Jan 2010

Omni + iPad

The Omni Mouth: “We want to bring all five of our productivity apps to iPad: OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, OmniPlan, OmniFocus, and OmniGraphSketcher.”

I’m especially a fan of OmniOutliner — and I want an outliner on iPad. This is great news.

Method replacement

Mike Ash: “Using a technique called method swizzling, you can replace an existing method from a category without the uncertainty of who ‘wins,’ and while preserving the ability to call through to the old method.”

This is interesting information that you should read and never use.

Future Shock

Fraser Speirs: “Those of us who patiently, day after day, explain to a child or colleague that the reason there’s no Print item in the File menu is because, although the Pages document is filling the screen, Finder is actually the frontmost application and it doesn’t have any windows open, understand what’s happening here.”

On iPad’s A4 chip

Macworld: “At the heart of the iPad lies a tiny sliver of silicon. A game changer within a game changer.”

iPad Stencil

Playing with Shapes: “I’m just as anxious as anyone else to start designing for the iPad. I always have to start with paper.”

iPad and usability

UsabilityPost: “When you scroll, the content scrolls without any interruptions and lag — it’s very, very smooth. Why is this so important? It’s important because this level of responsiveness blends the borders between analog and digital media.”

Dave asks if we should trust iPad

Scripting News: “Is it possible to create an iPad-like platform that has none of the drawbacks of Apple’s offerings?”

Excellent question. I think that in ten years, most computers will be iPad-like.

I don’t know any developers that like the App Store review system. I don’t. But I’ve never seen even the barest hint that freedom of speech is otherwise limited. And I’m hyper-sensitive to that, completely allergic to anything that I think would hurt that freedom.

Facebook iPhone app developer on iPad

Joe Hewitt: “iPad is an incredible opportunity for developers to re-imagine every single category of desktop and web software there is. Seriously, if you’re a developer and you're not thinking about how your app could work better on the iPad and its descendants, you deserve to get left behind.”

iPad liberation

chockenberry: “There’s an inherent benefit to only doing one thing at a time: the load of worrying about other tasks is lifted. Knowing that there isn’t anything else competing for your attention is quite liberating.”

Totally right on. It’s one of the reasons I could see myself using an iPad more than my laptop. (I use a desktop Mac for development.)

Who iPad is for

Mike Rundle: “Most people are not power users, they mainly consume content using their computer rather than produce it. When they produce content it’s more casual: posting to Twitter, updating Facebook, writing personal blog entries and notes, uploading photos.”

New World and Old World computing

Steven Frank’s blog post will be on the syllabus. Critical reading, if you want to understand what happens next.

Developer opinion roundup thing on iPad

Cult of Mac: “I thought it would be interesting to find out what some Mac and iPhone developers make of the iPad.”

UIButtons: rounded corners and gradients

Cocoa Is My Girlfriend: “...with Core Animation layers there is a simpler way to achieve the look you want without having to create an image.”

On the chip inside the iPad

Hivelogic: “This chip is so important to Apple because it gives them greater control of the user experience … from the inside out, while allowing them to reach their goals — and more importantly — control their own destiny, by decreasing their dependency on outside, external companies.”

Can’t Catch Me

Red Sweater: “The error is in disregarding the many unmatchable attractions of ‘the desktop.’”

Annus Mirabilis

Colin Barrett: “It’s also worth noting that Snow Leopard featured very few new features and interface changes; I highly doubt that Apple’s designers were paid to do nothing for the entire Snow Leopard cycle.”

iPad photos and impressions

Ars Technica: “The press was given a few moments with one of the new Apple iPads and we tried to put it through as many paces as we could in the limited amount of time we were given.”

TapLynx + iPad apps

TapLynx blog: “We’re brainstorming ways to take advantage of the larger display, to improve user experience on what is sure to be a revolutionary addition to media consumption.”

It’s cool that iPhone apps run out-of-the-box on iPad — but we’re totally getting into taking advantage of the bigger screen size and the new features. This is going to be fun.

Ars on Letters

Chris Foresman, Ars Technica: “The history behind Letters goes back at least as far as the summer of 2007, when the iPhone made IMAP a better e-mail protocol than POP for many users.”

