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THE LATEST

Taking Control of Rotation Animations in iOS

We all love to have animation in our app’s interface. But sometimes writing even the simplest animation can be rather elusive. Rotation is a case in point. As you probably know, the way to rotate a view (or a layer) is to change its transform, applying a rotation transform to it. But certain rotations are …

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    How Closed Loop Manufacturing Addresses E-Waste

    The iPhone 12 is coming out this week, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it,...

    Little Swift Tricks: Boxing Multiple Types

    Here’s a little Swift language trick I sometimes use — more often than you might...

    The Asymmetrical Advantage of Distributed Teams

    I’ve talked before about BiTE’s completely distributed team, and how I think this is...

    Picturing Git: Conceptions and Misconceptions

    Usually, I write on this blog about matters directly related to developing for iOS on a...

    Recent Posts


    Effective Test Automation in iOS Development

    Test automation is probably the single most important factor within an agile software project. Providing a customer with small, working increments of a product, delivered frequently, requires the pipeline from feature design to product delivery to operate very fast. The biggest hurdle in delivering a small change quickly is regression testing. The trouble stems from …

    Effective Test Automation in iOS Development Read More »


    Night Thoughts on Testing iOS In-App Purchases

    What’s the business model for an iOS app? If you aren’t just distributing an app as a freebie out of the goodness of your heart (several of my apps do work that way), and if you aren’t being paid directly by a client to create or maintain the app in the first place, and if …

    Night Thoughts on Testing iOS In-App Purchases Read More »


    Green Is Home Base

    A developer’s typical working procedure is: Create a feature branch off of master. Implement the feature, which will destabilize the code… Then, spend time getting everything back into a working state. It’s as if you needed to replace a part in your car that is buried deep inside of it — so first, you have …

    Green Is Home Base Read More »


    Picking a Photo in iOS 14

    If your app puts up an interface where the user gets to choose a photo from the photos library, you’re probably familiar with UIImagePickerController. Indeed, you’re probably all too familiar with it. UIImagePickerController is a remarkably clunky, aged piece of interface, both from the user point of view and with regard to its programming API. …

    Picking a Photo in iOS 14 Read More »


    Dealing with iOS 13 Deprecations

    In an earlier article, I talked about the major and minor changes you might expect to grapple with when updating your older app to iOS 13 and iOS 14. In that article, however, I didn’t talk about deprecations. So I want to talk about them now. What is a deprecation? A deprecation is when [WARNING: …

    Dealing with iOS 13 Deprecations Read More »


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      Tools We Use: What’s in Our CTO’s Menu Bar?

      The other day, I was discussing something with BiTE CTO Brant via Slack, and he was showing me his screen for some reason; and when he got done showing me whatever it was that he was showing me, and we’d finished discussing it, and he was about to turn off his screen sharing, I said: …

      Tools We Use: What’s in Our CTO’s Menu Bar? Read More »


      Finishing Touches: Haptics

      We are probably all so accustomed by now to haptic feedback on our iPhones that we hardly give it a thought. Here are some examples: On the home screen, long press on the background, and the screen enters “jiggly mode” — with a dull thud. On the home screen, long press an app or a …

      Finishing Touches: Haptics Read More »


      Xcode Tricks: Multiple Selection

      Have you used a code text editor that’s truly sophisticated and powerful, such as SublimeText or TextMate or Visual Studio Code or RubyMine? One very cool feature that they all have in common is multiple selection, also referred to as multiple cursors. This means you can select and edit multiple stretches of text simultaneously. When …

      Xcode Tricks: Multiple Selection Read More »


        Android


        COVID-19 and the Broadband Gap

        School is about to start for millions of kids around the country, in the middle of a pandemic (sadly, the pandemic isn’t over just because we’re over it). We can’t quite imagine how this’ll work out, since if we cast our minds way (way) back to childhood, the likelihood of being able to pay attention …

        COVID-19 and the Broadband Gap Read More »

        Child with Coronavirus backpack walks toward school

        The Rise of Cybercrime During the Pandemic

        Covid-19 has brought out the best in a lot of people. At the same time, if you’re someone who preys on the weak, this global pandemic is a banquet. If you’re anything like us you’ve seen a huge increase in phishing and scam calls since all of this began in earnest. Interestingly, so have corporations. …

        The Rise of Cybercrime During the Pandemic Read More »


