Friday, June 6, 2014

New Developer Tools in a Nutshell: The Scoop (WWDC 2014)

WWDC is truly all about the developers. After all, it stands for "World Wide Developers Conference." So here are some of the new APIs and tools for developers announced at WWDC this year.

iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite:

iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite has many more ways of becoming one with the developers. Extensions allows apps to add their own "share sheets" into the iOS UI. For example, you can share a photo from the Camera app using Pinterest or Instagram. Photo editing works the same way. You can edit using a third-party photo editor by using the edit function and using one of the custom-made filters or functions made by that developer. Widgets are finally in iOS. Using the Today view of Notification Center, apps can create widgets that will reside there. Apps like Pages can now store documents in third-party storage spaces such as OneDrive and DropBox. And, yes Mrs. Myers, Google Drive, too. Also, developers can make their own custom keyboards. Apps can now authenticate using Touch ID, add health info into the Health app, add home automation devices to HomeKit, make cloud storage simple with CloudKit, and make their apps work with Handoff (see yesterday's post). Finally, Metal replaces OpenGL to make much faster performance opening many possibilities for developers with pre-rendered graphics.


Swift is an entirely new language that's modern, safe, and doesn't complain about having semicolons at the end of every single line of code. It's Objective-C without the slowness of C. One thing I personally like is how much easier it is to type out code. For example, here's how to make a simple "Hello, World" program (every programmer's first program).

In Objective-C:

#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, const char * argv[]) {
printf("Hello, World!");
return 0;

In Swift:

println("Hello, World!")

That is literally it! No semicolons. No main method. No imports. It's so simple! That just saved you from typing four additional lines of code. Needless to say, Swift is a great new language and I think that every developer looks forward to coding in it. 

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