05 Jul Top Five Things We Loved About WWCD 2016
The WWDC is the annual Worldwide Developers Conference held by Apple in San Francisco, California. Here Apple makes announcements about their new software features, new operating system releases, and other cool items. It’s an amazing event that, as developers, we were waiting for it very anxious. The conference lasts 5 days; the first one begins with a really cool Keynote and continues with The State of the Union session. In this WWDC 2016, for the first time, these two presentations took place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Whereas the next four days occurred at the Moscone West convention center. There you could attend to awesome sessions and workshops with the Apple engineers (so cool!). We were very lucky to have assisted the WWDC because, as you might know, tickets are distributed through a ticket lottery and only winners got the chance to buy them. Happily, we were one of those winners.
Once in the conference we meet a lot of interesting people and attended a lot of sessions where we learned in depth about the newest features. Also, we assisted to labs where we meet some of Apple’s engineers and we were able to learn from them and have some interesting conversations. A really awesome experience.
In the Keynote, as it was expected, Apple made a ton of new announcements, the most important were the opening system upgrades on their four platforms: iOS 10, macOS (newly renamed) Sierra, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10. In this post we are going to enumerate the top 5 announcements that we really loved:
iMessage Apps: iOS 10 came with a lot of new stuff: 3D-touch enabled notifications, improvements on the Control Center, a new widgets screen, and more. Although iMessage Apps is one of our favorites announcements. This is the coolest improvement ever made to the iMessage application, basically, you can add apps to your iMessage to send interactive messages. This is really fun and gives you an amazing communication experience. During the WWDC Apple showed what you can do with these apps and it’s really awesome; you can stick stickers in your conversations, interact with messages, and even play with friends while you are texting. We love making apps and we cannot wait to start creating amazing iMessages apps.
Xcode 8: Xcode is the IDE that we use to build our iOS app. We love Xcode and, as is expected on every WWDC, Apple announced the new Xcode 8. This is a big release that has so many wonderful improvements like the tune up of the overall performance, the interface builder new features, the source code editor new capabilities, etc. However for us, the coolest feature is the memory debugger. Memory issues are a pain in the neck, no matter how much experience you have as a developer, you will never stop dealing with them and, sadly, the more experienced you are, the more you will end up fighting with more difficult issues. So the new memory debugger feature is great news for all developers. The Xcode 8 beta is already uploaded and we cannot stop playing with it!
SiriKit: This is another very nice feature in iOS 10. SiriKit allows us to build apps with Siri integration into our apps. It defines six types of services that your app can make available to Siri:
- Audio or video calling
- Searching photos
- Ride booking
So now, for example, we will be able to send WhatsApp messages using Siri. Really nice.
Swift 3: Despite the fact that almost all about Swift 3 that was exposed in the WWDC was not new (since Swift Language is open source everything is publicly discussed), we found very interesting the Swift sessions. Apple’s engineers did a really good breakdown of the new changes in Swift 3. Swift 3 has changed a lot of APIs in order to make them more “swifty”. This will imply some major changes in the app code when switching from Swift 2.2 to Swift 3 (luckily Xcode 8 has some tools to help us with this migration). Two API examples are Core Graphics and Grand Central Dispatcher, they were heavily transformed to loose their global C functions style and gain a more “swifty” style (IMHO so much cooler).
watchOS 3: This is a major release. It got many nice updates that includes a new dock, a significant decrease of the app launching time, the new Breathe app that will guide and encourage you with daily deep breathing sessions, the mac unlock feature that will allow us to unlock our password protected mac using our watch and much more. As watchOS app developers we really enjoy the addition, in the SDK, of some cool frameworks as SceneKit, AVFoundation and SpriteKit. This will really help us to create more awesome watchOS apps with richer visual content.
Concluding, we think that this WWDC 2016 was great. We described only 5 new items, but there are so many other features that we didn’t mention here that are very impressive too.
So now as developers we have several new cool tools to make breathtaking apps!