Loopers: Pomodoro Timer with SwiftUI, Combine and Catalyst

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loopers pomodoro timer Link: App Store

I just published a simple pomodoro timer completely rewritten in SwiftUI and I am here to share my thoughts on it.

  • SwiftUI is a big step to the future of iOS Development. It feels so much better when you avoid the heavy storyboards and the slow constraint systems in your app. Also it seems to be the first time in a while when Apple introduces a new framework that enforces a good architecture. It was so easy to write bad code in MVC and I hope MVVM will reduce the quantity of “bad code”.

  • SwiftUI is not ready for a “big” production yet. If you have an existing app in App Store don’t hurry to move to SwiftUI. It has a lot of counter-intuitive solutions and will make it difficult to make some easy things. I have suffered with accessibility (it took a lot of time to figure out how to get accessibility identifiers to work), shadows (especially with paths) and animation (it’s not so clear as it looks).

  • Combine is good, perhaps. I have not worked with RxSwift much and cannot judge how combine is efficient. But for this small project it was sufficient. Especially I’ve loved to work with Futures from Combine.

  • Catalyst is controversial. I have been waiting for it more than for SwiftUI. I hoped that Catalyst is going to be the future where I can port an app in one week without tons of efforts. Well, partially it is so. But let’s take a look deeper:

    1. First of all, yes - you can port your app really quickly and it’s really amazing.

    2. It takes much more time to make your app work the right way (I’m still trying). There is a plenty of different hidden problems that you’ll find out while testing. For example, lists in Catalyst cannot be scrolled with cursor.
    3. Look & Feel is the most sad part. It was not obvious for me previously but just ported from iPadOS to MacOS app doesn’t feel like a Mac app. Ugly tab bars, design made for touch, how everything behaves. It feels wrong and takes time to fix it up.

To sum it up: SwiftUI, Combine, Catalyst are cool and fresh. Obviously, these tools will make our daily routine easier and more productive. But it needs some time to start to work the right way. I am waiting WWDC and believe Apple will improve all of them and lead us to the world without Storyboards and autolayouts. I appreciate any feedback.

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