Tag Archives: iOS

ios development glossary

IOS Glossary: Architecture, Patterns, Xcode.

As soon as you know the basics, you set the foundation for growth. It works the same way for any job and there is no any secret that many significant innovations are still grounded on diverse knowledge boosting potential and force of creativity. So, today let’s do our homework on the basics and add one more article to the set of professional glossary. Earlier we have already published the Glossary posts with key terms for the topics of UI/UX design and web design as well as business terms and abbreviations. This time the perspective will get changed a bit, featuring first set of terms in the theme of iOS development. Let’s get started briefly reviewing the basic notions common for the sphere of iOS development.

 

iOS

 

Basically, widely known iOS is the well-established abbreviation taking its roots from the phrase «iPhone Operating System» which was created originally for the system of mobile devices produced by Apple such as iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch and now also AppleTV. 

 

User interfaces created for iOS are made on the basis of direct manipulation involving multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements present variety of functions and forms including buttons, sliders, and switches. Gestures taking place in the process of interaction with such type of interface are also various, for instance, swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch; what is more, they all have specific definitions in the context of the iOS operating system. Some iOS applications even use internal accelerometers which can react to the cases of shaking or rotating the device in three dimensions. Another typical feature is portrait and landscape mode switching.

 

From the standpoint of development, Apple gives steady preference to simple and durable things, and this concept is applied to their products, applications, tools and frameworks. It is expected that when iOS developer builds an app for iPhone, it will run on any other device with the iOS. This aspect of iOS development can save large amount of time for programmers as writing code, let’s say, for iPhone, developer uses the same programming language for all Apple’s computing devices. Said otherwise, application created for iPhone can later be even integrated into Mac.

 

In both UI/UX design and development for iOS, specialists making screens and writing code, apply their flight of creativity in terms of definite rules and guidelines to keep. The apps which don’t keep those guidelines risk failing to submit their app to Apple ecosystem of devices. Working over the digital products intended to be used in iOS, professionals need to know iOS Human Interface Guidelines and always keep and eye on updates and fresh recommendations. The set of guidelines for designers states: «As an app designer, you have the opportunity to deliver an extraordinary product that rises to the top of the App Store charts. To do so, you’ll need to meet high expectations for quality and functionality». Actually, the same position works the same way for developers who are offered samples, guidelines and support to find the optimal solutions for user-friendly and effective digital products.

 

ios-developers-tubik-studio

 

iOS architecture

 

As it was mentioned before, iOS allows users to interact with their devices and products using gestures such as swiping, tapping and pinching. These finger actions are typically performed on touch screen displays, which provide fast response and accept inputs from multiple fingers.

 

The iOS architecture can be pictured as four abstraction layers that define it:

 

Cocoa Touch. The layer containing variety of frameworks which define the appearance of the app. It also provides the basic app infrastructure and support for main technologies such as multitasking, touch-based input, push notifications, and many high-level system services.

 
Media. The layer with graphics, audio, and video technologies which developers use to implement multimedia experiences in the apps. The technologies in this layer make enable building apps that look and sound excellent.

 

Core Services. The layer that consists of essential system services for apps. Main services are the Core Foundation and Foundation frameworks, which define the basic types that all apps use. It also contains individual technologies to support features such as location, iCloud, social media, networking, etc.

 

Core OS. The layer including services such as the security, local authentication and core Bluetooth frameworks.

 

Apple recommends developers to write code to the highest applicable layer whenever possible, and only use the lower-level frameworks for features not exposed at higher levels.

 

Architecture design patterns

 

In software development, architecture design pattern is the matter of structure. It is not a finished architecture that can be transformed directly into code. Patterns are similar to the case of reliable practices that the developer can use to solve common problems building an application or system.

 

In general terms, architecture pattern in case of development could be described as reusable solution that could be repetitively applied for the issues that frequently rise within a particular context of development and engineering interactions. This sort of patterns take into account various limitations and restrictions including the problems of hardware performance, availability, environment of use and even particular business goals.

