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THE LATEST

Rant: Xcode and the Protocol Paradox

This is a rant about an extremely useful Xcode feature that completely stops working just when you most need it to work. At the risk of giving the whole story away right at the start, I’ll just give the whole story away right at the start! The useful feature is Xcode’s ability to show you …

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    Want, Waste, Warnings

    The iPhone 12 is coming out this week, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it,...

    More About Split View Controllers in iOS 14

    In an earlier article, I talked about how split view controllers (UISplitViewController)...

    The Asymmetrical Advantage of Distributed Teams

    I’ve talked before about BiTE’s completely distributed team, and how I think this is...

    Common Pitfalls of BDD

    Introduction So you’ve decided you want to drive development from behaviors,...

    Recent Posts


    Split View Controllers Done Right in iOS 14

    A split view controller (UISplitViewController) is a pretty cool thing. It allows you to divide the large iPad screen into two parts, each of which is managed by a view controller in its own right. Typically, these are a master view controller and a detail view controller: on one side, the master side, is a …

    Split View Controllers Done Right in iOS 14 Read More »


    Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Untappable Button

    This is a fairly commonly-asked question that I encounter on Stack Overflow: My button (or some other user-interactive view) doesn’t respond when I tap it. And naturally enough, I have a commonly-given answer to go with it. In fact, I have a kind of catechism for helping people debug this situation. Even experienced developers can …

    Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Untappable Button Read More »


    Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 2

    This is the second part of a two-part article about iOS diffable data sources. If you haven’t read the first part, please go back and read it now! Inside and Outside In the first part of this article, I created a table view whose data source consisted simply of the names of the U.S. states, …

    Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 2 Read More »


    Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 1

    When I first started programming iOS (back in iOS 3.2), many of my apps revolved around table views (UITableView). At first, I was surprised by how Apple makes you supply the data to a table view. You don’t just store all the data in the table view. Instead, there’s a separate object, the data source …

    Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 1 Read More »


    Signal vs WhatsApp: Chat App Encryption

    If you spend any amount of time on social media these days (and heaven knows I do), you’ll see people talking about encrypted chat apps. In the days following the Capitol riots, both Twitter and Facebook cracked down hard on violent speech and anything that could be considered a conspiracy theory. The result was a …

    Signal vs WhatsApp: Chat App Encryption Read More »


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      Collection View Outlines in iOS 14

      In an earlier article, I introduced collection view lists, new in iOS 14, which allow a collection view, or a section of a collection view, to imitate a table view. Collection view lists are the basis for yet another new iOS 14 feature: outlines. As Lovely as a Tree An outline is a way of …

      Collection View Outlines in iOS 14 Read More »


      CES 2021: Moflin, Masks, and Meeting the Future

      Believe it or not, we’re going to talk about something other than politics today. CES was this week! The Consumer Electronics Show is usually a fun, exhausting, 3 days in Las Vegas. This year, obviously, it was a fun, exhausting, 3 days on your couch. And to be honest, we kind of like these virtual …

      CES 2021: Moflin, Masks, and Meeting the Future Read More »


      Collection View Lists in iOS 14, Part 2

      In an earlier article, I introduced collection view lists, a new feature of iOS 14. I showed how you can easily make a collection view that looks pretty much just like a table view. Now I’d like to talk about some additional table view appearances and behaviors and how collection view lists implement them. List …

      Collection View Lists in iOS 14, Part 2 Read More »


        Android


        COVID-19 and the Broadband Gap

        School is about to start for millions of kids around the country, in the middle of a pandemic (sadly, the pandemic isn’t over just because we’re over it). We can’t quite imagine how this’ll work out, since if we cast our minds way (way) back to childhood, the likelihood of being able to pay attention …

        COVID-19 and the Broadband Gap Read More »

        Child with Coronavirus backpack walks toward school

        Teach a Man to Phish

        Covid-19 has brought out the best in a lot of people. At the same time, if you’re someone who preys on the weak, this global pandemic is a banquet. If you’re anything like us you’ve seen a huge increase in phishing and scam calls since all of this began in earnest. Interestingly, so have corporations. …

        Teach a Man to Phish Read More »


        TikTok, Vine, and the Monetization of Creativity

        We’ve been talking about TikTok a lot lately, and not just as an excuse to post our favorite videos (though that is certainly a nice bonus). And in a bit of accidental prescience last week we compared them to the rapidly sinking Quibi, a company whose ambition exceeded its understanding of the mobile market. TikTok, …

