[EDIT 2] Apple are asking me to change the name. MacID 2 will not longer be called MacID, and will be called Unlox. You can read more about it on the Unlox blog
[EDIT] A few people have asked how they can beta test macID 2. If you’re running iOS 11.2 and macOS High Sierra, simply add your details to this form and I will add you with the next batch: https://goo.gl/forms/5HXqoQfdf0B1IZgB3
Now that macID 2 is finally in the hands of beta testers, I thought I would take the time to speak a little about what’s changed, as well as some of the decisions I’ve made.
What’s the deal with macID 2?
Firstly, you might notice that “macID” now starts with a lowercase ‘M’. Small change, but this fits in nicer with the Apple ecosystem and I think it looks great. Autocorrect is having a hard time adjusting to this change after me typing “MacID” for over two years though!
macID 2 is a complete re-write of the iOS, watchOS and macOS apps. Usually, I would advise against re-writing an app completely and instead opting to modularise and re-write parts of the app as you go. However, after running MacID 1 in the iPhone X simulator I quickly realised that some of the choices I’d made for laying out the UI were going to mean a huge change to the underlying code. If I’m going to make that much of a change, I may as well re-write it.
It also gives me the opportunity to write the whole app in Swift – which I am much faster at writing because I do it all day as my day job too – plus it means the app is way less likely to crash. I also hugely enjoy writing Swift now, and Objective-C feels archaic!
A complete re-write means I can use more modern ways of laying out the UI using something called auto-layout, which makes it significantly easier to support iPhone X. It also means that I can refine and simplify both apps to make macID 2 a more intuitive and easy-to-use experience.
I can use this opportunity to write the code in a way that is easier to maintain and build on top of; something that I’ve only learnt how to do really well since launching MacID 1.
Speaking of making things easier to maintain, I’ve taken the difficult decision to only support English in macID 2. This might seem like a lazy thing to do, but I have significantly less free time nowadays compared to when I first launched MacID 1, so finding the time to work on updates has become much harder. Anything I can do to make it quicker for me to update the app will mean more support in the future.