 

Among main architecture design patterns we could mention:

  • MVC (Model–view–controller)
  • MVP (Model–view–presenter)
  • MVVM (Model–view–view-model)
  • VIPER (View-interactor-presenter-entity-routing)

 

First three types of architecture design patterns assume putting the entities of the app into one of 3 categories:

 
Models – give the controller/ presenter/ view-model the data to populate view.
 
Views – display content and are populated by the controller/ presenter/ view-model. Each screen of the app is a ‘view’ which includes buttons, text, menus, fields and etc.
 
Controllers/ Presenters/ View-models – control behavior of the app. Apps are based on event-driven programming, controllers/ presenters/ view-models receive, process and return events.

 

Tubik Studio iOS development

 

To see how it works in practice, let’s take MVC pattern and describe it a bit more in detail. The model-view-controller (MVC) is an architecture design pattern that breaks code down into three parts: user interfaces (views), data (model), and the software that communicates between the two (controller). The building blocks of apps are objects — arrays of code organized with MVC pattern. Each screen of the app is a view: the data model controls the content it displays, and the controller manages communication between the view and the model. The model-view-controller is just one of the architecture design patterns developers use while building the app, still it is popular in development.

 

Xcode

 

Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE) and it is the main tool for building iOS apps. iOS developers can work applying either Objective-C or Swift in fact using only Xcode. This software only runs on Macs and there are no official ways to launch it on a Windows or Linux PC.

 

Xcode has tons of features for iOS development, among which:

 

Interface Builder. It allows designing and testing user interface without writing a code. Interface Builder helps to prototype and then connect interface to the source within the Xcode editor.
 
Source Editor. It is a professional editor with code completion, code folding, syntax highlighting, and messages that display warning, errors, and other context-sensitive information.
 
Continuous Integration. It is a feature of OS X Server controlling server-side bots that continuously build, analyze, test, and even archive Xcode projects.
 
XCTest Framework. It assists to build unit tests that check iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac apps performance.
 
iOS Simulator. It allows prototyping and testing app during the development process. This testing tool simulates iOS, watchOS, and tvOS devices before testing the app on an actual device.

 

iOS programming languages

 

Two fundamental programming languages for iOS development are Objective-C and Swift. The benefits and drawbacks of each language were considered in our earlier post.

 

At the moment Objective-C is commonly described as the general-purpose, object-oriented programming language adding Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language. Before Swift came into play, Objective-C had been the main programming language used by developers for OS X and iOS operating systems, and their APIs. Swift, introduced at Apple’s 2014 WWDC, brought its own dose of revolution. In general description, Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language broadening the previous scope of operating systems as it was developed for iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. Swift was designed to enable work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks as well as the large body of Objective-C code already written for Apple products. 

 

Initially Swift was intended to be more resilient and safer than Objective-C, and also more concise and developer-friendly. It was built with the LLVM compiler framework including in Xcode 6 and using the Objective-C runtime library that enables C, Objective-C, C++ and Swift code to run within one program.  Therefore, it enhances broadening professional horizons for developers making their work more efficient. That was the milestone when developers started their discussion of what is better, tradition or innovation.

 

Since 2014, Swift language has been used by Xcode for coding more often than Objective-C. Objective-C is the initial programming language for building OS X and iOS software and in perspective of all the apps coded for iOS, it presents a superset of the C-programming language and provides object-oriented programming and dynamic runtime. Nowadays, Objective-C is a good fit for early iPhone and it is also effectively applicable for maintaining and updating the apps initially created in it. Swift in its turn is newer  and more flexible programming language for Apple devices that has the best features of C and Objective-C, without the constraints of C compatibility. It keeps step with modern hardware being faster in actual process of coding as well as shorter, more secure and easy-to-use. 

 

tubik ios development

 

Read more about the topic in our previous article 

 

Anyway, the choice of the programming language, framework, method, and tool for creating iOS apps should be based on the intention to provide the efficient product to both the client and the final user. 

 

This set of our glossary is ready for those who need it and we are going to continue this practice before long. Don’t miss the new sets. If there are any specific terms you would like to see explained, described and illustrated, feel free to contact via direct message in our Facebook page or Twitter as well as our Quora representative. New definitions are coming soon!


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The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Mobile Application

Most modern people would find it difficult to imagine their day using the smartphone «just for calls». Most mobile devices jumped far beyond the primary goal behind them — making phone calls and sending simple instant messages. Today even quite a simple mobile presents a platform to house various applications for everyday use that turns thousands of people into grateful users of more and more apps. Simple or complex, informative or entertaining, minimalist or packed with bright and catchy details, practical or joyful, meeting the user needing them, they make life better. The variety of apps available today enables users to do the great variety of things using their mobile phone only. Setting an alarm for tomorrow, calculating expenses for the next week or sending mum a selfie via messenger app, vast majority of users don’t even imagine how many people stand behind these simple everyday operations.

 

Earlier in our articles we have already unveiled the typical steps of creating interface design for mobile applications. Today let’s go further and set the full path of creation for a mobile app, from setting the idea to its release in App Store.

 

As well as in any creative process, making a mobile application out of the thin air is a sophisticated process which has its individual peculiarities and features in every particular case. Still, on the basis of Tubik Studio extensive experience of creating diverse applications, it is possible to define several typical creative stages for this process, such as the following:

 

— setting the task and initial scope of works

— estimation

— user/market research

— UX wireframing

— prototyping

— UI design

— animation

— software architecture planning

— iOS development

— testing

— release

— updates.

 

Although you see the sequence of stages, it doesn’t mean that every further phase starts only when the previous one is completed. It’s impossible to imagine this kind of linear dependence as many processes and stages are interconnected even not being consequent in the presented list. Moreover, some of them like testing or estimation come up here and there being spread for all the process of app creation.  Now let’s go along this way step by step to see how a subtle idea becomes a real mobile app.

 

tubikstudio app ui design

 

Setting the task and initial scope of works

 

As we have already mentioned in the article considering logo design stages, the point of setting the task is the foundation of all the design and then development process. At this point the team of designers and developers should obtain maximum information from the client to mark the right way to the goal. The one who walks without a destination in mind, will possibly come nowhere. In product design it works the same way: to get the result, you should clearly set the goals from the very start of the path. It doesn’t mean that the goals should stay totally the same at the end of the journey: the proper level of flexibility has to be set as the objectives can modify more or less in the creative process, research and testing. Still, if the general goals are not set at the start, the creative process can get easily transformed in a mess.

 

Another vital tip, which we have seen through long practice, is that communicating with clients you should get not only their wishes but also try to get the ideas and reasons behind these wishes. If you understand why your customer wants to see particular colors, shapes or transitions, it will be easier for you (if necessary) to justify other methods of realization for these ideas which would give the result desired by the customer and at the same time user-friendly and thoughtfully consuming resources or enabling interactions.

 

The more information you get from the client, the better it is for setting the right direction. Design briefs, calls and Skype-conferences, chat in Slack, brainstorming sessions, mood-boards can all form the good starting line for productive work. In our case, this point of journey is started by sales managers and business analysts who take over the first line of communication with clients and are experienced on setting the bridge between the customer and creative team.

 

tubik studio clients service

Tubik Studio Head of Operations Kate uses all the means to communicate with clients and get into projects

 

At this stage, it is highly advisable to get the data about:

  • the nature of the product and its USP
  • the target audience
  • geographical targeting (if available)
  • the keywords with which the company represents its identity
  • preferred structure and functions clients see as vital in the app
  • preferred visual features (color palette, general style, special features, connection with other already existing digital products or brand strategy etc.)
  • potential technologies, devices and surfaces at which the app will be used
  • need of consistency with existing corporate identity (if available)
  • nature of data processing, need of server side and additional technologies
  • specific preferences

 

Obviously, the list is not completely full, still it contains the most important positions needed for setting a general design and development flow. The outcome of this stage is the diverse set of information blocks establishing the basis for further estimation of the project, planning logical milestones and sprints as well as working our efficient design and development solutions.

