MacKuba

Kuba Suder's blog on iOS & Mac development

Dark Side of the Mac: Updating Your App

Categories: Cocoa, Mac 0 comments

Last week I posted an article here about how the “Dark Mode” in macOS 10.14 works behind the scenes and how such features as appearances, materials and vibrancy, which were present in macOS since at least 10.10, have been extended to work with the new visual style. This is the second part of that article – now that we have the theory behind us, let’s see how you can make your own app work with dark mode.

The first thing to remember is that dark mode is automatically enabled in apps built with the 10.14 SDK (which will be in beta until September, so it can’t be used for Mac App Store app releases yet). This means that:

  1. Even if you use all the right APIs, your app will display as completely light on a dark Mojave desktop unless it’s recompiled on the new SDK – which makes sense, since otherwise most third party apps would look pretty ugly.
  2. When you switch to the new SDK, the app will use dark mode on a dark desktop whether you like it or not, which might not be good if you haven’t updated it at all.

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Dark Side of the Mac: Appearance & Materials

Categories: Cocoa, Mac 2 comments

One of the most exciting announcements at this WWDC was the introduction of a long-awaited “dark mode” in macOS 10.14 Mojave, which lets you use a whole desktop with all the apps on it in a dark theme, instead of just the dock and the menu bar as before.

While I’m not nearly as excited about it from the user’s perspective as some others are 🙂 – I’m totally a “light side” Mac user, I’ve always used a light theme in TextMate, light theme in Xcode, white background in iTerm, and I sometimes have to use reader mode on websites with a dark background – I’m actually very curious about it as a developer. The reason is that it seems to require a lot of changes across apps to adapt them to the new appearance, or at least a lot of checking and testing, but it does so in a way that feels like “making things right” – not so much introducing complexity just for this reason, but rather enforcing some order and good practices that were earlier easy to forget about. As you’ll see, a lot of work might actually be about removing things.

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New stuff from WWDC 2017

Categories: Cocoa, Mac, iPhone 4 comments

It’s that time of the year again – if you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a lot of time in the last few weeks following everything that’s been announced at WWDC, digging into release notes, watching WWDC talks and playing with some cool new stuff. And as usually, the amount of new things to process is pretty overwhelming.

So like in the last two years, I’ve prepared a nicely organized list for you of all the things I could find from various sources: all the user-facing features in macOS/iOS/watchOS/tvOS, and all new frameworks, APIs and improvements in their respective SDKs and Apple’s developer tools.

To get more info about any specific thing, follow the links above the sections to Apple’s developer site and the “What’s New” documentation, download the release notes from developer.apple.com, and of course use the freshly redesigned unofficial WWDC Mac app to watch the talks that you’re interested in.

If you want to catch up on last year’s notes (e.g. to see what you can use if you drop iOS 9 support in your app), check out these posts:

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MacBook Pro 2016 - an iOS developer's review

Categories: Mac 0 comments

Here are some thoughts about my new MacBook Pro that I’ve been using for the last few weeks (the Santa Claus from DHL brought it to me just before Christmas), hopefully this will help someone who’s considering getting one.

Note: this is written from the perspective of a person who switched to the MBP from a 2015 13" MacBook Air (i7) and also has a 2012 21" iMac. Your experiences will obviously be different if you have e.g. a fairly recent 15" Retina MacBook Pro.

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New stuff from WWDC 2016

Categories: Cocoa, Mac, iPhone 1 comment

Following the tradition from last year, here’s my complete list of all interesting features and updates I could find in Apple’s OSes, SDKs and developer tools that were announced at this year’s WWDC. This is based on the keynotes, the “What’s New In …” presentations and some others, Apple’s release notes, and blog posts and tweets that I came across in the last few weeks.

If for some reason you haven’t watched the talks yet, I really recommend watching at least the “State of the Union” and the “What’s New In” intros for the platforms you’re interested in. The unofficial WWDC Mac app is great way to download the videos and keep track of what you’ve already watched.

If you’re interested, here are my WWDC 2015 notes (might be useful if you’re planning to drop support for iOS 8 now and start using some iOS 9 APIs).

(This was originally posted on Gist at https://gist.github.com/mackuba/e8fb4219c7ef611f47cdb66b93986d85.)

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Testing Retina images on an older Mac

Categories: Cocoa, Mac 2 comments

If you build iOS apps, you’re used to providing all icons and other images in @1x and @2x versions for older and Retina screens respectively (or rather @2x and @3x now). And it’s pretty easy to test if all those versions work or not, by starting the right iOS simulator and looking at it scaled to 100%.

If you work on Mac apps, you should also include @2x images for Retina Macs now; but if you’re like me, you might have treated that so far as something not urgent that can be done later…

When you do get around to that, if you don’t have any Retina Mac yet, you’ll quickly notice a problem: how do you test your app on a Retina screen? There’s no OSX simulator in Xcode, after all.

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How to add icons to the menu bar on Yosemite

Categories: Cocoa, Mac 4 comments

Mac applications often add their icons to the notification area on the right side of the menu bar. That way they can show you some status changes by changing the icon image, and they can also save some space in your dock by removing the icon from there while still being easily accessible.

If you’re like me, you probably have quite a lot of those there:

The menu bar controls usually display their standard (preferably dark) icon on a standard background by default, and an inverted white icon on a blue background when clicked:

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