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Blog of Geof

About Me

My name is Geof. I am a freelance interactive designer. I like to make really nice native apps and websites. I'm currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sometimes I write about things that interest me here.

Suggested Reading

Friday, Nov. 9th

Regarding The iPad Pro 3rd Generation #

Arstechnica: Apple walks Ars through the iPad Pro’s A12X system on a chip

The iPad Pro outperforms every MacBook Pro we tested except for the most recent, most powerful 15-inch MacBook Pro with an 8th generation Intel Core i9 CPU. Generally, these laptops cost three times as much as the iPad Pro.

Shimpi offered a pitch for the GPU. “It's our first 7-core implementation of our own custom-designed GPU,” he said. “Each one of these cores is both faster and more efficient than what we had in the A10X and the result is, that’s how you get to the 2x improved graphics performance. It’s unheard of in this form factor, this is really an Xbox One S class GPU. And again, it's in a completely fanless design.”

Typically when you get this type of CPU and GPU performance, a combination of the two, you have a discrete memory system. So the CPU has its own set of memory and the GPU has its own set of memory, and for a lot of media workloads or pro workflows where you actually want both working on the same data set, you copy back and forth, generally over a very narrow slow bus, and so developers tend to not create their applications that way, because you don't want to copy back and forth.

We don't have any of those problems. We have the unified architecture, the CPU, the GPU, the ISP, the Neural Engine—everything sits behind the exact same memory interface, and you have one pool of memory.

On top of that, this is the only type of memory interface that iOS knows. You don't have the problem of, well, sometimes the unified pool may be a discrete pool, sometimes it may not. iOS, our frameworks, this is all it’s ever known, and so as a result developers benefit from that. By default, this is what they're optimized for, whereas in other ecosystems you might have to worry about, well, OK, sometimes I have to treat the two things as discrete; sometimes they share.

Apple has come to dominate in mobile SoCs. In a lot of ways, though, Qualcomm has been an easy dragon to slay. Should Apple choose to go custom silicon route on the Mac platform, Intel will not be quite as easy to beat. But the rapid iteration that has led to the iPad Pro's A12X makes a compelling case that it's possible.

Now, if only there were iOS versions of Final Cut, Xcode, and Logic. Powerful hardware is nothing without strong software support, and as we've noted in our review, that's the area where we need to see some improvement for the iPad Pro to truly live up to its considerable potential.

Arstechnica: 2018 iPad Pro review: “What’s a computer?”

With that kind of performance, the iPad Pro seems like it should make a strong case that it can replace powerful laptops as a designer, photographer, video editor, musician, or artist's primary on-the-go workhorse. Unfortunately, that incredible potential is hindered by insufficient software support.

But what about full versions of Illustrator or Adobe Premiere? Or Apple’s own Final Cut, for that matter? What about Xcode? What about Logic? What about… this could go on.

These things could be solved. Maybe—just maybe—this feat of design and engineering will inspire Apple’s iOS team to branch out an iPad Pro-specific version of the OS that takes off the training wheels. Maybe—yes, just maybe—this tablet will make such an impression that it draws developers to bring their pro apps to the platform, or to update the stripped-down versions they already offer to unleash their full power.

There’s a few additional items that I would like to add:

Hardware

Industrial Design

External Displays

Apple Pencil

Software

Size

Updates:

Tuesday, Sept. 25th

Hodinkee on the Apple Watch #

Hodinkee:

This week we’re talking all things Apple Watch. Stephen sits down with Ben and Jack just a few hours after they received their Apple Watch Series 4 sample units to get their first impressions and to hear what else they had to say about the Apple Watch and its relationship to the more traditional watches we tend to cover every day. Also, Stephen has a one-on-one interview with John Gruber, the proprietor of Daring Fireball, the premier blog covering all things Apple. Enjoy.

Daring Fireball:

There are two parts to this episode of the Hodinkee Radio podcast. First, a roundtable discussion with Ben Clymer, Jack Forster, and Stephen Pulvirent. Then, an interview between Pulvirent and yours truly. Both parts, of course, focus on Apple Watch Series 4 and where Apple fits in the world of watchmaking.

It's interesting how the Apple Watch market is expanding and other watch markets are decreasing. This podcast approaches the conversation from the perspective of luxury watch owners. However, I think there's a similar expansion and overtaking of dedicated exercise watches from the likes of Garmin or Suunto.

Listen on Overcast

Tuesday, Aug. 28th

The Verge: The Secret Garden #

Mount Lico

The Verge:

In 2018, what is left to explore in the world? It seems unlikely, say, that humans might find an untouched forest to study, someplace that hasn’t been bulldozed and burnt and exploited within an inch of its life for precious minerals or virgin timber. But that’s exactly what happened this past spring, when a Welsh researcher, Dr. Julian Bayliss, led a 28-person team that included scientists specially selected for their different talents as well as logistics experts, rock climbers, and filmmakers to the top of a mountain in Mozambique.

Undiscovered areas or mountaintops are always something of a dream for anyone who stares at maps and atlases for a long time. This is a very interesting story of a scientific team being the first humans (or so they thought) to the top of an isolated mountaintop.

Side note: I think this is how every horror movie starts.

Friday, Aug. 17th

Custom Input View on iOS: Hiding UITextInputAssistantItems #

I've been working on a small app with a custom inputView and a custom inputAccessoryView.

One issue I experienced on iPad was this goofy bar sandwiched between both custom input views (pictured below).

Screenshot of my app with a goofy UITextInputAssistantItem bar

After some searching, I found out that those are UITextInputAssistantItems.

The app I’m working on has a unique and minimal amount of text input that is required. It doesn’t make sense to have undo, redo or copy & paste taking up so much screen real-estate.

I discovered that if you create a custom UITextField class and set both of the leadingBarButtonGroups and trailingBarButtonGroups to an empty array the UITextInputAssistantItem bar will disappear.

class CustomTextField: UITextField {

    init(frame: CGRect) {

        super.init(frame: frame)

        // remove undo/redo and copy/paste item bar on ipad
        inputAssistantItem.leadingBarButtonGroups = []
        inputAssistantItem.trailingBarButtonGroups = []
    }
}

Thursday, Aug. 16th

Comparing iOS Twitter Client App Sizes #

Related to the news today…

macstories.net: Third-Party Twitter Clients Remove Features as API Changes Loom:

The latest chapter in Twitter’s contentious relationship with third-party developers is coming to a close. In April 2017, Twitter announced plans to eventually deprecate certain parts of its API that third-party apps rely on.

Fast forward one year to April 2018, roughly 10 weeks before the scheduled API transition of mid-June. Twitter’s new API still hadn’t been made available to third-party developers. The Iconfactory, Tapbots, and other makers of Twitter clients created a website called Apps of a Feather…Stick Together to explain how the looming changes would affect customers. The ensuing uproar among users caused Twitter to delay the API transition until tomorrow, August 16, 2018. Although Twitter has not flipped the switch on the changes yet, apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot have already taken steps to deal with the changes.

… I wanted to compare the app sizes of Twitter clients.

Tweetbot for iOS: 6.8MB

Twitterrific for iOS: 11.3MB

Twitter™ for iOS: 106MB

It appears that as employee count goes up so does app binary size.

More: Daring Fireball

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