Tag Archive for ‘Xcode’

Apple’s Swift Playgrounds App ➝


Swift Playgrounds brings coding to life with an interactive interface that encourages students and beginners to explore working with Swift, the easy-to-learn programming language from Apple used by professional developers to create world-class apps. Swift Playgrounds includes Apple-developed programming lessons where students write code to guide onscreen characters through an immersive graphical world, solving puzzles and mastering challenges as they learn core coding concepts.

Learning a programming language has been something I’ve put off for many years. When Apple announced Swift, I felt like it could be the right language for me. I guess I’ll know for sure when I get my hands on this app in a few months.

I think this is also a clear sign that Apple is building more robust developer tools for iOS. My guess is we’ll see a full-fledged Xcode for iPad within the next two years.

WWDC Wishlist

I’ll be watching the WWDC live stream on Monday from my Apple TV. I’ll do my usual sparse bits of commentary on Twitter and will be taking notes in order to publish my thoughts later in the week. I expect we’re in for a good event given Apple’s decision to announce major App Store changes in the week leading up to it.

Today, though, I thought I’d share my wishlist for the event. None of these are particularly groundbreaking, but all of them would improve my experience with Apple products in one way or another. The list isn’t in order of importance, but simply written as the ideas came to me and then sorted based on the devices it relates to.

Rename OS X: The writing’s been on the wall for quite some time — OS X will be receiving a name change and will soon be referred to as macOS. There is still the question of how Apple will differentiate between versions, though. I hope they simply call it by its California-based codename in all of their marketing material and only mention the version number in technical documentation. For example, the current version of OS X would be referred to as “macOS El Capitan”, saving the “10.11” for knowledge base articles and the like.

Improved Apple Watch Efficiency: This is the one and only thing I want for the Apple Watch. watchOS is just too darn slow to be useful for anything other than actionable notifications, glances, and complications. The biggest pain point for me is replying to text messages. After tapping the dictation button, why does it take so long to transition from seeing the words I said on the screen to sending it as a message?

tvOS Dark Mode: Although the latest Apple TV interface has grown on me, I would still prefer the home screen to be a bit dimmer. I don’t watch television in a dark room very often, but when I do, that home screen is blindingly bright. I don’t think Apple needs to go full-on black background, as they did with previous iterations of the Apple TV, but just a few shades darker might go a long way towards improving the user experience.

tvOS Picture-in-Picture: Imagine you’re nearing the end of your favorite YouTube show, you know there’s only a minute or two left and you’d like to start browsing the Hulu app to find what you’re going to watch next. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could throw the current video into one of your television’s four corners and open another app while it finishes?

Apple TV Management App for iOS: I’d like to see Apple release an iOS app that allowed you to remotely control and manage your Apple TVs. The application would be similar in function to iOS’s Watch app, letting you adjust settings, install applications, and share links to tvOS apps from within the application’s App Store tab. But unlike the Watch, the Apple TV app could take advantage of the set-top-box’s always-on internet connection to perform these actions even when you’re away from home.

Force Touch “Clear All” in Notification Center: Every few days I find that I have dozens of items sitting in Notification Center. I typically go through the dance of tapping the “X” then tapping “Clear” for each day, but why can’t I Force Touch the list to reveal a “Clear All” button like I can on the Apple Watch. Apple’s wearable had it at launch, why didn’t the iPhone 6s?

Improved iPad Split View: The Split View app switcher needs to change. It’s too darn difficult to find the application you’re looking for in that giant list of icons. Maybe it would be better if they were displayed in a grid with a search bar along the top, as Federico Viticci suggested in his iOS 10 Wishes piece from April. And While we’re on the topic of Split View, why isn’t there a gesture available that will left-to-right swap the two active applications?

Xcode for iPad: I understand that this might be a little ambitious, perhaps a more slimmed down IDE would be more appropriate, at least at first. But if you want everyone on board with iOS as the future of computing, developers need to live on the platform.

iOS Trackpad Support: I use my iPad with a bluetooth keyboard regularly and the experience is great. That is, until I have to touch the screen for anything at all. I just wish that, on the occasions when I have my iPad propped up in TwelveSouth’s Compass, I could move the cursor, tap interface elements, and scroll without having to lift my arm up and interact with the display. Specifically a trackpad would be ideal because it could support some multi-touch gestures. Truthfully, I doubt Apple will ever add trackpad support to iOS, but I really wish they would.

