Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) gives developers an in-depth look at the latest in iOS and OS X. WWDC 2015 once again produced many new developments that Apple has been working on for the last few months. The main question is how that will affect developers and what is the main value for their users.
Say Hello to “El Capitan”
Apple presented a new OS X named El Capitan that is built on the groundbreaking features and beautiful design first seen in OS X Yosemite. We haven’t been able to see its visual overhaul yet, but the main improvements were revealed. Some of the changes announced were:
- Better mail swipe interactions. Swiping a message left deletes it and right marks it as read.
- The ability to snap app windows to the edge of the screen by dragging them to one side of your screen.
- Intelligent search that uses natural language processing.
The most exciting announcements for gamers was that Apple will bring the Metal API to Mac from iOS. El Capitan will help developers take their games or apps to the next level of performance alongside significantly improved graphics.
As for El Capitan’s performance, it is up to 1.4 times faster at launching an app, up to 2 times faster when switching between apps, and up to 4 times faster at opening a PDF in Preview.
Can Apple Beat Google Now With Proactive Assistant?
Apple announced that the new Proactive Assistant will be launched with iOS 9 as an update to Siri. The main focus of this Google Now competitor is on user privacy. All of the data is anonymous and not linked to your Apple ID or shared with third parties. Proactive will be able to suggest apps to you or to show location-based recommendations for restaurants when it’s dinner time. According to Apple, the Proactive Assistant does not send your data to any cloud server, instead everything is happening on the device itself.
New step for Apple Pay
The Apple team has worked hard to expand its services to other locations and as a result will be bringing Apple Pay to the UK in July. Thanks to partnerships with 8 of the most popular banks, its service will be accepted at over 250,000 locations.
One of the new Apple Pay updates will allow people to save a store and collect loyalty and reward points. With this new update, Apple also decided to change Passbook’s name to Wallet.
Apple Music – Bringing Apple to Android for the First Time
Apple Music will include many social features with the most notable being the ability to access social media content and connect with artists directly. This service will be launched on June 30th in more than 100 countries.
More News For Developers
The good news for developers is that the fall developer program will be unified across iPhone/iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Developers will no longer have to enroll for a special iOS development program with its $99 price tag in order to deploy their apps. Rather, they will simply they will have to sign up for the free developer account.
Additional key developer-related updates introduced in iOS 9 include:
- Enhanced multitasking experience for iPad with Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture.
- Improved App Search gives users great new ways to access information inside of your app using the new Core Spotlight framework and additions to NSUserActivity.
- The GameplayKit framework provides foundational technologies for building games.
- Model I/O framework is essentially a parser framework for 3D model assets. With this, developers can import mesh data, material descriptions, lighting and camera settings, and other scene information from file formats used by popular authoring software and game engines. Together with MetalKit, GLKit, or SceneKit APIs, efficiently loading asset data into GPU buffers for rendering.
- iOS 9 brings comprehensive support for right-to-left languages, which makes it easier for you to provide a flipped user interface.
- New network extension points such as the Packet Tunnel Provider extension point, App Proxy Provider extension point, Filter Data Provider and the Filter Control Provider extension points.
- Modern object-oriented replacements for the Address Book and Address Book UI frameworks.
- New Watch Connectivity framework that supports immediate messaging between the apps when they are both running, and background messaging in other cases.
This year’s WWDC confirms that Apple is continuing to build smarter technology by improving upon all of their features. Apple’s new services and features such as the new Apple Music, a more powerful OS X and iOS, smarter search, a full-featured Apple Watch, and a more widely supported Apple Pay lay the foundation for Apple’s continued growth and success. Now, all that’s left is to wait and see how all of those improvements will work for users and developers.