Matheo Fiebiger Agudelo3 min

Swiftly Highlights: January 2021

EngineeringFeb 5, 2021



Feb 5, 2021

Matheo Fiebiger AgudeloSenior iOS Engineer

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There is no better way to start a new year than to get some good reading done. We've got you covered. Here’s a brief summary of what caught our attention throughout January.


Let's start strong with some tips about what to focus on in 2021. Prepared by Donny Wals, this well-compiled list covers all technologies and skills that have been stealing the spotlight lately and will be very useful this year.

And how about a neat trick from Apple on How to Store URLs in Your App Clip Codes? We have seen App Clips being talked about a lot lately, and that's because they provide an amazing way for you to preview an app. But have you ever wondered how to activate your App Clips with relevant content? Apple to the rescue.

With our society being more inclusive every day, accessibility in apps has become a great focus for developers. We'd like to share a nice piece by Dani Devesa about taking accessibility a step further. We strongly encourage you to consider making your apps accessible.

Now, let's talk about some debugging. It's pretty common to use the console to print our variables when debugging, but have you tried to print json data from your responses when you are trying to figure out what's coming from the server? Sam Soffes has something to say about this; he shares his way of printing out this data in a nice, understandable way. Check it out: Debugging JSON Data in LLDB.

I think that by now, most of us have worked or played with the latest and greatest SF Symbols Icons. But did you know that these icons are fully customizable? Changing colors and other properties is an easy job. Here’s How to Change the Color of SF Symbols!

While we're on the topic of cool stuff, check out ShaderMania, an editor for procedural Metal fragment shaders featuring real-time preview and playback. It has features like PNG shader expo, custom resolution rendering and shader chaining! Definitely worth a look.

What about Mac apps? Why do some developers prefer their own distribution rather than using the App Store? This quick start guide gets into Distributing Mac Apps Outside of the App Store, explaining the pros and cons of App Store vs. Own distribution. Written by Guilherme Rambo.

Have you taken a look into the latest photo picker introduced in iOS 14? PHPicker is here to stay. Take a look at this complete guide by AppCoda.

Most of the time, when we build apps, we tend to rely on the backend to give us all the information we need, right? Have you considered BasS - backend as a service? AWS has a pretty good BasS service and Alex Brown shows you how to use it in this Getting Started with AWS AppSync for iOS tutorial from Ray Wenderlich.

And to bring this section to a close, let's take a look at Accessing a Swift Property Wrapper’s Enclosing Instance, a nice article about a hidden API that gives us access to each enclosing instance—which can enable us to adopt some really interesting patterns. Take a look!


SwiftUI is gaining traction and it won't be long until we start using it on a daily basis, but we’re seeing a trend where the use of AnyView has become very common. There are situations where its use is required, but we must avoid it if we can. Check out Avoiding SwiftUI’s AnyView by John Sundell.

Have you tried using ARKit with SwiftUI? It’s a must! Check out how Type Safely explains How to Add an AR Object to Your SwiftUI Preview Canvas With RealityKit.


In the latest news, the European Union’s upcoming Strong Customer Authentication Requirements are coming to life, and the App Store and Apple Pay will adhere to them. Make sure your purchase flows are not impacted.

Now let's talk about firewall control. Hooray, no more ContentFilterExclusionList (in macOS 11.2 beta 2)! Apple decided to remove ContentFilterExclusionList, which allowed OS apps to skip firewall restrictions! Now apps like LuLu can monitor ALL traffic coming in/out from your Mac!


Most (if not all) of our apps send or receive data over the network. It’s critical to preserve the privacy and integrity of a person’s information and protect it from data breaches and attacks. Here is where Apple recommends the use of Identity Pinning. A Strong way to secure all of this valuable information.


Finally, how about some content we can read while our apps compile? Here are some nice sources of fun.

  • Check out this meme account! It’s a must follow.
  • Why not a meme iOS video from the latest iOS Conf SG?

That's it for January. See you next month!

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