Mobile Couch

A fortnightly podcast about creating great apps for mobile
devices, hosted by Ben Trengrove and Daniel “Jelly” Farrelly.

59: Final Battery Warning

Published Friday, 12 June, 2015

The WWDC 2015 keynote has come and gone, but Eddy Cue’s dance moves will forever haunt us. Jake and Ben call in from San Francisco to talk about developer-y things that got announced during the keynote and the Platforms State of the Union, while Jelly, who watched from his lounge room, fills in the gaps on some of the new APIs and kits.

Starting with the keynote, the couch quickly cover the general feeling of the presentation, the highlight of which was the inclusion of two female VPs presenting things on stage. Not to mention the brief inclusion of an app that Ben wrote in one of the videos shown as part of the presentation.

Moving into development stuff, Jelly breaks down the addition of Search APIs which use NSUserActivity, and content indexed from the internet, to create indexable content that appears in the home screen search. This builds on a new feature from last year, and along with “universal links”, allows for easier access to content within apps.

Another new feature is App Thinning, which is actually a handful of smaller features related to shrinking the size of your app’s install footprint. It includes things like splitting up assets that are specific to devices, separating out 32 and 64 bit code, and assets that are able to be downloaded as needed. This has some interesting and potentially crazy implications, and Ben and Jake aren’t sure that they’re that keen on the idea.

CloudKit is also getting a huge addition with the release of a Javascript API for building web-based apps that run on CloudKit. Ben’s not convinced that this is any better than the competitor platforms, and Jake is concerned about how serious Apple are about the web, but Jelly has taken the approach that this is perfect for newcomers, and that its architecture highlights Apple’s preference for native apps.

Everyone other than Jake has been expecting native apps for Apple Watch, which are also coming along with watchOS 2. This is a very simple change with a lot of implications, where the extension is simply moved to the watch itself. This leads the couch to question whether the watch was released too early.

The release also adds custom complications, which allow you to show simple, time-based information on the watch face. It comes with a new feature called “Time Travel” which allows you to see the information as it changes over time, allowing you to see weather in the future, or the stock price as it varies over the day.

Jake reveals that he’s using a new MacBook at this point, and his battery is running low. This prompts Jelly to quickly move on to new Xcode features, including the new Stack View, which lets you create simple, linearly-arranged sets of views, Storyboard references, which let you create properly modular Storyboard structures.

After Jake disappears, Ben and Jelly continue on to talk about the new testing features in Xcode. The first of which is UI testing, which appears to be based on UIAutomation. The second is code coverage, which Ben had feared would be too overwhelming, but appears to have been implemented in a very useful way that doesn’t appear unless you actually want it to.

And finally, they cover the highlights of the upcoming Swift 2.0, including the guard keyword, the try/catch error-handling system, the availability features, and finally the announcement that Swift 2.0 will be open-source. This causes them to reconsider Objective-C’s eventual demise, which seems more obvious now than it has been in the past.

Show notes:

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