I've witnessed a slow but encouraging evolution take place over the past six years that has transformed WWDC for the better. When I first flew to San Francisco in 2013, WWDC was a self-contained event. Other than the Thursday night bash, the conference happened entirely within the fortress-like hulk of Moscone West. