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WWDC 2016

Posted by About Objects

About Objects engineers attended Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco to learn about the upcoming features in iOS 10 and Swift, and to reunite with colleagues from back in the good old NeXT days.

Security and Debugging Enhancements

Our main focus at WWDC was to assess the impact of new features and improvements in iOS for our clients. Sessions such as What’s New in Security and Visual Debugging with Xcode included new information that will have a direct impact on the work we do here. In the former presentation, Apple announced that App Transport Security (ATS) would not only be required but enforced as a requirement for acceptance into the App Store, with few exceptions. This encourages a more secure mobile ecosystem, and positively impacts the security of our clients’ apps.

On the debugging side, Apple introduced a new Runtime Issues navigator that elevates issues with threading, layout, and memory to the same level of importance as traditional build issues. This leads to not only a more visual debugging experience, but a more efficient one, and makes identifying and fixing certain sorts of bugs a much more fluid process.

HTTP Live Streaming

Another important change for us here at About Objects was outlined in What’s New in HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). HLS is Apple’s video streaming protocol for content via platforms like QuickTime, Safari, macOS, and iOS. You might have used it to stream Apple’s keynote or other live video content.

HLS works by breaking down a large stream into smaller downloads. Here, Apple has added support for MPEG-4 Fragments, or fMP4. The significant benefit for our developers is interoperability — we’re now able to make use of the same media library, with the same fMP4 format, across platforms. This saves the client on delivery and storage costs, while also benefiting app efficiency.

Swift 3

Since its introduction in 2014, Swift has been a big part of the discussion at WWDC. With Swift 3, Apple is showcasing the first set of changes to the Swift language since its release to the open source community, and it’s immediately apparent that the relationship between Apple and the broader developer community in this endeavor has paid dividends.

Swift 3 introduces many new features that improve the clarity of the language as well as the conciseness of translated Cocoa APIs. We’re looking forward to using Swift increasingly as it continues to evolve and stabilize.

As always, we thoroughly enjoyed WWDC this year. So many of the technologies discussed have a direct impact on the work we do for our clients, and we eagerly anticipate working with updates that bring new functionality to the tools we work with every day.