        TikTok, Vine, and the Monetization of Creativity

        We’ve been talking about TikTok a lot lately, and not just as an excuse to post our favorite videos (though that is certainly a nice bonus). And in a bit of accidental prescience last week we compared them to the rapidly sinking Quibi, a company whose ambition exceeded its understanding of the mobile market. TikTok, …

        TikTok, Vine, and the Monetization of Creativity Read More »

        Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and VIine logos

        Tracking the Spread

        While most of us are getting used to the new normal of quarantine and social distance, for tech companies it is a brave new world of close collaboration. We looked at the mutually beneficial partnership between long-time frenemies Apple and Amazon, and now Apple has entered into an unprecedented, globally beneficial relationship with perpetual rivals …

        Tracking the Spread Read More »


        To Like or Not to Like

        You Like Me, You Really Like Me    Instagram has made a lot of tweaks to its user experience lately, like removing the following tab (simultaneously making it harder to stalk people and easier for us to like really embarrassing things) and changing the “explore” experience. But now it’s doing something that’s got opinions very …

        To Like or Not to Like Read More »


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          How Do You Test Mobile Apps for Android?

          It’s a question I hear from nearly every client. So here are five ways to make that testing easier. There are thousands of variants of Android devices out there and your app will be run on an incredibly high number of them. There simply isn’t a way to test on every different flavor of device. But like …

          How Do You Test Mobile Apps for Android? Read More »


          BiTe


          Development


          Effective Test Automation in iOS Development

          Test automation is probably the single most important factor within an agile software project. Providing a customer with small, working increments of a product, delivered frequently, requires the pipeline from feature design to product delivery to operate very fast. The biggest hurdle in delivering a small change quickly is regression testing. The trouble stems from …

          Effective Test Automation in iOS Development Read More »


          Green Is Home Base

          A developer’s typical working procedure is: Create a feature branch off of master. Implement the feature, which will destabilize the code… Then, spend time getting everything back into a working state. It’s as if you needed to replace a part in your car that is buried deep inside of it — so first, you have …

          Green Is Home Base Read More »


          Tools We Use: What’s in Our CTO’s Menu Bar?

          The other day, I was discussing something with BiTE CTO Brant via Slack, and he was showing me his screen for some reason; and when he got done showing me whatever it was that he was showing me, and we’d finished discussing it, and he was about to turn off his screen sharing, I said: …

          Tools We Use: What’s in Our CTO’s Menu Bar? Read More »


          Common Pitfalls of BDD

          Introduction So you’ve decided you want to drive development from behaviors, created with a shared understanding in a shared language among the Three Amigos (product owner/designer, developer, and tester). You will, most likely, immediately start seeing some benefits. But you’ll probably also encounter some difficulties. It’s important to understand that these difficulties are common. They …

          Common Pitfalls of BDD Read More »


          The Line Between “What” and “How”

          Introduction A pervasive problem in software development is finding the line between what is a sufficiently detailed description of a product requirement and describing the "implementation details" of that requirement. Put simply; it is a problem of finding the line between what and how. A product requirement should contain everything about the "what" (and leave …

          The Line Between “What” and “How” Read More »


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            The Shape of Things

            Let’s say you want to build a chair, a simple wooden chair. Nothing fancy, it just needs to support you when you sit and not collapse when you lean back. You want one, or you need one, or your client needs one… whatever. What’s the first thing you do? Well, you look at the parts. …

            The Shape of Things Read More »


            What I Look for When Refactoring

            The Backstory My current assignment is working on a rather large app that had a huge summer push that involved scaling the team up to several developers per platform and the addition of a handful of third-party libraries. As anyone who has worked in iOS development will tell you, the App Delegate is often the …

            What I Look for When Refactoring Read More »


            BDD as Evolved TDD

            Introduction I see Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) as an evolution of Test-Driven Development (TDD). If we think about what the purpose, and real benefit, of TDD is, it’s almost impossible not to find ourselves talking about BDD, even if we aren’t calling it that. TDD means, literally, tests drive software development. What do we mean by …

            BDD as Evolved TDD Read More »


              Strategy


              The 4 Forces Applied: Why Microsoft’s Conversion Tool Won’t Entice iOS Developers To Windows

              Microsoft’s newly announced conversion tool for bringing iOS code to Windows will not be compelling enough to move developers over. The 4 Forces help explain why. The 4 Forces are a lens used to look at why people decide to change their behavior to use a new product or service. It is a wonderfully helpful …

              The 4 Forces Applied: Why Microsoft’s Conversion Tool Won’t Entice iOS Developers To Windows Read More »


