WWDC 2015: No sensations

To break patterns and stereotypes of the crash this time was not. Reasonable and predictable, almost boring. Well obscene. The last part of the event was surprised. She was clumsy and uninteresting, it was probably the worst “One More Thing” in their history. What presented actually, was quite good: access to all resources of iTunes for $ 9.99 per month, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Family access – for 14,99. It was called Apple Music. Service. These services already existed, Apple Music even if it (the“service”, means “it is”) something and surpassed them, the presentation was around this moment of silence. That is, nothing?

The trick OMT (One More Thing) was used to highlight the main and incredible, he was something of a signal for the weary listeners: “attention, now it will be interesting!” that is, this service should be taken as something breakthrough and revolutionary.

The service itself was much better than it was presented. The engineers, as always, has fulfilled his part of the work at the highest level. But, for some reason, he never “took off”. If it said nothing that day, and just released would be dry and dispassionate press release, listing the advantages and important details, it would be better.

But OMT closed press conference on the opening of WWDC 2015, the previous parts, at least, were executed qualitatively and rejection did not cause.

The main themes

If we forget about Apple Music, the main topics were three. OS X Yosemite, iOS 9 (with the “iPad only” for 4 years before iPadOS) and watchOS 2. And a dozen of the smaller caliber.

For example, the Metal came in OS X. In system frameworks it replaced the OpenGL and OpenCL. Third-party developers had a choice, no one forced them to withdraw immediately from these older and slower technologies, the time has not come yet.

“Metal” (team Metal) tamed graphics processors from Intel, AMD and NVIDIA, it actually was a real breakthrough, which gave much less time than Apple Music. Experts predicted this breakthrough, but in 3 years, not before. Or 5. But less than a year: impossible mission brilliantly executed. What did it cost “the metal”, not reported.

Third-party developers use in their code to OpenGL and/or OpenCL are not in a hurry to throw the usual and well familiar to them “deprecated” API. The main obstacle was not even the unwillingness to learn something new (the need to constantly study the work of the programmer, such as a constant readiness for death in samurai).

OpenGL and OpenCL are cross-platform technologies. Metal – no. Moreover, unlike previous times, Apple didn’t even try to make Metal available to the public, believing it to be its competitive advantage. The popularity of Apple platforms in 2015 was unprecedented, but not enough to convince developers to spend time on two versions of non-trivial code is the same for all platforms.

Another important topic was touched upon in passing. Early presentations of OS X 10.11 “El Capitan” Craig Federighi announced that 55% of Macs installed OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”, released just 8 months before. For comparison, Windows 8.1, released in October 2013, a year before OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”, used only 7% of Windows users.

At the beginning of the presentation of iOS 9, Craig announced that iOS 8 has been installed in 83% of iOS devices.

That is, 55% of users of Macs and 83% of iOS users had access to the latest technologies these systems, developers can feel at ease to concentrate on maximum compatibility with the latest versions of the systems. How important is focus when writing a program, I hope you realise, even those who have never worked in the software industry.

Why “Apple” of the platform year after year is subject to an order of magnitude faster than their competitors? There are several reasons, but the main of them is simplicity of upgrade. And its price. And the model which is very easy to navigate (why more?), and all the very “special way of Apple”, for which she was criticized and continue to criticize

Among the news of the “second level” was some news more important than “main”. And about the most important news for developers on a press-conferences did not mention.

About it told in the second half of the first day of WWDC.

Suspicious care about the developers

In 2014, Apple suddenly redesigned iTunes Connect, to ease the life of everyone difficult brought into the ranks of iOS developers, their managers, marketers and all others involved in the creation of iOS apps.

It was so amazing that we asked the question “what’s the catch?” but it was not. Just finally did what should have been done five years ago.

But some thought otherwise. Was this version: the number of people wishing to register as a member of the iOS Developer Program have declined sharply, and those who do not prolong a subscription to this program ($99 per year in the USA) on the contrary became more. And here’s the result: the acquisition of Burstly, hiring key employees and developing iTunesConnect from scratch.

What would our colleague, whom I named in the previous paragraph “some” on the matter – I can only guess.

Until June 2015, Apple had three of the “developer program”, each of which costs $ 99 a year. Mac Developer Program, iOS Developer Program and Safari Developer Program. On the first two, I was well aware, the Safari developer program, in my opinion, dealt with the development of extensions for Safari (could be wrong).

In 2015, the platforms became larger, there was watchOS. Related to iOS, but special. The decision which was made in Cupertino was unexpected. And pleasant. For all but those who just renewed his subscription to all three Developer Program. However, take care of them: the subscription is up for renewal on a single program was for them increased to two years.

Now, to access private resources and beta versions for all platforms, it was enough to sign up for the Apple Developer Program, for the same $ 99 a year.


Video of the press conference (duration 02:20:09):

To be continued

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