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News from the Streets of San Francisco

Posted on 29 Jun 2015

It’s good to be back at shinobicontrols HQ after a busy two weeks, which included soaking up the latest in tech from Apple in San Francisco. It was great to discuss the future of native mobile with so many developers and customers with exciting projects.

Decorations-at-WWDC-2013

iOS 9

The principal topic was iOS 9, with a raft of user-centric features being introduced. The user experience on the iPad will change dramatically, with Apple clear in its goal to challenge some of the nice-to-have features available on android. When we say iPad owners will benefit, we do of course mean iPad Air 2 owners. Nearly 50 per cent of active iPads are version 3 or less and this is clearly an attempt by Apple to address the upgrade cycle. iPad Air 1 owners may feel a little aggrieved, but this has never deterred Apple! Overall it is no doubt an exciting time to be an iOS user.

Metal

The shinobicontrols team is excited to see how much of a benefit Metal brings to iOS 9, with UIKit rendering a limiting factor in many complex apps. It may well just bring some of those existing apps alive, and give a little more freedom to creative developers.

Watch OS finally feels like it is becoming ‘a thing’ with the release of version 2, and we’re keen to see what ‘native’ means in real terms. In the same way that good mobile apps are not just a desktop clone, so watch apps are going to have to be very carefully crafted – an excellent new opportunity for innovation in data visualisation!

Swift 2

We often get asked about the adoption of Swift, with some interesting opinions expressed in our discussions. It’s coming; Apple is pushing it hard and it will happen. What’s a really interesting discussion point is when to make the jump. While we’ve always provided support for Swift, we feel the landscape is too changeable for full adoption just yet, evidenced by the amount of code changes required by version 1.2. However, with the arrival of an open source Swift 2, we’re fully expecting a far more stable offering, and adoption rates to take another large step up. We’ll be carefully reviewing this over the summer and expect the new year may see Swift become the de facto language of choice.

Time to reflect

Meeting so many developers and customers in the city was a real thrill. Everyone was excited by the new potential. It’s time for us to review what’s out there, understand what’s worth our time and start our day-by-day analysis! Look out for our highly popular blog series starting soon.

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