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THE LATEST

They’re Watching

I have this whole rant about security prepared, but I just realized this is the Halloween edition of This Week in Mobile. So be prepared to be spooked. We’ve all sort of become inured to the fact that being on the internet means your privacy will erode away, at least to some degree. Every time …

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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,...

Control, Target, and Action in iOS 14

The target–action pattern is one of the oldest in Cocoa, and it's used with some of the...

The Asymmetrical Advantage of Distributed Teams

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

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...

Recent Posts


Quibi, We Hardly Knew Ye

I mean, we knew it enough to mock it. Twice. But the point is, we won’t be getting to know it any better, because it is shutting down a mere six months after launch. In a Medium post, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman said, “we feel that we’ve exhausted all our options. As a result …

Quibi, We Hardly Knew Ye Read More »


Xcode Tip of the Day: Work in Two Places

In Xcode, the object of your attention is very often two or more files simultaneously. In Objective-C, you might want to work in a class’s header file and its implementation file. In a storyboard-based app, you might want to work in a storyboard scene and in the UIViewController subclass that it corresponds to. You might …

Xcode Tip of the Day: Work in Two Places Read More »


Improvements in Testing in Xcode 12

Xcode 12, iOS 14, and Swift 5.3 bring with them a number of significant improvements in testing. If you live and die by tests — or even if you just wish you did — you’re going to be very happy to hear about these. Some of these changes actually appeared earlier, in Swift 5.2, Xcode …

Improvements in Testing in Xcode 12 Read More »


Future-Proofing the Security of Medicine

One of the central themes in any analysis of the progress of humans’ technological prowess is compromise. Economist Thomas Sowell said, “There are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs.” Take healthcare, for example. We see an awesome new future where there’s less friction, fewer obstacles, and more changes to disseminate help to more people. But …

Future-Proofing the Security of Medicine Read More »


Xcode 12 — What a Pane

As iOS programmers, we live and breathe and have our being within Xcode, so it makes sense to be as familiar as possible with its capabilities, and to take advantage of whatever innovations allow us to get work done. But, ironically, as a new version of Xcode is released, exactly when noteworthy new features are …

Xcode 12 — What a Pane Read More »


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Swift 5.2: Object References as Functions in Swift

Here’s a Swift language feature that you may not have noticed when it arrived in Swift 5.2. The following syntax can now be made legal: let p = Person(firstName: “Matt”, lastName: “Neuburg”) let s = p() print(s) // Matt Wait, what just happened? I treated an instance as a function, and it worked (in the …

Swift 5.2: Object References as Functions in Swift Read More »


Healthwatch: Remote monitoring and the future of post-pandemic medicine

In the vast list of changes COVID-19 has made to our everyday lives, one you may not think about often is the growing need for medical professionals or caregivers to be able to monitor patients while keeping (social) distance. Then again, maybe you do think about it. There are 40.4 million unpaid caregivers of adults …

Healthwatch: Remote monitoring and the future of post-pandemic medicine Read More »


Swift 5.2: No More Unsafe Pointer References

When people upgraded to Xcode 11.4, a lot of complaints started to appear on StackOverflow that code of the following form was giving trouble (this is an odd way to write this, but just bear with me): let color = // some UIColor var r = 0 as CGFloat var g = 0 as CGFloat …

Swift 5.2: No More Unsafe Pointer References 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


    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 »


    The Fundamental Problem of Software: Translating Business Rules into Code

    How Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) can help solve the fundamental problem of software.  Translating language – an example In true BDD fashion, let’s start with an example: Carlos is fluent in Spanish, but does not speak English. Mary is an English speaker who knows little to no Spanish. However, Carlos and Mary wish to communicate. What’s …

    The Fundamental Problem of Software: Translating Business Rules into Code Read More »


    Branding, the App Store and Your Mobile App Marketing

    I recently talked about the importance of consistent branding in your mobile app design. Today I’ll talk about how equally vital it is that your branding be clear and consistent in the App Store as well. Franchisees: get ‘em in line If your brand has franchises, it’s essential that they adhere to the same mobile …

    Branding, the App Store and Your Mobile App Marketing Read More »


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    How to Manage Your Agency’s Mobile App UX in an Agile Environment

    More brands and agencies are moving towards Agile as they realize the power, speed and efficiency of this process. But how does a product owner manage UX in an iterative environment where scope isn’t fixed? In traditional Waterfall methodology, wireframes and comps are created, internally review, edited, reviewed again, presented to the client, feedback collected, …

    How to Manage Your Agency’s Mobile App UX in an Agile Environment Read More »


    4 Ways API and Mobile App Development Teams Can Work Together To Ensure Security

    Mobile represents new risks and unique attack vectors that require the focus of the whole organization, not just one team Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rates safes on the length of time it would take an attacker with normal tools to break in and steal your valuables. In addition, most safes are bolted to the floor from within the …

    4 Ways API and Mobile App Development Teams Can Work Together To Ensure Security Read More »


    Gamification and Your Mobile App Development

    How to perfect gamification in your app.   Gamification is one of the most popular buzzwords when discussing mobile app strategy. So what does it mean? Gamification is the application of game mechanics to non-game contexts, encouraging action and rewarding accomplishments. Over the past few years, more and more product owners have come to me asking …

    Gamification and Your Mobile App Development 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


        Xcode Tip of the Day: Work in Two Places

        In Xcode, the object of your attention is very often two or more files simultaneously. In Objective-C, you might want to work in a class’s header file and its implementation file. In a storyboard-based app, you might want to work in a storyboard scene and in the UIViewController subclass that it corresponds to. You might …

        Xcode Tip of the Day: Work in Two Places Read More »


        Improvements in Testing in Xcode 12

        Xcode 12, iOS 14, and Swift 5.3 bring with them a number of significant improvements in testing. If you live and die by tests — or even if you just wish you did — you’re going to be very happy to hear about these. Some of these changes actually appeared earlier, in Swift 5.2, Xcode …

        Improvements in Testing in Xcode 12 Read More »


        Xcode 12 — What a Pane

        As iOS programmers, we live and breathe and have our being within Xcode, so it makes sense to be as familiar as possible with its capabilities, and to take advantage of whatever innovations allow us to get work done. But, ironically, as a new version of Xcode is released, exactly when noteworthy new features are …

        Xcode 12 — What a Pane Read More »


        Swift 5.2: Object References as Functions in Swift

        Here’s a Swift language feature that you may not have noticed when it arrived in Swift 5.2. The following syntax can now be made legal: let p = Person(firstName: “Matt”, lastName: “Neuburg”) let s = p() print(s) // Matt Wait, what just happened? I treated an instance as a function, and it worked (in the …

        Swift 5.2: Object References as Functions in Swift Read More »


        Swift 5.2: No More Unsafe Pointer References

        When people upgraded to Xcode 11.4, a lot of complaints started to appear on StackOverflow that code of the following form was giving trouble (this is an odd way to write this, but just bear with me): let color = // some UIColor var r = 0 as CGFloat var g = 0 as CGFloat …

        Swift 5.2: No More Unsafe Pointer References Read More »


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        Swift 5.2: Keypaths Get a Promotion

        When you’re busy programming, it’s easy to sleep through changes in the Swift language, especially minor changes; and Swift 5.2 (which emerged as part of Xcode 11.4) was definitely minor, especially in comparison with Swift 5.1. Still, this is an interesting little improvement worth knowing about. Suppose that a Person has a firstName and a …

        Swift 5.2: Keypaths Get a Promotion Read More »


        Testing Forward Compatibility in Xcode

        At the time of this writing, we are in that betwixt-and-between period leading up to the release of iOS 14; Xcode 12, Big Sur, and iOS 14 itself are still in beta, but things could start to go final any day now. If you’ve got existing apps, there are various ways to prepare for that …

        Testing Forward Compatibility in Xcode Read More »


        How to Get Started With Pods

        Pods, also known as CocoaPods, are a necessary evil. And they are ubiquitous. Even if you’ve never used them, you probably know that they exist, and you may even have a general sense of what they are, because questions about them come up on Stack Overflow all the time. Basically, Pods are code libraries that …

        How to Get Started With Pods Read More »


          This Week In Mobile


          Quibi, We Hardly Knew Ye

          I mean, we knew it enough to mock it. Twice. But the point is, we won’t be getting to know it any better, because it is shutting down a mere six months after launch. In a Medium post, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman said, “we feel that we’ve exhausted all our options. As a result …

          Quibi, We Hardly Knew Ye Read More »


          Future-Proofing the Security of Medicine

          One of the central themes in any analysis of the progress of humans’ technological prowess is compromise. Economist Thomas Sowell said, “There are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs.” Take healthcare, for example. We see an awesome new future where there’s less friction, fewer obstacles, and more changes to disseminate help to more people. But …

          Future-Proofing the Security of Medicine Read More »


          Healthwatch: Remote monitoring and the future of post-pandemic medicine

          In the vast list of changes COVID-19 has made to our everyday lives, one you may not think about often is the growing need for medical professionals or caregivers to be able to monitor patients while keeping (social) distance. Then again, maybe you do think about it. There are 40.4 million unpaid caregivers of adults …

          Healthwatch: Remote monitoring and the future of post-pandemic medicine Read More »


          Ticking Down to Zero: TikTok, WeChat, and the Politics of Posturing

          We had an entirely different column written, but part two of our deep dive into broadband access can wait until next week. Because something bigger happened. WeChat and TikTok will be banned in U.S. app stores beginning Sunday, September 20. As of Sunday, distribution or maintenance of WeChat and TikTok on an app store will …

          Ticking Down to Zero: TikTok, WeChat, and the Politics of Posturing Read More »


          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

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          Fortnite, Apple, and the Rumblings of War

          It’s possible you don’t play Fortnite. 250 million people do, but we don’t really know you; you may hate prison levels and viral dances. Understandable. But Fortnite is big business for Epic Games, earning them a ridiculous $1.8 billion dollars in 2019. Fortnite is gold not just for Epic, but for any middleman. In just …

          Fortnite, Apple, and the Rumblings of War Read More »


          Facial Recognition, Bias, and the Price of Progress

          We can remember facial recognition seeming like a sci-fi wonder. There was something alluring about the idea of machines so smart they’d know us, and tech so advanced it was like a friend. But the more sinister applications were always simmering under the surface. Even in 1990, Total Recall envisioned a world in which you …

          Facial Recognition, Bias, and the Price of Progress Read More »


          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 »