Jan Schwarz3 min

Swiftly Highlights: October 2020

EngineeringNov 1, 2020



Nov 1, 2020

Jan SchwarziOS Engineering Director

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Coming to you straight from the STRV iOS team, here’s a brief summary of what caught our attention throughout October.

After the slightly disappointing September Apple Event, when everyone was looking forward to new iPhones but all we got was a 24-hour notice of releasing iOS 14, the moment has finally come. Apple held another event on October 13th and announced a new HomePod Mini, as well as iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max! No matter what you think of the new Apple products and tools, please remember: The best thing you can do is to share your opinion directly with Apple through the Apple Developer Survey.

Now, let's have a look at what has been happening outside of the official Apple channels.


To start with, a couple of short, straightforward and useful pieces of information, accompanied by a more thorough investigation.


The XCTAttachment class from the XCTest framework has been around for quite a while, but it’s very possible some people haven't noticed it yet. Peter Steinberger posted a brief tweet to remind us it can be of great use.

Tweaks for Various iPhone Sizes

Tim Oliver came across some difficulties when creating custom separator views for the Plus and Mini versions of iPhone. You can check his tip in this tweet. And if you are interested in layouting for different iPhone versions, you can continue with a bit longer but interesting article by Geoff Hackworth about How iOS Apps Adapt to the various iPhone 12 Screen Sizes.


Now that your reading muscles are stretched, we can proceed to longer texts.

Lazy Property Observers

From Swift 5.3, property observers can be attached to lazy properties, which makes it possible for us to automatically observe when a new value was assigned to a given property, even if its value is lazily loaded. John Sundell gives a nice overview of what this means for us.

How to Test Push Notifications in Simulator and Production iOS Apps

Apple has recently reminded us about the deadline for updating APNs provider API, and Khoa used this occasion to wrap up all recent major changes in working with push notifications, both in terms of client and provider approach.

Meet Face ID And Touch ID for the Web

People often consider passwords to be the original sin of authentication on the web. As plain passwords are vulnerable to breaches, the two-factor authentication was introduced to address these security issues—which made the authentication experience even more cumbersome. Luckily, Face ID and Touch ID for the web were finally introduced this year; you can find out what it takes to implement them in this article by Jiewen Tan.


And of course, we can't skip our regular dose of articles about SwiftUI. So, here you have a few interesting pieces from the last month.

8 Common SwiftUI Mistakes - And How to Fix Them

SwiftUI is a big and complex framework, and although it’s great fun to work with, there’s also a lot of scope for making mistakes. In this article, Paul Hudson shows eight common mistakes SwiftUI learners make, and how to fix them.

Handling Loading States Within SwiftUI Views

When building any kind of modern app, chances are very high that, at one point or another, we’ll need to load some data asynchronously. John Sundell shares his tips on how to approach this task in SwiftUI.

Mastering Transitions in SwiftUI

And one more related topic from Pavel Zak. Transitions play a vital role in the user experience of our apps. They are visual keys signalizing that the app or screen context is changing. If you’re wondering how to implement an opening door transition in SwiftUI, don't forget to read this post.


Are you looking for fancy improvements to your apps? Or just for neat tools you could play around with? This section is exactly for you!

Swift Algorithms

Nate Cook from the Swift standard library team announced a release of Swift Algorithms, a new open-source package of sequence and collection algorithms. The package includes a host of powerful, generic algorithms frequently found in other popular programming languages. If you run any computational heavy tasks, do not hesitate to leverage it.


Does your designer cry every time you load their beautifully designed screen and it’s full of empty boxes because all of the images haven’t loaded yet? Does your database engineer cry when you want to solve this by trying to cram little thumbnail images into your data to show as placeholders? Then check out this tool for showing blurred previews.


If you lack practical uses of AR, you should definitely check out this app that is available not only for iOS and macOS, but also for Android and Windows. It is advertised as "the quickest way to capture, extract and transfer anything around you," and the description seems quite legit.


You've probably heard that the new iPhone 12 comes with 5G support. But if you want to understand how much Apple values this feature, you should watch this cut of the most important announcements from the Apple Event.

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

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