WWDC '19

This year I’m lucky enough to be attending WWDC 2019 in San Jose California, I’ll be updating this page during each event, session & lab I attend along with uploading pictures to my Instagram & Twitter account (see carousel below for latest #wwdc Instagram posts).

If anyone reading this is also at WWDC / AltConf or is just in town during the conference feel free to drop me an DM and we’ll have a coffee!

Day 1 (or zero 😝)

Wow, just wow!

As I sit here in my hotel room exhausted not only from the jet lag but from queuing since 6am to make sure I had a good seat for the keynote - my mind is still racing about all the wondering things that Apple announced this morning. I’m downloading the Xcode beta right now and will check out the sample Apps supplied by Apple over the coming days.

But for now… here is a recap of todays announcements along with a snippet of my thoughts (not everything is here at the moment just things relevant to my line of work).

  • iOS 13
    • Dark mode, a long time coming but well worth the wait. Apple clearing spending the time to ensure the new and current API’s fully support Dark mode in order to give the user the best possible experience.
    • Photo's another year another improvement to the photo’s library - it just keeps getting better!
    • Permissions, this was big one for me and probably got the best reaction from the audience in my opinion, closing as many loopholes as then can and keeping user data crunching to "on device" Apple have really stamped down on this and with the introduction of "Sign in with Apple" to complete the overhaul - users should really start to feel safe about their privacy.
    • ARKit, motion capture seems like it will bring endless fun - but as always the industry will find a way to push the boundaries with the updated API and this again excited me! People Occlusion will also play a massive part of ARKit’s future - can’t wait to see what the Fashion & Textiles industry do with this, something I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on…..
  • Swift
    • SwiftUI excited me greatly, as Apple unveiled it's new Swift only UI framework, developers in the audience gasps as it powerful simplicity. Still clearly in its infancy, however even in its current state, it still packs a punch and will be springboard for iOS apps to come.
    • Xcode 11, I’ll promote this to a bullet point of it’s own when I’ve had chance to play some more (and I’m on a Tuesday session for Xcode 11 too) - but the powerful new preview window allows you to drag and drop UI elements which will only update the code in your editor, but also update the preview with any code changes you make without having to perform a build… nice (Think Android's Instant Run - but that actually works)!
    • Combine framework, in a nutshell, Swift’s version of RxSwift - will certainly be having a play with this.
  • MacOS Catalina
    • Voice control, almost brought a tear to my eye - if this doesn’t encourage developers to take accessibility more seriously then nothing will - this is developers opportunity be make a real difference to the apps we build - giving them quality beyond the scope of it’s desired feature. (Voice control is also supported on iOS 13 too)
  • iPadOS
    • Project Catalyst, bring your iOS (well actually iPadOS now) apps to the Mac Store. What we all originally called "Marzipan" is now finally available to developers to use. Taking a look at the demo from both the Keynote and the State of the Union - Apple seems to have nailed this in the most flawless way possible - with in some cases simply just ticking a checkbox….. but only time will tell.

Day 2

Can I say wow again….. yeah sure I can - WOW!

Some great introduction sessions today, specifically on Xcode 11 and Swift 5.1, optimisations in Swift 5.1 means that bridging the gap between old Objective-C libs are now twice as fast. Is this Apples way of still showing some live for Objective-C, hard to tell as there there’s not a lot of mention (that I’ve seen) here at WWDC.

The first session today showed off Whats new in Xcode 11, new editor features - complete with the SwiftUI beautiful syntax Xcode just got a whole lot smarter

Another session I enjoyed was Introduction Swift UI - this really got my creative juices flowing, showing us really how easy it is to develop solid UI with minimal effort and code - this combined with Creating Independent Watch Apps & Introducing iPad Apps for Mac really knits together the whole end to end development process for the first time, I’ll be attending some tvOS talks later this week to hopefully see this integrate as well into the mix!

I love Accessibility - I don’t know everything about it but what I do know I preach, which in my opinion is how it should be (check out my talk on Accessibility without the API earlier this year). Today I visited the Accessibility Get-Together session on the Market Terrace - this was awesome tables setup with demo’s from various API’s & Frameworks all showing how accessibility has been thought of in every corner of iOS possible. From the Camera app we all love and know to Swift Playground for kids - there was something there that made you go "wow, I didn’t know it could do that".

Another nice little touch was the "Accessibility challenge" - I had to basically show off (by demonstrating) my understanding of voice over to win myself a very rare WWDC Accessibility badge. Luckily for me I implemented the majority of the accessibility voice over controls in the JD Williams app, so I was a natural.

The Apple staff always go the extra mile with you too, she took the time to listen to me about how we approached accessibility along with the recent changes we made to improve this. For that I got a big hug and was told we were doing a great job and she thanked us very much - not going to lie…. Heartwarming to say the least!

There is an accessibility lab later this week, where I can book on and demo our App to their developers for tips and tricks galore…. Can’t wait!!!!!