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What’s New in iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 7th Edition

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Big Nerd Ranch has just released the 7th Edition of their iOS Programming Guide. Find out what's new and what's changed in the latest edition. The following content is from the Big Nerd Ranch blog post iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide – 7th Edition Launches!

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iOS development continues to evolve year after year, and so what is considered essential knowledge likewise changes. In this edition, we've added new discussions on topics that all iOS developers should be comfortable with, removed some discussions that are not as relevant these days, and continued to refine the book as a whole—in large part from the feedback of students that have taken Big Nerd Ranch bootcamps.

Notable Changes

iOS has had a couple of significant visual changes in the past few years.

New discussions and deep dives into the "safe area": In 2017, iPhone X was released. With it came the introduction of the sensor housing (aka the "notch") along the top and the home indicator along the bottom. Developers need to account for these elements within their apps, and so the book has been updated to dig into the details across a number of chapters.

Expanded coverage on adaptive interfaces, including dark mode: Last year, in 2019, dark mode came to iOS with the release of iOS 13. (Technically it came to iOS with the release of tvOS 10 in 2016, but it was never usable on iPhone and iPads.) Dark mode joins a number of other external changes, including the user's preferred text size ("Dynamic Type") and the app's interface size ("size classes"), that the book discusses. Good apps need to adapt to these external changes, and the 7th edition shows you how.

Hello to some new friends...

A new chapter on "Container View Controllers": A problem we often see in our consulting work is the "Massive View Controller" problem—a situation where developers add too many responsibilities to a single view controller. Sometimes a view controller can be split up into multiple smaller view controllers, each with their own responsibility. These smaller view controllers are recomposed using a container view controller, and we have a new chapter implementing a custom container view controller in a project new to the 7th edition.

A new chapter on "Custom UIControl Subclasses": You start to feel the "Massive View Controller" approaching when building the new book project. To address the problem, you create a custom UIControl subclass in another new chapter, separating out more responsibilities and digging into how controls operate along the way.

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