Side Project Spotlight Podcast

PhillyCocoa Presents Side Project Spotlight is a podcast for app builders, documenting the process of producing real apps for the Apple App Store.

This episode list is no longer updated. Please visit our podcast website to access our audio back catalog and subscribe on a variety of services.

Archived Episodes

#57: 2024 Developer Resolutions

The trio has returned from their holiday break to talk about 2024 developer resolutions! Aaron wants to build an “AI” model and interact with hardware. Steve is looking at backend stuff for a change of pace. Kotaro is talking himself into building a visionOS game. There is also some good discussion of some “AI” application ideas and tools we’ve been using. With the Vision Pro on the immediate horizon, we also discuss how much we should invest in the platform if we aren’t buying one of the launch devices. [More Info]

#56: Diving Into Dependencies

In this final episode of 2023, the trio dive into the topic of dependencies! What kinds are there? How do you manage them? What are some examples? This episode is jam packed with great advice and a ton of useful links (see below!) to help you think about the tradeoffs of different kinds of dependencies as well as concrete advice on how to write cleaner code that your future self will appreciate. [More Info]

#55: The "Universal" UI

The trio convene for the penultimate episode of 2023 to discuss the latest presentations by OpenAI and Github and the way generative “AI” tools may be enabling the dream of a “universal” UI for computing (for both end-users and developers) that is more natural and contextual than ever before. Stay until the very end for a short after show on the strange, but super useful, ContentUnavailableView. As always, check the show notes for all the links! [More Info]

#54: Scary Fast Opportunities

The trio are riding a sugar high from Halloween and ready to discuss Apple’s “Scary Fast” event. Online controversy erupted over the “Filmed on iPhone” tag at the end. The incorporation of an iPhone into a legitimate “professional” workflow and the resulting hoopla got us thinking about what other opportunities are afforded developers and creatives on Apple platforms in this new Apple Silicon/USB-C/Soon to be VisionOS era! From filmmaking to game development to “AI” model training and more, we look at some of the things you can do now that you couldn’t do, or do nearly as well, a few short years ago. [More Info]

#53: Kotaro's Vanilla Proompting

This week the Trio revisit the topic of “AI” by discussing some of the tools and workflows they have tried out lately. There is some follow-up to last episode’s topic of The Composable Architecture, including Steve talking about a side project idea that he may use TCA to implement. Plus, talk of the job market, concurrency in Swift, and Meta Glassholes! It’s a long episode, but we think it’s pretty interesting. [More Info]

#52: The Composable Architecture, Poorly Explained

The trio are together once more! This week, Steve and Kotaro discuss Steve’s most recent HTTP API Client design, some of which was inspired by Rob Napier’s “Generic Swift” talk from several years ago. Then, Steve almost loses his voice trying to poorly explain The Composable Architecture (TCA), but does go into some depth on the pieces and ideas he has applied to real world projects. It’s mostly Steve talking this week, but it’s pretty interesting stuff. [More Info]

#51: Secret Sauce

Kotaro hosts solo one more time this week to briefly talk about “secret sauces.” No, not the kind you use on nuggets! It’s that ineffable quality of an app that makes you love it vs those annoying anti-patterns often prevalent in apps created just to catch the wave of a hype cycle. Kotaro wants to make apps he loves and that you might love, too! This is a short, but practical and personal essay celebrating some apps that found their “secret sauce. [More Info]

#50: Reading the Tea Leaves 2: Electric Boogaloo

Kotaro is solo this episode due to scheduling issues around the end of summer holiday festivities. But, fear not, this episode is short, but jam packed with advice about opportunities for your next big app as we move into the iOS 17/visionOS world. Widgets, AI, visionOS, Macros, and more! There are so many cool new features in this next generation of updates that can lead to brand new opportunities for success in your developer journey…if you read the tea leaves. [More Info]

#49: An Avalanche of Ads

The trio gather to hear about Steve’s Baltimore e-scooter adventure and the app experience. Then, a brief discussion of Xcode Beta 7 before diving into inspiring visionOS demos found on social media. Multiple bad app ideas are entertained this week, including one based on a classic Kids in the Hall sketch. Kotaro goes into some detail on how hand gesture recognition works today and how it might work in the future while Aaron describes our dystopian nightmare future of inescapable avalanches of ads in immersive environments. [More Info]

#48: Hot Shader Action

The trio continue exploring visionOS despite ongoing beta challenges. Steve updates his experiment with a little more functionality while Kotaro scans a “mutant peach” into a 3D object, and Aaron is stymied in his physics experiments due to inadequate Simulator support. Kotaro provides some insights into what game developers may find familiar and frustrating if they decide to venture into visionOS development before discussing some “hot shader action” coming to SwiftUI in iOS 17. [More Info]