Post-WWDC 2015 Keynote Thoughts

It's now been a few hours after The WWDC 2015 Keynote, and I've had some time to digest everything. My immediate impression of everything was a little "meh", but then again, that's sort of how I feel every year. It's hard to satisfy everyone.

Second impression is that the WWDC Keynote is no longer for developers. It's for the end users and wannabe developers. Us old-timers are too jaded to care about this new and shiny stuff, and most of the new products in the keynote aren't even things developers can use (on that note, was it really necessary to spend that much time on Apple Music?).

Another noteworthy thing–no new hardware. I was expecting at least something, so to hear crickets was a little unfortunate. I can only assume that the inordinate amount of time spent talking about Apple Music was in some part due to a need to "fill time" from what would have originally been a 15-20 minute spiel on Apple TV.

As always, the things that are exciting to me happen in the sessions throughout the week. The Keynote is sort of just a preview of what's to come. After some perusing through the documentation, here's what I'm excited about:

Deep Linking

I wrote about this in my WWDC 2015 Wishlist, and it came true. You can now link up URLs to be opened by your application. I haven't had too much time to play around with iOS 9 yet, so I'm not sure how this works from either the developer or end-user side of things, but my first impression is that Apple did this right.

Besides the notable backtracking of moving search away from the pull-down gesture and back to the left of the home screen (I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that meeting), iOS Search can now display search results straight from apps in Spotlight.

Just to illustrate an example—my company writes an app called Tweet Seeker that lets people download their Twitter archives and search their tweets locally on their device. Tweet Seeker can now hook right into iOS and display tweet search results right from Spotlight. Now that's cool!

iPad Multitasking

Remember the iPad Pro? Well, this is it. You take a regular iPad, and you install iOS 9. There. iPad Pro. :claps:

You know those things that you can't really imagine a use for, or want, and then in 3 months you realize you can't live without it? Yeah, well, I'd put money that this is one of those things.

I can see this changing how people use their iPads, along with the new keyboard gestures. The iPad is no longer just a toy, or larger screen iPhone made for watching Netflix and HBO. It's now a tool to get shit done.

Swift 2

I think it's great news that Swift is going open source "later this year". Of course, in Apple parlance, that means probably somewhere around December 15-31 (just trying to be realistic here–it's not easy to open-source something like this, I'd bet there is a ton of proprietary code lurking in that codebase).

Also, I think with this release, I'm comfortable picking up the Swift book and starting to actually learn the language. I am embarrassed (only a bit, though) that I haven't written a single line of code in the language. With this latest release, I think I might be ready to start jumping in. A 2.0 implies a little more stability, and other developers who were waiting on the sidelines will probably jump in on the fun as well.

Another telling thing is that all the code I saw in the "Developers State of the Union" Keynote was written in Swift. I don't think it's any secret now that Apple considers Swift to be the future. As much as we might not want it, it's going to happen.

If you started learning it a few months ago, though, prepare to have to relearn a bunch of stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple pulled the rug out from under you.

Apple Music

I'll keep it brief. I don't need it. Spotify works great for me. I think its success hinges on musicians buying in. We don't want another Ping here.


You'll notice I skipped over a lot of the OS X stuff. I honestly haven't had enough time to digest it all. So. Much. New. Stuff. Will download and report back.

That's it for now. I'm taking a walk to think about this all some more.