WWDC is now just two weeks away, so I thought I’d share what I’m hoping for in the way of developer tools/APIs.
- A standard system font picker
- A standard system color picker
- An easier way to implement multi-column layouts that doesn’t involve nesting UISplitViewControllers
- A keyboard navigation system for iOS that would allow users to navigate table views and collection views using the arrow keys
- Greater variety of stock UI components and customization options for components on iOS (i.e. stop making us reimplement an expanding table view cell with a rotating arrow, or a circular progress indicator, or write dumb hacks like adding a blank UIImage as a navigation bar’s “shadow” just to get rid of that line beneath it)
- More standard system icons that can be used both inside and outside of tool bars and navigation bars (like, on regular UIButtons)
- A visual redesign of all current stock components on iOS, which, in general, are boring, ugly, and inaccessible
- More Apple frameworks classes should be made Codable-compliant (i.e. UIColor).
- I want to be able to force a dark appearance for all elements in my app. Snapthread’s never going to have a “light mode,” but I want to make use of iOS 13’s dark mode appearance for things like action sheets, pop ups, picker views, switches, etc regardless of the user’s display setting.
- A cleaner way to check if a device is in landscape orientation than checking the orientation of the status bar
- Support for rearrangeable buttons in a toolbar/nav bar on iOS
- Interface Builder improvements: basically, every visual customization that is possible for a UI component should be editable in Interface Builder. This includes layer customizations like corner radius, border, and drop shadow.
- There should be more information than just a progress bar when uploading to App Store Connect from Xcode. At least Application Loader tells you the upload speed and how many MBs are left.
- Closing the new Music app should not be a requirement for installing Xcode.
- A way to hide/dismiss warnings in Xcode
Photo and Video
- Developer access to the more recent Apple-made Core Image filters, such as Silvertone, Dramatic, Vivid, etc
- A “What’s New in AVFoundation” session…there hasn’t been one since 2016
- There are rumors that Apple will enable developers to train machine learning models on device. I’d like to see examples of that applied in photo/video contexts.
These are just my wishes… now for a few predictions.
WWDC Keynote Predictions
There are rumors that Apple is planning to grant developers access to its real-time document collaboration API. I think this is going to be a big talking point, along with the ability for apps to have multiple “instances” open at the same time (i.e. being able to compare two Microsoft Word documents in split view on iPad). I’m guessing there’s going to be more than one demo showing off these features, and so my prediction is that Microsoft is going to demo a new Office update, and Adobe will be there to show off real-time collaboration in XD or something like that (somebody’s gotta compete with Figma, right?). Or Affinity maybe? I imagine some sort of photo editor or design/drawing app will at least be shown to demo the new floating panels on iPad.
I have no doubt that Tim Cook, or whoever is doing the watchOS presentation, will mention Apple’s ECG app—how it’s already saved lives and will continue to roll out to more countries. None of the new rumored health apps seem demo-worthy, but there’s rumors of new Siri intents, and I’m betting at least some of those are going to get demoed on the watch—event ticketing, flight/gate information, etc.
I have no clue what third party Marzipan apps we’ll see onstage. Darkroom seems like a good candidate for Mac, as well as Ferrite and LumaFusion. Some weather apps might be interesting, but not that interesting. I’m stumped. Instagram? Instagram for iPad and Mac? (lololol) Games don’t make much sense because engines like Unity already enable devs to make cross-platform games.
Perhaps the biggest mystery of all is how Apple is going to fit all of this into a ~2 hour keynote. Close your eyes for a moment and think these words in Tim Cook’s voice: “iOS 13, with a gorgeous new dark mode…” I mean, you know they’re going to want to spend 15 minutes just talking about dark mode. Judging by Bloomberg and 9to5Mac’s rumor dumps, they’re only going to have about two. There’s just too much to cover. Apple has shown that they can put together a really tight keynote though, so my prediction is that we’ll see another fast-paced, throw-a-bunch-of-features-on-a-slide-and-move-on presentation.