Let’s Call REST APIs with AlamoFire, iOS 8 and Swift

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About Rex St John

I am a mobile software engineer and technical evangelist working for Intel’s Mashery subsidiary. Aside from attending dozens of hackathons, workshops and technical events, it is my job to help developers learn about and engage with REST APIs.

iOS 8 Networking With AlamoFire and Swift

In this article, we will be exploring the basics of REST APIs, learning how to create our first iOS 8 networking application using the AlamoFire library (and using the Swift programming language with Xcode 6). I have written this article to help beginners learn how to interact with REST APIs and learn the basics of iOS 8 development. The GitHub repo for this article is freely available by clicking here.

What are we building?

We are going to be building a basic app to make REST API calls to the JamBase API and display the results in a UISplitViewController. This particular chapter will be primarily concerned with building a very basic networking layer using AlamoFire.
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Game Over, Man

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Like a silent anaconda slowly wrapping it’s coils around a sleeping jungle wildebeest, Apple is slowly dropping the last pieces of it’s all-conquering gaming strategy into place.

Apple is not rushing to market….this is slow, methodical and almost sinister in it’s measured progression.

The first steps involved iOS, the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod, the App Store and then software features like Game Center and then micro transactions for games. At this week’s WWDC, we saw a few new glimpses of the freight train that is coming: SpriteKit and SceneKit….two brand new game centric tool sets for 2D and 3D games. Possibly of equal importance will be updates to OSX which allow for completely independent windows to be spawned on Apple TV’s using AirPlay…just like the Wii-U!

The strings are all in place but loosely tied…if Apple is half as intelligent and methodical as they appear to be, all of these elements will be strung together and suddenly yanked into a tight noose around the entire game and console market which will leave little room for escape….But something is missing.

Where is the final piece?

Changing topics for a moment, lets examine the new Mac Pro:

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Just look at this thing. Have you ever seen anything like it? Me neither. Just imagine walking into a pristine, white Apple store filled with airy, ultra thin silver and white devices and then coming across this monstrosity…it sticks out like a sore thumb.

There are only a couple market niches where black, powerful devices for sophisticated high-end users abounds: High end work stations and game consoles.

If Apple can produce a Mac Pro that looks like this thing and is 1/8th the size of the original Mac Pro…imagine what they could do with an Apple TV Extreme…perhaps controlled, via AirPlay or Mifi game controller.

 

Simple, Different, Fun…Not Always “Premium”

2012-12-13-bondi-blueApple has not always been “just” a premium brand…this is a label that has been applied to them many times over the years due to their consistant strategy of producing the “best” mobile device: The iPhone and the “best” PC: The MacBook Pro (or AIR), but it has not always been the case….

It doesn’t take much of a history lesson to uncover several notable situations where Apple chose not to deliver the “premium” product in a given category….the original iMac is probably the best example. 

At the time the iMac was introduced, it was by no means, the “best” computer on the market. It was a very simple, somewhat affordable, playful all-in-one device which fit the bill for college students who had never owned a first computer. It wasn’t the iPhone of it’s time….there were plenty of other, more powerful, “better” devices on the market which could be purchased for a similar price.

It was, however, an “Apple” device: Simple, different, fun.

I think it wouldn’t necessarily be wise to assume Apple is incapable of rolling out products which use different marketing positioning and pricing strategies based on the competitive landscape…a cheap iPhone, for example, wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea given that India and China (where many may not be able to afford the higher end iPhone) are much bigger growth markets than the United States….