WWDC 16 - Past and Future

June 05, 2016
4 minute read

I can’t believe it’s already been three years since I visited San Francisco for the first and only time. In the same way that the tickets that year were sold out in 70 seconds, that unforgettable week, where Apple announced iOS 7 and Mavericks, passed like lightning. It’s hard to to express how much I’m excited for the next week, both as a member of the iOS worldwide community and as a programmer. Yes, Dub Dub is already in the next week! In three years, generally speaking, a lot can happen in someone’s life. But in tech, things move faster, and in three years things change a LOT more. Just to understand to what degree iOS is maturing and the community is evolving together, I’ll list a few jaw dropping facts that were reality right before WWDC 13.

In the iOS/OS X world:

  • UIAlertViews and UIActionSheets and their delegates weren’t deprecated yet 😩
  • Skeumorphism was awesome
  • AutoLayout in Interface Builder wasn’t as easy as it is today and had tons of bugs
  • Stack Views? I’m still using Auto Resizing masks 🙈
  • Creating a CGRect with a 320 width was “ok”
  • The sandbox world was merciless and app extensions was a mere dream
  • Hosted Parse.com (RIP 😢) was the best option to effortlessly save data in the cloud, and there was no CloudKit
  • Networking was done with NSURLConnection
  • And of course… There was no Swift 😱

And in the iOS community:

  • CocoaPods was around version 0.20 - it took a lot of effort to reach 1.0 a few weeks ago. Congratulations to the CocoaPods team for reaching this huge milestone!
  • Fastlane would be crazier than any dream - yes, or you had to write ugly scripts, or to do it manually, again and again. Felix, you rock! In the name of the iOS community: we ❤️ you.
  • Realm didn’t exist yet - congratulations to the team for the 1.0 launch! The incredible work they do for the iOS community, posting good quality videos (with captions and summary!) also needs to be mentioned. Thank you 👏
  • Crashlytics was still in Beta
  • We didn’t have Little Bites Of Cocoa to sweeten our days 🍫
  • You or the designer you work with, probably still used Photoshop. Sketch FTW!
  • NSScreencast had almost 25% the amount of videos available today
  • Carthage also didn’t exist!

Is it only me, or when you look back to all these changes, knowing how things were different and hard before, you are also proud to experience all these changes while they happen? How cool is to watch this video again and again, and to remember the excitement for the new iOS that was coming?

As a pre-WWDC post, I also can’t skip my (humble, I admit) wishlist:

  • A dark mode on iOS. Is the updated WWDC app a hint for that? Like the feature we have in Tweetbot: if the ambient is dark, the app automatically transitions to the dark mode;
  • Some way to customize UIAlertController’s appearance, like what happens in the Apple Music app and similar to [Dropbox(http://cl.ly/1z2M3v1C2x0E). (As a side note, I remember that, in 2013, Apple announced that the first beta of iOS 7 would have some property that would allow adding custom views, like a image view, to UIAlertView. No one heard about it anymore in the other betas 🙊);
  • Customize the haptic feedback for notifications on the Watch. For example, only Messages, Calendar and Health notifications have that subtle tap in your wrist; what if we could identify which app wants our attention only by the pattern of the feedback? Besides that, having the default “vibration” is too obnoxious when happens frequently in other messaging apps;
  • What everybody is talking about: Siri on OS X and some sort of Siri API for 3rd party apps;
  • Better implementations and discoverability of 3D Touch. I believe that the low usage (both by users and developers) of the 3D Touch APIs are related to Apple not using it enough in their own apps, and for not marketing/making it visible enough;
  • More system apps implementing multitasking on the iPad. Again, how Apple wants us to make apps using some technologies, when they don’t adopt it completely?
  • Handoff on Apple Music? (Again, I’m looking at you, Apple!)

Of course, the Keynote and the State of the Union presentations will come and (I hope) surprise everyone. This is part of the magic. In the last days I’ve been literally dreaming about this magic.

I can’t wait to meet personally the people who I only know from the internet; to see other friends who I’ve met before and I’m in touch with; and specially to meet new people. Thousands of different people, from different backgrounds and locations, with a shared passion.

I can’t wait to hear in first hand what’s coming to iOS 10, OS X, watchOS, tvOS, Xcode and Swift 3. I can’t wait to get emotional for making a dream come true, once again, after being present on a Keynote with more than 5 thousand people. I can’t wait for WWDC to start!

PS: If you want to start getting into the mood, I recommend this playlist on Apple Music!