Will 2019 be the year of Linux on the desktop professional apps on the iPad? Will we see the iPad finally become the future of Post-PC computing?

After this week, it certainly seems possible. As you’ll have already seen, Adobe previewed “real” Photoshop running on an iPad at their Max conference on Monday. Then yesterday Apple announced their (presumably iPad focused) event on the 30th.

The tag line to the Apple event, “There’s more in the making” certainly feels like it could apply to creative, or pro apps. Maybe, along with the new hardware, we’ll see something like Logic, or Final Cut for iPad announced? Then, with these new apps and hardware it’ll surely be time for the iPad to dominate. Right?

New hardware and big name apps are good for the platform, but is it enough? We already have amazing apps on the iPad, just look at Affinity Photo and Designer, MindNode, Ulysses, Microsoft Office, iWork, OmniGraffle, OmniPlan, Procreate and so many more. The list of professional apps on the platform is big, and the apps are amazing. More will always be good, but the lack of apps is not the problem. So, it’s the hardware? No. Even the 2nd generation iPad Pro models are still incredible devices and they’ll undoubtedly get better this year.

Apple are also doing good work with . They are attacking the problem from multiple angles with features like file management, split screen multitasking, and a solid push towards education.

The ship of mainstream computing is very slow to turn though, and the iPad is very different type of device to where most people get work done. I still think that an iOS device that more closely resembled a traditional laptop would be a good idea, but I don’t think we’ll see that this year.

Anyway, I’ll be looking for hints towards the longer term plan. I’m sure we won’t see it spelled out in great detail, that’s not Apple’s style. But I’m sure the direction will be set, and I’ll be watching for that.

Dave Verwer


Sneaky subscriptions are plaguing the App Store

I first wrote about this problem over a year ago and the problem is just as bad today, but the designers of these apps are getting better. The is that these apps are really careful to comply with the rules of the App Store, so ultimately it comes down to a decision on whether the subscription is value for money, which puts Apple in a really tricky position.

Is $150 a year too much for a QR code scanner app? Yes, clearly. But where does that line lie? Is $20 a year too much? Well, I’d say yes since the built in camera app does it for free, but I’d not want an app removed from the store for that. It’s a really slippery slope.

App Bundles Now Support Mac Apps and Free Apps with Subscriptions

Given the trends in pricing towards free apps with subscriptions, App Bundles certainly needed an update so it’s good to see this change. It’s also great news that one single subscription can now be used to unlock suites of apps. The only obvious missing feature here would be a single subscription/bundle that supports both iOS and macOS apps.

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New LSP language service

I love this announcement from the Swift team of a new open source project which will enable much wider support for Swift in external code editors. It’s fantastic that Apple are encouraging projects like this.

My gut feeling says that as we’re now over four years since Swift was announced, it’s probably never going to be huge outside of this community. However, projects like this do give it a fighting chance.

Building iOS dependencies with Carthage

I still have a preference for CocoaPods, but I liked this article from Igor Kulman on getting set up with Carthage. It also covers how he set it up to work with his CI setup.

Related: It’s now been almost three years since the Swift Package Manager was announced. Why are we not using it to power our iOS and macOS dependencies yet? Hurry up Apple! 😀


Exploring Custom watchOS Watch Faces

Who could have missed all the talk this last couple of weeks about developing custom watch faces. Obviously, it started with Steve Troughton Smith and his watch face project but then David Smith also contributed this post. I’m aware of all the issues around creating an API like this to watchOS, I’d also love to see Apple add it.

Building DSLs in Swift

Really great article by John Sundell on creating a DSL for working with Auto Layout. Obviously the point of the article isn’t this specific DSL, but it’s a great breakdown on the process of designing, and building an API like this.

Unleashing the power of asset catalogs and bundles on iOS

Guilherme Rambo on how you can probably use bundles for more than you’re currently using them for. There’s more to NSBundle than mainBundle. 👍 Also on a similar topic, Alexandre Colucci on reverse engineering compiled Asset Catalogs.

Tricky UIViewController transition animations

There are a lot of articles about simple transition animations for beginners and lack of advanced ones.

I agree! This is a tricky API to get right and I think it can put people off from the effort of implementing this kind of transition.

Boy, Have I Been Misusing Reachability

Jared Sinclair with a confession, of sorts, about the way he has been using SCNetworkReachability. I must admit, I’m in this camp when it comes to network calls. I’d love to see Apple put out more guidance on best practices around APIs like this in their documentation.

Business and Marketing

What do users actually do with the Apple Watch?

Before you write an app for the watch, read this list from Ben Bajarin. It’s not going to tell you what app to write, but knowing what people actually do with their watch will help you design the right kind of interaction for your app.

macOS Development

Dark Mode

I’m sure it’s Daniel Jalkut‘s mission to keep the macOS section of this newsletter going, and he’s done it again with this amazing set of posts on properly and comprehensively implementing dark mode. 👍


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And finally…

There's more in the making…


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