It seems to many that WWDC is a holiday only for developers, and if you are a designer or a marketer, then you have nothing to catch there. Actually this is not true. Indeed, most will be relevant only to developers, but much will be useful not only to them.
In this article I will tell you how to navigate in a string of everything and share our experience with the conference materials. But first, let’s talk a bit about what WWDC is.
Dub dab di si
That’s how the WWDC name is pronounced or simply “Dub-dub.” This conference is for those who care about the fate of Apple products. Since 1983, they have introduced developers from around the world with software innovations and technologies. And also summarize the past year and share plans for the next.
For most people, the conference is associated with Keynote, where Apple talks about software innovations, for someone else, and with the Apple Design Awards, which award the best applications according to Apple experts. But the fun begins next. Within one week, Apple, a completely closed company, opens the veil of secrecy over the development and allows you to communicate with engineers and employees. For this, about 100 sessions are held, at which engineers talk about various aspects related to the announced innovations and how to properly develop their products based on them. If there are not enough sessions or there are questions, then at the labs you can ask engineers any questions related to their projects or to only announced technologies. There are also many events, concerts, meetings and podcasts live.
But if earlier for this it was necessary to try your luck and get a ticket, fly to the USA, then in 2020 the conference became closer than ever. And Apple approached this thoroughly.
Just look at Keynote and the Platform state of the Union, which from a standard presentation from the stage and the change of leaders changed into shows with epic transitions. The remaining sessions, although not so epic, but have become noticeably livelier and now look better online.
Where to see?
But first, let’s decide how to look.
This year Apple has updated their Appendix for developers and added the ability to view sessions directly in it. If for some reason the official application does not fit, then it’s still relevant WWDC application for macOS.
If the application is not for you, then everything is also available in the browser and all sessions can be viewed on the page in the portal developers.
As a rule, lectures contain quite a lot of general information, so most of them can be viewed in an accelerated format or limited to viewing slides, notes and transcripts.
- On the site https://asciiwwdc.com Text versions of reports are collected. (Transcripts are usually updated within a month after the completion of the next WWDC)
- The community shares session notes on GitHub, for example https://github.com/Blackjacx/WWDC and https://wwdcnotes.com
What to watch?
In order not to become attached to specific roles, we will go through the main stages of the life of any feature of the project:
- Idea and hypotheses.
- Design and prototyping.
- Development and quality control.
- Beta testing and release.
For each, we selected the top of the most interesting and useful sessions in our opinion. Go!
Idea / hypothesis
The development of features begins with an idea or hypothesis. The following sessions will help you get acquainted with the main innovations that can be used in products.
- Explore app clips and Design great app clips They will introduce you to AppClips and try them on different usage scenarios.
- In addition to App Clips, it’s worth stopping by one more major feature of iOS 14 – widgets. Meet WidgetKit and Design great widgets will help with this.
- Explore ARKit 4 and Explore the Action & Vision app show what you can do using the camera, lidar and ML.
- Explore the new system architecture of Apple Silicon Macs Introduces Apple Silicon.
- AND Build trust through better privacy reminds about privacy.
Design and planning
After the idea survives, makes sense and begins to formalize its requirements, it is important to design and prototype.
We recommend that everyone who is responsible for this stage of work on the project see:
- Typography Sessions The details of UI typography and SF Symbols 2.
- For a big update in the UI and controls, in connection with which Build with iOS pickers, menus and actions, Design with iOS pickers, menus and actions and Meet the new Photos picker will be relevant after all.
- About widget design features Design great widgets and App Clips Design great app clips.
- About bringing the mind to applications Design for intelligence: Apps, evolved.
- Build trust through better privacy.
Also, all materials about the design are already lovingly collected by Apple:
- All sessions in the category Design @ WWDC.
- Separate section on the developer portal.
- Updates in Human Inteface Guidelines.
Development and quality control
I don’t want to dwell on the developers in great detail. Traditionally, a lot of articles and guides will be written about WWDC for developers. Already appeared good review from Paul Hudson and many links in his repositories on github.