I still like POP, by the way. I’d rather have my email local than stored on a server that I can’t completely control. But then there’s iPhone, which changes everything.

New Application Framework Evangelist

Bill Dudney is leaving indie-land — but for a very good reason: “I’m very excited to announce that I have in my possession an offer from Apple to fill the position of Application Framework Evangelist.”

Congratulations, Bill!

Expect to hear from me soon, daily, on just about everything that pops into my head. Multiply by thousands of developers.

Inside Toll Free Bridging

Mike Ash: “Every bridged class is actually a class cluster, which means that the public class is abstract, and core functionality is implemented in private subclasses. The CoreFoundation class is given a memory layout that matches one of these private subclasses, which is built just for the job of being the Objective-C counterpart to the CoreFoundation class.”


The font-detection game (iTunes link) I’ve been waiting for. I know Arial from Helvetica, people. Do you?

I saw a beta of the game a few weeks ago. A bunch of us were out, and @dwiskus did a demo. @newsgatortechie started playing and didn’t want to stop.

Dave said something like, “Here’s how I know this game is going to do well.”

I nodded sagely. (That’s what I do, by the way, pretend to be a sage via the use of nods. I’m not always awake, but I was this time. Because the game was cool.)

Open-source project aims to build new Mac e-mail client

Macworld: “Obviously, it’s very early for Letters.app; the entire project has existed for less than a week.”

Totally true. The odds are long, etc. But I’m optimistic — this past week has gone better than I could have hoped for.

John Gruber heads Letters email app

After 24 hours of voting, and more turnout than I expected, Letters has a president.

NewsGator acquires Tomoye

The average NetNewsWire user probably doesn’t know that NewsGator’s main business is enterprise collaboration and social networking. This acquisition further strengthens that business.

Also note this bit of good news: “2009 was a record year for NewsGator — we exceeded all of our financial goals despite the down economy.”

Indie+Relief: proceeds go to help Haiti

Buy some software today and help Haiti.

It’s a great thing. Many thanks to Justin Williams, Garrett Murray, and all the developers who are participating.

Update on email app

The app’s name is Letters. It will have a leader (not me) on Wednesday.

Email client open source app kickoff

Is it time to write an open source email client that meets the needs of developers and professionals? Maybe. (I hope so!) I set up a mailing list to discuss feasibility, scope, energy and find people willing to contribute. More info on my weblog.

TapLynx 1.2

The new version of TapLynx brings more performance enhancements, and we’re starting to work on the feature requests folks have been asking for.

It’s free to download and try out.

In other TapLynx news, a TapLynx-built app (using an earlier version) has appeared on the iTunes What’s Hot list, which is totally exciting for us.

Knit Dalek with sounds and LED lights

Photo set includes videos.

Daleks on Flickr

Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!

Apple tablet + text?

Dan Moren, Macworld: “Steve Jobs’s antipathy for buttons is well-documented. Why does he wear turtlenecks and sneakers? No buttons.”


Buzz Andersen: “I’ve been exposed to a subtly different breed of software developer—one that thinks of software less in terms of utility and more as media.”

The iPhone app business is a form of show business. (Actually, so is Mac development, but that doesn’t mean the two are exactly the same. Obviously not.)

Pixel Destiny

Dave Wiskus: “Applications would require updated artwork and a recompile, but tales of sub-24 hour turnaround on app approval — a dramatic leap forward from the previous average of two weeks — would suggest that Apple is ramping up for an onslaught of submissions.”

Software Sea Change

Guy English: “How the hell does one App get downloaded two million times in the space of one week? To do so it’d have to catch the eye of people you’ve never heard of — like your brother or your girlfriend’s best friend or the dude who made that really cute but slightly awkward heart in your latte the other day.”

Colin Barrett on tables with search and indexes

iamthewalr.us: “How do you build a UITableView combining the powers of both UISearchDisplayController and UILocalizedIndexedCollation?” He asks and answers.

Inside NSRunLoop

Mike Ash: “If you want to understand something as thoroughly as possible, you should build one yourself. That’s a little too much for a blog post, so rather than build a complete implementation of NSRunLoop, I’m going to take the second-best route and plan out the key features of its internals in pseudocode.”


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