Another WWDC event comes to an end. 5,000 developers attended Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose in June, including a team of Hutch devs.
Apple unveiled a plethora of new products at its WWDC event. Some of the big announcements were not different from the rumours, as Apple did announce of course iOS 11, its very own HomePod smart speaker and a new iPad.
Apple are very pro high-end 3D games. We were excited about the new hardware announcements and to see if we can get our software to utilise the latest technology. The keynote event of Apple’s
Worldwide Developer’s Conference clocked in at more than two hours, and it was full of news about what Apple’s doing with macOS and its hardware.
Even Michelle Obama seemed to be interested in the new updates as she made an appearance at WWDC on Tuesday for a fireside chat with Apple CEO Tim Cook. She reminded the audience that girls can code and she emphasized the importance of encouraging young girls to purse careers in technology.
For those who missed out on the opportunity to watch the conference, we’ve captured some important highlights from the event.
- iOS 11, AR Kit and iPad-specific features
There were a few notable changes to iMessages in that it will now synchronise better between devices, free up storage space by offloading things like old photo messages to the cloud. Apple’s introducing updated iMac desktops with improved Retina displays, graphics boosts and Kaby Lake processors. They will also support graphics for VR content creation. During the keynote, Apple demoed this by showing off a VR game featuring Darth Vader, a lightsaber, and TIE fighter.
For developers, the excitement came when Apple announced the AR Kit for augmented-reality apps, which Apple is calling the “largest AR platform in the world.” It will also offer new machine learning and natural language capabilities, including things like face tracking and photo recognition. The new ARKit will let developers build impressive quality imaging through a device most people already own – the iPhone. We’ll know more on how the quality actually compares with other softwares when we get to try it out ourselves.
Siri has also been revamped with the introduction of translating queries into other languages, including French, Spanish and Chinese. Siri will also start “reading” the text on your screen so you can do things like spell complicated words.
- High Sierra
High Sierra is the name of the new macOS which is all about deep technology. Some of the major updates involved video and graphics; for example Apple introduced Metal 2 and Metal VR and announced that is doubling down the GPU power. It comes as no surprise as VR and AR apps need heavy GPU power and Apple obviously expressed a high interest in AR this year. Steam VR SDK, Unity and Unreal engines are coming to the Mac as well.
- The App Store suffered a facelift, but the functionality stays the same
It’s the first time the App Store received a major redesign since it launched. There quite a few exciting changes for game developers. In iOS 11, games have their own tab, separate from the rest of the apps and easily accessible from anywhere in the App Store. They have been given a rejuvenating look making it easy for users to navigate the store.
For us analytics are key to Hutch’s business model that centres on free-to-play games. We are focusing more on the metrics of our games, we don’t obsess about where we are in the charts. Still these new changes should make developers happier by finally splitting up Games and Apps. We’ve seen new features like video streams of gameplay starting automatically on the page as the user scrolls down. The App Store redesign is really emphasising the story angle. The new features could bring a better experience to the iPhone users who are searching for specific game titles.
- Amazon launches to Apple TV
With 50 partners already integrated into the App, including Netflix, now Amazon will build its Prime Video library into Apple TVs later in the year. With the huge library of 4k content it’s expected we’ll see the launch of a 4K-capable Apple TV in the not so distant future, what this space!
- There are a few more iOS 11 features Apple didn’t talk about onstage
Time was short and the big features like augmented reality or launching a smart speaker – HomePod – caught everyone’s attention. That’s why some of the best iOS 11 announcements were shadowed by the most hottest topics taking the tech market by storm. We heard Craig Federighi, the senior VP only touching on a couple of features, but the Verge covered the rest in this 9 best iOS 11 features Apple didn’t talk about onstage article.
Our team not only brought lots of food for thought from the WWDC 2017, but some really cool pins! The “Hello” ones are already gone…:-) You can watch back the main highlights from the conference on Apple’s You Tube channel here
- WWDC 2017: The 3 biggest product announcements (TechRepublic)
- Apple’s WWDC 2017: The big takeaways for technology pros (ZDNet)
- Top 5 WWDC 2017 announcements that impact businesses (TechRepublic)
- Mac users, meet APFS: macOS’ new file system (ZDNet)