Bitmaker goes to WWDC: 5 updates we’re watching

Contributed by Kwame Bryan, Mobile Development Lead Instructor

Every year Apple unveils a range of new products and services at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. This year, I went to WWDC to learn about the most important iOS updates from Apple engineers so that I can integrate them into our Mobile Development course. If you’re an aspiring developer, here are 5 WWDC highlights that you should know about:

1. Say Hello to Open Source Swift 2.0
This year, Apple is taking Swift to the next level by making it open source. This is big news for those just getting into mobile development because Swift is much easier to approach than Objective-C. We’ll be focusing even more on Swift in our program to help beginners accelerate their learning. As an added bonus, Swift 2.0 will also open the doors for non-Mac developers to start building and compiling iOS apps.

2. Bug Squashing and Performance Boosts
Apple is reinventing how programmers develop software, making it simple to find bugs quickly. The concept of Protocol Oriented Programming, will change how developers think about designing software. Teaching newcomers to adopt this programming paradigm will help them jump into debugging code and optimizing performance more accessible.

3. The Release WatchOS 2
Finally the Apple Watch will run native applications without letting the iPhone do all the lifting. This means that applications are built specifically for the watch with more access to the hardware and less ‘loading’ screens. There’s already a flood of new content coming to the Apple Watch, so I’m sure that proficiency with watchOS is going to become a critical development skill.

My view of the keynote at WWDC!

4. Making Games Just Got Easier
Developers face two hurdles when building games: optimizing performance and building gameplay mechanics. Apple announced easy to use frameworks named GameplayKit, Model I/O, and ReplayKit. From building artificial intelligence, to including path finding, to sharing content, iOS 9 will make it much easier to build games.

5. Go Cutting Edge with XCode 7
XCode 7 has made it even simpler to develop cutting edge applications with improved workflows. I’m looking forward to teaching students how to build applications that support many devices using the much improved Interface Builder (UIStackView).

The next year is going to be such an exciting time for emerging mobile developers to help shape the future of iOS development, especially with the advancements in Swift, Apple Watch, and iOS9.

If you’re interested in learning more about iOS development, I frequently run free workshops where I take you through the process of building your first iOS app in 2 hours. For anyone who’s ready to dive in, I also teach an immersive Mobile Development course where you’ll learn the skills to become an iOS developer in just 9 weeks.