime time. Here's a quick primer on Elite Soccer Club.

  • Sometimes, you just need to persist some dumbed down data. Here's a few ways to do it.

  • For 2024, my theme is basically to ship. I want a few things out there to hone in on for 2025.

  • Alignment guides are something I didn't really think about much in SwiftUI. Lately, I've seen some compelling examples of how they can be used.

  • Lately, I've drastically changed my thinking in terms of how to price indie apps. In short, we should be charging more.

  • Introducing Elite Soccer Club in The Indie Dev Diaries

    My next app is ready for prime time. Here's a quick primer on Elite Soccer Club.

  • With the Observation framework, we depend on `@State` and pass around objects in the environment. However, you may get stuck with how bindings work with them.

  • Time to take stock of my goals! Where do I want to go in 2023?

  • Keeping Up with Swift and iOS in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Part of being in this industry is keeping up with the changes. Here's a quick rundown of how I tackle it.

  • Checking Out Assistive Access in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Assistive access was launched alongside iOS 17. Today, I took a longer look at the new accessibility feature and what it means for our own apps.

  • My end of year goal was to acquire 100 paying customers. I hate that number a month early, so here are some thoughts on the first 100.

  • Swift has a useful mechanism to generate random values. Today, let's see how we can plug in `SystemRandomNumberGenerator` for our own types.

  • It's not a groundbreaking pattern, but it pays to mask third-party code. Here's how I do it.

  • On Launching your Indie App: Part 2 in The Indie Dev Diaries

    It's been a bit since I've launched an app - years, in fact. Here's how it went down this time.

  • The Tips Journal Free Preview: plutil in The Indie Dev Diaries

    To celebrate the book series nearing completion, I thought I'd include a journal entry from the upcoming Tips Journal. It's included with the series for free, here's what the content is like.

  • The Prelaunch, Launch in The Indie Dev Diaries

    I'm gearing up for an app launch, and I'm doing some more audience reach out this time around. Here's what I'm trying to generate interest ahead of time.

  • Introducing Elite Hoops in The Indie Dev Diaries

    It's been years since I've shipped, and I'm ready for my next project. Introducing Elite Hoops, a fantastic tool for basketball coaches.

  • Swift gets all the new toys, and rightfully so. Though, I was happy to see Objective-C still gets some love with Xcode 15.

  • SwiftUI is tailored towards data that mutates. But, what about when you need to share a lot data that doesn't change - and from Objective-C and UIKit code?

  • The Book Sabbatical in The Indie Dev Diaries

    So, about that book series. It's time to get it to the finish line, and with the help of my work sabbatical I hope to do just that.

  • We know machine learning has been under the spotlight lately. Recently, I was still surprised to see just how much is there for developers to use.

  • In my last snip, I did a mock Threads interface. Here's the code for it.

  • When presenting a context menu, customize the shape of the view presenting it.

  • Make a widget that's interactive.

  • So many new SwiftUI APIs from W.W.D.C. 23. Here's a neat one that I've written myself previously, a modifier for relative frame sizing.

  • Credit where credit is due. Apple's documentation game was seriously stepped up this year.

  • iOS 17 is out in the wild! As always, let's check in with our mature interface framework, UIKit.

  • We are soon to discover the rumored xrOS (apparently) and Apple's headset thingy. Brand new changes are on the horizon for W.W.D.C. 2023, but first - it's time for the ninth pregame quiz!

  • I'm freshly off the S.P.M. boat having made my first package. There are a few quick things to note to get going.

  • The TabularData framework can do quite a lot, and it mostly deals with training machine learning models. Today, I'll show you how I use it for debug logs, of all things.

  • As I near the finish line for my next app, I've been busy doing that last 10% of stuff. Among them? The feature request view.

  • How does dependency injection with work StateObject? In fact, should it even work at all?

  • Codable is impressive, but it bails out quickly if .json doesn't appear exactly how it expects. Here's how I cleaned things up to pinpoint errors quickly.

  • Morphology, or for mere humans - the study of the many forms of words, is ripe with interesting programming applications. Let's take a look at a few of them.

