THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Kolide

A fleet visibility solution for Mac, Windows, and Linux to help you securely scale your business


iBooks and Private APIs

Latest post by Marco Arment on his blog:

“iBooks’ use of tons of private APIs is frustrating on a few levels, the biggest that it makes all third-party reading-related apps second-class citizens.

I won’t be able to offer many features that iBooks has (such as a true brightness control or integration with the system dictionary), but my customers will expect them, making my app inferior to Apple’s in key areas.”

Now this is an important problem developers have to face right now. Apple’s official applications (the iWork suite, iBooks. I expect MobileMe to join the list in the near future) make use of private APIs that enable features, like the aforementioned system dictionary, 3rd party developers don’t have access to. And as Marco reports, it’s a huge problem, especially to the average customer’s eyes who doesn’t know anything about APIs and frameworks.

Say you want to develop an alternative spreadsheet application because you have a good idea, you’re most likely headed to fail when it comes to implement the basic functions you can see in Numbers, from Apple.

Now you can either give up or come up with a custom solution for your needs. As it stands now, you simply don’t have access to those APIs, and there’s nothing you can do about it but complaining, hoping Apple will its their decision. It’s time to be creative again.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.