 

Estimation

 

The data collected at the previous stage enables business analysts and sales managers to provide the client with the first-level estimation of the time needed for the project and therefore the planned costs. As in any creative process, it is practically impossible to make one totally exact estimation which will stay the same during the whole project: this is the the data which should be got back to and reviewed after every stage of design process. Certainly, there can be some cases of products that are quite simple, have clear structure and do not include many screens or elements, so estimation will be quite exact from the very first stages of processing client’s data and wishes. However, the more complex is the project, the highers are the chances of estimation reviews and adjustments. One more vital thing to mention: this reviews do not necessarily mean growing pricing or timing, as in the creative process designers and developers can find the ways of optimization for design and technology solutions which can even shorten the initial estimation.

 

This flow is close to perfect in cases of full-stack teams: it means that business analyst can involve designers and developers into the assessment process from the earliest steps of analysis and estimation which is able to provide more real and exact planning of time and costs. Furthermore, specialists participating in discussion are able to contribute a lot of knowledge and experience on technical details and factors influencing time and resources needed for the app design and development.

 

Design Studio Tubik

 

User/market research

 

This is the stage when being based on the established task and aims, UI/UX designer starts the path with getting deeper into the environment in which the future application will function. The research stage usually moves on in two directions simultaneously: user research and market research.

 

User research means getting deeper into details of core target audience to understand their preferences and psychological peculiarities, the influence of different factors like colors, stylistic decisions and logic of interaction on emotions and experience of the defined group, the sources of information and creative performance ways which could engage users and make them active. Marketing research means exploring the market segment, primarily in the perspective of creative solutions used by competitors. Visual design presumes creating original and recognizable style that will make the product stand out of the crowd and draw potential customer’s attention.

 

Famous guru of advertising David Ogilvy emphasized the great importance of research for creating effective result: «Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.» Time has changed the means, goals and technologies, still vital role of research established even stronger. Neglecting the research stage and relying only on their creative intuition, experience and talent, designers risk failing this task as they will not know the conditions of the app functioning and will not be able to make it efficient, user-friendly and original.

 

tubik studio UI designers

 

UX Wireframing

 

It is the process of creating general structure of the designed application or website. It’s usually accomplished via the set of schematic screens or pages of low or middle level of fidelity. The aim of this stage is setting clear and orderly structure of all the layout, transitions and interactions on the basis of user’s problems and pains which the product is going to solve.

 

In one of our previous articles we provided a bit of metaphor on that. When we think about building the house, for example, we usually mean the process of physical appearance of the construction rather than tons of projects, drawings and calculations made on paper. And yes, physically it’s possible to build the house without any project as well as it’s possible to create the interface out of thin air. However, in this case you shouldn’t be surprised if one day the house will crack and collapse without any visible reasons as well as the app looking amazing and stylish won’t bring you any loyal users. If you want to have a reliable house, a durable mechanism, a powerful application or a highly-functional website, the recipe is the same – take your time for thorough planning and projecting. This is not going to waste your time, vise versa, it will save your time you would otherwise have to spend on redesign and attempts to find out why your product doesn’t work properly.

 

That is the aim of UX part of design process. UX wireframing stage should be heavily based on user research, competition research and analysis of all the data obtained. In the outcome, it creates the clear scheme whose complexity depends on the product functionality and reflects all the system of transitions and interactions as well as placement of all the elements of the interface based on their optimal use flow. In some cases, wireframing done in pencil sketching or rough drafts is enough, although preferably it is accomplished with the special tools and software optimizing design process and increasing performance.

