While watching Apple’s WWDC15, you probably weren’t able peel your eyes off your screen, paying attention to every single word from Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, to what Eddy Cue said.. maybe even Drake if you’re from Toronto, Canada. However, if you were paying close attention to the iOS 9 developer focused segment, you’re interested in building in the Apple ecosystem or at least understanding its greater affects across the tech industry.
There isn’t a better time to develop on the Apple platform. This post is meant for those are thinking or ready to take the plunge into the world of Apple development.
Xcode 7 – One Developer Membership to Rule Them all
Before you didn’t have the ability of porting your apps to compile, test and demo an app on your phone without a developer account. Now you can without having to pay. For $99 USD you get access and ability to develop across all of Apple’s platforms, iPhone, iPad, WatchOS, and Mac and the privilege for distributing and publishing your apps in the App store, whereas before, you’d have to pay $99 separately to develop for iOS or Mac.
However, understanding what it takes to properly ship a product from idea to app store is something that all fledgling developers will all have to go through at one point or another. So be prepared to pony up the paltry $99. You can download the Xcode 7 Beta for free here
Swift is the successor to Objective-C
That’s right, Swift is the successor to Objective C. Apple is putting their weight behind Swift, and with version 2.0 now out, they’re making it front and centre as the future of Apple, further pushing Objective-C out of the spotlight. Let’s not confuse that Objective-C isn’t going to be supporting going forward. As I wrote previously, If you’re going to start developing on Apple, you might as well focus on Swift.
That’s not to say that Apple is abandoning Objective-C – far from it actually. They’re fully supporting it for the foreseeable future. Of course, this makes sense. You can use Swift code alongside your Objective-C projects, making for the transition to Swift a little bit easier. They even go as far as giving full access to your Objective-C API.
App Store Analytics
You can now measure user engagement as well as marketing campaigns that’s baked into iTunes so you know how your app is doing, and where your sources of installs are coming from. However, they don’t provide keyword level detail on what users are searching for at this point.
Debugging + Test Flight
It looks like they have built out a comprehensive workflow for identifying and fixing critical issues with your app that will be directly integrated with Test Flight that comes standard with iTunes.
Swift will now be Open Source
So it seems that Apple will be open sourcing Swift come sometime later this year. What this can possibly mean since Apple is letting loose its reins on the language and empowering the community to improve the language and build on top of it is that it opens it up for wider adoption amongst the developer community. Think of contexts outside of mobile, or can imagine others building compilers to other platforms and custom IDEs for other operating systems.
There’s a lot more to be that can covered, but the reasons above should tip fledgling developers to start building with Swift in the Apple ecosystem.