The Next Thing

I debated about what to write about today, especially in the wake of yesterday’s WWDC ticket frenzy, the subsequent online screaming about it, and everything else. I think in the end, Apple will do what Apple does, and that’ll be that. Enough about that. On to the next thing… a new app to develop!

Some time ago I wrote several articles about Project X, a new app I was writing. That was, at the time, the next thing. Other projects and other commitments got in the way, and that project is on the back burner. How many of us have projects like that?

But in other news, another new app is on the horizon! I find starting new projects like this both exciting and nerve wracking. I like to have a good handle on what I am getting myself into, with any project, before I start, whether it’s creating a new app from scratch or adding a functional component to an existing app. This is both good and bad, since it’s good to be prepared and know what you’re in for, but bad to over analyze the job as you might never start!

Anyway, I am excited about this new project because I’ll be able to leverage the last four years spent learning and living iOS. I am excited that the project will have the following qualities and technologies, in no particular order:

  • iOS6+ Not having to support anything old will be awesome. You all know what I’m talking about. Of course, once iOS7 is announced and hits the streets, we’ll be back to supporting old and new again. This is a nice quality to enjoy while it lasts, though, right?
  • CoreData My own adoption of CoreData has been slow, to be honest. True, I’ve used it and even written about it. But I’ve not used it the way it was intended or could be used. Lately, I’ve been doing Technical Review for a new book about CoreData, and it has proven both to be a great refresher and a great mechanism for “bringing it all together” in terms of really understanding the technology.
  • RestKit I was introduced to RestKit through my day job. We recently upgraded to version 0.20, and it is really fantastic. As a mechanism for turning JSON responses into NSObjects or NSManagedObjects (CoreData!), it is truly amazing.
  • Storyboards I have yet to work on a real project using storyboards. I got into iOS development back when it was called iPhone development in the iPhone OS 2.2 days. There was only Interface Builder, which I thought was pretty good. And I’ve since graduated to and become more than comfortable building UI manually in code. I think some combination of storyboards and manual construction in code will be the way to go.
  • Universal App Project X was going to be a universal app, and there’s no reason not to create one here.
  • Best Practices Ok, so this is subjective. But I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few things, seen enough well done apps, and generally know what I am doing at this point to be able to employ best practices when it comes to app development. When I look back at my first apps, I am amazed to realize how much I didn’t know and yet believed I knew enough at the time to write a great app!
  • Great Design I am no designer, so this part scares me a little. But, as mentioned, I’ve seen a lot of apps at this point, both good and bad. And I know a lot of people who won’t be shy to tell me when something stinks (or when it’s great). I’ll be leveraging those people to bring my basic ideas to life, I hope.

These are some of the things that come to mind readily which are actually motivating me to get started. Besides, who doesn’t like the promise of starting something new? Of getting another chance to “do it right” (whatever “it” is)?

Who has time for WWDC anyway? There are apps to write!

Posted in: iDevBlogADay

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