  • It just occurred to me that programming has been my primary vocation for over a decade now. Today, I just take a second to look back at it all.

  • Overinspired? in The Indie Dev Diaries

    There are so many wonderful things to see. I've started to wonder, am I ingesting too much of a good thing?

  • ForEach Thought: Volume 2 in ForEach Thought

    ForEach Thought: Old open source iOS projects, being ok with shipping ok things and ways to wrangle SF Symbols.

  • Building For Voice Control in Accessibility

    Voice Control is an amazing accessibility technology. Here are some things to look for when building for it.

  • ForEach Thought: Volume 1 in ForEach Thought

    ForEach Thought: ChatGPT as a coding companion, Xcode key mapping and dealing with bar buttons.

  • The world lives on API responses. That means, we live in Codable modeled off JSON, so here's how I quickly built models using pretty printed String dumps.

  • Looks look the other way for a second when it comes to NotificationCenter. Is there a more pragmatic way to use it?

  • Spend Stack is Now Open Source in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Even though Spend Stack has been sunset, I've gained permission to make it open source. Now, anyone can peek through it and build it on their own!

  • Just a Little Nicer in The Indie Dev Diaries

    This year I've been thinking about tiny little touches. When done right, a little piece of joy in software goes a long way.

  • This year, I wanted to take a different approach to goal tracking and forming habits. The result was a little hack project I made over Christmas break.

  • Things I Did in 2022 in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Oh look, another one of those end-of-year posts. Here's how I stacked up to my aspirations birthed in December, 2022.

  • So Long, Old Friend in The Indie Dev Diaries

    It's somewhat the end of the era, as Spend Stack's owners have seemed to remove the app from the App Store.

  • Make a shortcut that repeats a phrase with App Intents.

  • I simply want to make the best apps. I don't want to pick and choose frameworks to do it.

  • Use the focus system with hardware keyboards.

  • We often look to `.onAppear` or the nascent `.task` modifier to run single purpose tasks. But, those aren't reliable in all cases.

  • When presenting sheets in SwiftUI that depend on a local variable, there are two ways to do it. Turns out, one of them is quite wrong.

  • Every codebase under the sun on God's green earth uses print statements to wrangle bugs. Let's look at the tools that Swift has for such cases.

  • Convert a function using a completion handler to use Swift Concurrency.

  • So, you've got some struct models to pass around that end up as @State. How do you do it?

  • Xcode previews are there to make use faster. And they do - but if you want to test out bindings, you need to give it a little bit of thought.

  • Async Let in Swift Concurrency

    I've been late to Swift Conccurrency, but today I learned of a little trick I didn't know about. Here's what async let allows you to do.

  • For this Modifier Monday entry, we look at a new iOS 16 toy, .accessibilityActions().

  • Remembering My First App in The Indie Dev Diaries

    There's nothing like the first one. Today, I went on a trip down memory lane by looking at the source code from my first app.

  • User activities and SwiftUI never really fit like a glove, but regardless they are key for state restoration. Luckily, SwiftUI has a little trick to make the process pragmatic and type safe.

  • If I don't have a roadmap, I feel stressed. Here's the one I use for my own apps to help keep my thoughts together.

  • The best change to come from W.W.D.C. 2022 didn't show up on a slide or a session. Rather, it's a change that gives indies much more flexibility.

  • iOS 16 is out in the wild! Let's check in with our trusty interface framework, UIKit.

  • How to Process WWDC in W.W.D.C.

    W.W.D.C. 2022 kicks off Monday! Here's how to reel in all of the information you're about to consume.

  • Here we go, dub dub is back in person...sort of, kind of? At least for 1,000 lucky developers, but either way it's time for another annual WWDC Pregame Quiz!

  • I've long been a fan of best-in-class iOS apps, and I've attempted to definine what they look like. So, what about macOS?

  • So, you wanna mess around and call some private API? Here's a quick, to-the-point guide on how to do it.

  • While hacking away on my latest indie project, I needed to find a way to handle keyboard events. This is what I came up with.

  • So, how do you notify UIKit that something happened in SwiftUI? And how about the other way?

  • Create a UICollectionView with the new modern APIs.

  • For years, I've used the same set of constraints to design for iOS to make sure I cover edge cases. I call it min-mid-max design.

  • Apple has been a on roll with implementing custom machine learning models all through iOS. With iOS 15, they snuck in some onboard models for us to play with to recognize over 300 sounds.

  • Only Just Because in The Indie Dev Diaries

    If you're early in your career, it's easy to think you need to learn your thing and your thing only. Expanding outside of those bounds, though, presents several advantages you're likely missing out on.

  • Building Things and Raising Children in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Indie life has never been quite within reach than ever before. So, how do you build things while raising children?

  • Tuples have long been in the Swift language, but their utility knows no bounds. I've recently used them to make magic number type of situations, less magic.

  • Xcode previews are incredibly useful for SwiftUI development. But, we can also cross over to UIKit and still reap their benefits.

  • Like many parents, my three kids want to game on my phone. But it's my phone, and I don't want them in my stuff - and focus modes help me keep it all separate.

  • Add a divider in UIKit Context Menus.

  • The rise of dark mode on iOS brought about new challenges for color design, namely — we needed two of them now. But, there is also accessibility options to consider.

  • Structs are often encouraged in not only Swift, but certainly in SwiftUI. Recently, I hit a few walls with observing them.

  • John Gruber left his thoughts on how Apple did overall in 2021, like many in that sphere did for Six Color's annual report card. However, it's the macOS and software design that caught my eye in his piece.

  • Today, it's all about manipulating the Shape type. Let's see what trim() can do for us.

  • The Help and F.A.Q. section has long been a pipe dream for indie devs. Now, they're all over - what changed?

  • For the inagural Modifier Monday entry, let's take a peek at .fixedSize().

  • Leverage UIDragPreviewParameters with UIDragPreview to change how dragged items appear.

  • A great piece over tiny little losses adding up to monumental regressions. What kind of paper cuts should you look for?

  • Introducing Swiftjective-C Sponsorships in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Today I get to kick off somewhat of a bucket list item. I'm happy to bring sponsorships to Swiftjective-C, and I hope it begins an era of a lot writing from me, and affordable, privacy-first ads for everyone else.

  • Swift Playgrounds 4 in Swift Playgrounds

    Xcode on the iPad is kinda sorta here! By way of Playgrounds, we can now realize our dream of creating apps on the iPad.

  • The Early Access Retrospective in The Indie Dev Diaries

    As I near a major milestone of $100,000 in sales for my book series, A Best-in-Class iOS App, I take a second to look back on what's gone great and what's not been so great.

  • Support drag to reorder in a UITableView using a diffable datasource.

  • A Best-in-Class iOS App: Free Preview in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Check out a sample from my book. This one covers one of the five main topics, Accessibility.

  • iOS 15 is coming in hot! Check out new ways to decode images, present sheets and more.

  • Apple has already shipped amazing things in the past month, so the floor is cleared. Let's gear up for a crazy dub dub with another official quiz!

  • The Best-in-Class Book Beta Launch in The Indie Dev Diaries

    My first digital launch is in the books. How did the decision to go early access go?

  • My next big project is ready for beta launch. One, gigantic book covering everything I know about iOS.

  • Create a basic UICollectionView with a collapsing section.

  • Respond to keyboard presses.

  • Add some keyboard shortcuts.

  • iCloud is the gift that keeps on giving - both good and bad. Let's see how to leverage one of its best aspects today.

  • How to Be Okay When You're Not in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Tough times are no fun, but like anything else they provide a unique learning experience. Here's what I've recently picked up from mine.

  • Create a basic shortcut that will show in the Shortcuts app.

  • Introducing The Daily iOS in The Indie Dev Diaries

    A tour of different technologies contributed to my newest mini project, The Daily iOS.

  • Things I Made That Sucked in The Indie Dev Diaries

    We don't all hit homeruns on the first go around. Today, I celebrate the misses.

  • The popular CSS framework came to my rescue when redesigning my site. Here's how it went.

