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Custom UIRefreshControl Animation

I’ve playing around with Swift in the last month, finally. I’m still an order of magnitude faster when writing in Objective-C, but so far I’m mostly enjoying what I see, so much that I started to use a mix of both languages in production. There’s still a lot of stuff that doesn’t work properly though, but it is to be expected. To test the waters I’ve built a simple app in Swift that uses Realm to share data between the main app, a Today extension and a WatchKit app. It’ll be open source, and I’m planning to write a blog post on our main blog in the next few days. In the meantime I just wanted to share a simple demo project that I wrote after stumbling upon this brilliant Dribble shot.

You’ll find the demo project with the implementation of that animation here.

written in ios, swift

React + Flux Backed by Rails API

I’ve been working on a frontend for a project we are developing here at Fancy Pixel. We are embracing what looks like a good habit: slicing what would be a monolithic Rails app in a lightweight backend serving APIs and a frontend consuming them. We did this in the not so distant past using Angular.js. It was all fine and dandy, until it wasn’t. There’s something about it that doesn’t sit right with me, I wouldn’t go in detail, since many others already did, but let’s just say that there’s too much magic involved for my tastes (says the guy using Rails). Magic is fine as long as I can figure out how to tinker with the internals when things go down south. With Angular the effort seems too much, but that’s just personal taste really. Also I can’t deny that the major structural changes introduced in 2.0 were the last nail in the coffin. I wanted to try something new, something that would enforce a solid architecture of our apps, letting me control the single cogs in the engine. React got a lot of good press in the past months, so I took the chance to dive in. In this three-part post you’ll find pretty much everything I learned by writing a frontend using React, with a vanilla Flux architecture, consuming an API written in Rails.

Read the full article here

written in api, flux, javascript, rails, react

Small Updates

I’m about to close week 4 of the “One icon a day” challenge, sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s tough, but I’m glad I started this project. Adding some spice to the mix I also started recording what I do, mistakes and brain farts included. You can find the videos in this Youtube playlist.

written in rails, sketch Read on →

Designing an Icon a Day: Week 1

Week 1 over for this challenge. So far so good, the commitment required seems bearable, and to be honest it’s a great way to take the mind off the other stuff. I’m still not sure about the general style of the icons though. So far I opted for large icons, with a fair amount of details, outlined with two possible stroke widths (4px and 2px). I’m not sure about this, they might look good on a landing page or a dashboard, but they’ll probably look off on a smaller scale in an app.
I’m probably going to switch style the next month or further up down the road, but for now, they’ll do.

Until next time

written in sketch

Designing an Icon a Day

“This year is the year. The year when I actually take my new year’s resolution to its completion”. That’s what I tell myself every year. Last year I started a new resolution: post an article a month on this blog. Well… that went great as you can see, although it was a nice experience being on the first page of Hacker News for a brief period.

written in sketch Read on →

Fun With iBeacon

You probably know already what iBeacon is, but just to reiterate, iBeacon is the Apple way of saying Bluetooth 4 Low Energy. At the cost of sounding like a mindless drone, by ‘the Apple way of’ I mean ‘it just works and shows a lot of potential’. An iBeacon is a simple B4LE device that keeps broadcasting its presence. Other B4LE devices can sense when they reach the beacon without draining the battery (hence the LE) and making the user scream in agony. “Oook, what do I do with it?”. The best thing you can do is locating a user without the GPS, which means locating a user inside a building. The cool thing is that it’s fast, it takes seconds to detect a beacon and to react to its vicinity (or lack there of), and it works within the reach of Bluetooth technology (let’s say around a 50 meters radius). I should also mention that it works fine with Android too. (Update: look at the end of the post for the sources of the Android version) This week an Estimote developer kit arrived in the Fancy Pixel’s offices, so we took the chance to play around with it.

written in beacon, ios, rails Read on →

UIKit Dynamics

I’m late to the party with this, but I finally had a chance to play around with UIKit Dynamics. I like what I see, I really like it… I’ll spend the rest of my days implementing physics based UI elements… UIImageView slingshots, UISwitch trabuchets, UISlider catapults… you name it. Jokes aside, a Github user pointed out in the issue section of AMWaveTransition that Facebook Paper’s wavy transition also implements the interactive pop gesture. “Pffftt… easy” I thought. I was wrong. This is how I found out about my new favorite framework.

written in ios, uikit Read on →


I like to kick the morning off by visiting a handful of sites that collect cool app designs. One of my favorite is Capptivate. I often find myself browsing the site thinking “I want one of that.”. It’s even better if the design triggers another question in my mind: “How did they do that?!”.
I had one of these moments last week, looking at the push transition in Facebook’s Paper app. It was a good chance to take a stab at iOS7 custom transitions.

written in ios, objc Read on →

Hey iOS, I Like You, We Should Be Friends

I started this year with a new year’s resolution: write at least a blog post per month. Let me check the date of the last post…. yep, February 1st, oops, my bad. In my defense it’s been a crazy month. I spent the last couple of weeks restyling (basically from the ground up) one of our apps over at Fancy Pixel (Memento: I know this place), and also rewrote the landing page for it.
I had a chance to try out some cool libraries and tools though, so here’s my belated post of the month. The title itself is there just to express my appreciation for iOS and its open-source community. I mean, the quantity and quality of third party libraries is mind boggling. Love it.

written in ios, objc Read on →

AMScrollingNavbar: Creating a Cocoapod

This week Matt Thompson published an interesting article on NSHipster, about stewardship, which is basically the duty and ethic of public service. Since I’ve been trying to be more active in the open source community, I figured I could use this occasion to write an article with the process that I follow when I’m writing a new library for iOS. I’ll be describing my work on AMScrollingNavbar as an example.

written in cocoapods, ios, objc Read on →

Configuring Alljoyn on iOS

Have you ever played Spaceteam on Android or iOS? It’s a local (cross-platform) multiplayer only game, based on a really cool concept. The players are… you guessed it… a space team, and they need to cooperate to keep the spaceship they are traveling on intact through space. This means that you’ll be shouting at your friends commands, and activating various weirdly named knobs and switches.
While I was researching the tech behind it, I stumbled upon Alljoyn, by Qualcomm.

written in alljoyn, ios, objc Read on →

iOS Test Setup

Yesterday I wrote an article with my Rails test setup, so it’s right about the time to do the same for iOS. I’ll be covering Specta, Expecta and KIF, plus OHHTTPStubs for… you know… stubs.

written in ios, kif, objc, specta Read on →

Rails Test Setup

Here’s how I usually setup my test environment on Rails. I’m using mainly RSpec and Capybara, so nothing new under the sun, but this should provide a mindless copy and paste to get you (mainly me) started.

written in rails, rspec Read on →

Open for Business

Hi everyone. This blog is nothing more than a random collection of thoughts and snippets that might be usefull to other developers and, most of all, will be usefull to future me.

written in randomness Read on →