Top Seven Takeaways from Apple’s WWDC Keynote

Studio Daily by Bryant Frazer

A New Programming Language, Third-Party iOS Keyboards, Image Annotation in Email, and More

What's been cooking in Cupertino? Today was the big keynote address at Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC), in which Apple CEO Tim Cook rolled out the company's latest and greatest for an audience of software developers — as well as Mac lovers and haters worldwide who tuned in to the live video stream. Apple didn't introduce any new hardware, nor did the company address Final Cut Pro X, concentrating instead on the new features in the forthcoming OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, including a slew of news aimed squarely at programmers. But any improvement to Apple's core products is a boon to the creative pros who gravitate toward iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and Mac Pros in their daily lives. There was a lot of news today for developers, but here's a quick summary of the high points of today's nearly two-hour-long presentation.

Apple is learning to be less of a control freak.
Apple announced a new level of extensibility to applications in iOS, which are normally isolated in sandboxes. Now, applications will be allowed to reach out of their own sandboxes interact with other apps' extensions. Apple showed one extension that allows Bing Translation to do inline translations on web pages loaded in Safari, but the big news for iOS users is that potentially speedier third-party keyboards, like the popular Swype keyboard for Android, will finally be allowed to replace the vanilla Apple-provided keyboard system-wide. That's a major (and very welcome) concession from a company that has historically maintained a stranglehold on user experience.

Programming for OS X and iOS may have just gotten a lot easier.
Apple announced Swift, a new language for developing OS X and iOS applications that replaces Objective-C. At the WWDC keynote, Apple's Chris Lattner demoed a highly interactive development environment in Xcode called a Swift playground that allows programmers to see exactly what they're doing — what different variables represent, or which images are being loaded — as they type in each line of code. Swift code can work alongside C and Objective-C code in the same application, and is completely native to the Cocoa and Cocoa touch development frameworks for OS X and iOS. Judging from the crowd reaction, Swift, which jettisons much of the baggage associated with the venerable C, was the biggest and most welcome surprise of the keynote. If your job description requires you to develop apps for Apple devices, you'll want the just-released eBook The Swift Programming Language, available for free download through iTunes. read more...

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