WWDC 2015 – The Golden Ticket
On June 8th , Apple’s WWDC , the World Wide Developer’s Conference, kicked off to update their development community on the latest in iOS, OSX and Apple Watch. Out of 6 developers from my team who applied to go, I was the only one lucky enough to get the golden ticket. You could feel the energy in the air when I lined up to enter the keynote where tons of developers came from all over the world to hear what innovations Apple had in store for them. There were approximately 5000 attendees, and 100 different developer seminars to attend. There were so many sessions that it was hard to narrow down.
If you only have a couple of hours to catch up on the latest and greater from Apple, check out the keynote for an overview of what is new and exciting with iOS 9, OSX 10 and Apple Watch 2.0: https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=101.
If you have some more time to deep dive into the new functionality with iOS 9 and Watch OS 2, then let me highlight a few of my favorite must see sessions :
- Search is getting smarter, and the cool new thing is that Apple has opened up APIs to allow your applications to index data, so it can also show up in search results (https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=709). You can even search through Settings!
- Multitasking – Available on iOS and OSX. You will be able to open 2 applications on the iPad and your laptop. Also new is picture in picture, so the iPad can show a video floating above the other applications. What does that mean to developers? We need to be more careful on the memory usage and CPU. (https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=212 and https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=718)
- StackView is a new concept in iOS 9. Now you are able to add views into a stack view and align them horizontally or vertically. Spacing and padding are defined here as well. You can nest StackViews to do what you need. In past versions, adding constraints was a science, and honestly, just a painful process. Now, with StackView, adding new elements to the layout is much simpler. (https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=218 and https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=219)
- iOS 8 brought us self sizing rows! No more calculating the height of the row, just add your constraints or put them in a StackView and the height will be adjusted for each row accordingly!
- Unit testing to test user interaction! You can record user interaction, and run test of the user interface. (https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=406)
- Watch OS 2 will bring us on device applications. This is a big deal as it will allow the application to run independently from the iPhone. Watch OS 2 will allow the watch apps to communicate via NSURLSession if it is connected to a known wifi signal. So it will not need the iPhone near by to make these connections. Watch App will also allow animations and transitions! Very cool! (https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=105)
- Swift updates are so numerous, that its hard to list them all. Biggest thing is SWIFT is now OPEN SOURCE! This will allow the language to grow with a larger community of developers. Other updates that I noted that everyone should check into are: guard statements, availability checks based on iOS version, protocol design pattern and error handling which improves stability and reliability. (https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=106)
For a complete listing of all available videos, check out: https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/.
After 5 days, I was amazed on how well the content was presented and organized. I really enjoyed the seminars and learned so many new features, and some I didn’t know existed. WWDC was eye opening, informative, and totally worth attending.