Beautifully-formatted Times and Numbers

Example of rendered proportional numbers and monospaced numbers

Example of rendered proportional numbers and monospaced numbers

Not all font instances are created equally! In iOS text is mostly displayed using proportional fonts, meaning each character width is trimmed and varies depending on each character. This makes the text easier to read and feel more natural and you’ll notice this on characters such as ‘i’ which will often be the thinnest character compared to say an ‘m’ character. However for numbers displayed in a tabular format such as times, figures and currencies you’ll want monospaced characters so you can tidy up the layout and visually scan the data quickly. So how do you do this?
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Eve of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference 2015

Apple WWDC 2015

WWDC 2015 has come round again and I’m lucky enough to be in San Francisco attending again! So what’s the tradition? Well I’ve just scoffed down a huge pile of pancakes down at Mel’s Dinner and just picked up my badge and legendary WWDC ’15’ jacket. You know the developers are in town as these jackets decorate the streets of San Francisco just like the huge colourful Apple banners that appear down 4th street.

There’s such a lively vibe going on as 5000 developer gather in one spot to learn the latest stuff happening at WWDC. In less than 24 hours we’ll all start queuing at 3am in the morning to get into the main Auditorium for Apple’s big keynote at 10am. Yes that’s a good 7 hours but the people you meet in the queue during this time can easily become life-long friends – anyone who’s met me at 2am in the morning, jet-lagged, freezing cold on a chilly San Francisco morning and still doesn’t want to throttle me by the end of it is deserves to be my friend!

The epicenter of change

The epicenter of change

This is easily the highlight of the developer year, iOS 9 is hugely expected as well as the next version of OS X with the associated XCode tools. For iOS 9 I’m hoping for big improvements to Siri and Apple Maps. Apple Watch should feature heavily in the sessions too but most of this is all under-wraps until the keynote tomorrow so this is all just speculation. In the mean-time, I’m hoping to head down to the mothership – Apple 1 Infinite loop before a few beers tonight with my fellow attendees at the ThirstyBear Brewery Co. If you’re in town see you there. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s announcement will be just as exciting as the build-up!

When an App is a victim of it’s own success

Firstly Windsock has been in the store for nearly three long years and was originally developed to work on iOS 5 which is an incredibly long time for an app! I worked hard building it so that I could save time finding the best location to fly my model plane from after work and originally developed it for myself.

I’ve often struggled to find reliable data that updates hourly until I found the amazing Forecast.io. This is a paid-for 3rd party service used by Windsock behind the scenes to collate and compute data from over a dozen different sources to give you the most reliable data possible. I also use data from a number of other sources and these are merged and handled by Windsock’s server – the server the app talks to. However recent downtime and removal from the App Store has questioned it’s future…

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Facebook’s London Mobile Forum 2.0

Scott Goodson of Facebook starting the discussions with developers

Scott Goodson of Facebook starting the discussions with developers in Hoxton, Shoreditch, London.

Last week I was fortunate to attend Facebook’s London Mobile Forum 2.0. This gathering of top London mobile developers and designers was a great chance to swap ideas and listen to a number of talks by Facebook, Big Nerd Ranch, Yammer, Bloom and Mozilla to name a few. The event was tiny with only 60 people in the room but it had many big players and it was great to talk to as many of them as possible, particularly at the free bar Facebook had laid on in the evening! So what mobile development secrets did we talk about? Continue reading