WWDC 2014: A Swift Review

WWDC 2014: A Swift Review

By myclever™ Agency

Last week saw the annual Apple WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) take place in San Francisco. The event is one of the highlights of the year as we get a glimpse into the new hardware and software features that Apple plans to introduce in the next 12 months, and is typically when new iMac or iPhone models are shown to the public for the first time. This year saw quite a few expected updates to the OSX and iOS platforms, as well as a couple of unexpected suprises. Below is a list of some of the highlights.

OSX Yosemite

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Image © maclife.com

The next iteration of Apple’s Desktop operating system was revealed for the first time. The main change is the visual overhaul, which has been inspired heavily from the flat design introduced in iOS7, creating a metro-style unity between mobile and desktop devices. Native applications such as Safari have also had performance and visual tweaks inspired from their iOS counterparts implemented. Alongside these, utilities such as Spotlight Search have been improved.

iOS 8

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As well as the desktop OS, Apple’s iOS has seen several new improvements. While the changes aren’t quite as drastic as the change between iOS6->7, there are still some noteable performance improvements. The integrated keyboard has been updated to include a feature called QuickType, which can suggest words based on the context of your message, the Messages app has been updated to include Snapchat style ‘self-destructing’, the photos app has been overhauled with better integration to iCloud, and Siri has been updated to now work hands free from a voice prompt.

iCloud Drive

iCloud is a platform that has been around for a few years now, but at WWDC apple announced iCloud Drive. In a similar idea to Dropbox and Google Drive, iCloud Drive allows you to store files remotely and sync them across your OSX and iOS devices, and even works across Mac and Windows platforms.

Healthkit

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As mentioned in a recent MCA blog post, health and fitness apps are becoming more and more popular amongst adult smartphone users. Because of this, Apple are introducing a new feature in iOS8 called HealthKit. This will be an integrated app along the lines of Passbook, and will merge the best features of all your favourite fitness apps. As well as a pedometer and nutrition tracker, it can track how well you sleep too. The app will also merge with the data from four other fitness apps, and some US clinics will even be able to send stats based on recent checkups to your phone.

Swift

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The last announcement was quite a major one for developers. Normally at WWDC, Apple announces enhancements to its main IDE, XCode, as these enhancements are necessary to support the newly announced operating systems. This year they went one better and announced a whole new programming language called Swift. Aimed at both iOS and OSX developers, Swift aims to replace some of the specialist features of Objective-C, the previous language for apps, whilst still maintaining the modular flexibility and power. The language seemingly takes inspiration from web formats such as JavaScript, and as someone who has studied web languages for 15 years, Swift is the first offline language that I am really excited about.

Over to you.

What do you think? Which WWDC announcement are you most excited about?

This post was written by myclever™ Agency

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