We’ve asked our resident tech guru Matt Grayson to provide some insights for the rest of us from his experience a couple weeks ago at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) that took place June 2-6. To see what his take on everything from what’s ahead for the future of technology to his favorite Apple product, see below.
Why as a developer is it so important to attend a conference like this?
WWDC provides developers with a means of learning about the future of Apple's platform and technologies. This enables developers to incorporate those coming changes into their apps so that users can benefit from the latest features of iOS and OS X and ultimately enjoy a better user experience.
Attending WWDC is also important in that it provides a dedicated (mostly distraction free) block of time for developers to improve their knowledge of the APIs and SDKs that they work with everyday. Advanced sessions led by the engineers who built those various APIs often include hands-on demos, providing valuable insights that would otherwise be difficult come by.
What is the number one takeaway you have from the conference regarding the technology changes coming soon?
The major themes of WWDC this year were adaptability and extensibility. From a user's perspective, this is most easily seen in the new Extensions functionality coming in iOS 8 that will (among other things) allow apps to share information with other apps or provide custom Notification Center widgets. Extensions will be a game changer in that developers will be able to create entirely new ways for you to use your iPhone or iPad that just weren't possible before.
Which Apple Product is your favorite and why?
Anything that runs iOS. The way it forces you to interact with one app at a time has the wonderful side effect of transforming the device into whatever you need it to be right then. And because of the minimal hardware controls on an iPhone or iPad, the interface provided by whatever app you're using becomes the interface to the device. Launch the camera app and your iPhone is now a camera. Open up Safari and your iPad is a web browser.
What new ventures will we see Apple coming into in the future? (We’ve recently seen online streaming music, any talks of online video, other media streaming to compete with Netflix? online books to compete with Amazon?)
Even at something like WWDC, Apple plays its cards close to the vest. So it's all just speculation until Apple makes an official announcement.
There's been a lot of mounting speculation over the past year pointing towards Apple introducing a larger sized iPhone. While nothing was announced, new tools and APIs along with a commonly expressed sentiment that developers should develop user interfaces that are adaptable to different screen size classes (versus explicitly checking for an iPhone 5 or iPad mini) make it seem likely that we'll see something in the Fall.
It will also be interesting to see what they do with the streaming music service they recently acquired as part of Beats. There was little mention of that acquisition, aside from a scripted phone call with Dr. Dre as part of the keynote presentation.
To hear more from Matt, our Senior Application Developer, feel free to reach out to him here or follow him on Twitter @MattGrayson