WWDC 2014 - Top 5 developer announcements

Today Apple demonstrated the future of developing on its platforms at its 2014 Worldwide Developer Conference. Unlike previous years the conference was solely focused software – OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. Here are the 5 most important things that developers should take away from today.

App Store

  1. App Bundles – When iOS 8 is launched later this year developers will have the ability to be able to sell bundles of apps at a discounted rate in the App Store. Along with this video previews will be able to be added to app listings alongside screenshots.

Metal

  1. Metal - Apple has unveiled a new framework to increase performance of 3D graphics rendering on the mobile A7 chip. The technology aims to minimize the overhead caused by OpenGL via allowing developers more direct access to the GPU. Metal is also contain support for graphics shaders and multithreading.

Testflight

  1. Testflight - Last year Google Play added alpha and beta testing to their developer program, today Apple demonstrated their intention to match Google’s offering in iOS 8. Until now developers were limited to a total of a hundred testers unless they were part of the enterprise program. Testflight was acquired back in February, when Apple purchased its creator, Burstly.

Safari

  1. WebGL - Mobile Safari was the final browser to not have support WebGL, a JavaScript API used for rendering 2D and 3D graphics using GPU acceleration. Safari on iOS 8 will include the technology by default.

Swift

  1. Swift – Swift was introduced by Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, as “Objective-C without the C”. Swift can be used in conjunction with both C and Obj-C so it doesn’t require developers to sacrifice old code.

Swift Example

One of the most impressive features in Swift’s arsenal is the ability to see changes to code in real-time. This includes Xcode displaying how many times each part of a loop will execute to graphing the values of variables over time.

It also introduces multiple return types, allowing more than one value to be returned from a function.

func getGasPrices() -> (Double, Double, Double) {
return (3.59, 3.69, 3.79)
}

Semi-colons have now been made optional and are not required unless you want to have multiple statements on one line.

Other new features that are introduced in Swift is the capability of passing functions to other functions as parameters and functions having variable amounts of parameters.

If you want to get started with Swift you can download the 500-page book that Apple published in the iBooks Store today and a copy of the Xcode 6 beta.

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