Introduction to iOS HealthKit with Core Bluetooth using Swift 4

My original article — Introduction to HealthKit with Core Bluetooth — was published on appcoda.com.

[Download the Xcode 9 project from GitHub so you can follow along with my code explanation and try iOS HealthKit features yourself!]

In a previous tutorial, I discussed the technology, applications, and benefits of Apple’s Core Bluetooth framework. I showed you how to build an app that wirelessly connected to a Bluetooth® heart rate monitor (HRM) — a small, portable, and “wearable” device. My sample app’s code read heart rate data from the HRM, but it didn’t do anything with the heart rate data except display it in real-time on an iPhone’s screen. While edifying and interesting, there are already a bazillion apps in the App Store that can read heart rate data, and other wearable data, using Core Bluetooth. What about doing something interesting with that data, like analyzing it, deriving value-added and meaningful results from it, and sharing it with researchers? That’s where Apple’s HealthKit framework shines. Please download the Xcode 9 project written is Swift 4 so you can follow along with my discussion.

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Controlling chaos: Why you should care about adding error checking to your iOS apps

NOTE: The second installment of this article, “Controlling chaos: Error Handling in Swift 4 with do, try, catch, defer, throw, throws, Error, and NSError,”, has just been released.

In this tutorial, the first in a series of tutorials, we’re going to discuss the arduous topic of looking for unexpected values, events, and conditions that arise during program execution, using a technique I like to call “error checking.” Today, I’ll concentrate on the reasons why you should check for errors. I’ll mention a number of techniques I use but leave detailed discussion of those techniques and sample code to subsequent articles. The purpose of this tutorial is to convince you to make use of error checking in your apps. You ignore errors at your own dire peril. This is sink or swim. If you put out a crappy app, no one’s going to use it because you’ll get a bad reputation at Internet speed, and employers/customers will be more than happy to leave you behind forever for other app developers who aren’t too lazy to write quality code.

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Protocol Oriented Programming in Swift: Advanced Applications

The original article – Protocol Oriented Programming in Swift: Is it better than Object Oriented Programming? – was published on appcoda.com.

Introduction

We’re going to talk in-depth about protocol-oriented programming (POP) using Swift 4 in this article. This post is the second and final article in a two part series. If you haven’t read the first, introductory article, please do so before continuing onwards. Today, we’ll: discuss why Swift is considered a “protocol-oriented” language, compare POP and object-oriented programming (OOP), compare value semantics and reference semantics, consider local reasoning, implement delegation with protocols, use protocols as types, use protocol polymorphism, review my real-world POP Swift code, and finally, discuss why I’ve not bought 100% into POP. Download the source code from the article so you can follow along: There are 2 playgrounds and one project on GitHub, both in Xcode 9 format and written in Swift 4.

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My latest iOS app, AirStitch, accepted into App Store today

My latest iOS app, AirStitch, was accepted into Apple’s App Store today. I developed the app in Objective-C, targeting the iOS 9 SDK, using Xcode, following the requirements provided by BriTon Leap, Inc. The company is the world’s leading developer of custom embroidery design software. Download the app for free and enjoy. The app is a marvel of engineering.

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Oh, my – App Transport Security has blocked a cleartext HTTP (http://) resource load since it is insecure

App Transport Security (ATS) is enabled by default for apps linked against the iOS 9.0 or OS X v10.11 SDKs or later, as indicated by the default Boolean value of NO for the NSAllowsArbitraryLoads key. This key is at the root level of the NSAppTransportSecurity dictionary.

With ATS enabled, HTTP connections must use HTTPS (RFC 2818). Attempts to connect using insecure HTTP fail. ATS employs the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol version 1.2 (RFC 5246). For background on secure Internet connections, read HTTPS Server Trust Evaluation.

Apple, Information Property List Key Reference

With the advent of iOS 9, Apple decided that developers should avoid accessing insecure, unencrypted clear text HTTP (http://) resources on the Internet. Today I’ll show you how to access HTTP sites/services in your apps. I’ll explain the special hoops that Apple wants you to jump through just to use HTTP — and help you keep your app from being rejected.

For Apple to assume that anything HTTP is dangerous is a bit overboard as there are legitimate reasons to access a resource via clear text, like downloading an image (clear binary). Grabbing an image won’t reveal information about users’ private lives. A web/REST service that consumes someone’s name and Social Security number is a different story — that info must be encrypted.

Fortunately, Apple has made some accommodations in allowing continued use of HTTP as long as you provide “justification” when submitting your apps.

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2016: A good year to be an iOS app developer (and how to become a better one)

It can be good to be an iOS app developer, but not easy to be a great one (we’ll talk about that later in this article). There are many opportunities for app programmers looking to work as employees for companies. There are plenty of opportunities for developers who prefer freelancing. It’s frustrating, trying to come up with novel apps that generate any significant revenue, when it seems that every idea under the sun has already been turned into an app by “someone else.” Apple continues to push out buggy versions of iOS, the iOS SDK, and Xcode — especially in early versions of new products. Yet most of us would agree that Apple’s hardware and software, even their development tools, continue to be elegant and cutting edge. It’s hard to argue with the bottom line as “Apple App Store developers raked in $20 billion in 2016, up 40% year over year,” according to an article from CNBC:

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