CALayer shadows; Great animations make great apps; Mobile Content Strategy

D3signerd on CALayer shadows

A while back I had done a lot of work with CALayer shadows in iOS. Now I know there is a lot of posts on how to add one. There just is not a lot of information on how to add shadows to your application while keeping the performance hit down to a minimum. Here I will take shadows in Objective-C to the next level by showing you a few optimisation techniques.

Understanding how layers work helps a lot with iOS animations and compositing. You can do some seriously powerful stuff with very little code. For example:

{% codeblock %}
view.Layer.CornerRadius = 5f;
{% endcodeblock %}

Adds a 5 pixel rounded corner, with one line of code. It's something thats well worth reading up on.

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Ben Johnson, from Raizlabs, on mobile animations in general

Most of the time, we don’t even notice these animations in the same way that we rarely notice the environmental sound effects (by foley artists) that are added to most motion pictures. It is important when building mobile apps to remember that animations can be a powerful tool and can often do more for a user’s experience than the interfaces they inhabit. They Inform, Enable, Welcome, and Delight us.

Lots of reasons to use animations, and a number of examples of places where animations make quite a big difference. I think thats something I miss when I use Android - the subtle animations. It's all quite jumpy.

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LukeW on Mobile Content Strategy (his notes from Breaking Development)

Of Americans with cell phones, 31% of Americans only or mostly use the Internet on their mobiles. 39% of Americans without college degrees only or mostly use the Internet on their mobiles.

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How are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives?
There are 50 million Americans who only use a mobile device. How are you serving them?

Mobile is just an optional part anymore, to be done "if there is time". It's THE option for a lot of people. On the plus side: if you do mobile first (app or website), it'll still work on the desktop, but the other way doesn't hold true.