Blog of Geof

Hello! My name is Geof. I am a freelance interactive designer with over eight years of experience. I like to make nice apps and websites. I'm currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sometimes I write about things that interest me here.

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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… 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).

Wednesday, July 18th

Reviews Of The Blackmagic eGPU #


YouTube Video Review of the Blackmagic eGPU

This confirms what I feared: the GPU is not replaceable. However, the enclosure and the price still seems reasonable considering all this. Sadly, it might also be the best Thunderbolt 3 hub available on the market (pricey, but at least it comes with a free Radeon Pro 580).

Update 7-19-2018: Macrumors Reviews The Blackmagic eGPU

Saturday, July 14th

iFixit On The New Macbook Pro Keyboard #

Photo from iFixit


Here’s an inflammatory take for you: Apple’s new quieter keyboard is actually a silent scheme to fix their keyboard reliability issues. We’re in the middle of tearing down the newest MacBook Pro, but we’re too excited to hold this particular bit of news back: Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier.

That’s an interesting take (and an interesting solution if that’s what it is indeed). It would be much more reassuring if Apple could put aside all of the politics and say: “We have taken measures to improve the reliability of our laptop keyboards.”

The more cynical take (and I can be quite the cynic) would be that Apple has knowingly released a flawed keyboard on a brand new device. I hope this is not the case.

I, and many others, would likely want to buy a new machine with a “fixed” keyboard to replace a laptop with a known keyboard problem. After all, there's only a four year window for a free-to-the-user replacement.

More: The Outline

Update 7.19.2018: Confirmed

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