 

tubik studio design process ux

 

Prototyping

 

The original concept behind the term ‘prototype’ is the sample model of the product that gives the ability to test it and see if the solutions and decisions made about the product are efficient. Prototypes should not be seen as the analogue of the final product as they aren’t those. Their main aim is to enable a designer, a customer and a user to check the correctness and appropriateness of the design solutions.

 

The value of prototypes in the sphere of app and webdesign has rocketed for the last few years. Actually, it is easy to explain as even the low-fidelity prototype gets the designer, customer and tester much closer to the looks and functions of the future product than the most elaborate schemes, drawings and wireframes. Certainly, that doesn’t mean that schemes and wireframes could be eliminated from the process as they are essential in the process of creating design solutions. However, when you want to feel their efficiency and check if nothing has been missed in the design process, prototype will be the great help.

 

Considering the fact that a lot of customers see the prototype as something very close to the final version of product design aka “UI in action”, in practice this approach is not effective. Prototyping is much more efficient and useful as the step between UX design and UI design. So, here in Tubik Studio we support the workflow having the sequence «UX – prototype – UI».

 

The prototypes on UI stage can be created for presentation of application general looks rather than for testing and improving its functional features. And this is the trap in which it is easy to get confused. Prototyping all the details on the final stage of UI in most cases is not so reasonable as it could seem. It will be too time-consuming and in this perspective, it would be better to spend the same time on coding a demo-version. Moreover, usability should be thoroughly checked first of all at the UX stage, otherwise it would be much harder to change inefficient solution after having accomplished a lot of work on UI. Certainly, it would be amazing to create prototypes both for UX and UI, but by far not all the designers and customers agree to spend so much time on design tasks and want to test and improve the design much faster and cheaper.

 

invision prototyping tool tubikstudio review

 

UI (User Interface) Design

 

User Interface is actually a finalized interactive field in which the user interacts with the product. It includes all the tools of increasing usability and satisfying target users’ needs and wishes. All the features of visual perception as well sound and tactile feelings influencing the product use and interaction with is should be analyzed and optimized here to the purpose of the app or a website is designed. For example, such aspects as color palette, types and fonts, shapes and forms, illustration and animation and so on and so forth are able to affect the performance of the final product greatly in both positive and negative way.

 

In general terms, the UX research and wireframing stage is about how the website or application works while UI is how it looks. Both these stages include work on successful interactions, but UX deals more with logic, connections and user behavior while UI stage provides visual representation of all the concept. It means that ideally designer should first work on UX part with concentration on layout, making it more powerful, thought-out, clear and easy to use. Without this vital work you highly risk creating pure mess out of the user interface.

 

After the UX part is tested by prototype, agreed upon and the concept of layout, transitions and features are accepted, the designer starts the UI design part. This is the time when a newborn heart and brain of your product is clothed with its skin and bones. Here the product gets its real color scheme, forms and features of the layout details, styles, animated elements and so on.

 

All the UI solutions directly influence the positive or negative user experience, so the processes of UX wireframing and UI design should mutually support each other and follow the same strategy otherwise the efficient solutions of one stage will not work on the other.

 

Tubik Studio

 

Animation

 

Telling about the details and benefits of interface animation used in mobile apps, we mentioned that the most efficient way is to consider this aspect through all the creative stages. However, the high time to apply it in practice is when UI design is basically accomplished and general stylistic concept is agreed upon.

 

Like everything that is put into the interface and process of interaction with it, animation must be a functional element, not just a decor. Considering motion elements while planning user journey around the digital product, designer should deeply analyze its potential for increasing usability, utility and desirability of the product before making a decision to apply it in the layout or transitions. Animation in UI requires thoughtful approach and always needs to have a clear purpose set behind. Advantages and utility of using it in interaction process have to be obvious and outweighing possible disadvantages.

