Archive for June 20, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

App Store Editorial Comes Out of the Shadows

Jason Snell:

In the redesigned App Store app in iOS 11, app highlights go way beyond buttons that would present an app’s App Store page when you tapped. The new Today tab is populated with full-fledged feature articles, with screen shots, videos, animations, pull quotes, and real writing. There are app spotlights, curated best-in-category collections, and even how-to articles.

No, this isn’t independent journalism—it’s curation and marketing. But it’s a sign that Apple sees the value in telling the stories of the apps it’s seen fit to highlight.

No word on whether this will make it into the Mac App Store.

See also: An In Depth Look At the New App Store, Information Density and the New App Store Design.

Inside Apple’s Global War on Leakers

William Turton:

To make sure of it, Apple has built an infrastructure and a team “to come after these leakers,” Joswiak says, and “they’re being quite effective.”

[…]

However, Rice says, Apple has cracked down on leaks from its factories so successfully that more breaches are now happening on Apple’s campuses in California than its factories abroad.

[…]

The stolen parts often end up in Huaqiangbei, one of the biggest electronics markets in the world, located in Shenzhen, Southern China. This market employs about a half million people and does about $20 billion a year in revenue, Rice says. One “particularly painful year” was 2013, when Apple had to buy back about 19,000 enclosures before the iPhone 5C announcement, he recalls, and then an additional 11,000 before the phones were shipped to customers. “So we’re buying as fast as we possibly can to try to keep it out of every blog on Earth,” Rice says.

Lots of stuff was kept secret for WWDC 2017.

Why Reach Navigation Should Replace the Navbar

Brad Ellis (via John Gruber):

Burgeoning screens mean the distance between the navbar and our thumbs has grown. The screen on a 7 Plus is so tall it would take a thumb-length increase of 150 percent to reach those pesky buttons with one hand.

[…]

Now here’s where the turn toward Reach Nav gets more apparent. Apple has already started weaning their apps off the navbar. Maps and Music both had structural redesigns for iOS 10 that diminished or removed the need for navbars.

Now both apps use a sheet you can swipe down to dismiss.

[…]

Here are some specifics on how to incorporate Reach Nav in your apps[…]

Swiping is often more convenient, even on an iPhone SE. I do this all the time in Overcast, even though I can reach the button.

Porting Objective-C to Swift

Jeff Johnson:

The disadvantage of the Generated Interface is that it breaks all of the existing Objective-C calls to that API. The automatic compiler API transformation does not work in reverse: when you import Swift into Objective-C, the Swift API stays the same, it doesn’t automatically become more “Objective”. So once you let the compiler do its dirty work on the API, you then have to refactor any leftover Objective-C files that use it. When you’re just beginning to port an entire Objective-C project to Swift, this can be a major pain.

One approach would be to add @obj() annotations to the Swift API to customize how it’s imported into Objective-C. Then you could preserve the existing calls in Objective-C files, as well as the existing calls in Swift files, and when everything has been ported to Swift, you can ditch the @obj(). This seems like a lot of busywork for a “temporary” solution, though[…].

[…]

However, Swift does not export global functions to Objective-C, so you can’t call global Swift functions in Objective-C code. In order to export a Swift function to Objective-C, you have to wrap it with an Objective-C object.

Amazon Buys Whole Foods

Ben Thompson:

This is the key to understanding the purchase of Whole Foods: to the outside it may seem that Amazon is buying a retailer. The truth, though, is that Amazon is buying a customer — the first-and-best customer that will instantly bring its grocery efforts to scale.

Today, all of the logistics that go into a Whole Foods store are for the purpose of stocking physical shelves: the entire operation is integrated. What I expect Amazon to do over the next few years is transform the Whole Foods supply chain into a service architecture based on primitives: meat, fruit, vegetables, baked goods, non-perishables (Whole Foods’ outsized reliance on store brands is something that I’m sure was very attractive to Amazon). What will make this massive investment worth it, though, is that there will be a guaranteed customer: Whole Foods Markets.

Update (2017-07-12): Beth Kowitt says that Whole Foods approached Amazon (via Ryan Jones).