        TikTok, Vine, and the Monetization of Creativity Read More »

        Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and VIine logos

        Tracking the Spread

        While most of us are getting used to the new normal of quarantine and social distance, for tech companies it is a brave new world of close collaboration. We looked at the mutually beneficial partnership between long-time frenemies Apple and Amazon, and now Apple has entered into an unprecedented, globally beneficial relationship with perpetual rivals …

        Tracking the Spread Read More »


        To Like or Not to Like

        You Like Me, You Really Like Me    Instagram has made a lot of tweaks to its user experience lately, like removing the following tab (simultaneously making it harder to stalk people and easier for us to like really embarrassing things) and changing the “explore” experience. But now it’s doing something that’s got opinions very …

        To Like or Not to Like Read More »


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          How Do You Test Mobile Apps for Android?

          It’s a question I hear from nearly every client. So here are five ways to make that testing easier. There are thousands of variants of Android devices out there and your app will be run on an incredibly high number of them. There simply isn’t a way to test on every different flavor of device. But like …

          How Do You Test Mobile Apps for Android? Read More »


          BiTe


          Development


          The Line Between “What” and “How”

          Introduction A pervasive problem in software development is finding the line between what is a sufficiently detailed description of a product requirement and describing the "implementation details" of that requirement. Put simply; it is a problem of finding the line between what and how. A product requirement should contain everything about the "what" (and leave …

          The Line Between “What” and “How” Read More »


          The Shape of Things

          Let’s say you want to build a chair, a simple wooden chair. Nothing fancy, it just needs to support you when you sit and not collapse when you lean back. You want one, or you need one, or your client needs one… whatever. What’s the first thing you do? Well, you look at the parts. …

          The Shape of Things Read More »


          What I Look for When Refactoring

          The Backstory My current assignment is working on a rather large app that had a huge summer push that involved scaling the team up to several developers per platform and the addition of a handful of third-party libraries. As anyone who has worked in iOS development will tell you, the App Delegate is often the …

          What I Look for When Refactoring Read More »


          BDD as Evolved TDD

          Introduction I see Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) as an evolution of Test-Driven Development (TDD). If we think about what the purpose, and real benefit, of TDD is, it’s almost impossible not to find ourselves talking about BDD, even if we aren’t calling it that. TDD means, literally, tests drive software development. What do we mean by …

          BDD as Evolved TDD Read More »


          BDD Toolbox: Happy Path/Sad Path

          BDD Toolbox is an ongoing set of posts to give you tools to aid in the process of doing Behavior Driven Development well. Today we’ll take a look at Happy Path/Sad Path – a tool to ensure you’ve captured success and failure cases for all of your scenarios. Happy Path/Sad Path is a way of …

          BDD Toolbox: Happy Path/Sad Path Read More »


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            From Waterfall to Agile

            When we began BiTE, we were a fixed price/scope studio. And while we were small, this model worked. Mobile was in its infancy, so projects were relatively straightforward. During these early days, we could grind out change on nights and weekends even if it wasn’t ‘in-scope.” Fixed Scope Pitfalls But as mobile started to grow …

            From Waterfall to Agile Read More »


            From Manual Testing to BDD in Mobile App Development

            Over our seven year history, we have evolved our software development and QA processes significantly. We started app development knowing mobile was the future, but back then our QA process was decidedly retro. We manually tested our software on each device, plodding through the same test scripts over and over in iOS on a host …

            From Manual Testing to BDD in Mobile App Development Read More »


            BDD Toolbox: Outcome Questioning

            BDD Toolbox is an ongoing series of posts in which I’ll give you tools to do Behavior Driven Development well. Today we’ll take a look at Outcome Questioning – a tool to help ensure all relevant details are captured in your scenarios.  I’ve talked in the past about Behavior Driven Development and how I believe …

            BDD Toolbox: Outcome Questioning Read More »


              Strategy


              The 4 Forces Applied: Why Microsoft’s Conversion Tool Won’t Entice iOS Developers To Windows

              Microsoft’s newly announced conversion tool for bringing iOS code to Windows will not be compelling enough to move developers over. The 4 Forces help explain why. The 4 Forces are a lens used to look at why people decide to change their behavior to use a new product or service. It is a wonderfully helpful …