 

tubikstudio ui design

 

After this stage is accomplished, the visual details approved and agreed upon, designers transfer the assets to developers who are going to do the magic of making them alive. Also, this is the good time to review the estimation once again and plan the clear sprints on development on the basis of thought-out design.

 

Software architecture planning

 

A noteworthy detail is that scalability is one of the most important things for a mobile application. Planning of software architecture can take place as a stage parallel to design. This is a complex process: it usually includes a lot of iterations, with a constant feedback loop between design team and development team. The main goal of architecture planning is to create constructive and integral plan for the software architecture of the app (front-end and back-end). At this stage developers decide on the most efficient technical and technological solutions for actual realization of the app and maintaining its operability. The decisions depend on various factors, for example the nature of the product and data it processes, complexity of design solutions, necessity to save data and availability of log-in functionality etc. Back-end development sets the bridge of the app with the web and supports synchronization of data in both directions.

 

iOS development

 

The actual process of coding the app here in Tubik is done in Xcode as the effective and flexible platform with broad functionality for iOS developers. As it is defined on the official website, «Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE). You use Xcode to build apps for Apple products, including iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac. Xcode provides tools to manage your entire development workflow—from creating your app to testing, optimizing, and submitting it to the App Store.»

 

Xcode only runs on Macs and has everything developers need to build iOS apps. There are no official ways to launch it on a Windows or Linux PC. This means that if somebody wants to develop an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac apps but doesn’t have a Mac, he or she will need to buy it.

 

Two basic and most popular programming languages for iOS development are Objective-C and Swift — we considered benefits and drawbacks of each in our earlier post. Since 2014, Swift language has been used by Xcode for coding more often than Objective-C, which is a difficult language for developers to learn and code. Still, Objective-C is a good fit for early iPhone hardware which has less RAM and slower processes and it is also effectively applicable for maintaining and updating the apps initially created in it. Swift keeps step with modern hardware and it is also faster in the process of coding, it is more easy-to-use, shorter and secure. For creating iOS 10 apps, Xcode 8 and the iOS 10 SDK need to be installed, also available from Apple. There are significant changes to the Swift language and the SDK in this version of Xcode.

 

iOS development swift objective-c

 

In this phase of mobile app creation, iOS developers think over the architecture of the app, write the code, integrate functionality to created UI, edit source code, debug and finally export the app to the App Store. Also, writing unit tests and running integration testing are relevant steps in this phase. The Interface Builder is one of Xcode features and it is alternative to hand coding the client-side part, allowing developers to put the app code together visually. This feature allows dragging and dropping different visual controls into the app code. AutoLayout helps to control the app presentation based on the size of the user’s screen. With Storyboard, developers can see what each screen of the app actually looks like, while Preview Mode delivers a prior acquaintance of what the app will look like when it is done.

 

Lots of mobile app developers are of opinion that a text editor is generally necessary, even though it is theoretically possible to do the entire coding inside Xcode. Handling long and complex codes can become particularly confusing, unless programmers use a text editor that supports all relevant programming syntaxes.

 

ios development tubik swift objective-c

 
In most cases, while part of developers team is building client-side part, the other part are coding, integrating and linking to the front-end server-side components of an app such as database, APIs, middleware and etc.

 

It also should be noted that planning the workflow and the number of people involved into the development process depends first of all on the complexity and urgency of the project. For small projects, one iOS developer may be able to create all components of software architecture for the app. For multilayered complex projects, at least a couple of programmers should be engaged, having experience in software architecture and good expertise in both client-side and server-side development.

 

The main task of this phase is to make a fully working app which is scalable and integrated to all required server-side components like a database, APIs, and other related infrastructure it needs to run. If clients aren’t ready to build the original server-side infrastructure, they can buy a Backend as a Service (BaaS) software bundle or other products. The bundles include a variety of storage options and features, but they aren’t completely “turn-key” as well as they  often do not provide the options of deep and comprehensive analytics. It means the client needs a developer who understands back-end engineering to integrate it into the app.

