I’ve spent the last couple of days walking the halls of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, talking to developers about the announcements yesterday. One common theme emerged from those discussions: Possibilities.
I haven’t seen developers this excited about a WWDC in many years—probably since Apple first allowed native apps on iOS. There is a real sense of Apple turning a corner with all of the new tools they gave developers during the conference.
This isn’t just good news for developers—everyone will benefit from this type of excitement. The more developers believe in the platform, the more they continue to push the envelope of what can be done with Apple products—that ultimately means more, and better, apps for consumers. That’s just what every platform needs to thrive.
Most non-developers watching the keynote yesterday probably didn’t care much about Apple’s new Swift programming language, but developers sure took notice. Swift is part of the tools that are going to make app development more efficient. And, because Swift code is interoperable with Objective-C, developers can start using it right away.
One developer I spoke with said Swift has him considering the possibilities of taking his iOS app to the Mac. As a small shop, Swift takes away some of the headaches and resource drain on his company when considering such a big move. His plan is to use Swift for any new code, while utilizing common Objective-C code between the apps. When the Mac app is completed, he will systematically replace the remaining code with Swift.
Other developers told me that apps that were in the beginning phases of development will be done in Swift, while they reevaluate what to do with existing apps.
It’s hard to explain how monumental WWDC 2014 has been. Every developer here is excited about the possibilities for their existing apps and new ones they will build—ideas are flowing, but nobody wanted me to say what they were doing, so you’ll have to wait.
There are some great things coming out of WWDC this year.