Monday, June 2, 2014

WWDC 2014 -- "Live" Blogging

    This is a "live" blog, I made of the WWDC keynote, watching it remotely.
    Well, Apple is more innovative than last year. But that's not really saying much.
    Their new "Swift" programming language is interesting. From what they showed, it appears to similar to         Google Dart, but not at all web-oriented. Also, it appears to be compiled and strongly typed, but with
    type inference. Perhaps a cross between Google Go and Google Dart?
    Most iOS things were Android catchup.

Tim Cook:

Here today to talk to talk about MacOS X and iOS.

Huge Dev Release?

Mac installed base is 80 million. 40 million installed copies of Mavericks.

OS X Yosemite (I was rooting for Death Valley.)

Lead feature: Translucent side bars and your title bar uses translucency to see scrolling...
If this is the lead, I'm concerned.
They appear to be doing an iOS 7-like revamp... this time it's not so radical... perhaps they have actually
thought it through.
Yet another attempt at desktop widgets... this time aping Google Now.

Search now integrated with Internet as well.. they may be the last to do this... Google, Windows, Linux all did this some time ago.

If he shows me the translucent sidebar again, I'll scream. It's a stupid feature... makes the sidebar harder to read.

They've added a calculator to notifications. Seriously?

Search is aping Google.

It doesn't look like the fiasco that iOS 7's revamp was.

iCloud Drive
It's what you think it is. Apparently they have Windows support as well.

Mail.. can use iCloud Drive for attachments.
Can doodle on images and PDFs.

Safari is overriding Google Search auto-completion features... this is likely a bad thing.
They finally added decent HTML5 support... IndexedDB, movies, SPDY. They were way behind there.
They are claiming major JavaScript speed ups..  6x faster than everybody else? We'll need to see third party benchmarks before I believe this. Really, this is extremely unlikely to be true. They did say a lot of qualifiers, like "most commonly used JavaScript"... I suspect they're just cooking numbers.

Turning to MacOS X and iOS "continuity". Finally made AirDrop work between them (what took so long?).
Looks like some apps use proximity awareness to let you transfer between Mac and iOS devices. Macs will auto-hotspot via your iPhone. This is actually one of the first innovations I've seen from Apple in a while.

Macs can get/use SMS and calls from you iPhone. It's strictly iPhone dependent. It's fine, but no new.

Makes a phone call to Dr. Dre. Sigh!

Done with Yosemite.

Not shipping yet... public beta (a REAL change for Apple there).

Turning to iOS.
Poking at Android... he's being embarrassing really...

End user features of iOS 8

Interactive notifications. Largely imitation of Android features.
Some integration of UIs between Yosemite and iOS 8.
Overloaded double tap of home button... it now does many different things on that same tiny screen.

Attempting to emulate Android menus with gestures and buttons. Amusing. Yet another "winning" feature from the one-button mouse people.

Adding Android swift-key like keyboards and predictive typing.

iPad <-> iPhone "continuity" as in Yosemite.

Finally getting speech to text support in chat (again aping Android). Oops, not even that... they send "audio" messages. You have to listen to them. Lame...

Enterprise... might be some nice things... the presentation is moving too fast -- hard to understand what is really there.

Healthkit -- for those that want to lock their health information into a dying platform. They missed an opportunity here... if they made it an open platform, it might stand a chance and they would have a lead.

Family sharing... Both in the App Store and in iCloud. This is a good feature, mildly innovative. You can do this with Google, but it is not as well integrated and doesn't work at all in Play Store. Basically Apple just gave away developer sales here. You now get to sell only one copy per family.

They have redone iPhoto again... I'm concerned for my Dad... he doesn't like these continual (often gratuitous) changes.

Turning to developer features in iOS 8.
Can make things you could not make before.

Apple finally catching up to Android in offering developer options in App Store (in the Fall).

Biggest SDK release since launch of the App Store.

4000 new developer APIs.

Extensibility... can extend the system and offer services to other apps (Android catchup).
It's a direct rip off really.
Mentioned Bing... how long before they drop Google Search?
Mentioned Yahoo.

For some odd reason Apple seems to think it's a good idea to put the notion of Android's home screen widgets inside of the notification center. Why do they think this?

iOS can now have 3rd party keyboards... Android Catchup from oh, 4 years ago?

Touch ID... strangely, they are only just now letting developers at this.

Camera API... catchup with Android.

HomeKit.... again... why do they not make this an open API?

CloudKit... Finally Web APIs... but are they open? He doesn't really say.

Metal -- gaming-console level graphics on iOS. Apple likely to keep their lead in gaming for a bit longer.
This is really A7-chip (latest iPhone 5S and latest iPads) only. They really are doing some impressive stuff here.

SpriteKit - casual gaming enhancements.

XCode... Objective C without C?
New programming language... Swift.
Closures, Generics, Name Spaces, Multiple return types. Type Inference.
Can work alongside Objective C and C code.
First impression: a strongly-typed, compiled Dart.

All of this available in the "Fall".

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