 

web development

 

Testing

 

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort”, John Ruskin once said and it’s definitely true when it comes to a digital product testing.

 

Testing is one of the crucial phases of the entire app design and development lifecycle, it can help to find bugs before the app is brought out to actual users. App Store will not accept any apps that have compiling errors and bugs, so the mobile app being prepared to submitting has no chances with those kinds of issues. In the majority of cases, users abandon the app if it has functionality problems, no matter how promising and engaging it seems. Even the simplest apps can be successful for commerce, business, advertising and other aims if they work correctly and efficiently, according to target audience’s expectations and solving their problems .

 

Testing doesn’t mean that developers do not provide the upper quality. To set the analogy, the fact that every book, magazine or newspaper issue goes through editor’s eye doesn’t say that journalists or writers are not talented and qualified. Different specialists have different goals and skills in the process to increase general productivity and efficiency, and it works the same way for design and development of mobile apps. Supposing that developers have done a great job and made no mistakes, the task of testing is not only finding errors. Quite the opposite, it helps to understand the quality of the app and find the way to improve via real interactions.

 

mobile app testing

 

Automated testing got really popular now because it is effective, cheap and reliable. iOS Simulator and other testing tools such as Appium, Frank, Calabash and others are available to help to run the app through the testing process and point out the issues requiring attention. Continuous testing at all stages helps to keep small bugs from becoming major issues later on.

 

In the process of testing, developer usually goes all the way through the app on a device or in the iOS Simulator of Xcode, screen by screen, to ensure there are no bugs or errors and everything works properly. Fixing or debugging can be done right in Xcode.

 

All aspects of the app should be tested. Developers will need to check it across different devices (iPhone, iWatch, iPad, iPod, etc.) as the points like screen resolution, processors, battery life and memory will be different and can significantly affect how the app runs. They also test functionality (Do all the functions work well?), handling and loading time (Will it slow down if traffic increases?), and UX (How easy is it to use?). In addition to above-mentioned issues, developers review crash reports to see what should be fixed.

 

tubik studio developers testing

 
Here are some types of testing applied in the process of mobile app creation:
 

Functional testing. It is the most basic test for any application to ensure that it is working according to the defined requirements and there are no functions missed in the process of interaction.

 

Performance testing. This type covers client application performance, server performance and network performance. For example, it checks the performance specifications and behavior of the app under certain conditions such as low battery, bad network coverage, low available memory and etc.

 

Memory testing. This type checks that each application maintains optimized memory usage throughout the user surfing.

 

Interruption testing. An app may face various interruptions while working, such as incoming calls or network coverage outage and recovery. This kind of testing shows what will the app do under these conditions. The common types of interruptions are:

 

  • Incoming and Outgoing calls, SMS or MMS and different notifications;
  • Low memory warning
  • Cable insertion or removal
  • Network outage or recovery
  • Media Player on/off
  • The device power cycle, such as low battery notification etc.

 
Security testing. It checks vulnerability of the app to hacking, authentication and authorization policies, data security, session management and other security standards.

 

Usability testing. It is carried out from the early stages of app creation to verify if the app fulfills the established objectives and tasks getting a good response from users. As Joyce Lee, the representative of Human Factors Design at Apple mentions: «Usability answers the question, “Can the user accomplish their goal?»

 

Submitting / Release

 

Finally, there comes the day when the app is alive and ready to be introduced to its users. In order to be submitted to the App Store, it needs to join the iOS developer program. Apple reserves the right to review and approve the app before it can go live. In any case, it is advisable to plan around a week or so to have the information reviewed and approved by Apple. If the app will be used for commercial purposes, additional step to submission via filling in short surveys will be included in the process and will need the separate approval which is usually expected within a day. Process of  the app release in the App Store takes a few steps, including configuring the code, creating a profile, creating a listing, then submitting it through Xcode for certification. It might involve a few fixes and re-submissions, so it is helpful for iOS developer to know the ways and what to expect.

