Swift 4.0 Released!

Swift 4.0 Released!

Swift 4 is now officially released! Swift 4 builds on the strengths of Swift 3, delivering greater robustness and stability, providing source code compatibility with Swift 3, making improvements to the standard library, and adding features like archival and serialization.

Swift is a general-purpose programming language built using a modern approach to safety, performance, and software design patterns.

Updates

Swift 4.0 is a major language release and contains the following language changes and updates that went through the Swift Evolution process that can be viewed by clicking here

Apple (Xcode)

For development on Apple’s platforms, Swift 4.0 ships as part of Xcode 9.  Open-source Swift can be used on the Mac to target all of the Apple platforms: iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Moreover, binary builds of open-source Swift integrate with the Xcode developer tools, including complete support for the Xcode build system, code completion in the editor, and integrated debugging, allowing anyone to experiment with the latest Swift developments in a familiar Cocoa and Cocoa Touch development environment.

Linux

Official binaries for Ubuntu 16.10, Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 are available for download. Open-source Swift can be used on Linux to build Swift libraries and applications. The open-source binary builds provide the Swift compiler and standard library, Swift REPL and debugger (LLDB), and the core libraries, so one can jump right in to Swift development.

How the 9-to-5 workday has disappeared

How the 9-to-5 workday has disappeared

 

Work has changed dramatically over the last few decades, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal recently release it has become more time-consuming, less stable, and more flexible.

In 1973, 6% of Americans said they worked excessive hours while in 2016, 26% said they worked more than 48 hours a week.

Insurance coverage by employers has also dropped since 1973, although companies now provide more benefits to aid work-life balance, such as paid parental leave and remote work options.

Businesses are spending less on employees, both in terms of compensation and capital investment, while investors get triple the payout from 30 years ago.

This has all contributed to workers increasingly acting like free agents in the job market.  While they have more control and flexibility, the “safety net that once came with full-time work has frayed.”

Don’t worry be happy

Americans are happier at work, but they might just be settling for less.

For the first time since 2005, more than half of U.S. workers say they’re satisfied with their jobs, according to the Conference Board, a research group. Employment is up, wages are finally rising and layoffs are near record lows, resulting in a more optimistic, contented workforce.

That buoyancy is giving Americans confidence to pull out their wallets.  Depending on whether the tax plan for 2017 gets implemented the middle class will continue to get hammered with taxes to maintain the social programs such as social security, ACA and other various programs.

There is no such thing as a free lunch but employers are looking to try and maintain a profit.  Small business owners will gain from the tax overhaul plan by not getting double taxed for corporate and personal income.  This fact is not known by most Americans.

Hopefully the work place will improve over the next few years putting wages back into a reality check.

10 Most Important Feature Improvements to Apple’s iOS 11

10 Most Important Feature Improvements to Apple’s iOS 11

iOS

Apple iOS 11 is now available to download and install from the Apple store.  There is a new update released 11.0.1 so most likely there were some software glitch that needed immediate repair.

List of 10 improvements

  1. Apple’s iOS 11 includes a new Files app that brings together all of the files and folders stored across a user’s Apple devices, Dropbox accounts and more. The app provides access to iCloud Drive, the company’s cloud data storage service, and can help users find files on other devices.
  2. Apple’s iPad support gains several improvements in iOS 11, including a better Dock app. The Dock now can stretch across the screen to include more apps that can be swapped out when users swipe across the Dock. It also displays apps that have been opened recently and used on the iPhone or Mac.
  3. Apple iOS 11 has improved Apple Pencil support, making it easier to mark up files and folders and access notes. iOS 11 also includes support for inline drawing on e-mails that can be sent to others. Also, scanning and signing support comes standard.
  4. Apple’s App Store gets a revamp in iOS 11. The App Store’s new design, the company says, will make it easier for find apps and search for programs related to specific topics. There’s also a dedicated Games tab, suggesting video games still are an important attraction for Apple’s mobile users.
  5. Apple’s Camera app has a modified design that includes new filters to add flair to photos. According to Apple, the Camera app enables better portrait photos with skin tones “more natural.” Photo compression is also improved, reducing file sizes by 50 percent without sacrificing image quality.
  6. Apple’s virtual assistant Siri has gotten an update in iOS 11. Siri now can immediately translate words or phrases from English to several different languages including Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. Siri also can learn user music preferences and play only tracks that it knows the user will like. Also, Siri can better anticipate what users want and proactively deliver content and make suggestions.
  7. Apple’s Control Center has been rebuilt in iOS 11. Users can customize Control Center to include access to apps used most often and remove apps they don’t use. Control Center also now works with Apple’s 3D Touch feature, so users can access more controls by varying the amount of pressure they place on the screen.
  8. The Lock Screen also has been reworked in iOS 11 to provide better access to the notifications users care about. By swiping up from anywhere on the screen, users can see their most recent notifications as well as missed notifications from both Apple and third-party apps.
  9. In a nod to the one-thumbed typist, Apple has added one-touch support to its keyboard. Users simply touch and hold the emoji or globe keys and the keyboard will shift to a one-handed mode. Apple says it should be easier to type with only one finger, with all the keys close enough to type out messages.
  10. The upcoming iPhone X doesn’t have a physical home button, and iOS 11 has been designed with that in mind, including new gestures. Any gestures that relied on the home button are gone in the iPhone X version—accessing iOS 11 for iPhone X’s multitasking feature now requires swiping up from the display. Swiping down now brings up the Control Panel, and screenshots are done differently.

