Digital Heirlooms

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you'll find that I take preserving our (my family's) digital memories and history seriously.

However, if I were to die tomorrow, the app I made for my son and installed on his iPad this morning will stop working in one-hundred and ninety-two days. Not for any technical reason. Not because of future software incompatibilities. If his iPad remained in working order for another hundred years, it wouldn't even matter. This digital heirloom will self-destruct as soon as my developer certificate expires.

And it's all due to an arbitrary decision on Apple's part.

I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I say that future historians and even archaeologists are going to revisit our time and be furious at the direction our industry turned towards using consolidation, monopoly power, and artificial restrictions to protect profits at all costs.

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BespokeApp

I really don't know if anyone has a need for this other than me. But I've built this app a few times for myself in the past, so last night I finally took the initiative to make it generic and reusable - both for my future self and anyone else who might find it useful.

It’s called BespokeApp. It’s a simple iOS app that gives you a tabbed web browser with the pre-defined websites of your choosing.

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DefaultApp

DefaultApp is an open source starting point – a template. I maintained it in Objective-C for over a decade before finally porting it to Swift in 2018. Anytime I start a new app – big or small, whether or not it’s something I plan on releasing publicly or if it’s just a small prototype or utility app I’m building for myself – I start with this project.

With DefaultApp I can go from initial idea to writing actual code in thirty seconds.

That said, I would't use this as the basis for a billion dollar corporation’s enterprise app. Or with a team of “100 engineers” “solving hard problems”. But if you’re a one-person development shop or a team of just two or three engineers building a typical macOS shoebox or document based app? Please take a look.

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Rebecca Stand and the phone reason

If you saw my tweet from earlier today then you'll already know the punchline to this particular bug report. But for those of you who don't follow my every dumb online comment, I present to you the strangest corner case I've come across in fifteen years of professional development. The app...

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Categories
iOS Development

A Stupid-Simple Automated iOS Build Script

I've worked with a bunch of different automated iOS build systems over the years at the various companies I've worked for and with my own apps. In the early days of the App Store, many of these were completely home grown. As the toolchain matured, I've dealt with Xcode bots...

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Rockwell - Sort of like a private Foursquare meets Fire Eagle

Back in 2008, when I worked for Yahoo!, I had the good fortune of chatting with Tom Coates a few times about the now defunct Fire Eagle location brokerage service. Fire Eagle was my absolute favorite product to come out of Yahoo! during my time there. I've always been fascinated...

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Guessing a User's Location on iOS

A few months ago at work we ran into an odd user experience problem. The home screen for one of our iPad apps included a small icon in the navigation bar showing the current weather. Normally it displays the weather for the user's current location or any location they've saved....

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Categories
iOS Development