New in Swift, November 2015

November’s top picks for new Swift libraries or tools! Plus a special rundown from Swift Summit in San Francisco.

The new Apple TV

The new Apple TV release means we have a plethora of new example code that runs on the device. Two notable items I saw were this emulator frontend Provenance and a streaming BBC frontend.

These represent the two styles of Apple TV apps you’re likely to see on your device: the standard style video streaming app and the more customized draw-whatever-on-screen app. If I were creating an Apple TV app and needed a place to start, I’d probably look at one of these.


For those of you using google’s libPhoneNumber to validate or parse phone numbers in your app, PhoneNumberKit attempts to be a pure Swift implementation of the same thing. Alpha software at the moment but this could be a much easier (and lighter!) way to use phone numbers in your apps.

fastlane deliver

Not new but new to me! If you’re frustrate with the process of uploading and filling in information for iTunes Connect during TestFlight or App Store distribution, deliver is for you.

It’s a simple command that keeps all your app metadata in text / image files with your project and can sync them up or down to iTunes Connect for you. The features around autodetection of screenshot sizes are awesome.

Fastlane, by the way, recently joined the Fabric team inside Twitter. Congrats to those involved!

Swift Summit SF

Swift Summit was held in San Francisco in the last couple days of October and yours truly presented and attended. A couple notes about code from the conference:

Kristina Thai’s talk on building watch apps hits my biggest complaint about watch apps so far; there are a million watch apps that do nothing useful. Really consider what interaction you’re building for before starting your watch app!

I haven’t worked much with futures/promises in Swift but I am a fan of using them for Javascript work. If you find asynchronous image loading or network requests a pain, give Thomas Visser’s BrightFutures library a shot. There’s also a bit of example code showing how BrightFutures can be used to improve existing code that was used during Thomas’ presentation here:

If you’re starting to write your own protocols in Swift, I highly suggest keeping Greg Heo’s talk handy. It runs down the protocols in the standard library and should inform everything from naming to functionality in your own protocols.

Sam Soffes talked about building tables with Static. If you’ve experimented with protocols, structs and table views in Swift, you’ve probably come up with something similar but Static is fully featured and supported by Venmo.

There were a few more that I don’t see online yet, I’ll update as I find them.


Finally, to round out the code from Swift Summit, I live-coded the beginnings of a struct serialization library that I’m calling Storage.

Storage is native opinionated serialization for Swift. Other attempts at serialization want to re-create NSKeyedArchiver with all of its flaws but we can clearly do better with Swift. The goal is to have minimal code to store basic data, similar to how you might use NSKeyedArchiver or NSUserDefaults but in a swifty way that doesn’t feel burdensome.

Storage is on github now with preliminary support for archiving lots of types (including structs) with minimal boilerplate code. I’ll be writing a more detailed post about the use cases for Storage (which are many!) in the coming week so stay tuned. If you’re interested in helping out, please check our issue tracker!

As always, keep in touch on Twitter for more of this sort of thing during the rest of the month.