WWDC 2014 Key Takeaways for Developers
This March, I joined the Vectorform Seattle team to kick off my very first internship that would put my coding skills to the test. Walking into the tech industry for the first time was a little daunting, as I was nervous about all of the new challenges that were in store for me. But after […]
This March, I joined the Vectorform Seattle team to kick off my very first internship that would put my coding skills to the test. Walking into the tech industry for the first time was a little daunting, as I was nervous about all of the new challenges that were in store for me. But after 3 months of working with an incredible team, I can easily say that I am grateful to have worked with the best. We work together and look out for each other like one big family who shares a common love and passion for technology.
That passion is reignited on days like Monday. So much of the work we do here at Vectorform is affected by Apple, and after watching the Keynote at WWDC 2014, I am thrilled to see what the future will bring. To see Apple put such an emphasis on its developer community like never before, is inspiring. As a new developer, I feel less and less overwhelmed by the vast amount of information I need to learn, and more inclined to just get out there and start creating. Vectorform allows me to do just that.
From a developer’s perspective, here are a few of the highlights form WWDC 2014 that I found particularly intriguing. Enjoy!
The big surprise was the introduction of a new programming language. Here are some of the highlights:
- Live rendering of code that shows the values of your code in real time, including animations
- Integrated with Cocoa and Cocoa touch
- All objective C framework header’s have Swift version’s for easy implementation
- New documentation playground that offers the developer the ability to test, see examples, and experience a live rendering of his/her code
- When iOS 8 launches, all Swift code will build for not only iOS 8, but 7 as well
Overall thoughts on Swift:
One of the toughest things for me as new developer was understanding the function of each line of code. Swift addresses the issue head on, and will allow the future generation of developers to learn and retain this information at a much faster pace. It has not yet been determined whether or not Swift will be a standalone language or will continue to work alongside Objective C. With that being said, Swift looks very promising, and has been a lot of fun to play around with.
Ever wish your apps could interact seamlessly with other 3rd party apps? Now they can. Here are a few examples of what Extensions can do.
- Transform data
- Access the camera’s API’s
- Manipulate webpages
- Create 3rd party documents
- Create your own keyboard
Multitasking and having multiple apps running at the same time is common on other platforms, so this seems to be Apple’s take on having apps interact with one another. It will be interesting to see what developers come up with in this area.
While there are a ton of new ones (almost as many as when the iPhone was first released) I will highlight the ones I found to be most interesting:
- Photos framework API’s will allow for full control of all the manual controls of the camera and can even access iCloud photos
- Touch ID is now available for in-app use while keeping the fingerprint data safe
- Hand off will allow a task to continue on multiple devices within a certain proximity
- Health kit boasts a foundational platform for all of your health data that can interact with hardware and apps alike (it can read and write up to 60 types of health information)
- Size classes will simplify the task of creating multiple xibs or if statements for multiple screen sizes and orientations
- Cloud kit is essentially Apples version of a backend that will be free up to a certain criteria
We iOS Developers look at XCODE every day. Here are some of the exciting changes to come.
- Launch images/app icons can now all be rendered from a single xib
- Interface builder documents are now searchable
- Design custom fonts right within interface builder
- New localization with XLIFF files; you no longer need to create developer region string files for spoken languages like Spanish or Frence
- Live rendering of all views
- Along with creating test code, you can create PERFORMANCE code and see live updates to the percentage of your code’s improved efficiency
A note on Yosemite, iOS 8, and Xcode 6
I’ve spent a full day running these new pieces of software, and my first impression is that there is a huge emphasis on transparency and integration. Being able to answer a phone call from my mac, airdrop to any device, draw on a PDF within an email, and respond directly within a notification, are all among the changes I have thus far enjoyed. And with regard to Xcode, I’ve noticed that it is extremely responsive, even for a beta version.
Interested in learning more? Let’s start a conversation.