Our takeaways from Apple's WWDC 2021
Every year around this time our tech-senses start tingling and the scent of excitement blows through our offices. That’s right, it was once again time for Apple’s WWDC summer event. Some of our biggest enthusiasts filtered through the shiny tiny updates and highlighted some of the announcements that will leave their marks in the years to come.
We need to talk about spatial computing. Again.
Last year, Apple gave us reason to believe in the big future of spatial computing. And still today, it is clear that this technology should stay on everyone’s radar. The opportunities of spatial computing find their way into more and more Apple products & software, which means the technology will become more & more adopted by a broad audience.
With the introduction of spatial audio in Airpods, Apple brings an immersive audio experience to its users. Combined with the more widespread VR & AR applications, spatial audio will definitely contribute to a more genuine experience on the fascinating intersection of machines & real life. Same goes for voice isolation, which leverages spatial audio in cases you need hearing aid or want to hear one another in crowded places.
Next to audio, Apple also announced that Apple Maps will help you navigate the streets by adding a virtual layer on top of your device’s camera. Stepping out of a metro station and don’t know where you're headed? Scan your surroundings and find your way with the help of a little spatial computing.
Oh, and did we mention that Live Text will be able to detect any given text on your screen, photos or surroundings? One thing is certain: spatial computing is becoming better, smarter and more widespread. This won’t be the last of it.
Competition in the developing world?
Besides a long list of new different OS features, the announcement of XCode 13 stirs up some dust in the development world. The big question here: can it compete with Atlassian or GitLab?
XCode 13 promises to integrate with your Git repository on a next level. Comments on your merge request will now become visible right in line with your code. Through the use of XCode Cloud we might be able to set up our release pipeline straight from within XCode.
Swift also comes with built-in support for concurrent programming. The Actor design pattern now brings async/await to Swift and brings competition for frameworks like PromiseKit and RxSwift. Apple hopes this will result in more readable and less nested code that makes it hard to debug.
To clarify things even more, Apple added DocC which will improve code documentation straight from within XCode as well. This might replace tools like Jazzy and should help with handovers or getting new developers up to speed by running as a separate building step. Only time will tell if Apple makes good on its promises.
Later this year, we might see new Macbooks, iPhones or first signs of the much-anticipated glasses. Nevertheless the ‘dub-dub’ made some bold statements again that will definitely shape the digital path of the coming years . Our main takeaways? We'll closely follow the evolutions in the field of spatial computing, and the real impact of Apple's development moves. As always, we’re already looking forward to the next ‘one more thing’.