iOS, drink recipes & typography

The transition to iOS 7 has been traumatic for some, and much ink—and vitriol—has been spilled over superficial details, such as whether the new Safari icon is hideous, or why bright white is the new brushed metal. In the long run, it’s what is under the hood of iOS 7 that really matters, and a lot has changed for the better.

The single biggest change for us—because recipes are all about typography—is the introduction of Text Kit. Text Kit is a new API in iOS 7 that simultaneously eases UI development and upgrades the typographic capabilities of apps that employ it.

Co-incidentally, the project lead at Apple for Text Kit was Ian Baird, my co-developer on the original Cocktails+ and Tiki+ iPhone drink apps. Back in 2008, laying out a recipe on-screen was laborious and tricky. We even had to commission custom font glyphs to handle our fractions, because iOS simply didn’t offer them back then. Here are a couple of those glyphs in one of Ian’s labor-intensive layouts in the old Cocktails+ app:

cocktails+ grab

While Ian has nothing directly to do with what we’re working on now, you can see why it’s perhaps not entirely accidental he wound up involved in Text Kit at Apple.

Today, we’re using Text Kit heavily in our new project. Typography no longer consumes anywhere near as much of our time and energy, freeing us to work on advancing the state of the art of drink apps. (And consequently, our project will be exclusive to iOS 7 and later.)

We are loving Text Kit. Big thanks to Ian and his teammates for making it happen!

—Martin Doudoroff