Siri API: I would love if third-party developers were allowed to increase the scope of Siri’s abilities. I’m sure there are countless examples of what would be possible if this was the case, but I can’t get past how convenient it would be if I could say “Hey Siri, run Launch Ulysses in Workflow.”

Siri Text Input: Speaking out loud to your device isn’t always appropriate. I wish there was an option to initiate a Siri query by, instead, typing out questions or commands — turning Siri into more of a Quicksilver for iOS rather than a strictly voice-based assistant.

Customizable Default Apps: When I tap on an email address in a webpage, I want iOS to launch Dispatch not Mail. It’s that simple.

Control Center Improvements: I wish I could Force Touch the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi buttons along the top to reveal controls for selectively connecting or disconnecting from devices or networks. And I wish iOS gave me the option to customize which shortcut icons appeared along the bottom.

Clipboard History API: I use a third-party clipboard manager for iOS — Copied — but the app isn’t able to catch every item that makes its way into my clipboard. Apple doesn’t allow applications to run indefinitely in the background in order to track changes like this. But if iOS kept a hidden clipboard history — say, the last ten items or so — Copied would be able to grab that information periodically and display it in its user interface.

Why the iPad Pro Needs Xcode ➝

Steve Streza, writing on Medium:

You now have a tablet powerful enough to run an IDE, with a very nice keyboard cover, and a screen big enough to encompass all the functionality of Xcode, capable of testing almost every feature of every iOS device ever made. You can code with your keyboard and test with multitouch. You could work on a desk and take your whole development environment with you on the couch, bed, or plane.

This is the next logical step for Apple to take with iOS and when it happens, it’s going to be a huge deal.

OS X Lion and Retina Displays ➝

MacRumors’ Arnold Kim reports that Lion users who have installed Xcode can enable “HiDPI” mode in the Quartz Debug application. This lays the groundwork for Retina displays in Macs.

Enable Multitasking Gestures on iPad

There’s been a lot of talk about the new multitouch gestures in iOS 4.3 but enabling them isn’t all that obvious. The steps below will explain how to enable the new gestures.

  • Ensure that your iPad is running the latest version of iOS (4.3). You can check this by opening Settings > General > About and looking for the version number.
  • If your not running 4.3 connect your iPad to your computer and click “Update” in iTunes.
  • Once your iPad finishes updating you’ll need to download Xcode to enable the multitouch gestures.
  • If you don’t have an Apple Developer account sign up for one on Apple’s website.
  • With your Apple Developer account, login and download Xcode 3. The download link is on the right-hand side, towards the bottom of the page.
  • Once downloaded, open the disk image and install Xcode. This will take several minutes to finish.
  • When Xcode finishes installing just click “Close” and open Xcode from /Developer/Applications/.
  • Click “Cancel” in the Welcome to Xcode window.
  • Connect your iPad to your Mac using the USB cable.
  • Choose your iPad from the devices list on the left side of the window.
  • Click the button that says “Use for Development.”
  • You’ll be prompted for your Apple Developer Account username and password, but unless you’ve paid for the account just click cancel.

And, that’s all there is to it. You should be able to enable the multitasking gestures on your iPad under Settings > General. Enjoy even faster application switching.

If you only installed Apple’s developers tools to enable these multitouch gestures you probably want to uninstall them from your computer. They take up a hefty 10GB or so of space that you likely would like to have back.

  • Open Terminal from /Applications/Utilities/
  • Copy and paste the following command into Terminal and hit enter.
    sudo /Developer/Libarary/uninstall-devtools --mode=xcodedir
  • Type in your password, hit enter, and let it work.
  • Once the process finishes all of Apple’s developer tools should be removed from your system. But, if the Developer folder still exists at the root of your hard drive you should be able to delete it.

Uninstalling Xcode

This has happened several times over the last four years. Whether it be to get an iOS beta to sync in a friendly manner with iTunes or it’s one of those brief periods of time where I want to learn how to code, I install Xcode on my system.

After a few weeks with the Developer folder left untouched I decide to uninstall the tools but inevitably I forget how to do it and where to find out how (inside the included “About Xcode” PDF). After a bit of Google searching I always find the answer but in order to save myself a little trouble (and maybe save some of you the trouble as well) the Terminal command to uninstall Xcode is as follows:

sudo /Developer/Library/uninstall-devtools --mode=all

And for anyone who might ask, yes after running the uninstall script you can delete the Developer folder. But, I suggest performing a reboot before doing so.