              The 4 Forces Applied: Why Microsoft’s Conversion Tool Won’t Entice iOS Developers To Windows Read More »


              Why Focus Groups Lead to Horrible Software

                The first rule of great product development is: Don’t ask the customer what they want. But why? Well, customers have no idea what they want. More importantly, they can’t tell you why they really buy your product. I love the Henry Ford’s quote, “If I’d of asked people what they wanted, they would have …

              Why Focus Groups Lead to Horrible Software Read More »


              What a Successful Slack Implementation Looks Like

              Tips to make Slack an amazing tool for your team. At BiTE, we’re huge fans of Slack. For the uninitiated, Slack is an amazing collaboration tool. It starts with chat; both person-to-person as well as group chats (“channels” in Slack parlance) are exceptional. It handles sharing files between team members, offers integrations to other services, …

              What a Successful Slack Implementation Looks Like Read More »


              The Path Less Traveled for Talent Recruitment and Retention

              According to London Business School’s Annual Global Leadership Summit poll, over a third of surveyed companies project more than 50% of their workforce will work remote by 2020. That may seem like a surprising number until you realize how much a remote workforce could benefit your company. Here’s how it benefited ours: When Brant DeBow …

              The Path Less Traveled for Talent Recruitment and Retention Read More »


              What Shoveling Snow Taught Me About Making Great Mobile Apps

              How shoveling snow this winter helped me contemplate what makes great software I live at the top of a steep and twisting driveway that quickly turns into what I’ve described to my team in Slack as “a snowy deathcoaster”. While spending a few hours trying to end my family’s snow-exile, my mind drifted to thoughts …

              What Shoveling Snow Taught Me About Making Great Mobile Apps Read More »


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                How to Do BDD and Agile Well for Your Mobile App Project

                  In a previous post I wrote about how Jobs to be Done theory can be used to develop a clear and powerful mobile strategy. But once you have this mobile strategy in place, and have developed your stories, how do you then execute BDD well in an Agile environment? Going from a waterfall, fixed-price …

                How to Do BDD and Agile Well for Your Mobile App Project Read More »


                How to Integrate Jobs-To-Be -Done and App Definition Statements into Your Mobile Strategy

                  As a strategist I’ve written a lot about Jobs-To-Be-Done. So if you’re reading this post you already know that customers don’t want the drills – they want the holes in the walls. But understanding the value in Jobs-To-Be-Done and App Definition Statements (ADS) and implementing these critical elements into your Mobile App development process …

                How to Integrate Jobs-To-Be -Done and App Definition Statements into Your Mobile Strategy Read More »


                Jobs To Be Done, Good Enough and Your Mobile App

                  The basics behind Clayton Christensen Jobs-to-be-done theory is that customers buy or “hire” products and services to do jobs. Some of those jobs are quite clear: I hire the metro to take me from point A to point B. But there are other jobs for which people might hire the metro: to be eco-friendly, …

                Jobs To Be Done, Good Enough and Your Mobile App Read More »


                  iOS


                  Split View Controllers Done Right in iOS 14

                  A split view controller (UISplitViewController) is a pretty cool thing. It allows you to divide the large iPad screen into two parts, each of which is managed by a view controller in its own right. Typically, these are a master view controller and a detail view controller: on one side, the master side, is a …

                  Split View Controllers Done Right in iOS 14 Read More »


                  Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Untappable Button

                  This is a fairly commonly-asked question that I encounter on Stack Overflow: My button (or some other user-interactive view) doesn’t respond when I tap it. And naturally enough, I have a commonly-given answer to go with it. In fact, I have a kind of catechism for helping people debug this situation. Even experienced developers can …

                  Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Untappable Button Read More »


                  Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 2

                  This is the second part of a two-part article about iOS diffable data sources. If you haven’t read the first part, please go back and read it now! Inside and Outside In the first part of this article, I created a table view whose data source consisted simply of the names of the U.S. states, …

                  Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 2 Read More »


                  Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 1

                  When I first started programming iOS (back in iOS 3.2), many of my apps revolved around table views (UITableView). At first, I was surprised by how Apple makes you supply the data to a table view. You don’t just store all the data in the table view. Instead, there’s a separate object, the data source …

                  Diffable Data Sources and Data Storage — Part 1 Read More »


