Developing Perspective

Show 0.9


00:00:00   Hello and welcome to Developing Perspective. Developing Perspective is a near daily podcast

00:00:05   discussing what's new and interesting in iOS, Apple, and related technologies. I'm your

00:00:09   host, David Smith. I'm an independent iOS developer based in Herndon, Virginia. This

00:00:13   is episode 0.9. Today is Monday, July 25th, 2011. The format of Developing Perspective

00:00:22   is pretty straightforward. I'll handle a handful of links and articles that I found interesting

00:00:26   over the last couple of days over the weekend, and then move on to a more general discussion

00:00:31   towards the end. The show will never be longer than about 15 minutes, and it'll never include

00:00:36   third-party advertising, so let's get to it.

00:00:39   All right, first a little, just a fascinating video from the recent TED conference, which

00:00:46   shows engineers who've developed a bird that can fly, or a robot that can fly like a bird,

00:00:53   which if you have any concept of how complicated bird flight is,

00:00:58   this is a truly impressive bit of engineering, and it's just a delight to watch.

00:01:02   So, just interesting to look at.

00:01:05   Next, over on MacMiniColo.net, they published a write-up about the most recent MacMinnies.

00:01:11   For my last couple of shows, you'll know that I think this is one of the most interesting new machines

00:01:16   from the lineup that was announced last week, specifically because of performance versus cost.

00:01:22   It's a very relatively cheap machine, basically the cheapest you can get in the Mac lineup.

00:01:27   But its performance, especially if you get the i7 server model, is actually very impressive.

00:01:33   And they did some benchmarking for that, and you can see that it's actually very, very

00:01:38   competitive.

00:01:39   It has a Geekbench score of almost 10,000, if you get the top of the range model of that,

00:01:45   which is still only close to $1,000.

00:01:49   And so definitely something to check out.

00:01:50   It's definitely a good read-up just to see some of the other changes they made as well.

00:01:55   Next, there's a fascinating thing that was over on NPR this week where This American

00:02:01   Life, sort of one of the more respected podcasts that dives really into the news, did an article

00:02:10   about software patents.

00:02:12   And specifically, I think they were focusing a lot on intellectual ventures, which is sort

00:02:16   of a parent company of, or sort of an archetypical patent role.

00:02:21   So definitely, it's an interesting thing.

00:02:23   There's both an article that I linked to, as well as a show the entire this week's This

00:02:30   American Life is also worth listening to.

00:02:32   Next, over on The Daring Fireball, John Gruber wrote an article about succeeding Steve Jobs,

00:02:40   And in which basically he just walks through that the only person who can realistically

00:02:46   and likely succeed Steve Jobs is going to be Tim Cook, the current COO.

00:02:53   Just because of a variety of reasons.

00:02:55   Bringing in someone externally, I think, would send a very bad message, both to shareholders

00:03:01   and employees and so on.

00:03:03   And Tim Cook is, at this point, you can see that he's largely being groomed for that role.

00:03:08   He's starting to have a presence at some of their events where he does some of the introduction

00:03:13   and some of the emceeing.

00:03:15   He was involved, I believe, at the daily launch announcement and so on.

00:03:21   And just generally, he's increasingly taking a role.

00:03:23   He's the acting CEO when Steve's not around.

00:03:26   And so it seems very likely and a good thing for him to be sort of the next in line, should

00:03:32   and when that need to happen.

00:03:36   over, sort of on the MO Generator blog or Git repository, I suppose, they've released

00:03:44   the latest version of MO Generator or Model Object Generator or MO Generator. I'm not

00:03:49   sure how you're supposed to say it. But basically, this is 1.23 is the version number. And the

00:03:56   most important things that it does is it adds support for Lion's ordered relationships,

00:04:02   optional arc support, a whole variety of things like that.

00:04:05   If you use Core Data at all in your applications, I highly recommend using

00:04:09   EmoGenerator

00:04:11   because it essentially what it does, it generates

00:04:13   your managed object classes for you and it does it in a way that is very

00:04:17   extensible. It allows you to

00:04:20   essentially it creates two files for every class. One that is static and is

00:04:27   intended to be remained just like it is.

00:04:29   And then it's a dynamic one

00:04:31   that is not overwritten whenever you change your model, which allows you to store custom

00:04:35   logic and functions with that model object in a way that continues to remain and be there.

00:04:43   Which is just a really great feature. Definitely check out that update to Emojanerator if you

00:04:52   are using Core Data.

00:04:54   And lastly, in the links this morning, there's an interesting bit of discussion over the

00:05:00   weekend about performance with whole disk encryption on Lion.