 

As you can see, the way, which a mobile application goes through, is quite complex and includes variety of steps ensuring its functionality, beauty and quality of performance. Don’t miss our next articles that will provide deeper insights into each of the stages as well as tools and tips for better design and development process.


 

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Tubik Studio iOS development

Case Study: SqueezeOutSwitch. Animation in Code.

UI animation has been the subject of hot debates for a long time. Designers work over the sophisticated animations to make interfaces attractive, original and functional while developers often support the idea that slick and complex animation takes more effort in the process of development than necessary.

 

As you know from our previous posts devoted to the issues of interface animation, here in Tubik we support the position that wisely used animation is the powerful and multi-functional tool enhancing user experience. We checked that on numerous design projects of diverse purposes. Our complex motion design concepts have been used by developers who like challenges and want to present high-level skills in coding.

 

Broadening our professional horizons, we also started sharing our design concepts on GitHub, to show how design, even quite complex and specific, can be brought to life with code. Today we will look at more detail at SqueezeOut Switch animation of the interface interaction.

 

button animation tubik

 

The design concept Switch Control Animation was presented on Dribbble featuring animated switch control that can be used for accepting or declining the changes on any settings screen. The main motion design style the designer aimed at was adding some gum effect when the control is switched on and off. And this sort of design details can become a bit of challenge for developers.

 

The animation in code representation is made of two parts.

 

The first part works like that: when user makes a tap on the screen, the circle has to move to the opposite side until it is covered by the baffler. Then animation slightly slows down, the circle changes its appearance, goes up to final point and features bouncing. The baffler also shows the animated pulsing with the circle. The oscillations decay.

 

The second variant takes place when user tries to move the circle manually, like pressing it and pulls to the needed side and then can release. While the user pulls the circle, it changes its position within acceptable range, up to maximum stretching of the baffler. The baffler stretches only to one side in that case. If the user releases the circle not taking him to the middle of the switcher, it gets back to its initial position and pulses. The baffler will just get back to the initial point. If the user takes the circle further than the middle of the switch, it goes to the opposite side, both the circle and baffler pulsing, and the circle changing its image.

 

Animation of the circle movement doesn’t create any problems. This is the standard task which can be solved with UIView animation and CASpringAnimation. However, animation of the baffler is more challenging.

 

In case when animation is done with Core Animation, setting the initial and final path, then the arc performance is unpredictable. In addition, the form of animation can be inappropriate and the problems with color change can raise.

 

In animation, the change should be done discretely. When should it be done? If you do it in advance, then the good point is when path is at its initial stage, which means it features the straight line in the middle of switch. So, you have to create an array with the set of paths and colors and place it into CAKeyframeAnimation. The approach gives the working outcome, still the code will look messy and illegible. Moreover, the circle will need to be moved manually for synchronization.

 

In this case we can use CADisplayLink (timer of screen redrawing) and manipulate with presentationLayer (the copy of the layer which is visible on the screen at the moment). In the method launching CADisplayLink, we will change the path for the buffler. The points which form this path depend on the position of the circle in the switcher. The position of the circle is animated with UIView animation. Therefore, animation with UIView will smoothly change the bearings of the circle layer, while we are changing the path of the buffler on the basis of those bearings.

 

The path for the buffler feature two UIBeziePaths.

 

UI animation code

 

The first one goes from the point 1 to the middle of the circle edge at point 3. Control point for this curve is point 2, it proportionally depends on how far the circle moved out. The second line goes from point 3 to point 5 and its control point is point 4. In this way we can get the line of the buffler edge smoother.

 

The method of forming path for the particular extreme point

 

 

 

The method of animation on tap  

 

 

For reaction on pan we added UIPanGestureRecognizer. Here is the method that processes it

 

 

Welcome to review the GitHub source code for this animation. New cases are coming soon!


Welcome to see designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance