#macOS

  1. 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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  2. Reverse engineering the .car file format (compiled Asset Catalogs)

    An Asset Catalog is an important piece of any iOS, tvOS, watchOS and macOS application. It lets you organize and manage the different assets used by an app, such as images, sprites, textures, ARKit resources, colors and data.
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  3. VPNStatus, a replacement for macOS builtin VPN Status

    In this post I present VPNStatus, an application that replicates some functionalities of macOS built-in VPN status menu:
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  4. macOS VPN architecture from System Preferences down to nesessionmanager

    macOS 10.13 contains a built-in VPN client that natively supports L2TP over IPSec as well as IKEv2. In this post I describe some parts of the internal architecture of the macOS VPN client. This information will be used in a following article to build an application that replicates some functionalities of the VPN status in the menu bar. This application will also allow to auto connect to an IKEv2 VPN service, something that is currently not possible on macOS.
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  5. Apple’s use of Swift in iOS 11.1 and macOS 10.13.1

    A year ago I analyzed how many built-in apps in iOS 10.1 and macOS 10.12 were using Swift: Apple’s use of Swift in iOS 10.1 and macOS 10.12. How many built-in apps are using Swift in iOS 11.1 and macOS 10.13.1? Let’s find it out!
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  6. Swift: Banning force unwrapping optionals

    In this article, I discuss the dangers of force unwrapping and how to avoid forced unwraps.
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  7. Testing if an arbitrary pointer is a valid Objective-C object

    Let’s say you pick a random pointer. Can we know if it points to a valid Objective-C object? Of course without crashing… Well there is no simple solution. In this post I give a solution for 64-bit architectures. The code provided has only been tested on macOS 10.12.1 and iOS 10.1.1 with the modern Objective-C runtime.
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  8. Apple’s use of Swift in iOS 10.1 and macOS 10.12

    Swift has been announced at the WWDC 2014, more than 2 years ago. Most of the sample code projects from Apple are now written in Swift. But does Apple use Swift in iOS 10.1 and macOS 10.12.1?
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  9. Dump decrypted mach-o apps

    In a previous post CryptedHelloWorld: App with encrypted mach-o sections, I created a simple macOS app CryptedHelloWorld with its (__TEXT, __text) section encrypted. The section is decrypted by a constructor function. This post explains how to dump the decrypted app. A common way is to attach the app with a debugger (GDB, LLDB) and manually dump the decrypted memory to disk.
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  10. Mail.app plugin compatibility for macOS Sierra (10.12)

    Mail.app in macOS 10.11 and earlier used to check the plugins compatibility using the SupportedPluginCompatibilityUUIDs key in the plugin’s Info.plist. For example a Mail plugin would only be compatible with macOS 10.11.6 if its Info.plist contained the following:
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