Cocoapods is a library manager for 3rd party iOS/OSX libraries and components. It lets you setup your project and automatically add and manage selected libraries. This NSScreencast episode is a really great Cocoapods video tutorial.
Alcatraz is a package manager for Xcode. It lets you easily add plugins, color schemes and project templates to Apple’s IDE. I have not tried out all of them, but the one that I can recommend is the KSImageNamed plugin. It makes working with images in Xcode much easier.
PaintCode is an app that generates CoreGraphics code from vector images you draw. Sounds great right? It is! The result is a graphic component that is retina compatible and can be used in both iOS and OSX. The app is not free but there is a trial period so you can try it out.
Prepo is a cool little app that helps you manage, resize and export the image resources for your app. It’s free and you can pay to unlock some more features.
iOSfonts.com is a helpful little website. It shows all the fonts available in iOS natively. This is very useful when you are trying to find the best font for your app design. For every font, there is an indicator that shows the version of the SDK in which this font was added.
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Despite the fact that the iOS and OSX platforms are colsed, there is a huge developer community that is very active. There are numerous 3rd party frameworks and components developed for the Apple platforms.
There are also many technical blogs dedicated to Objective-C, iOS and OSX. Here are five of my favorite ones:
NSHipster – The author of this blog is Matt Thompson – the creator of the AFNetworking framework. The blog itself is focused on the “not so popular” and overlooked parts of the Apple development ecosystem. The articles are filled with useful tips and best practice examples.
NSScreencast – this is not a tipical blog. It is a cintinuous series of development tutorials. The quolity is great. There is a subscription fee for access to the videos, but is well worth it and there are some episodes that are available without payment. There are also the source code and useful links for every episode.
Ray Wenderlich – this is one of the most well known iOS related tutorials blog. The main focus was and still is mobile game development, but as the website developed, a big team of writers formed and the amount of content now is enournous. There are tutorials for absolute beginners and skilled developers. The team has also published two very good books on iOS development.
iOS Dev Weekly – Again, this is not exactly a blog. It’s a free subscription to a weekly synthesized list ot recent iOS/Objective-C related news. The articles included may be about some new tools, framworks, design discussions and even App Store marketing tips. The author is Dave Verwer, who is into iOS development since the platform exists.
Cocoa Controls – The place for 3rd party custom controls for the Apple platforms. There are UI controls for iOS as well as OSX. The website is updated regularly and there are some nice filters to help you find what you need. Also, if you like, you can submit your control to be added to the list.
Bonus: Little Big Details - This blog is dedicated to listing some great examples of User Experience (UX) done right. It is not limited to Apple’s platforms, but is sure is a great source of inspiration for every iOS developer or designer interested in good design.
I hope you like my recommendations. What are your favorite iOS/OSX related blog? Post it down in the comments.
My new app Habitat uses a lot of NSDate and date calculations in order to work propperly. Also, the UI is filled with labels displaying weekday names (“monday”,“tuesday”…).
As I was rushing to release the initial version of the app, I just “hard coded” the weekday names strings (in english) in the source code.
Despite the fact that my iOS devices are set to English language, many apps such as the native Reminders and Calendar apps or the 3rd party app Fantastical, show the names of the weekdays and months in my native language (Bulgarian) by default. This is due to the fact, that the region format setting is set to “Bulgarian”. The region format is used to determine the default date/hour format, currency, and the names of the months and weekdays. Using the current region format of the user is quite easy. Here is some sample code:
*The code to generate localized strings for the months is similar. Just use the monthSymbolsproperty.
If you take a closer look at the documentation, you can see that there are even options for shorter strings (shortWeekdaySymbols, veryShortWeekdaySymbols).
What I did in Habitat is to write a small Objective-C Category of NSDate that defined a few methods to help me deal with the localization of the weekday names. I am in the process of making the code a little more flixible and universal. I will push the code to GitHub once is ready, so stay tuned.