 

How to tell which iPad model you have

How to tell which iPad model you have

iPads

iPads aren’t as easily distinguishable as iPhones are the following article will assist.

How to find your iPad model number

In addition to the marketing names that we all know so well, all iPads have a model number. Two of them, actually. The first one is on the device itself. If you flip over your iPad, you’ll see a bunch of tiny writing below the word “iPad.” That’s where you’ll find the model number.

At the end of the top row, you’ll find the world “Model,” followed by an “A” and a four-digit string of numbers. The number string tells you what screen size and generation of iPad you have, as well as whether it’s cellular-equipped. For example, the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro is A1701 for the Wi-Fi model and A1709 for the LTE version.) There is also a serial number printed here, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever need it.

In addition, some cellular-equipped fourth-generation iPads and first-generation iPad minis have an “MM” version indicating CDMA compatibility—though you’ll see that designation only on spec sheets. If you use one of these iPads on Verizon’s network, the MM version is probably the one you’ve got.

Please click here to review the chart on PC World

You’ll also find a model number in Settings.

The second model number (which is really an internal SKU number) is in Settings. If you tap General and then About, you’ll see a Model tab that lists a completely different number than the one on the rear of the device. This is a much more specific identifier, which provides information about the capacity and country, as well as the type of iPad.

If you’re selling or buying one internationally on eBay, it’s an important number, but otherwise the number on the back will tell you everything you need to know.

A simple approach to software development

A simple approach to software development

Development

Setting up your software development for a new application there are quite a few set of software developers that tend to jump on their machine and begin coding.  I would strongly suggest that an application which could be successful needs to start from thought to paper (even electronic) before any new code is typed.

Now as some suggest creating designs or layouts are the best method for them and sometimes that does make sense.  Creating a sketch board  or laying out the screen design is a simple way to visually see what you want to achieve.

Here are the steps that you can use when you are preparing to create a new application.

Sitting at a table or desk
Using white boards do help when you plan to get your thought on to the board for the initial start of the project.  You can quickly put down what your clients (consumers) wish to have or to fulfill their needs.  Simple step is to list all of the pieces in bullet point what you think the client is expecting from your application.

Always remember that developers can write a great application that nobody wants.

Flowcharts
Yes this is one of computer 101 concepts that no software developer wishes to use any longer but if you set up a general flowchart it will show you things you did not think of.

Screen Design
Screen layouts are extremely important, it gives the visual aspect on what the application will look like.  The best thing is that it could be done on paper without using a computer.  Sure it looks like stick men but it does show the layout that you think clients will be happy with.

Data Model
This is essential if you plan on having some sort of database manager that will capture the information entered with your application.  A proper data model will show exactly what you think each table and record size will be.  The database manager is another piece where you must either sell to the client on a robust database or a small foot print.

Know your customer
Sitting with your clients or consumers or customers, you need to understand the business.  You may not be a retail sales guru but you have to understand what the client wants and possibly increase business.  This does not mean as a software developer you need to allow the client overrun the project where your team gets the blame for it falling apart but you have to understand how the client starts and ends the day.

Team work
The biggest and one of the most difficult piece is to have the presentation in front of the software team.  You must be prepared to accept criticism from your peers.  They may see something you did not see or whether there is a market for your application.

Starting a new application for a market can be either a hard task or you can set up a plan that will get you to the end line quickly and successfully.