                  Collection View Outlines in iOS 14

                  In an earlier article, I introduced collection view lists, new in iOS 14, which allow a collection view, or a section of a collection view, to imitate a table view. Collection view lists are the basis for yet another new iOS 14 feature: outlines. As Lovely as a Tree An outline is a way of …

                  Collection View Outlines in iOS 14 Read More »


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                    Collection View Lists in iOS 14, Part 2

                    In an earlier article, I introduced collection view lists, a new feature of iOS 14. I showed how you can easily make a collection view that looks pretty much just like a table view. Now I’d like to talk about some additional table view appearances and behaviors and how collection view lists implement them. List …

                    Collection View Lists in iOS 14, Part 2 Read More »


                    Collection View Lists in iOS 14

                    One of the most significant innovations in iOS 14 is that a collection view can be configured to look and behave like a table view. A collection view of that kind is called a collection view list. A collection view list isn’t a matter of mere layout. Laying out a collection view as a single …

                    Collection View Lists in iOS 14 Read More »


                    Collection View Content Configuration in iOS 14

                    In a series of earlier articles, I introduced the iOS 14 cell content configuration architecture. My examples consisted entirely of table view cells, but I was careful to point out that exactly the same thing applies to collection view cells because UICollectionViewCell has contentConfiguration and backgroundConfiguration properties, just like UITableViewCell. A collection view cell, unlike …

                    Collection View Content Configuration in iOS 14 Read More »


                      This Week In Mobile


                      Signal vs WhatsApp: Chat App Encryption

                      If you spend any amount of time on social media these days (and heaven knows I do), you’ll see people talking about encrypted chat apps. In the days following the Capitol riots, both Twitter and Facebook cracked down hard on violent speech and anything that could be considered a conspiracy theory. The result was a …

                      Signal vs WhatsApp: Chat App Encryption Read More »


                      CES 2021: Moflin, Masks, and Meeting the Future

                      Believe it or not, we’re going to talk about something other than politics today. CES was this week! The Consumer Electronics Show is usually a fun, exhausting, 3 days in Las Vegas. This year, obviously, it was a fun, exhausting, 3 days on your couch. And to be honest, we kind of like these virtual …

                      CES 2021: Moflin, Masks, and Meeting the Future Read More »


                      Why President Biden Wants to Repeal Section 230

                      It’s worth mentioning that when I first decided to write about 230, there had been no Capitol riot, and things seemed a little bit more normal than they do today (relatively). But for the next few paragraphs, let’s pretend it’s all as it was 48 hours ago, shall we? Last week we all waited on …

                      Why President Biden Wants to Repeal Section 230 Read More »


                      The FTC Strikes Again

                      Remember last week when we talked about the new avalanche of lawsuits against Facebook? Well it gets worse for the social media giant (whether or not it’s better for us remains to be seen). Yesterday, the FTC made a move that could signal future regulation of data handling: They demanded all of it. The data, …

                      The FTC Strikes Again Read More »


                      Facebook, Letitia James, and the (anti)competitive spirit

                      Modern life is completely dominated by just a few corporations. That’s a discordant thing to realize in a nation that prides itself on an excess of choice. If you search “nightlight” on Amazon, you get 11,000 results. “Coffee mug” gets 100,000. We cannot possibly scroll through 100,000 coffee mugs, and there’s simply no rationale for …

                      Facebook, Letitia James, and the (anti)competitive spirit Read More »


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                        One in a Googol

                        A couple weeks ago I talked about all the hard science that’s being done by intrepid gamers and idle PCs. One of the coolest was, and is, Folding@Home, a groundbreaking research project that allows millions of distributed, amateur scientists to gain insight into diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and even COVID-19 by simulating protein patterns to …

                        One in a Googol Read More »

                        Christian B. Anfinsen with

                        This Post Offers In-App Purchases

                        When Apple and Fornite went to war in the great battle over commission costs, Apple was left with super-expensive egg on its face. It didn’t look good for the richest company in 5 galaxies to tighten the thumbscrews on a brand from whom they’ve made $360 million in app revenue and in-app purchases over the …

                        This Post Offers In-App Purchases Read More »


                        Gaming for the Greater Good

                        Science is infinite in its capacity. Humans are not. And the volume of data needed to do something like find life in the galaxy, or cure disease, is overwhelming. That’s where we come in. Years ago, when I was a bright-eyed college student, I set up an unused laptop to analyze radio signals in the …

                        Gaming for the Greater Good Read More »