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WWDC Week 2017

Well, that was quite a full week! I've been pretty busy prepping to open source my blogging platform, which I've finally wrapping up today. Checkout BlogPerfect to see what I've been working on! I wanted to have that ready and updated for when I started writing about WWDC, but now that it's finally done here we go!

What's Missing

It was a packed show, very dense on information. In particular the demos were incredible, especially the ARKit segment. But there were a few things that didn't get mentioned, and not just because they didn't have time. I was really hoping for a more thought out redesign of UIKit, but for now it seems like the iPad will get the focus with much of the new capabilities perhaps with a UI refresh on the 'tock' cycle next year. There is a significant updated to the HIG which should certainly move the needle on look and feel over the next version's life.

The other big ommision that I was hoping for was the great iTunes split that's been rumored for years now. I share the thought that the macOS experience of media is mostly terrible, and that a lot of that could be solved with a split of iTunes into Music, Podcast, TV, and Device Managment apps. I thought we were seeing hints of this when Apple rebranded their Podcast directory to simply 'Apple Podcasts' but that was never expanded on. Guess we're dealing with iTunes for another year.

Sessions

It was really hard to find enough time to watch all the sessions I wanted to this week, but I did end up catching quite a few live and caught up on others during off-schedule time.

Password Autofill is a good expansion of the recent APIs to use Safari Passwords in iOS, where previously this was a UI-less API which the developer could implement themselves that could load passwords from the keychain if they verified your App's server. Now this works essentially the same with the same privacy restrictions, but the control is moved into the user's hands. I really love the new user story here, and hopefully I can get this working with my companies React-Native project.

There was also a great session on Best Practices for User Notifications that was a good reminder of the new notification framework introduced in iOS 10 last year, as well as some cool new capabilities.

Hardware

Personally I can't remember a bigger WWDC for hardware news, including back when they would announce new iPhone hardware. The updates to the MacBook line are certainly welcome, although I will say in regards to the MacBook Pro that two data popints do not make a trend. I'd love to see this this commitment continue with another hardware refresh sometime next year.

The iMac Pro looks like an incredibly powerful machine that I cannot see myself ever needing, but man is it pretty. Realy wish that the Space Grey Magic Keyboard included a Touch Bar though. I'm ready to finally have one of those on the keyboard I actually use.

Then there's the HomePod. The name isn't as offensive to me as it was during the keynote now that some time has passed, but it's still not great. It makes sense to shift their 'audio experience' brand to the 'Pod' term though and it makes for good consistency. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on one of these this December. Probably won't be swinging for two right out of the gate though.

I'll have plenty more to say about the new iPad Pros once my 10.5" arrives tomorrow.

Betas

I've been runing the betas for the past week now and man, they are rough. I'll have a more thorough walk through later this week but in short it's a solid new direction for the platforms.