Expert Delphi by Paweł Głowacki

Expert Delphi by Paweł Głowacki

 

Expert

After reading the latest book from Author Pawel Glowacki the feeling of fresh FireMonkey Delphi material left an excellent karma.  It should be part of anyone’s Delphi Library since it has great reference material.  The book was written by Pawel Glowacki whom is Embarcadero’s European Technical Lead for Developer Tools.

The book begins with a basic primer on Delphi helping you get accustomed to the IDE and the Object Pascal language.  It quickly moves into advanced concepts dealing with FireMonkey.  You should be able to build server-side services, create new Internet of Things (IOT) and integrate your applet with web services to deploy them to market.

As always the pricing from PackT is on the mark.  The writing is very clear at 506 pages and does come with the eBook Format for those wanting that instead of print.

Pawel touches FireDAC which is the database component to gain access to various databases.  DataSnap as well as Rad Server which allows your software to request data from a secured environment.  Finally the pieces alone on FireMonkey are well worth the price.  It takes you from installing, preparing and developing a smart phone applet.  There is a section on deployment to the various platforms.

FireMonkey is RAD

Working with Delphi VCL and FireMonkey provide any software developer to quickly build a solution for either clients or market.  The Delphi library on the FireMonkey side is growing and with the ability of building Linux server command line applications it is opening new doors.

You can visit the Embarcadro web site for additional information pertaining to either the C++ or Delphi or Rad Studio which includes both compilers.  The other thing to know that you will need the enterprise addition to create Linux applications as well as DataSnap.

You can visit the Packt web site to check the table of contents but Baron Software highly recommends to purchase a copy.

HotFix for RAD Studio 10.2.1 and iOS

RAD Studio 10.2.1 HotFix for iOS AdHoc Deployment

Hotfix

Embarcadero released a hotfix to address a regression (reported as https://quality.embarcadero.com/browse/RSP-18813) in RAD Studio Tokyo Release 1 related with AdHoc deployment for iOS.

The fix available for download is at:  https://cc.embarcadero.com/item/30797

The fix (which is a single file to add to your system) provides support for building iOS Ad Hoc Applications.  Only using RAD Studio 10.2.1 and Xcode 8.2, 8.3.2 or 8.3.3.

Extremely important if you are developing for the iOS platform with Delphi.

Visual Studio 2017 to be released March 7th

Visual Studio 2017 to be released March 7th

The Visual Studio team has released a pack of updates that amount to some minor fixes for the Visual Studio 2017 Release Candidate 3 that was let loose on the Web a week ago. The team also set a definitive launch date for the feature-complete suite to be on March 7, 2017

The most recent update  includes updates to the .NET Core SDK, including a new templating engine for projects originating from the dotnet new command. Feedback from developers also precipitated a change in the .NET Standard library class template under the .NET Standard node. Rich Lander, a Microsoft program manager with the Common Language Runtime team, that there are also about 50 quality fixes “across the .NET CLI, NuGet, MSBuild and also in Visual Studio,” and adds, “We will continue to squash bugs as we get closer to Visual Studio 2017 RTM.”

The build also adds Redgate SQL Prompt, which provides SQL code completion while coding, and a number of Developer Analytics Tools enhancements.

Outside of fixes covered in the release notes, there is one tool worth noting that is related to VS 2017 RC3. A Visual Studio senior program manager Ahmed Metwally posted earlier this week offers up details on a new tool, Continuous Delivery Tools for Visual Studio 2017, which he explains is aimed at streamlining the automated build and release of ASP.NET and .NET Core projects targeting Azure App Services and Azure Container Services. It belongs to that category of tools coming from Microsoft’s DevLabs extension, which are “experimental,” which means the tools are nascent (such projects can be killed at any time) and so aren’t backed by any official support.

Just like this update, from now until launch on March 7 will likely be fixes and updates, but no major feature enhancements or additions.

 

Possible Topics at Apple WWDC 2017

Possible Topics at Apple WWDC 2017

Apple

Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference is moving to San Jose, Calif. in 2017 where the company will likely introduce new versions of iOS and macOS Sierra as well as a peek at the next generation iPhone.  As it has always been it is a love fest for all Apple fans watching and hopefully seeing something inventive that will change the way we live.

