This monday started the annual conference for Apple developers (WWDC). I wasn’t there 🙁 but I watched the inaugural keynote and I these are my first impressions.
There was no hardware announcements and everything was around the new versions of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. Both are going to be released this fall but we can download beta versions and start testing them today.
OS X Yosemite has a redesigned UI that matches better with the style from iOS 7, has improvements on several apps (Safari, Mail (Mail Drop & Mail Markup are very cool), Messages, Spotlight…), but the best is its new integration with iOS 8 with iCloud Drive and what Apple calls Continuity.
iOS 8 is an evolution from iOS 7, not a big change like iOS 7 was. There are improvements in several apps and some new features like Family Sharing but the best, again, is the integration with OS X Yosemite with iCloud Drive and Continuity. But under the hood there is much much more for developers: Extensibility, Touch ID, HealthKit, HomeKit, CloudKit, PhotoKit, Metal, SpriteKit+SceneKit,… Here resides the real new power of iOS 8. The new APIs explicitly for game developers are Metal (a new technology that will allow developers to squeeze maximum performance from the A7 chip, optimized to allow the CPU and GPU to work together to achieve optimal performance and designed for multithreading), SceneKit (designed for casual 3D gaming, incorporates a physics engine, a particle generator, and easy ways to script the actions of 3D objects, and completely integrated with SpriteKit) and SpriteKit (available since iOS 7, in iOS 8 are several enhancements that will help in-game characters move more naturally and make it easier for developers to add force fields, detect collisions, and generate new lighting effects in their games). Some big mobile game engines companies are already working with Metal: Unity, Crytek, EA, Epic.
As expected, TestFlight is now integrated with Xcode and iTunes Connect.
The App Store is going to receive some improvements also related to a new Explore tab, better searches with trending searches and App Bundles. And we, developers, will be able to add video previews of our games & apps in the App Store.
And One last thing: Apple announced a new programming language, “Swift”: the Objective C without the C.
If you are interested, you can watch the keynote at http://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2014/
25 keynotes and coding