Jon Manning


iOS Development Trainer & Writer, author of numerous iOS books

Jon Manning is a co-founder of Secret Lab, where he makes games and does research. He has an actual PhD about jerks on the internet, has written about a dozen technical books for O’Reilly Media, and wrote two games for ABC’s Play School and one for Qantas. He’s currently working on Button Squid, a top-down puzzler for iOS, and is fond of making cool tools for rad devs.


The Kerbal Player’s Guide: The Easiest Way to Launch a Space Program

Mobile Game Development with Unity: Build Once, Deploy Anywhere

Learning Swift: Building Apps for OS X and iOS

Swift Development for the Apple Watch: An Intro to the WatchKit Framework, Glances, and Notifications

iOS Swift Game Development Cookbook: Simple Solutions for Game Development Problems

Swift Development with Cocoa: Developing for the Mac and iOS App Stores

iOS Game Development Cookbook

iPhone and iPad Game Development For Dummies

Learning Cocoa with Objective-C: Developing for the Mac and iOS App Stores

What’s New in Swift 3

Ultimate Swift Programming

Recent Articles

Blog — Secret Lab

NBN helps Secret Lab’s apps see the light of day

Paris Buttfield-Addison & Jon Manning win Tasmanian Pearcey Award

9 41 9 42: The secret of Apple’s recurring numbers


YOW! Connected 2015 Patrick Buttfield-Addison & Jon Manning – Watch This Face

YOW! Connected 2015 – Jon Manning & Paris Buttfield-Addison – How Do I Game Design?

Build a Game in Less Than an Hour with Unity

Five Swift Essentials

YOW! Connected 2015 Melbourne

Watch This Face: Designing the Same App on Multiple Wearable Platforms


On the face of it, Android Wear and the Apple Watch are very similar: they’re both wristwatches, they’re both closely tied to your phone, and the tech media are unaccountably excited about both of them. But how do their differences affect you as a developer? This session explores what it takes to design and consider the same application for the two most prominent wearable platforms in existence today.

In this talk, you’ll learn how to build and design a great application for both platforms. You’ll learn about:

  • The design patterns that Apple Watch and Android Wear (and to a lesser extent, other platforms like Pebble) share
  • The design patterns that they don’t share
  • How to think about multiple same-but-different design patterns for same-but-different hardware at the same time
  • Finding the common ground in your ideas and design

This design-focused session will explore what it means to be a watch app, and discuss how a “watch app” is not the same as a “mobile app”

How Do I Game Design? Design Games, Understand People!


In this session, you’ll learn about game design: the art and science of constructing enjoyable, engaging games. We aren’t doing any coding, and we’re not talking game engine development – instead, we’ll be taking a deep dive into game design theory, using it to understand how people interact with rules, and how to use it to improve your community, your company, your project, and your software.

Video games are the most glamorous of the electronic arts, but splashy graphics and amazing sound aren’t the defining feature of games. Games are the world’s only interactive artistic medium, and good interaction needs to be designed. Today’s master crafters of interaction design are game designers.

In this session, you’ll get a fresh perspective on user experience design and community engagement by understanding how people are interacting with the fastest-growing form of entertainment in the world.

Topics covered in this session include:

  • Why games work, and how to analyse and build engaging experiences
  • The Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics framework: what it’s good for, and how to use it
  • How to understand what a game’s doing, and how to build for fun

We’ll take this knowledge and apply it to real world examples in the realms of UX and UI design, community management, project management, and company building, as well as a few examples from the actual game development industry.