  1. Possible iOS 11 Update – Apple is expected to showcase some improvements in iOS 11, including design tweaks, better handling of notifications and perhaps even multi-user support. Bundled apps also should get updates
  2. New macOS edition – a new version of Apple’s desktop operating system, macOS. Details on Apple’s plans for macOS are slim, but they could include a slight design update, enhancements to built-in apps such as Safari and Mail and faster performance.
  3. Apple Music upgrades.  Possible better content search and other new features to make it much easier to locate a song.
  4. Apple new direction into original content.  It is possible that Apple TV may get it’s own channel ?  Apple already has its first series in the pipeline, “Planet of the Apps,” and is expected to unveil more programming at WWDC.
  5. Apple Carplay – Since most of us are living in cars traveling to different destinations, Apple knows by putting something into the car that works with their iTunes would be a real big event.  They have to quickly get this into play since Android is not in the immediate picture so Apple has a chance to take a major step.
  6.  Apple Smart-Home push – Will homekit get better to allow an iPhone to control the devices as well as your oven ?  At the moment Amazon Alexa is a pretty good product at doing things like that with voice control and Apple does have Siri, so we’ll see.
  7. Health Care – the problem with this will be the HIPPA laws which medical records on a unsecured device will never happen, this is most likely is a nice idea but will take time to implement.
  8. Apple TV – Apple is dying to get this in everyone’s home but content as well as HD / HDR support is very important.
  9.  Iphone 8 – what can they possibly do to the iphone to make it better and not lose any more market to the Android ?  A new design, bigger screen and better battery would be the key features one would think.

Apple has given the world some of the greatest tools to use while away from home and now they want to start getting more integrated into your daily activities.  There are only 2 smart phones as previously discussed the Android and Iphone, so Apple knows that they can take the iPhone only up to a certain point.  They must start blocking Amazon from taking market from other areas.  This will be one of the biggest Apple conferences on what direction they are going towards.

Getting Started with WinZip 21

Simple tutorial on how to use WinZip 21

Winzip

How to Zip Files

WinZip is the perfect tool for collecting and compressing files that you want to share or archive. In addition, when sending and receiving confidential files, it makes for an easy-to-use security tool.

Let’s look at two ways to zip files: one quick, one with more options.

How to zip a group of files quickly

This is a quick way to zip files that are stored in the same location. It takes very few steps, but still gives you access to settings for encryption and other options.

  1. Select the files that you want to add to the Zip file (they must be in the same location).
  2. Right-click one of the selected files and choose Add to Zip file…

    Image-2

    The WinZip application opens.

  3. In the Add Files dialog box, type a name for your Zip file in the File name box. If you want to change where the file is saved, click the Change Destination button to set a new destination.
    Image-3
  4. Choose any options you want. For example, you can mark the Encrypt files check box if you want to protect the Zip file content with a password. Also, if you are concerned that the person receiving the files might not have the all the necessary applications to open the files, you can choose Convert to PDF.
  5. Click the Add button and follow any instructions. For example, if you selected encryption, you’ll be asked to set the password.
  6. A dialog box appears with the compression results. Click OK to save the Zip file and to close WinZip. Image-4

How to collect and zip files stored in multiple locations

If you want to collect and zip files from different locations, you can set WinZip up as a hub where you can access your files from not only your computer and attached drives, but also from popular cloud services, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, ZipShare, and more.

  1. Open the WinZip application.
  2. In the Files pane on the left, navigate to the files you want to send (from your computer or any cloud service that you have added to WinZip), and drag the files to the center pane (the Zip pane).

Image-5
You can navigate to files stored locally or files stored in cloud locations that you’ve added to WinZip.

If you want to add a cloud service to the Files pane, simply click the Add Cloud button at the bottom of the Files pane, and choose the service you want to add.
Image-6

 

3. In the Actions pane, choose any of the Convert & Protect Files settings you want.

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4. In the Save or Share Zip area of the Actions pane, choose Save as.

Image-8

5. In the Save to PC or Cloud window, choose a local or cloud destination for the Zip file, type a file name, and click Save. If you want to share the files directly, you can choose one of the sharing options in the Save or Share Zip area.

How to Unzip Files

WinZip is a great tool for unzipping Zip files and other compressed files, including ISO files (disc image files).

  1. On your PC, right-click the file that you want to unzip
  2. Choose WinZip > Unzip to folder [current .zip file location] (see example below). By choosing this option, you create a folder with the same name as the Zip file.

Image-9

 

You can choose from many options when you unzip a file, but the option shown above is an easy way to create a meaningful folder name that contains all the extracted files.

All information can be viewed by simply going to www.winzip.com