If you are interested in learning more details and innovations that were not shown at the sessions, then start by exploring documentation changesalso interesting to watch SDK changesif you want more structured data.
Beta testing and release
After developing a feature, it should be tested on a small audience and at the same time prepare marketing materials for the release, a description of the applications and the company.
Also at this WWDC, special attention was given to the work of Entreprise. Under this direction, a separate compilation and announced various interesting features in iOS. What does Local Push Connectivity cost, thanks to which notifications can be sent within the local network.
Also updated will be useful review guideline section.
Our top sessions on these testing topics:
- Explore app clips leader in presence in collections, but the session really covers all stages of development.
- Introducing StoreKit Testing in Xcode Talk about shopping testing.
- Why is my app getting killed? will show how MetricKit can help in finding the causes of a mysterious application crash.
- About adaptation of AppClips and preparation for implementation will be discussed in sessions Create app clips for other businesses and Configure and link your app clips.
- Port your Mac app to Apple Silicon and – Explore the new system architecture of Apple Silicon Macs touched on the features of porting applications to the new architecture.
- What’s new in managing Apple devices About device management within an organization.
The release is only the initial stage in the development of features. At this stage, we collect analytics and feedback from users, fix critical bugs, look at metrics that show that the criteria for the success of features are fulfilled or not fulfilled. As a result, new ideas and hypotheses appear that begin a new round in our development cycle.
Today @ WWDC
The innovation of this season is a small overview video for every day of WWDC. Thanks to which in 8 minutes you can quickly look at what happened during the past day.
- Day 1: Everything you need to know about WWDC 2020
- Day 2: Take a deep dive into WidgetKit and
- Day 3: New Game Center features, a talk with Eric Holder, and much more
- Day 4: New Siri functionality, SwiftUI 2.0, and more
- Day 5: Swift Playgrounds, location privacy, and background tasks
But what if you need to support older iOS?
This is a great reason to review the session with WWDC 2 years ago.
As a rule, the introduction of new products in company projects is slowed down due to support for older versions of iOS, but at the same time, this gives an occasion to review sessions and features of past years and improve current products. On the network and on the hub you can find many guides on this topic. Here are some good ones in my opinion:
- Guides by viewing WWDC 2016-2019 from UseYourLoaf.
- Selection innovations WWDC 2019 from Patrick Balestra.
How to watch?
The amount of information is very much, and with each week after WWDC it becomes even more, as there are a huge number of articles and reviews on emerging technologies.
Surf is located between two elements: large, clumsy businesses on the one hand and the windy, changeable world of new technologies and platforms on the other. That is why we need to constantly look for a balance, be aware of what is happening around and offer customers improvements that will help them stay on the wave.
For this, in addition to the constant development of features, it is important to try to look and try new technologies and approaches.
In order not to drown in the stream of sessions and not to look at the same thing for everyone, topics are distributed according to interests between developers. To do this, we have a separate channel in Slack and a pivot table in Google Docs.
Also, we additionally ranked topics by relevance to our projects and platforms.
After viewing the session, a small summary is written in Slack, utility is evaluated, what is interesting and what I would like to put into practice.
After watching more sessions, we gather as a whole iOS team, discuss topics and try on features and technologies that have been shown and sorted by our projects, depending on how much they fit into our current portfolio of projects and area of interest.
Part of the results of last year’s brainstorm
Discussing the iOS team is, of course, good, but without the support of the sales department, designers and analysts, the new products are unlikely to reach the release. To do this, we hold a general studio meeting where we talk, discuss new products and try on our projects without technical details.
It took us about a month to complete the above-described procedures last year: 2 weeks for viewing sessions, 1 week for discussion and selection of topics, a couple of days for a general brainstorming session and presentation of the results. Thus, we extended the WWDC holiday in our company for another month after its completion, we received a large number of ideas for new features for integration into our projects and plans for internal research.
We hope that our guide will help you get acquainted with the latest innovations presented by Apple and showed that WWDC can be useful not only to developers. And if you are a developer, then send it or tell your colleagues about the sessions.
Enjoy your viewing!