By: Sam Langfried

There are three versions of the React Native story. One says that React Native is a silver bullet that allows you to ship two apps for the price of one. Another would have you believe that React Native is the same, disappointing cross-platform novelty we’ve seen before with familiar shortcomings. The third story is the truth, and it’s somewhere in the middle. When React Native’s strengths are aligned with a project, it’s a very attractive option. …


If you’ve ever played with Core Image’s filter API, you might have been wondering “What would it take to make a filter and launch my own Snapchat!”. There are ways to build out and chain Core Image Filters to make custom ones. However, this is a bit expensive compared to writing your own. When I first went on this journey, I found many issues with API documentation being only in Objective-C and for Desktop. Moving this to both iOS and Swift proved to be quite the undertaking.

Creating our Custom Filter

Let’s jump into the deep end and take a look at the Core…


by: Aaron Hillegass

There was a brief era when everything had “Flavor Crystals:” chewing gum, deodorant, sports drinks mix, toothpaste, air fresheners, whatever. If you had a product, it could be made more compelling with flavor crystals. When the term “Cloud” was first coined, it simply referred to the idea that computing power on the Internet should be bought and sold like electricity. Gradually “Cloud” has taken on lots of meanings and become the Flavor Crystal of the modern IT world. I wonder, however, if Cloud-related technologies (including DevOps and containers) have received all the attention and left no space…


by: Brian Gardner

Slice actions help users perform the actions they want without having to search through your app.

While basic slices have their place, you will often want to provide users with additional information or controls. Range actions make your Slices more interactive by allowing users to control any field that accepts a discrete range of options, such as volume or brightness.

Slices provide the ability for your app to share information and controls with other apps. In my previous post, Share a Slice of Your App, I covered the basics of Slices on Android. Introduced in Android Pie…


by: Jeremy Sherman

React Native apps are native apps. It’s a heck of a coup they’ve pulled off, and while I have my concerns around adopting the technology, “Is it native?” isn’t one of them.

But what is “native”?

I suspect whether you agree with me hinges on what we each understand by “native”. Here’s what I have in mind:

  • Uses the platform’s preferred UI toolkit
  • Wires into the platform’s usual mechanisms for event dispatch (touches, keys, motion, location changes, etc.)

Overall: Capable of achieving the same ends as any app developed using the platform’s preferred tooling by fundamentally the same mechanisms.

I claim…


by: Brian Gardner

Slices provide the ability for your app to share information and controls with other apps. In my previous post, Share a Slice of Your App, I covered the basics of Slices on Android. Introduced in Android Pie (API 28), they are packaged as a library and work all the way back to Android KitKat (API 19). If you haven’t already, give it a read through to learn about the main concepts in Slices, how to create a simple one, and how to view them on your devices. …


by: Matthew Strickland

In this series, we have looked at what it takes to build a great Engineering Team. This post is going to be a little different as we chat with Angie Terrell to get some of her thoughts on the topics shared thus far. Angie is the director of the Design team at Big Nerd Ranch, where she is also a Design Bootcamp instructor. Angie has been leading the Design team for over three years now and continues to push Big Nerd Ranch to excellence in all of the disciplines of Design for Digital Product Development.

In Part…


by: Matthew Strickland

In this series, we have looked at what it takes to build a great Engineering Team. This post is going to be a little different as we chat with Chris Stewart to get some of his thoughts on the topics shared thus far. Chris is the director of the Android team at Big Nerd Ranch, where he is also an Android Bootcamp instructor. Chris co-authored the best selling Big Nerd Ranch guide on Android Programming and has been leading the Android Engineering team for over five years.

In Part One, we talked about how the first step…


by: Matthew Strickland

Part of building something great is building it to last. No one builds a home for a season, and the same is true for your Engineering team. Retaining your team for the long haul is no easy task, but it is imperative that as a leader it is a priority. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to retain your excellent Engineering team.

First Things First

There are seasons in life. In one season your team may be the right fit, and in another, it will not be. Family, health and life events will cause people…


by: Jared Sinclair

Thinking of migrating your iOS or macOS app from a bunch of NSLog or print statements to the new(ish) Unified Logging system? Keep reading for some facts and tidbits that might surprise you, along with a few suggestions for how to make the most of your transition.

If you’re not sure why you’d want to use Unified Logging, here’s a quick run-down of some key benefits:

  1. It’s the new standard. The Unified Logging system is the biggest change to logging on Apple Platforms in years. …

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