              Why Focus Groups Lead to Horrible Software

                The first rule of great product development is: Don’t ask the customer what they want. But why? Well, customers have no idea what they want. More importantly, they can’t tell you why they really buy your product. I love the Henry Ford’s quote, “If I’d of asked people what they wanted, they would have …

              Why Focus Groups Lead to Horrible Software Read More »


              What a Successful Slack Implementation Looks Like

              Tips to make Slack an amazing tool for your team. At BiTE, we’re huge fans of Slack. For the uninitiated, Slack is an amazing collaboration tool. It starts with chat; both person-to-person as well as group chats (“channels” in Slack parlance) are exceptional. It handles sharing files between team members, offers integrations to other services, …

              What a Successful Slack Implementation Looks Like Read More »


              The Path Less Traveled for Talent Recruitment and Retention

              According to London Business School’s Annual Global Leadership Summit poll, over a third of surveyed companies project more than 50% of their workforce will work remote by 2020. That may seem like a surprising number until you realize how much a remote workforce could benefit your company. Here’s how it benefited ours: When Brant DeBow …

              The Path Less Traveled for Talent Recruitment and Retention Read More »


              What Shoveling Snow Taught Me About Making Great Mobile Apps

              How shoveling snow this winter helped me contemplate what makes great software I live at the top of a steep and twisting driveway that quickly turns into what I’ve described to my team in Slack as “a snowy deathcoaster”. While spending a few hours trying to end my family’s snow-exile, my mind drifted to thoughts …

              What Shoveling Snow Taught Me About Making Great Mobile Apps Read More »


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                How to Do BDD and Agile Well for Your Mobile App Project

                  In a previous post I wrote about how Jobs to be Done theory can be used to develop a clear and powerful mobile strategy. But once you have this mobile strategy in place, and have developed your stories, how do you then execute BDD well in an Agile environment? Going from a waterfall, fixed-price …

                How to Do BDD and Agile Well for Your Mobile App Project Read More »


                How to Integrate Jobs-To-Be -Done and App Definition Statements into Your Mobile Strategy

                  As a strategist I’ve written a lot about Jobs-To-Be-Done. So if you’re reading this post you already know that customers don’t want the drills – they want the holes in the walls. But understanding the value in Jobs-To-Be-Done and App Definition Statements (ADS) and implementing these critical elements into your Mobile App development process …

                How to Integrate Jobs-To-Be -Done and App Definition Statements into Your Mobile Strategy Read More »


                Jobs To Be Done, Good Enough and Your Mobile App

                  The basics behind Clayton Christensen Jobs-to-be-done theory is that customers buy or “hire” products and services to do jobs. Some of those jobs are quite clear: I hire the metro to take me from point A to point B. But there are other jobs for which people might hire the metro: to be eco-friendly, …

                Jobs To Be Done, Good Enough and Your Mobile App Read More »


                  iOS


                  Night Thoughts on Testing iOS In-App Purchases

                  What’s the business model for an iOS app? If you aren’t just distributing an app as a freebie out of the goodness of your heart (several of my apps do work that way), and if you aren’t being paid directly by a client to create or maintain the app in the first place, and if …

                  Night Thoughts on Testing iOS In-App Purchases Read More »


                  Picking a Photo in iOS 14

                  If your app puts up an interface where the user gets to choose a photo from the photos library, you’re probably familiar with UIImagePickerController. Indeed, you’re probably all too familiar with it. UIImagePickerController is a remarkably clunky, aged piece of interface, both from the user point of view and with regard to its programming API. …

                  Picking a Photo in iOS 14 Read More »


                  Dealing with iOS 13 Deprecations

                  In an earlier article, I talked about the major and minor changes you might expect to grapple with when updating your older app to iOS 13 and iOS 14. In that article, however, I didn’t talk about deprecations. So I want to talk about them now. What is a deprecation? A deprecation is when [WARNING: …

                  Dealing with iOS 13 Deprecations Read More »


                  Finishing Touches: Haptics

                  We are probably all so accustomed by now to haptic feedback on our iPhones that we hardly give it a thought. Here are some examples: On the home screen, long press on the background, and the screen enters “jiggly mode” — with a dull thud. On the home screen, long press an app or a …

                  Finishing Touches: Haptics Read More »


                  Xcode Tricks: Multiple Selection

                  Have you used a code text editor that’s truly sophisticated and powerful, such as SublimeText or TextMate or Visual Studio Code or RubyMine? One very cool feature that they all have in common is multiple selection, also referred to as multiple cursors. This means you can select and edit multiple stretches of text simultaneously. When …

