A Design Tool Made for SwiftUI

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 MacStories Extras

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it’s also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’ll also give you access to advanced iOS shortcuts, tips and tricks, and lots more.

Starting at $5/month, with an annual option available.

Join the Club.

A Club MacStories membership includes:

  • MacStories Weekly newsletter, delivered every week on Friday with app collections, tips, iOS workflows, and more;
  • MacStories Unplugged podcast, published monthly with discussions on what we’re working on and more;
  • Monthly Log newsletter, delivered once every month with behind-the-scenes stories, app notes, personal journals, and more;
  • Access to occasional giveaways, discounts, and free downloads.