Due to the Coronavirus, this year’s WWDC will be online only and we will not miss it. CTO Dan Rutkovský comments on the Main Keynote WWDC 2020 – he was at the heart of the event in San Francisco last year.
As we might expect, the intro part of the keynote was devoted to the topics of racism and also to COVID. Afterward, the main news came. Compared to last year, when Apple released quite fundamental changes, this year could be summarized from an iOS development point of view as „nothing important”. All system changes bring iOS developers a little extra work, but on the other hand, users will be thrilled.
For example, iOS changes the home screen, adds widgets, and also some tweaks from iPadOS like Picture in Picture. The possibility of opening the car using an iPhone looks very interesting, but unlike CarPlay, it doesn’t look like mass technology yet, which is a pity. BMW will start using it and hopefully, more cars will be added in the future.
On the contrary, the so-called App Clips will be very interesting for us - developers. Basically instant apps that we already know from Android, only in Apple’s form factor.
In practice, this means that apps will be accessible easily (launched via NFC, web, geolocation, QR code) and usable. An example from practice given at WWDC was the arrival at a parking lot, the App Clip pops up in users’ iPhone with an application to pay for parking. Users will pay for parking with Apple Pay and that’s it. Theoretically, it looks really great.
Again, no fundamental changes for iPadOS. It is getting closer and closer with macOS slowly, and probably the biggest update this year is the ability to recognize written text using Apple Pencil and its conversion into typed text. Quite useful.
AirPods, on the other hand, have made a very big leap towards great usability, now they will automatically switch to the device you are currently using, which is not happening at the moment. For me as a user, this is really handy and I’m excited about it!
watchOS has been given the function of sleep tracking, but third-party applications have already been able to do so, so the question is whether it will be so different from Apple. Furthermore, new designs were added, and above all more possibilities to create your own and share them.
For home assistants, we mainly got the assurance that Apple does everything itself, and not with third-party applications. We also saw the addition of a privacy overview, i.e. a list of what the application uses, directly to the App Store.
macOS has definitely brought the most changes this year. We have a lot of digs in the design that unify the look with the iPadOS.
However, the biggest announcement was the introduction of macOS for ARM, which means that Mac will no longer have processors from Intel, but its own - as is the case with the iPhone and iPad. This is the most fundamental change in the last 15 years when Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel.
Mac will be more powerful and with a better battery, but the rollout will take about 2 years. However, the first device with this technology, called the Apple Silicon, will see the light of day this year. Hardware innovations also bring changes to the software, thanks to which the current application will run on a new type of processors (Universal 2, Rosetta 2, Virtualization). At the same time, the new Macs will support applications from iPadOS and iOS, which can greatly help the entire macOS ecosystem.
In addition, to test the new Macs, Apple has introduced the Quick Start program with a Developer Transition Kit - macMini with an A12Z processor that will cost $ 500. Definitely interesting news for iOS developers.
And such was the introductory WWDC Keynote 2020 - nothing groundbreaking for the iOS developers, the news sounds great to users, especially the new Macs, which I’m personally looking forward to.
We will be watching the entire WWDC conference all week to keep you posted.
P. S. At Keynote, the best atmosphere is always physically in place. How was it last year? Read a report by Dan from WWDC 2019.