                  Xcode Tricks: Multiple Selection Read More »


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                    Adventures in iOS Programming: Self-Sizing Cells

                    The other day, I was talking with BiTE CTO Brant about what we’d been up to lately in our iOS programming endeavors. I suggested that it might be interesting if your computer had a way to quantify how much time you spend on different sorts of programming task in the course of developing a project. …

                    Adventures in iOS Programming: Self-Sizing Cells Read More »


                    Rant: Xcode and the Protocol Paradox

                    This is a rant about an extremely useful Xcode feature that completely stops working just when you most need it to work. At the risk of giving the whole story away right at the start, I’ll just give the whole story away right at the start! The useful feature is Xcode’s ability to show you …

                    Rant: Xcode and the Protocol Paradox Read More »


                    More About Split View Controllers in iOS 14

                    In an earlier article, I talked about how split view controllers (UISplitViewController) have been completely revamped in iOS 14. In particular, they “adapt” to the environment’s horizontal size class in a whole new way. A two-part split view has three “columns”, but they are not all displayed at the same time: The .primary and .secondary …

                    More About Split View Controllers in iOS 14 Read More »


                      This Week In Mobile


                      Signal vs WhatsApp: Chat App Encryption

                      If you spend any amount of time on social media these days (and heaven knows I do), you’ll see people talking about encrypted chat apps. In the days following the Capitol riots, both Twitter and Facebook cracked down hard on violent speech and anything that could be considered a conspiracy theory. The result was a …

                      Signal vs WhatsApp: Chat App Encryption Read More »


                      CES 2021: Moflin, Masks, and Meeting the Future

                      Believe it or not, we’re going to talk about something other than politics today. CES was this week! The Consumer Electronics Show is usually a fun, exhausting, 3 days in Las Vegas. This year, obviously, it was a fun, exhausting, 3 days on your couch. And to be honest, we kind of like these virtual …

                      CES 2021: Moflin, Masks, and Meeting the Future Read More »


                      Why President Biden Wants to Repeal Section 230

                      It’s worth mentioning that when I first decided to write about 230, there had been no Capitol riot, and things seemed a little bit more normal than they do today (relatively). But for the next few paragraphs, let’s pretend it’s all as it was 48 hours ago, shall we? Last week we all waited on …

                      Why President Biden Wants to Repeal Section 230 Read More »


                      The FTC’s Next Strike on Data Privacy

                      Remember last week when we talked about the new avalanche of lawsuits against Facebook? Well it gets worse for the social media giant (whether or not it’s better for us remains to be seen). Yesterday, the FTC made a move that could signal future regulation of data handling: They demanded all of it. The data, …

                      The FTC’s Next Strike on Data Privacy Read More »


                      (Anti)competitive spirit: Facebook, the FTC, and Antitrust

                      Modern life is completely dominated by just a few corporations. That’s a discordant thing to realize in a nation that prides itself on an excess of choice. If you search “nightlight” on Amazon, you get 11,000 results. “Coffee mug” gets 100,000. We cannot possibly scroll through 100,000 coffee mugs, and there’s simply no rationale for …

                      (Anti)competitive spirit: Facebook, the FTC, and Antitrust Read More »


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                        One in a Googol: DeepMind’s Protein Folding AI

                        A couple weeks ago I talked about all the hard science that’s being done by intrepid gamers and idle PCs. One of the coolest was, and is, Folding@Home, a groundbreaking research project that allows millions of distributed, amateur scientists to gain insight into diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and even COVID-19 by simulating protein patterns to …

                        One in a Googol: DeepMind’s Protein Folding AI Read More »

                        Christian B. Anfinsen with

                        Bite of the Apple: App Store Commissions

                        When Apple and Fornite went to war in the great battle over commission costs, Apple was left with super-expensive egg on its face. It didn’t look good for the richest company in 5 galaxies to tighten the thumbscrews on a brand from whom they’ve made $360 million in app revenue and in-app purchases over the …

                        Bite of the Apple: App Store Commissions Read More »


                        Eve Online’s Crowdsourced Covid19 Research

                        Science is infinite in its capacity. Humans are not. And the volume of data needed to do something like find life in the galaxy, or cure disease, is overwhelming. That’s where we come in. Years ago, when I was a bright-eyed college student, I set up an unused laptop to analyze radio signals in the …

                        Eve Online’s Crowdsourced Covid19 Research Read More »