So, when in October 2014 Hacker News announced the availability of a new API to access their post data, we decided to try it… and make a quick, new Hacker News iPhone reader app, thirteen23-style.
A New Language
Also recently released was Swift, Apple’s new programming language for iOS and OSX. Swift is the future of iOS app development, and will eventually replace the aging Objective-C language that we’ve used and loved for many years.
Swift is a modern, functional, type-safe language that aims to fix many of the pain points of Objective-C. It’s also the new kid on the block, and since we wanted to get our feet wet with it, we decided to use Swift to implement Hakn.
A New API
HN’s new API is built on top of Firebase, a powerful data storage platform and SAAS. One of Firebase’s touted features is its ability to push updates of latest-greatest data changes. In Hakn, we leverage Firebase updates to receive comments and post information.
A New App
So what did we end up with?
- A clean, minimal Hacker News reading experience
- Intuitive, easy gestures for navigation
- Comment collapsing
- In-app webviews for content reading
- Both automatic (via Firebase) and pull-to-refresh updating of content
If this sounds like your jam, give Hakn a try. It’s available for free in the App Store.