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Swift 3.0 Preview 1 Released!
Here it is! Alongside the beta of Xcode 8 we've got an official Preview 1 release of Swift 3.0. There's a huge number of changes here and upgrading will break your projects. However, Xcode will also try and do the majority of the upgrade for you. Wave goodbye to NS... 👋
The A5 is dead (almost)
The iPad 2 and friends have had an incredible run, but it's coming to an end. This is really great news as it's been painful to keep everything running smoothly on that device, even for Apple... Have you tried iOS 9 on an iPad 2 recently? It's not great 😀
Xcode finally gets official extensions! I've never really been a big user of Xcode plugins other than to quickly try them out before writing about them here, but now they are official maybe that'll change. Russ Bishop gives us a rundown of the new extension API and how to get started building one. Of course, officially blessed extensions are a huge step forward, but the current API only supports text editing functionality and the integrity protection stops all unofficial plugins from working so there's going to be some pain for those of you that rely on any of the old plugins.
A quick look at UIViewPropertyAnimator
Roy Marmelstein, who created the Interpolate library with a quick look into the new controllable animation library in iOS 10. I didn't really expect new animation APIs but I'm glad to see this, it solves a very common problem.
This didn't get a huge amount of coverage this week but there's a new neural networking library inside the Accelerate framework on all of the new platforms. It's obviously not going to be needed by everyone, and only works with pre-trained networks but it's an interesting development.
Talking of animations, this new library based on UIDynamics is worth a look. There's easy chaining together of dynamics based animations along with a really clean and simple API.
App Launching on Apple Watch
The new ideas in watchOS 3 around launching apps, and replacing glances with apps are really interesting and along with the speedups to app launching with apps staying in memory might help make the platform a little more app-friendly. Conrad Stoll gives us his perspective on it.
Business and Marketing
New App Store Review Guidelines
One of the slightly more surprising changes this week is that Apple completely refreshed the App Store Review Guidelines! There's a little more information in the new guidelines on which apps will qualify for subscription pricing, and re-wording of almost every other part of it. They're even available in comic form! You should absolutely give the new guidelines document a read as well as the comic though. 😬
Apple is saving the App economy, but not by “fixing” the AppStore
Such a great article by Mateusz Stawecki on how extensions could be the key to "fixing" the App Store. He makes a great point.
Stream or download the videos from the main site, with the official iOS app. If you're reading this on Friday then you might even still catch some of the live stream. There's also the (unofficial) WWDC Mac app if you want to organize your downloads better on your Mac. I'll be loading up on these for the long flight back to the UK.
Swift Language User Group WWDC Swift Panel 2016
Watch JP Simard, Natasha the Robot, Ben Sandofsky, Ayaka Nonaka, and Jesse Squires talk all things Swift at this week's WWDC Swift User Group here in San Francisco.
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NSHipster Quiz #8
If you didn't make it to the live version of this in San Francisco this week, there's no need to miss out! Here's all of the questions and answers if you want to organize your own play through of it.
In so many years of incorrectly making WWDC predictions, I had to get one right eventually! Swift Playgrounds for iOS was unveiled during the keynote and for me it was the most important announcement of this week.
If you haven't had a chance to play with it yet, it's wonderful and I couldn't have hoped for more from this first version. The coding keyboard is fantastic, as are the in-place value editors and the use of gestures to manipulate things like loops. In some ways it's easier to use than playgrounds in Xcode! 😀
Education is the focus of this release and the included lessons are very well written and fun. They start right at the beginning with no assumption of any programming experience but they quickly become more challenging as you go through the core concepts. The beta doesn't have the full set of lessons, but there's a placeholder for the more advanced content which will be added before the final release.
The important point here that playgrounds on iOS are not just a toy: this is a fully featured Swift environment, which is huge for people who are using it learning to program for the first time. After finishing the lessons, everything you've learned will be directly applicable as you progress beyond the tutorials and into being a developer.
Of course, there's still going to be a gap between the end of any tutorial content that Apple provide, and sitting down with a blank playground to start to build something new. The great news here is that there's plenty of scope for all of us to create amazing playground content too with the playground books format. In a future version, it'd also be great to see some kind of "Playgrounds Store" directly inside the app to make third party content available to users.
I've already written too many words here and haven't even covered the iOS/macOS/tvOS/watchOS announcements, or the fact that Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi appeared on The Talk Show, or the fact that Apple have made significant enhancements to accessibility with the new platforms. It's been an amazing week, as always and we'll spend many more issues before September talking about all of the other changes!Dave Verwer