Tag Archives: ios

The Swift Progamming Language

Swift is a new programming language for creating iOS and OS X apps. Swift builds on the best of C and Objective-C, without the constraints of C compatibility. Swift adopts safe programming patterns and adds modern features to make programming easier, more flexible, and more fun. Swift’s clean slate, backed by the mature and much-loved Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, is an opportunity to reimagine how software development works.

A new language for iOS/OSX development is, for me, the best thing to come out of this year’s WWDC.

Cathode

Cathode is a fully customizable terminal app with a look inspired by classic computers. Don’t let the playful exterior fool you; under the hood there’s an advanced emulator designed for serious work. Whether you prefer crisp, clean text, or a flickering, glowing mess, Cathode is the perfect tool for hacking in style.

For iOS and OS X.

Plants vs Zombies drops in-app fee

The company behind the popular Plants vs Zombies mobile game has said that the introduction of a charge for a previously free item was just a “test”.

PvZ isn’t what interests me about this article. It’s the concept of in-app purchases in general.

Mobile analyst at IHS Insight Jack Kent said that users can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game if they don’t know what they are paying for so in-app charges become more important.

“For smartphone and tablet developers in-app purchases are the dominant business model, 80% of revenue is made this way,” he said.

There are several ways of offering in-app purchases without pissing people off. The fact that people can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game can be remedied by offering a trial for free and an in-app purchase that unlocks the full game. It’s a single transaction, but it seems to work quite well on Xbox Live Arcade. In essence, offer people a demo if up-front charges are intimidating. Just don’t milk them for all they are worth.

Hueless

Hueless is not a photo “effect” app. Powered by our revolutionary live black & white preview, the image you see in the viewfinder is the image you see in the Photo Roll. “What You See is What You Get”, no post-processing required. The perfect companion for the iPhone photographer, Hueless offers high-quality black & white photography in JPEG or TIFF formats without adding processing steps or sacrificing camera performance. Hueless is a photo shooting app.

I’ve had this installed for a week or so now, and it’s great. I love black and white photography.

Vectrex Regeneration, a Vectrex emulator for iOS

30 years ago, a totally unique games console was launched using vector – not raster – graphics. It had such an impact that games are still being made for the platform today. We bought our first Vectrex in 1982 and we still love it! Built by Vectrex fanatics for a new generation of gamers.

Brillant stuff. Ars Technica has more details.

Google Maps out for iOS

iOS 6 famously included Apple’s home-grown Maps, and to be frank, they aren’t always awesome. While Google’s offering isn’t perfect, either, it will be nice to have both when out and about.

Correction: “aren’t always awesome” should be replaced by “are utter shit”.

Facebook to speed up its iOS app

The current version of the app is essentially an Objective-C shell with a Web browser inside. When it comes to speed, this is like putting the engine of a Smart Car in the body of a Ferrari.

Eloquently put.

Word Lens

An augmented reality instant translation application for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and fourth generation iPod touches. The video on the site really is quite astounding the first time you watch it.

Ars Technica’s interview with John Carmack

An interesting discussion regarding mobile platforms, consoles and their respective technical constraints.

A modern, top-notch, triple-A title costs many tens of millions of dollars to develop. If you have 60 or 100 people working for multiple years, it’s just really damn expensive. And, when there’s that kind of money on the line, there is an unavoidable degree of conservatism that comes in. You want to do things that you know people love and you want to make it better and polish it, but you really don’t have an opportunity to go off into left field—that’s really, really risky, and people don’t want to bet their company on things like that.

“It is my belief that Apple is definitely working on a new language”

An excellent post on waffle entertaining the idea that Apple is working on a new language to complement Objective-C. Charles Ying from satine.org thinks that a language close to JavaScript would be a good fit, due in part to extensive use of the language in iOS, iAd & iTunes.

It’s a strong theory – and one that I would like to se a reality, given the popularity of C-style syntax and garbage-collected environments. I not a big fan of low-level languages, but crying out for one that is more abstracted than Objective-C is met with a kind of resistance I’ve never really quite understood – a resistance that an Ars Technica article discussing the future of Apple’s languages and APIs explains perfectly:

And so continues one of the biggest constants in software development: the unerring sense among developers that the level of abstraction they’re current working at is exactly the right one for the task at hand. Anything lower-level is seen as barbaric, and anything higher-level is a bloated, slow waste of resources. This remains true even as the overall level of abstraction across the industry marches ever higher.