Was There Anything For Developers At WWDC?

At yesterday’s WWDC keynote, Apple announced updates to almost every piece of hardware in their product catalog other than the iPhone and iPad Mini. You’d almost think it was January 2009 at the Macworld Expo, when Apple used to give the keynote and announce new hardware to keep the fan-boys excited. But given WWDC is a developer conference, was there anything announced yesterday for developers other than shiny new computers?

It turns out that there was something announced for developers. But with all the hooplah around the new iMac Pro with its “kick ass” Space Gray finish, Kaby Lake updates for almost every computer and the new HomePod it was easy to gloss over some new developer tools.

One of the drivers for all that new hardware is support for VR, or virtual reality. At a couple of points during yesterday’s keynote, the ability to develop VR based applications and to use VR inside other applications was highlighted. For example, there’s enough processor grunt in the new devices to allow a designer to edit spherical video in an augmented reality environment.

Apple’s update to Metal, their programming interface for taking advantage of GPUs, will now support VR.

It was also announced that Valve will be bringing the Steam VR, and Unity and Unreal Engine will be bringing their VR tools to the Mac.

iPad developers will also be able to take advantage of drag and drop in their apps (I can’t believe I’m writing that drag and drop is a feature in 2017!). And they have finally added a file management system into iOS (another “I can’t believe it’s a feature moment for me).

There wasn’t much news about other Apple platforms other than mention of HomeKit working with the new HomePod. Although watchOS is getting a nice spruce up, HealthKit didn’t rate a mention.

Are you a developer creating software for Apple’s platforms? Was yesterday a good day or bad day when it comes to news for Apple developers?

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