Swift and Easy

Our very own Curtis Herbert:

“Swift feels very modern and is pleasant to read, especially compared to life with brackets in ObjC. There is a big difference between easy to read and easy to use, though, which is a claim I hear many making about Swift since WWDC.”

Swift and Easy

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This local Thiel Fellow was Airbnb’s youngest employee last summer

A nice article for our very own, Conrad Kramer. Good luck on your venture at Thiel Fellow! We expect a talk about it in the near future along with a show-and-tell about your new project ;-)

This local Thiel Fellow was Airbnb’s youngest employee last summer

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Healthy Skepticism – My Critique of HealthKit as Both iOS Dev and Registered Nurse

Jared Sinclair is a registered nurse turned iOS developer. He provides a unique perspective about healthcare and what HealthKit means to them.

Having worked in the healthcare industry as a developer, I can empathize a lot of his point of view. Healthcare is horribly backwards and in desperate need of disruption. Problem is the entrenched parties have their claws deep in the system and have no intentions of letting up.

Healthy Skepticism – My Critique of HealthKit as Both iOS Dev and Registered Nurse

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PhillyCocoa’s 360|iDev Contest

Win a one of two free tickets to the 360|iDev conference being held August 24-27, 2014 in Denver, CO.

Contest Info and Entry Form

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Interview: Brad Cummings from Shenandoah Studio, Part 1

Shenanadoah Studio

This is a recent (but abbreviated) interview with Brad Cummings from Shenandoah Studio, a local game company that focused on turn-based strategy games for the iPad.

Brad Cummings

So state your name for the record.

Alright, this is Bradley Cummings from Shenandoah Studio. And I give permission for this to be used. :-)

And your position at Shenandoah Studio?

I work in marketing at Shenandoah Studio and also help out with some design right now.

How did you guys come up with the name Shenandoah?

Our boss actually…was married in the Shenandoah valley. And so, he decided to name it after that. The Shenandoah valley was also the scene a few crucial Civil War battles, which fits with our historical games, especially the Civil War game we are working on now. So it has that personal significance to the team.

That’s really cool. When was it formed by the way?

So I came on last year and the first game launched 6 months after I joined..so late 2012. But the company’s been stasis since about 2010 but things really get kicked off with our first launch at the end of 2012.

And your first launch was Battle of the Bulge?

Right. Battle of the Bulge.

And I guess you had started with the iPad? And later you had come out with Drive On Moscow. Then you came out with iPhone versions of them. So why the iPad?

So the iPad was the reason why we decided to found the company. Our CEO saw the launch and within just a week of that, he decided to quit his full-time job and start a company.

Oh really? What was his full-time job?

He was working in financial software doing design work there. But he actually grew up being a tester for a board game company called SPI and eventually an employee of that company. They were located in New York. He later worked for Victory Games which was a subsidiary of Avalon Hill which are famous for a lot of old school board games.

And so, he saw the iPad as a way to play those games in a much more accessible format with a lot of additions that you can have in video games that you just can’t have playing on the tabletop. That’s why really we focused on the iPad first. When you zoom out to view our map it fits perfectly on an iPad screen at a size we felt was comfortable for players.

Its kinda interesting. You such a high production value in a game

Thank you. Yeah, we have an amazing artist. His name is Pat Ward. He lives in the UK. So we’re all local except for Pat. He does all the art.

So the game was design to fit on one screen. You can zoom in if you want to but you can kinda comfortable from this level. That was one of our main goal for this game.

This is part 1 of a 3-part interview. Expect the next one to come very soon.

To learn more about Shenandoah Studio, check out their website.

Shenandoah Studio

download their game direct from the App Store:

Shenandoah Studio

Since the interview, Shenandoah Studio is very close to coming out with a new game called Desert Fox. Check it out:

Desert Fox

If you would like to do an interview with us, please contact Kotaro Fujita at kotarofujita @ gmail dot com.

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Inside Metal: How Apple plans to unlock the secret graphics performance of the A7 chip

A high level look at the Metal framework and new shader language.

Inside Metal: How Apple plans to unlock the secret graphics performance of the A7 chip

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Apple’s Game

Talks a lot about how Apple’s putting a lot of pieces in place to disrupt the console gaming industry.

Apple’s Game

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iOS Developers Need to Know Objective-C

I was thinking about this the other day when I keep hearing a lot of people celebrating the idea that they wouldn’t have to learn Objective-C. Maybe in 3-4 years this might be the case, but right now? Not likely.

iOS Developers Need to Know Objective-C

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June Meeting Agenda

The next Philly CocoaHeads meeting will be Thursday, June 12th from 6:30pm - 9pm at the Apple Store on 16th and Walnut. After meeting drinks will commence Nodding Head Brewery at 1516 Sansom Street.

NOTE: Please note our new meeting start time. Pizza/social time is 6:30pm-7pm. Meeting will start at 7pm sharp as we have lots of content to show.

Please RSVP via Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/PhillyCocoaHeads/

When you arrive at the Apple Store let one of the store employees know you are there for CocoaHeads and they will let you into the back where you can come up to the second floor briefing room space. If you are having any trouble feel free to call MikeZ’s cell (267-563-0616)

For folks who drive in and need parking one lot recommend by the store is from Patriot Parking on Chancellor Street.


Sponsor: DramaFever

We’ll have pizza and refreshments available courtesy of DramaFever. They are looking to hire more iOS and Android developers. They are located in NYC and Narberth. If you are interested, definitely check them out:

DramaFever Careers

Here is a Technical.ly Philly writeup on DramaFever in Narberth: DramaFever: why this NYC company’s tech team is based in Narberth

DramaFever is the largest online video site for the distribution of international televised content. We stream the world’s best movies, documentaries and TV shows on demand with professional subtitles.

Meeting Agenda

Group Business

  • WWDC Movie night recap
  • Next “Side Project Saturday” is Saturday, June 28th @ IndyHall
  • CocoaLove Updates

Show and Tell

In addition to being an open mic to demo new apps or code, Show and Tell also invites people to bring problems or design issues they are encountering in current projects for feedback.

Some planned show and tell includes:

  • New open source project by Michael Raber, ControllerContext
  • Ryan Grier will demo his new iOS app Showers as well as some build tools he used for his personal and work projects.
  • Chris Hoope of Ghost Crab Games will demo their new game Drive to Hell.
  • Andrew Theken will demo his iOS game Time’s Arrow


WWDC Roundtable, by Mike Zornek

First we’ll review the high level things that were announced last week then we’ll go around the room to understand people’s reactions and observations.

Some Closure After Missing the Block Party, by Curtis Herbert

Blocks are a powerful programming pattern introduced in iOS 4. Block-based APIs are used throughout the system now and you really need to be comfortable with the concept, especially with Swift on the horizon. We’ll take a look at the key concepts needed to work with blocks, some of the frameworks like Grand Central Dispatch that make them powerful, and then see how they’re evolving in Swift.

About CocoaHeads

PhillyCocoa is a Philadelphia area Mac and iPhone programming group, a chapter of the worldwide CocoaHeads. All skill levels are welcome. The only requirement is an interest in Apple-related technologies and moderate tolerance for geeking out.

The main CocoaHeads group meeting is the second Thursday of every month. We also usually have a hackday one Saturday a month. For more on our events see our Meetup page:


We are always looking for feedback and suggestions on what topics to discuss at our meetings. Please reach out if you have any comments.

Group website: http://phillycocoa.org

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