Our developer presence was very strong in San Francisco this year, with every member of both the Mac and iOS team in attendance at WWDC or AltConf. Each one of us found something in Apple’s announcements that got us excited and made us want to crack open our laptops immediately. Here, in our own words, are the development team’s top picks from WWDC:
Since my day-to-day work revolves around Apple’s development tools, I was excited to see the improvements to Xcode 7. Using Interface Builder with storyboards is going to be a lot more manageable, and Swift 2.0 is a clean language, free from the weight of Objective-C. All that, plus the additional speed of El Capitan equals reduced friction in development.
Aside from Drake’s cool Apple jacket, the most exciting features for me have to be iOS 9 multitasking and Spotlight search. iOS 9 multitasking will make it even easier to to use 1Password alongside apps that haven’t yet incorporated our fantastic 1Password app extension. Spotlight has the potential to allow searching of 1Password items along with other items on my iPhone quick and easy.
Under the hood, it looks like providing secure communications with NSURLSession is going to get easier and safer with more controls over caching, security protocols, and HTTP/2 support. I’m looking forward to working with NSURLSession in 1Password soon.
I’d have to say that Swift 2.0 is the most exciting thing they announced at WWDC this year. The introduction of a brand new programming language last year was surprising, but it ended up being pretty incomplete and we felt like it was definitely something for us to look into in the future. This year, Apple demonstrated some major improvements for 2.0 – in fact, every session was written in Swift. So it looks as if we all really have to start using Swift in 1Password very soon, and it sounds like it has a lot of exciting and cool features that Obj-C can’t do so easily.
Meeting everyone on the AgileBits team was also a big highlight, since I had previously only met some of the Montreal devs and not much more.
I work on the App Extension API for iOS and on the 1Password iOS extension, so I have a particular interest in any interactions between 1Password and the outside world. No wonder that I was very excited by the Core Spotlight API (Spotlight Search), which may or may not allow 1Password items to be indexed right in Spotlight. :-) I was also excited by the background task assertion APIs and the other improvements for iOS extensions from the “App Extension Best Practices” session (session 224).
WWDC week is always awesome because I get to see my colleagues in person and many other awesome people from our developer community. I miss all of you already. <3
As a developer, Swift 2 looks to be a great step forward. We have a large codebase though, so we won’t be able to switch to it overnight. What’s nice is that the introduction of Swift 2 came alongside improvements to Objective-C that we can start using immediately to make our existing code better. I’m looking forward to using Generics and Nullability to improve our code and make it interoperate better with the eventual Swift that will get introduced to our codebase soon.
CloudKit Web Services really surprised me. I can’t wait to see what developers do with it.
I’m particularly excited by Swift 2, the latest iteration to Apple’s new programming language which made its debut last year at WWDC. I think that everyone here at AgileBits had the same reaction to Swift when it was announced: “This is amazing! Let’s write everything in Swift!” Unfortunately the bloom fell off the rose a little bit and that initial reaction changed to, “OK, Swift is really cool, but it’s not quite ready for us to use in 1Password yet”.
From everything I’ve seen and read about Swift 2, it’s very clear that Apple has been listening to developer feedback and working hard to smooth out the rough edges of the language. One of the cooler things I saw discussed in Session 106, “What’s New In Swift”, was the introduction of the
guard statements codify the pattern of early returns, simplify the syntax, and increase readability.
It’s not just improvements to Swift itself. Apple is well aware of the fact that Swift has to play nicely with Objective-C as well (Objective -C is the de facto language for programming on Apple’s platforms since OS X was first introduced). To that end, they are maturing Objective-C with things like nullability qualifiers in method declarations and Objective-C typed collections.
I was most excited about the announcement of multitasking on the iPad Air 2, which allows the user to display and use two apps side by side. I love it because it could make it easier to copy & paste info from one app to the other or just quickly look up information – which is what I see useful for 1Password. Imagine filling out your flight online check-in in the browser and looking up your passport information without having to switch apps. Love it!
Apart from that, I am super excited about the Spotlight options that were announced. The possibility of searching for 1Password items without opening the app is just like TouchID: another game changer.