Ah, WWDC 2015 what a wild ride, 5 days of content packed sessions. While I’m still trying to comprehend everything I’ve learned over the past 5 days there’s some big takeaways that I’ve got from WWDC this year.
Native apps still dominate!
Why? Did you know that on iOS 86% of time is spent in apps?
One thing that’s really apparent is that Apple is obsessed with user engagement, experience and performance, and they believe apps are key to this. To get an understanding let’s take a look at some of the new features which Native Apps/APIs can help you engage with your users like never before, some updated in iOS 9 and some brand new in iOS 9.
Apple Watch – Apple is betting big on the Watch, putting the watchOS 2 on level pair with OSX and iOS. WatchOS 2 comes with a set of API allowing developers to build even better Native Apps and they also added to this is the ability to be on a users Watch face. For my details see my blog post on watchOS 2.
Notifications – Apple Watch now supports long form notifications and actionable notifications.
Search APIs – Apps are now allowed to interface with search in iOS 9, with the ability to deep link into the app. If you want to know more you can view my blog on Search APIs.
Below is an example in which a person has booked a holiday to Maui, from AirBnB and Kayak.
App Extensions – While not new in iOS9, still a very powerful engagement feature, apps can display widgets in the Today view of Notification Center, providing quick updates or enabling brief tasks — for example, posting updates on package deliveries, the latest surf reports, or breaking news stories.
Apple will continue pushing people to apps
Apple have shown they will keep pushing users into apps, this is clear with Universal links and Apps now appearing in iOS Search and Safari search.
Apple will continue pushing people to upgrade iOS
Apple has promised developers that they will continue pushing users to upgrade their OS version, specifically users now will only need 1.3 GB of free space to upgrade to iOS9. Apple have also enabled notifications that will prompt users to upgrade their iOS version. Their recommendation is that developers will only need to target the two most recent OS versions.
Swift all the things
During the 5 days of the conference I didn’t see a line of objective-c (thankfully). There was an enormous amount of content on swift and some the sessions on swift were outstanding. Apple is betting big on Swift and with Apple behind Swift it’s going to be a language that’s around for the next 20 years.
watchOS is serious
As mentioned before, with 10+ session on watchOS Apple is betting big on the watch.
Stop thinking about Orientation
With iOS9 Multitasking we need to stop thinking about designs in orientation, we need to be thinking about Size. If you want to read more about multi-tasking you can this blog on iOS9 Multitasking.
Xamarin.Forms is still awesome
After full week living in the Apple future I’m still very confident in Xamarin.Forms and it’s future, the flexibility of Xamarin and Xamarin.Forms allows me (us) to still take advantage of all these new Native APIs but in a cross-platform way. In the next day I’m going to be blogging a Xamarin.Forms app that supports the Multitasking features in iOS9.
WWDC has been mind blowing, on par with TechEd Europe which I attended a few years back. I’ve learnt alot, made some good friends and I recommend all mobile developers attend at least once.