  • Setup diffable datasource with UITableView.

  • Expose data from Spotlight search using the Core Spotlight framework.

  • Expose data from Spotlight search using NSUserActivity.

  • A New Home for Spend Stack in The Indie Dev Diaries

    A chapter of my professional life comes to an end. Spend Stack has been acquired and will get the full team it deserves!

  • Happy When? in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Indie development is about having a strong mental game as much as it is strong development skills.

  • Spend Stack: Year One in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Spend Stack has been out one year! Today, I take a second to reflect on all that has happened since it released.

  • If you thought UIKit was getting pushed to the side with the rise of SwiftUI, you were wrong. There's a lot that's new, improved or revamped - let's take a look.

  • And here we go - iOS 14, SwiftUI tweaks and Catalyst fixes are on the way. It's time for another WWDC Pregame Quiz!

  • The Big Update in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Spend Stack just recently wrapped up its first big update. Turns out, they are critical to paid up front apps.

  • How a Feature Ships in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Creating a feature is a process that should be as scrutinized as much as it is celebrated. Here's how I go about it in my own indie apps.

  • Lately, I've been researching more about effective Combine techniques. Today, I start in on utilizing Futures.

  • It's Okay to Do Nothing in The Indie Dev Diaries

    COVID-19 and your productivity. There are inexorably linked, so let's talk about it.

  • Keyboard and Combine in Tech Notes

    Handling the keyboard on iOS is a rite of passage if not also a little tiresome. Fortunately, Combine makes it better.

  • Creating a Retail Demo for Apple in The Indie Dev Diaries

    Spend Stack was selected by Apple to be included as a retail demo on iPhones & iPads across the globe. Here's what the process was like.

  • In my quest to pretty up some of the rougher edges of Spend Stack, today I turn my attention to styling my interface in Master-Detail Views. Easy to describe, harder to do.

  • Another core piece of functionality arrived in Swift 5.1 - built in diffing. Let's take a look.

  • Empty views are a critical piece of user experience on iOS. Today in tech notes, I explore how this might be done with diffable datasource.

  • A Best In Class App: Spend Stack Checkup in The Indie Dev Diaries

    I've often written about what it takes to be considered a best in class app on iOS. So, how am I doing personally according to my own definition?

  • Xcode Preview Snips in SwiftUI

    Xcode Previews for SwiftUI has quite literally changed a decade old workflow. Here are the techniques I currently live by.

  • On Forming Habits in The Indie Dev Diaries

    What indie dev isn't short on time, wants to ship a new app or write that book? It only happens with realistic goals which beget good habits - here's how I work to create, and foster, good ones.

  • Can You Learn Design? in The Indie Dev Diaries

    There's a lot of discussion in our industry about whether or not designers should learn to code. But, what about the other direction?

  • The amount of power and engineering behind SwiftUI is extraordinary. Let's breakdown what's happening when one creates a new project using it.

  • Animating images is a common medium for communication in today's society. In iOS 13, Apple quietly offered us up a way to serve up .gifs or APNG files using ImageIO.

  • On Launching Your Indie App in The Indie Dev Diaries

    The art of launching is a mystical, debated art. Yet, in many ways it's the cornerstone of our initial success.

  • Introducing Spend Stack in The Indie Dev Diaries

    If I write about indie development, I suppose it's time to reveal my indie project. Many years in the making, here's Spend Stack.

  • A LinkPresentation Introduction in LinkPresentation

    Say hello to a new framework shipping in iOS 13 that you've likely used hundreds of times as an end user. Now, rich link previews are available to all of us.

  • Though UIKit wasn't the star of the show, its number of improvements certainly don't show it. Let's see what's new in iOS 13 for our favorite framework.

  • iOS 13 is coming. Before Marzipan and Dark Mode show their respective faces, let's enjoy another annual pregame quiz!

  • NSSecureCoding in Foundation

    Any application on iOS is a purveyor of data in some capacity. NSSecureCoding ensures that this data is what it says it is, and will do what it says it should do.

