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Tuesday, Sept. 25th

Hodinkee on the Apple Watch #


This week we’re talking all things Apple Watch. Stephen sits down with Ben and Jack just a few hours after they received their Apple Watch Series 4 sample units to get their first impressions and to hear what else they had to say about the Apple Watch and its relationship to the more traditional watches we tend to cover every day. Also, Stephen has a one-on-one interview with John Gruber, the proprietor of Daring Fireball, the premier blog covering all things Apple. Enjoy.

Daring Fireball:

There are two parts to this episode of the Hodinkee Radio podcast. First, a roundtable discussion with Ben Clymer, Jack Forster, and Stephen Pulvirent. Then, an interview between Pulvirent and yours truly. Both parts, of course, focus on Apple Watch Series 4 and where Apple fits in the world of watchmaking.

It's interesting how the Apple Watch market is expanding and other watch markets are decreasing. This podcast approaches the conversation from the perspective of luxury watch owners. However, I think there's a similar expansion and overtaking of dedicated exercise watches from the likes of Garmin or Suunto.

Listen on Overcast

Tuesday, Aug. 28th

The Verge: The Secret Garden #

Mount Lico

The Verge:

In 2018, what is left to explore in the world? It seems unlikely, say, that humans might find an untouched forest to study, someplace that hasn’t been bulldozed and burnt and exploited within an inch of its life for precious minerals or virgin timber. But that’s exactly what happened this past spring, when a Welsh researcher, Dr. Julian Bayliss, led a 28-person team that included scientists specially selected for their different talents as well as logistics experts, rock climbers, and filmmakers to the top of a mountain in Mozambique.

Undiscovered areas or mountaintops are always something of a dream for anyone who stares at maps and atlases for a long time. This is a very interesting story of a scientific team being the first humans (or so they thought) to the top of an isolated mountaintop.

Side note: I think this is how every horror movie starts.

Friday, Aug. 17th

Custom Input View on iOS: Hiding UITextInputAssistantItems #

I've been working on a small app with a custom inputView and a custom inputAccessoryView.

One issue I experienced on iPad was this goofy bar sandwiched between both custom input views (pictured below).

Screenshot of my app with a goofy UITextInputAssistantItem bar

After some searching, I found out that those are UITextInputAssistantItems.

The app I’m working on has a unique and minimal amount of text input that is required. It doesn’t make sense to have undo, redo or copy & paste taking up so much screen real-estate.

I discovered that if you create a custom UITextField class and set both of the leadingBarButtonGroups and trailingBarButtonGroups to an empty array the UITextInputAssistantItem bar will disappear.

class CustomTextField: UITextField {

    init(frame: CGRect) {

        super.init(frame: frame)

        // remove undo/redo and copy/paste item bar on ipad
        inputAssistantItem.leadingBarButtonGroups = []
        inputAssistantItem.trailingBarButtonGroups = []

Thursday, Aug. 16th

Comparing iOS Twitter Client App Sizes #

Related to the news today…

macstories.net: Third-Party Twitter Clients Remove Features as API Changes Loom:

The latest chapter in Twitter’s contentious relationship with third-party developers is coming to a close. In April 2017, Twitter announced plans to eventually deprecate certain parts of its API that third-party apps rely on.

Fast forward one year to April 2018, roughly 10 weeks before the scheduled API transition of mid-June. Twitter’s new API still hadn’t been made available to third-party developers. The Iconfactory, Tapbots, and other makers of Twitter clients created a website called Apps of a Feather…Stick Together to explain how the looming changes would affect customers. The ensuing uproar among users caused Twitter to delay the API transition until tomorrow, August 16, 2018. Although Twitter has not flipped the switch on the changes yet, apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot have already taken steps to deal with the changes.

… I wanted to compare the app sizes of Twitter clients.

Tweetbot for iOS: 6.8MB

Twitterrific for iOS: 11.3MB

Twitter™ for iOS: 106MB

It appears that as employee count goes up so does app binary size.

More: Daring Fireball

Monday, July 23rd

App Store Search Ranking and Information Density #

Rory Prior of ThinkMac Software (via Michael Tsai ):

It’s hard to overlook the major changes Apple made to the App Store with iOS 11 – search results are now extremely low density. You can barely see two results on a screen at once on a 4.7″ device, so if you’re say 40 or 60 places down your visibility is near zero.

There's a big trend for lower information density even on big mobile devices. I do think there's an inherent irony to user's buying large phones and content similarly scaling up at a similar or even larger rate.

For a lot of things I think this is fine and generally makes content more accessible and legible. However, in the case of the App Store™ there are certain trade-offs that designers need to consider. One is that top search results likely get more conversions and thus even higher rankings and results just below top likely fall off the curve (and potentially out of profitability).

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