App Development

The April meeting was held on Friday the 13th. DaveK, who is a Mac app developer, showed us some of the test apps he created and discoveries he made while developing his latest programming project.


We discussed the announcements at Apple’s 27th March education event, these included the new 6th generation iPad, the Logitech Crayon (an alternative to the Apple Pencil designed for use in schools) and updates to the iWork applications.

We also talked about the Facebook - Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook has instructions on how to download your data to see what they have stored about you.

App Development

DaveK started his presentation with some background on his work in Mac app development. He then went on to show us some of the internal test apps he creates to prove approaches and new technologies while working on an app. He highlighted some useful tips including:

  • Dragging the web site URL from Safari to the desktop (or other location) to create a webloc file that can be used to access the web site at a later date.
  • That developers can now embed Safari extensions within their apps so that the extension is automatically added to Safari when the new app is first opened. Once the extension is added it can be enabled from Safari’s Extensions preferences. Apple has lots of details for developers on Safari App Extensions.
  • Opening files in a text editor (Dave used TextMate) or hex editor (HexFiend) to examine them.

During his presentation, Dave mentioned a couple of apps from other developers:
TextMate - useful for viewing and editing all kinds of text-based files.
HexFiend - for viewing the internal data of files to see how they are constructed.

You can find Dave’s current app, Gallery Grabber, on the Mac App Store.