With WWDC 2021 on the horizon, it is important to know some things to be on the lookout for that may be being announced this year! Like previous years, WWDC is a conference held by Apple for their developers to showcase the new technologies and hardware that they get a first glimpse of to start working on development by the time of release. Like last year, WWDC this year will be hosted virtually! Thats right, no need to pay for the lottery ticket system in hopes that you can go to the Apple campus for it. Every developer that is registered with Apple will have free access to stream the event as well as take part in different lounges to learn even more about the new technologies!
Registration to become an Apple developer is free for the base program. The free program will not allow you submit apps to the App Store, but will allow you to begin development and grant you access to many of the tools and features of the program. One of these features is WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference). All you have to do to register for WWDC is go to developer.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID. Once signed in, you will be prompted to accept their licensing terms and agreements. Thats it! You are now an official Apple developer and can access the awesome features of WWDC 2021!
Last year with the release of the Apple silicon M1 chip, the processing game for Apple completely changed. The M1 chip is extremely powerful and outperformed all of the previous models of their iMac and MacBook Pro models. With Apples release timelines for hardware, it is likely that we will get a first glimpse of the next iteration of the M1 chip this year for WWDC. What does this mean for developers? Well if the next M1 chip is announce, there will possibly be the option for developers to purchase a DTK kit to begin developing for this new hardware. The DTK kit for the first M1 chip was $500 and included a Mac Mini that would be required to be sent back to Apple after the actual release of the computers with the M1 to the public. Last year Apple was kind enough to offer any developers that purchased the DTK a $500 credit to purchase an M1 chip once their device had been returned. pretty sweet deal right?
While the next iteration of the M1 chip has not yet been announced, it is definitely something that is speculated to at least be mentioned this year during WWDC and should be on your radar.
Swift UI 3.0
Another thing that developers will want to look out for is the next version of Swift UI. In the past few years, Apple has really been making strides in Swift UI and pushing for it to become the standard development language for iOS applications. While commercial use applications are still likely 1–2 years away from being built in Swift UI due to the iOS version requirements, nothing is stopping developers from already building and releasing apps built fully in Swift UI.
We can likely expect some fairly large new additions to the Swift UI language this year during our conference. Some things that are currently missing from Swift UI that may be being brought into the fold with the next iteration include: Attributed Strings, Collection Views, Photo Pickers, Web Views, Visual Effect Views, and better integration with Core Data. These would be a fantastic addition into the language and will likely be added sooner rather than later.
If you haven’t already began diving into Swift UI, now is a great time to get ahead of the curve and start building out some applications using the language. I predict that within the next few years, iOS development will drastically switch from standard Swift to Swift UI.
Xcode on iPad
This last section is absolutely pure speculation and may or may not hold any light. it has been speculated for awhile now that with the increasing power of the iPads that eventually Apply will allow Xcode to run natively on it. Well with the release last year of the iPad Pro with the M1 chip integrated in it, this may turn into something tangible instead of pure speculation. The iPad now has more than enough processing power to fully run Xcode to allow developers the ability to work on their app projects on the go!
While many developers may not be looking for this usability, it is something that will likely occur in the not so distant future to help bring the iPad closer to a complete hybrid of a tablet and Mac computer. This would be a big step in the way of iPad usability for development purposes and isn’t as far fetched as it may seem. The previous generation iPads were already able to run the full Photoshop application on them, which takes a good amount of processing capabilities. This is definitely one of the biggest rumors that we may actually see come true this year during WWDC 2021!
Don’t forget to tune in this year for WWDC which begins on June 7th, 2021. It will definitely be an event that every Apple developer will want to partake in to stay up to date with the most relevant information and technologies released by Apple!
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