This year Apple's World Wide Developer Conference was held in San Francisco from June 13th to the June 17th and there was no shortage of big announcements. These announcements were mixed with platform changes, to new developer API's, to complete updates with Swift in Swift 3.0. However, in an technical blog such as this, it would be hard to cover all of the big announcements and every new API so I thought I would at least cover what I consider 5 interesting points that I took away from the announcements and videos this year at WWDC. So, very briefly, here is what I consider to be the top 5 biggest points:
1. The Way The Platforms Were Announced In Monday's Keynote.
Now some of you are probably reading this and thinking to yourself, "why is this such a big deal," it is just the order in which Apple wanted to talk about their platforms? Why is there more to read into this? Well, to me, it is a sign where Apple's focus is. It really is not on macOS or iOS anymore. It is on wearables like watchOS and entertainment devices like tvOS. Possibly this is also a sign that iOS is now considered mature by Apple and they can start focusing on other products a little bit more that have been a bit immature in the past like watchOS.
2. OS X Is Now Called macOS
This may not be big news to many of you reading this because it was leaked on a lot of forums and news outlets, but it is a big deal in the history of the platform. OS X has been around on the desktop for the better part of 15 years as the name for Apple's flagship operating system. It is the only Apple Operating System that I remember from a developer perspective, so it was a surprise to me when I seen this confirmed as an official name change an not just hype or rumors.
3. Swift 3.0
Swift 3.0 will now be included in Xcode 8 and the changes from Swift 2.3 to Swift 3.0 will be significant from a developers perspective but will start to pave the way for the stability of maturity of the language in future major releases. Swift 3.0 is also pretty significant because it contains many proposed changes from the community working right alongside Apple Engineers. This is something that I really like seeing because it means the developer community can potentially have a voice in how the future of Swift will be developed and used. To see more about all of the proposals for Swift 3.0 head on over to the Swift Evolution mailing list here. Also, to learn more about the syntax changes in Swift 3.0, take a look at my blog article of Swift 3.0 here.
4. Xcode 8
Many new features and improvements were announced this year for Xcode 8. A couple of the features were the ability to develop extensions for Xcode, shortcut keys to insert comment blocks into your code, and the ability to try and identify run-time issues in your app before you test it. These features are certainly interesting but there were two features that really stood out to me as being significant updates to Xcode. The first is a new object graphing tool to try and identify potential memory issues and leaks throughout the architecture of your app. This is a nice new feature because it will no longer need to be done in Instruments and object graphing will no longer need to be drawn out by hand! The second major feature is the improvements in code signing and provisioning for developers. If you have been developing apps for any amount of time you will know how frustrating this process can be! Trying to keep certificates and profiles managed with a team or between multiple development machines can be especially painful, but now it looks like developers will have the ability to have multiple certificates and profiles managed all by your Apple ID. Finally, after all these years, there is an improvement to this process! I am really interested to get started and use this.
5. iOS 10
iOS 10 is the latest operating system release for the iPhone and the iPad. Apple demoed 10 new features in their keynote but there were a couple that caught my eye. The first is the updates to how you can access information from your lock screen. This is something that I have already experienced as being a lot more helpful in, text messages, my camera, and it music on my phone. This is a nice new feature. The second feature I thought was interesting was photos. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I love openCV and bitmap matching algorithms so it was really interesting when Apple brought up that they are going to use "Advanced Computer Vision," to detect faces, places, and context of photos. I am just getting started with this, but I love the science behind this that makes this possible and cannot wait to see how it works. The last feature that I thought was interesting was messages. Not because of stickers or emoji's but because of the ability to now pass rich media links and video that are able to be played and seen inline in messages. It is almost like a close knit social networking platform now with posts, images, videos, and links. Pretty interesting.
Well my top 5 list certainly did not dig into the new technical features that were announced this year at WWDC, but hopefully over the next couple of months as I catch up on all of the videos I will be posting more about the new technology too that was released this year. A couple of the videos that I am looking forward to watching is the video on the new Apple File System and the video on the new improvements to NSURLSession, so hopefully I will have something on these new features and more in the coming months. Let me know what you thought were the top 5 biggest features from this year's WWDC or let me know what you thought of my list. Thanks!