Apps · Practical · Software Dev

UX teardown: make your own guides in  Maps

I always found the “favorites” feature in Apple Maps to be too general and dissatisfying. I quit using that feature once I had 48 places saved all across the world. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Before that, I saved specific lists of places in Google Maps, but found their mobile app to be cluttered and confusing. 😖 So I gave up and started using Trello.

Trello is cool for some things like trip planning and small projects, but it did not scale well and didn’t handle lists of places well. So I gave up on that. 😢

 Maps guides

I’m happy to have just discovered that you can save your favorite places as “guides” in Apple Maps. Finally, this is genuinely useful!

I just set up my own guide for coffee places open early for when I’m looking to get our early. Quick and easy and right to the point! 🤩. I can immediately see all the places I saved and their hours. Check it out for yourself! (This is my own personal guide, so it’s focused on Austin, TX.)

Of course this guide automatically syncs to my iPad and Mac as well. ✅

Rechecking Goole Maps

Forgive me if I sound like an  fanboy, but out of genuine curiosity I went back and I did the same thing in the latest Google maps. It was a bit painful. 😢

Notice how the “main” screen is oddly not a map but more of a picture of a cup of coffee and therefore not useful to me.

And even when I drilled into an actual map view, the places I care about are unlabeled in favor of (1) a notification that HEB has an offer and (2) the Texas Capitol and Congress Ave. Bridge exist. Again, not useful.

I just want to know where a coffee shop is open at 7am! Now that would be useful. 👆

Software Dev

 Technotes

Looking for some tips on tricky Apple development issues like refactoring your storyboard, customizing the appearance of UINavigationBar, or an overview of the iOS Wi-Fi API?

Get it straight from the source on the new Apple Technotes.

Technotes are focused, timely documents from Apple Developer Technical Support. They explore a wide range of development topics and provide guidance for developers creating apps and accessories for all of Apple’s platforms.

Via iOS Dev Weekly.

Software Dev

“Perhaps you could tell us what you personally have been doing for the last seven years.”

As MacBreak Weekly celebrated the 14th anniversary of the iPhone’s launch, I was reminded of Steve Jobs’ “redemptive arc.”

Here is Jobs addressing a somewhat hostile question at the 1997 WWDC. At the time, Apple was nearly out of money, and Jobs had just returned after previously being kicked out of the company.

George Bernard Shaw said that “your patience when you have nothing” is one of the two things that define you. It’s interesting to look at Steve Jobs when he is down and see the vision and patience that was brewing at the time.

As we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with what incredible benefits can we give to the customer, where can we take the customer. Not starting with ‘let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have and then how are we going to market that’.

And I think that’s the right path to take.

It would be four more years until the iPod launched and ten years until the iPhone launched.

The end of Jobs’ answer also reminded me of Teddy Roosevelt.

Some mistakes will be made a long the way. That’s good, because at least some decisions will be made along the way.

Steve Jobs

Ah yes, patience and decisiveness. Like a good game, they are easy to learn and hard to master.

Software Dev

The Big Facebook Crash and Third-Party SDK Vulnerabilities

App users may not be aware — and app developers often forget — that favorite app of yours might be running native code from a third party such as Facebook. Besides making your app potentially way bigger to download, it can also cause instability. When Facebook screws up, suddenly you can’t run TikTok, Spotify, and countless others apps.

This actually happened recently. 💥

👉 The big Facebook crash of 2020 and the problem of third-party SDK creep

It was as if Facebook had an “app kill switch” that they activated, and it brought down many of people’s favorite iOS apps.

For this and other reasons such as added integration complexity, when I’m making my next app, I am going to try to minimize third-party libraries.

It seems like software architecture often focuses on theoretical concepts and cool ideas, but we should look at things like this that can impact millions of real users. IMHO we developers need to consider third-party libraries as a liability to be weighed against the vulnerabilities they open up. 💥

Via iOS Dev Weekly.

Also, a shout out to the “App-ocalypse” video from this article. 😆

Software Dev

Best WWDC Videos of All Time (?)

There are so many amazing WWDC sessions. I probably have 50 favorited on my  TV 🤩.

Here is one persons’ brave attempt to collate the best 15 ever, found on iOS Dev Weekly.

👉 The 15 Best WWDC Videos of All Time

I genuinely appreciate the attempt, but I am perplexed that Protocol and Value Oriented Programming in UIKit Apps or Designing Fluid Interfaces didn’t make the list. 🤷🏻‍♂️