  • I Made Some Pancakes in The Indie Dev Diaries

    What can fluffy butter cakes teach me about indie development? Apparently, just what I needed to learn.

  • Rich media plays an important role in the mobile ecosystem. Working with them when they're located off-site requires some nuance.

  • A Best-in-Class iOS App in The Indie Dev Diaries

    What is a best-in-class iOS app? How are they built, and can we quantify what makes them great?

  • NS_CLOSED_ENUM in Swift

    Enumerations provide clarity and intent. Some change and yet others remain stagnant, and now we program effectively for either case.

  • The Chart That Lies in The Indie Dev Diaries

    On being realistic about the things we make, and the relationship that time has with them.

  • Optimizing Images in Image IO

    iOS is a visual medium teeming with beautiful images in virtually every app on your phone. Important though they are, it's trivial to mismanage them from a memory and performance standpoint.

  • With the iPad Pro's USB-C support, the opportunity to support external displays in a first class manner has never been more pertinent. Doing so doesn't require much work, and the potential value add is high.

  • For years, we've used Core Graphics to draw. Let's turn the page to modern drawing on iOS.

  • Our favorite framework for user interface creations becomes faster and a bit more nimble with iOS 12.

  • iOS 12 beckons, but before it does - let's quiz it up over iOS versions of yesterday.

  • NSPredicate in Foundation

    Twist and turn your way through collections and data sets with ease.

  • UILayoutGuide in UIKit

    Spacer views often make user interface creation more palatable, but with significant drawbacks. There's a more pragmatic way.

  • As developers, marketing often escapes the lot of us. Fortnuately, Apple has made a few quick wins available to create meanginful connections between your app and its web site.

  • NSMeasurement in Foundation

    Measuring units can be a daunting task, especially with the global audience we often serve. Let's see how Foundation can lend a hand.

  • Copy on Write in Foundation

    Yet again, Foundation dishes out free optimizations without us having to lift a finger. Let's see how collections became a bit smarter.

  • Device Check Overview in Device Check

    There are legitimate uses for tagging devices, but the problem is, doing so can down shady roads. Now, we've got a non shady way to go about it.

  • View Controllers are notorious for the amount of responsibilities they have, but get ready for one more. Here's how to handle the home indicator.

  • In our first edition of random wisdom, let's poke around around some Objective-C. Inline blocks, how selectors work and more.

  • SFAuthenticationSession in Safari Services

    Single sign on isn't gone, in fact - it's better. Enter a new way to deal with OAuth.

  • simctl in Misc

    The iOS emulator is deceptively powerful. Learn about its C.L.I. to automate all sorts of things.

  • Once again, UIKit added more firepower. Beyond drag and drop APIs, there's much more to be excited about.

  • Time to fire up the trivia machine, WWDC 17 is around the corner. What better time to test your wit against some Apple history?

  • Global Functions in UIKit

    UIKit has everything to splash out eye candy. But it also houses several helpful utilities to help get you there.

  • Tail Call Elimination in Foundation

    Foundation keeps caches hot and saves on precious stack memory via tail call elimination. Let's take a look at how this occurs.

  • Attributes can keep code clean and conscise without much effort. Today, let's cover some common, and uncommon, use cases.

  • Swift Keywords in Swift

    Swift has quite a few keywords. Let's look at every single one, what it does and provide a code sample.

  • Stack View has been pushed heavily by Apple, but sometimes its complexity overshadows its utility. A few simple tips can help ease that burden.

  • NS_SWIFT_NAME in Swift

    Interop is required in the world we live in. Here's an attribute in Swift that can help make things easier.

  • noescape in Swift

    It's an attribute you've seen hanging over closures. Let's dive into what it means, or more specifically - meant.

  • There is no developer who knows it all, and in our industry imposter syndrome runs rampant. So, let's break those walls and celebrate all that we don't know.

  • The Swift Stand Library offers up several differeny ways to work with arrays. From sorting to sifting, almost every use case is covered efficiently.

  • Quick Actions are a staple component of a first class 3D Touch experience. Implementing them using Swift's enumerations makes for a pragmatic approach.

