MacKuba

🍎 Kuba Suder's blog on Mac & iOS development

New stuff from WWDC 2016

Categories: Cocoa, Mac, WWDC, iPhone Comments: 1 comment

WWDC 2016

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.)

Read more »

Testing Retina images on an older Mac

Categories: Cocoa, Mac Comments: 2 comments

Update 7.12.2020: Added info at the bottom about a UserDefaults setting you can use instead.

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.

Read more »

Accessing user location data in iOS 8

Categories: Cocoa, iPhone Comments: 1 comment

In iOS 8 Apple made some changes to how apps are supposed to request access to location data. If you use CLLocationManager and you don’t make any changes for iOS 8 compatibility, your app might stop receiving location data at all.

Permission types

The biggest change is that apps can now ask to get location data either “Always” or “While Using”:

Read more »

How to add icons to the menu bar on Yosemite

Categories: Cocoa, Mac Comments: 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:

Read more »

Setting up an HTTPS site on Nginx

Categories: Linux Comments: 0 comments

This is my SSL configuration guide. There are many like it, but this one is mine…

Last week I needed to set up my first HTTPS site for Hive Mac [link removed – site has been shut down since then], and I went ahead and did the same thing for my new blog domain. It took some figuring out, so I’ve written this all down, if only to save myself some time next time I need to do this.

Update 22.01.2019: I’ve now switched to Let’s Encrypt which makes the whole process much simpler. See “Setting up Let’s Encrypt”, and then jump to “Testing the certificate” when you’re ready.

Read more »

Making iOS apps compatible with iPhone 6/6+

Categories: Cocoa, iPhone Comments: 1 comment

This is the first part of a new (hopefully) longer series of tutorial-like posts. I’m planning to write shorter posts now but more often, based on specific things that I learn while working on my current projects. Let’s see how long I manage to keep this going… :)


Let’s say you have an iOS app that was build for iPhone 5S and earlier. Now that the new iPhones are out, you want to make it work on them too.

If you don’t change anything and just build your app with the latest Xcode and iOS SDK, you’ll see that the app runs on the new iPhones scaled up: the views are rendered on a standard iPhone 5S sized screen and then resized to a bigger resolution like you would resize a static image, together with the top/bottom bars and everything (which obviously doesn’t look good).

To make the app render on the new iPhones natively, you need to let iOS know that it supports them. There are two ways to do that:

Read more »

A guide to NSButton styles

Categories: Cocoa, Mac Comments: 24 comments

⭐️ This post has been rewritten in December 2021 for Xcode 13 & macOS Monterey. (old version here)


When you’re building a native Mac app and you want it to feel like a part of the system, to have a UI that users who care about design will appreciate, it’s important to use the right kind of controls in the right places. Some features could be implemented visually in a lot of different ways, but only a few of them will “feel right”. This is even more important these days – with the influx of Electron apps that don’t even pretend they’re native, and not always well written Catalyst apps that often feel like something is missing there, an AppKit app written with care and attention to detail stands out from the crowd more than ever.

The macOS SDK has quite a lot of different controls available, and while this gives you a lot of built-in functionality for free, using them in the right way might be a bit more tricky than on iOS. This is especially true in case of the base button class, NSButton, which lets you choose from as many as 15 different styles, not counting the subclasses.

I originally wrote this post 7 years ago, shortly after OS X 10.10 Yosemite was released, changing the design significantly since the previous versions. The latest version of Xcode was 6.1, and if you were working on a Mac app interface and looked at the selection of available buttons there, you would see something like this:

Read more »