00:05:06   And so if you're not familiar with this, Lion's new core

00:05:09   storage process allows for you total disk encryption, where

00:05:15   you can take a disk, encrypt its contents entirely, and

00:05:20   basically prevent access to it without your login password.

00:05:25   There's a variety of benchmarks that are posted.

00:05:28   The long and the short of it is there is a fairly substantial performance hit on write.

00:05:33   It looks like on read the hit isn't quite as bad, but on write there's a fairly substantial

00:05:38   hit that you'll take should and when and if you do hold this encryption.

00:05:43   So at this point I'm probably not going to avoid it.

00:05:47   It's certainly something that I'm looking into and I'll continue to monitor as people

00:05:52   get more familiar with it.

00:05:53   If it continues to improve potentially if it's found in certain hard drives or certain

00:05:58   ways of doing it lead to better results, but as it is now, I think it would just probably

00:06:02   drive me crazy more than help.

00:06:05   All right, so for today's discussion, I'm going to have a link associated with it, but

00:06:10   mostly it's talking about the new over-the-air updates in iOS 5.

00:06:16   On Friday or Saturday morning, they released the latest beta of iOS 5, I think it's beta

00:06:22   4, and this was done optionally over the air.

00:06:26   So if you had an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch that was running the latest Beta 3, you could,

00:06:33   from that, just open up the settings application, hit software update, wait probably, I think

00:06:40   for me it was about 10 minutes or so, 10 to 15 minutes, and then it was updated.

00:06:46   Which is an interesting bit of engineering, it's not anything too wild, Android phones

00:06:50   have been doing this for quite some time.

00:06:53   And this phone 7 sort of infamously tried to do it and failed horribly.

00:06:59   So the engineering behind it isn't that impressive.

00:07:02   But it is definitely a very important thing as an iOS developer.

00:07:07   That they're heading in that direction and specifically the way that they've done it.

00:07:11   Where you send your settings app, you'll get a badge whenever a new version is available

00:07:15   prompting you that hey, that's something that you need to look at.

00:07:19   What's most important about that is I think it will

00:07:21   dramatically improve the speed and frequency with which users

00:07:26   update their OS versions.

00:07:28   So this will allow developers to much more quickly seek to

00:07:33   adopt new features, take advantage of new APIs and

00:07:37   things like that, and generally just make

00:07:38   developers' lives a lot easier if all of their users are

00:07:41   typically running the latest operating system.

00:07:45   I think right now, the process is fairly cumbersome, just

00:07:48   because in order to get the update, you need to connect your device to iTunes on your PC,

00:07:54   and especially I find for things like iPads, this is just something that you don't do very

00:07:59   often. I know for myself, my iPad probably hasn't been connected to a computer since

00:08:03   it was first set up, just because I just charge it from a wallet charger, and the nature of

00:08:09   how I use it is such that that's not something that I need to do. I'm not constantly syncing

00:08:13   content to it or anything like that, it's a fairly self-sustained, independent device.

00:08:19   And so that's just something that is challenging as a developer when you see new features in

00:08:24   iOS 5, you know, iCloud stuff for example, or previously, and, you know, iOS 4, with

00:08:30   even things like block support, Grand Central Dispatch, those types of features that make

00:08:34   both the functionality of your application as well as the user experience much better

00:08:42   are things that now you can finally and hopefully integrate into your application much more

00:08:46   quickly.

00:08:48   And so that's just something to keep in mind and sort of be on the lookout for is as you're

00:08:53   deciding about dropping OS support in the near future, you probably still have to support

00:09:01   old versions, especially because the big goal is probably going to be to get people onto

00:09:05   iOS 5.

00:09:06   So there is no current, there's no over the air way for that to happen from iOS 4.2 or 4.3.

00:09:13   So you're still going to need to probably support at least iOS 4.2.

00:09:17   I think currently that's my base is for all the applications, especially this fall.

00:09:24   I think I have a couple that still support 3.2 or 3.0 on the iPhone.

00:09:28   But probably this fall once iOS 5 comes out, I'll be dropping that and change my support

00:09:35   to 4.2 across the board.

00:09:37   And then hopefully it will be iOS 5 fairly quickly.

00:09:40   And then whenever iOS 5.1 or 6 or those types of things

00:09:44   come out, with over-the-air updates,

00:09:46   I think that process will be much, much quicker,

00:09:48   where I may only support the old OS for a quarter or so,

00:09:52   maybe half, maybe six months.

00:09:54   But definitely not the current sort of 12 to 18 months

00:09:57   that I currently need to do in order to keep

00:10:00   the wide range of users that I have happy.

00:10:03   Alright, that's today's show. Hope you enjoyed it.

00:10:05   And, um, yeah, hope you have a good Monday.

00:10:09   Get started, and happy coding! Bye.