  • More than just an anonymous function, Swift's closures are extremely versatile. One such use case for them is initialization.

  • On Learning iOS in Misc

    iOS, once a newly minted discipline, is now a large world. It's intimidating to get started, so here's my simple take on how to get going quickly.

  • #keyPath in Swift

    Selectors are a part of iOS development daily. They can also be a common source of frustrating bugs, but #keyPath is here to help.

  • It's our favorite time of the year, dub dub. Let's kick it off with some Apple trivia.

  • Our favorite open source language is changing at a rapid pace. Here, we'll check out some of my favorite additions that landed in Swift 3.

  • Access Control in Swift

    Abstraction is a tent pole component of modern programming. Swift's robust tooling for access control can help us enforce it.

  • A Swift Refactor in Swift

    Swift offers us several novel ways to refactor our code. Follow along as we embark on such a task on some fictional code.

  • It's a term you've likely heard in the development community - being a good citizen. What does it mean, and how can we do just that?

  • Our third and final discussion on common iOS archiecture patterns, and perhaps the most important. Let's chat MVC.

  • Our second discussion on iOS architecture patterns. Here's how delegation is imprinted across Cocoa Touch.

  • Our first discussion over iOS architecture patterns. Let's peer into the world of target-action.

  • ARC in Swift

    Automatic reference counting debuted several years ago and ushered in a new era of memory management. But, how does it work with Swift?

  • Initialization in Swift

    If you're coming from Objective-C or are new to Swift, the way its initialization works can be confusing. Diving into the particulars is a worthwhile effort.

  • It's possible to enhance a wide family of objects with protocol extensions. Today we'll try and see how its possible.

  • Option Set in Swift

    Option Sets solve a large swath of problems, but you may not think to use them at first. Looking at how they work and why their useful might change your mind.

  • Javascript in Swift

    Javascript and...Swift? It works better than you might think, and for more than just parlor tricks.

  • Error Handling in Swift

    Dealing with errors is usually a developer's favorite task to procrastinate against. But it shouldn't be, and even though Swift's inplementation is differnt - it's robust.

  • Guard in Swift

    More than an _if_ statement, this simple construct makes code safer and readable. But when do you use one or the other?

  • Defer in Swift

    More than an _if_ statement, this simple construct makes code safer and readable. But when do you use one or the other?

  • Quality of Service in Foundation

    Threading, concurrency and parallelism can be a sticky subject. Thankfully, Foundation has an API to make everything safer.

  • Apple has decreed that it's Swift's world and Objective-C is just living in it. Paradoxically, it's almost made it better than it's ever been.

  • Pattern Matching in Swift

    Pattern matching with Swift yields concise code when it otherwise might be a bit more convoluted. Here's how it works.

  • The infamous WWDC session introduced us to 'Protocol Oriented Programming'. Really, though - what is it?

  • Now that WWDC is here, let's start a new annual tradition. It's time for the very first WWDC Pregame Quiz.

  • Swift goes to great lengths to ensure values are initialized before they are used. The reasons how vary from API design to the way LLVM works - let's chat about this process called definitive initialization.

  • We've now hit the inflection point where your Objective-C projects must mix with Swift, or vice-versa. Here's how my first experience with it went.

  • bool in Swift

    The boolean variable, perhaps the most simple implementation in Computer Science - or is it? Swift's version can do more than just spit out 0 or 1.

  • set in Swift

    The array is a beautiful cornerstone of data structures, but sometimes we call upon its close cousin - the set. Here's how Swift's version works.

  • int in Swift

    Integers are used in almost every iOS app. With Swift, they've become even more useful.

  • It's one of the first thing green programmers learn - looping and iteration. Swift has made it easy and versatile.

  • Casting in Swift

    We'd all just as soon let the compiler do all the work, but sometimes casting is unavoidable. Here's how it can be used with Swift.

  • NSURLComponents in Foundation

    Picking apart and composing URLs becomes a more common programming task by the day. Foundation has a class specifically built for such situations.

  • Tuples in Swift

    Tuples can be a short stand in for tiny data constructs. When used properly, they can make your code a bit more opportunistic.