App Development with Swift

App Development with Swift: SwiftFest 2019

Swift is the programming language developed by Apple that enables us to write code for its Operating Systems (e.g., iOS, macOS, tvOS). Apple is constantly improving the language, and in order to provide the most advanced software products to our customers, we take seriously staying abreast of these changes.

In order to help keep our Swift skills honed, we attend a variety of different conferences, and this year SwiftFest was one of them. SwiftFest returned to Boston for its second year, playing host to a diverse group of iOS developers, ranging from engineers working in industry, to students, and midnight coders. It is a community-driven conference, dedicated to iOS development, networking, and social interaction. The conference, spanning two full days and offering two tracks, offered a mix of inspiring speakers, technical presentations, and workshops. 

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WWDC Keynote 2019

WWDC Keynote 2019 Highlights

Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) is one of their annual special events, and the WWDC keynote always sets the stage for the rest of the week. During the conference, they publicly introduce new hardware, software, and services, and arm developers with tools to build fantastic apps that take advantage of new capabilities of each of their platforms— iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. Seats are always limited, so we were excited to have the opportunity to attend in person this year.

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WWDC Keynote 2018

Apple WWDC Keynote and State of the Platform Highlights 2018

The WWDC keynote address, given by CEO Tim Cook, once again kickstarted Apple’s annual worldwide developer conference. In many ways, the upgrades announced in this year’s WWDC keynote felt like an extension of WWDC 2017, albeit with marked improvements and much welcomed additions. Let’s take a look at some of the most important bits of news across iOS and macOS. Read More

App Accessibility for All

App Accessibility: Valuable for All Apps

App accessibility refers to the concept of building an app in such a way that it is usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, including those who are living with disabilities. While the ADA’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 standards do not specifically address mobile apps, we think app accessibility is the right thing to do on many levels. Even from a pragmatic perspective, one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, so overlooking app accessibility reduces your potential user base significantly. Read More

WWDC Keynote Image

Apple 2017 WWDC Keynote Highlights

This week Apple is hosting its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California. It is Apple’s opportunity to preview new technologies for Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, iPhones, and iPads that will make it into consumer hands this fall. The week kicked off yesterday with the always anticipated WWDC keynote address. From iOS 11 to a new iMac Pro to numerous software upgrades for MacOS and WatchOS, there were no shortage of announcements. Here are a few highlights: Read More

Mobile Device Security iOS and Android

Mobile Device Security: Data Protection on iOS and Android

Mobile device security is an important consideration in the digital age, given the high amount of time many of us spend using phones and tablets to conduct personal and corporate business. Android and iOS devices employ various security measures to keep data safe. In this post we compare two security methods used on both devices: data encryption and data accessibility. We’ll wrap up with recommendations for steps you can take to protect your data and improve your mobile device security. Read More

Tech Gift Guide 2016

Hippest Tech Gifts for the 2016 Holidays

The holiday season has arrived, which means that many of us are excitedly (or is it anxiously?!) on the hunt for the perfect gift. We may be biased, but we think tech gifts are the best for anyone on your list! While virtual reality and wearables are always fun, we want to offer some new ideas for great holiday gifts beyond these beloved items. The recommendations in our Hippest Tech Gifts guide are sure to please your gadget-loving friends and family – and hopefully even convince the technology laggards you know that new tech will enhance their new year.

Prices listed are MSRP, but some items may be on sale for lower prices. Follow the links below or try a browser extension like Honey to help ensure you have the best deal. Read More

Impact of OS Updates

How Do OS Updates Impact Apps?

Operating System (OS) updates are a regular part of the computing world, but they often have implications on the software that rides on top of them. Apple unveiled iOS 10, its latest operating system for iPhones and iPads in mid-June this year, with the public release occurring on September 13th. Similarly, Google released their beta build of Android 7 called Nougat in mid-March, with a release to the public on August 22nd. These new mobile OS releases are much-anticipated around here, bringing fresh features that our developers look forward to using.

In addition to the excitement that comes with new tech, the new releases also bring some questions. Many of our clients rightly ask whether or not an update will impact the functionality of an app they built on a previous OS. The answer is generally “It might!” It’s always a wise idea to take a look at existing code to ensure it will function as well on a new OS as it did when it was first written. Our Android and iOS developers share a few of the challenges created by a new OS version. Read More

Swift Playgrounds Homepage

Swift Playgrounds Makes Learning to Code Fun

Apple introduced Swift Playgrounds, an app designed to teach the Swift programming language, at WWDC 2016. We’ve had a chance to experiment with it since then, and can say without reservation that their first foray into teaching kids how to code deserves top marks. They have enabled learning to code to be fun and addictive, even for those who aren’t the “coding type.”

The app feels like a puzzle-solving game, reeling you into the challenge while introducing coding concepts and building skills step-by-step. After completing a challenge and receiving encouraging praise from the app, we found we were motivated and eager to move on to the next one. One tester expected to finish two or three challenges to get a feel for the app, but ended up finishing over fifteen lessons because she was so engaged with it. The pace, lesson structure, and challenges all prove to be well-designed from an instructional standpoint. This app will likely teach many future programmers how to code. Read More

iOS or Android: Which First?

iOS or Android: Which platform first?

A common question we receive is whether we recommend building both iOS and Android versions of an app at the same time or just one at a time. And if they are built at different times, should iOS or Android app development come first? We touch on this question in Chapter 3 of our book Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps, but will provide more insight on this debated topic here.

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