Timac

  1. Comparing iPhone OS 1.0 with iOS 14 using tree maps

    If you followed the recent Apple events, you probably saw a picture of the A14 and M1 dies… that got me thinking about what you would see if you could pass iOS under X-Rays… In my previous article about the evolution of the programming languages from iPhone OS 1.0 to iOS 14, I analyzed iOS based on the number of binaries and their programming languages. As I pointed out in this past post, the size of the binaries were not taken in account. In this new article, I look at iPhone OS 1.0 and iOS 14 from a size perspective using tree maps.
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  2. Evolution of the programming languages from iPhone OS 1.0 to iOS 14

    In my previous article about Apple’s use of Swift and SwiftUI in iOS 14, I counted the number of built-in apps in iOS using Swift and SwiftUI. Several readers asked if I could provide a percentage rather than an absolute number. In this new article, I will answer this question by measuring the total number of binaries in iOS. I will go one step further and also count the number of binaries using other programming languages: Objective-C, C++ and C. Finally to be as complete as possible, I ran this analysis on all major iOS releases, from iPhone OS 1.0 to iOS 14. This will provide a detailed overview of the evolution of the different programming languages over more than a decade of iOS development.
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  3. Apple’s use of Swift and SwiftUI in iOS 14

    Swift was introduced a couple of years ago at Apple's 2014 WWDC. Over the years I analyzed iOS to measure how many built-in applications were using Swift. iOS 9 released in 2015 included a single application written with Swift: Calculator. Since then this number has grown with each iOS release: iOS 10.1, iOS 11.1, iOS 12.0 and finally iOS 13.1. iOS 14 is now available so let's check how this number evolved since iOS 13. Apple announced SwiftUI during WWDC 2019, a year ago. In this article I will also try to measure which built-in apps are using this new UI framework.
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  4. Introducing Clatters for iOS

    Assiduous readers of this blog might have noticed a significant drop in the number of articles last year. Couldn't I find any interesting subject? Was I getting lazy? Hell no! Today I am pleased to release Clatters for iOS and iPadOS. Clatters is an app to easily monitor in one place your brand, product or any other keyword on your favorite social networks - Twitter, Reddit, HackerNews and even comments on the iOS App Store.
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  5. Apple’s use of Swift in iOS 13

    Swift was introduced at Apple's 2014 WWDC and it is interesting to measure Apple’s own use of Swift in iOS over the years. iOS 9 released in 2015 included a single application written with Swift: Calculator. Since then the number of applications using Swift in iOS has grown each year with iOS 10.1, iOS 11.1 and iOS 12.0. Now that iOS 13.1 is available, let's measure how many applications are using Swift this year.
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  6. Your own VPN server for 3€/month with built-in iOS and macOS support

    Using a VPN is an obvious solution when you are connected to internet on an untrusted network. Instead of paying a subscription to a VPN service, I decided to create my own VPN server. It turns out that this is much simpler than I expected. In this article, I briefly explain what is a VPN and its advantages. I then explain how I built my own VPN server.
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  7. Analysis of the Nest app for iOS

    Lately, many people have wondered why some iOS apps were so huge. I asked myself this question and analyzed the Facebook application for iOS v. 66.0 in 2016 and v. 87.0 in 2017. In this article, I dissect the Nest app (5.30.5) for iOS released on 29.11.2018. There has been quite some speculations about this app in a thread started by John Gruber on Twitter: This post will answer some simple questions about this specific app: Which technologies are used? Why is the app so big? Would it be possible to reduce the app size?
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  8. Deobfuscated libMobileGestalt keys (iOS 12)

    libMobileGestalt is a private library in iOS that describes the capabilities of the device: system version, build version, device type, device features, status of the airplane mode, … Apple obfuscates this information which makes it hard to know the capabilities of the device. In January 2017, I presented a method for Deobfuscating libMobileGestalt keys. At that time there were 673 known obfuscated keys and I managed to recover 564 out of the 673 keys (83%). Since this previous article, Apple has released 2 major iOS versions, and new obfuscated keys have been added. In this post I quickly recap what is libMobileGestalt and provide the updated list of recovered keys.
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  9. Constraints on QuickLook plugins

    A QuickLook plugin on macOS 10.14 has several constraints to satisfy. If one of the limits is exceeded, the plugin will immediately be killed and no preview will be visible. Having such restrictions makes sense but they appear to be undocumented. This article addresses the lack of information about these constraints.
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  10. QuickLook plugin to visualize .car files (compiled Asset Catalogs)

    In a previous article, I reverse-engineered the .car file format used to store the compiled assets of an Asset Catalog. I also demonstrated how to create a tool to manually parse such files. While this tool can extract a lot of information, it is cumbersome to use if you want to quickly see all the assets contained in a car file.
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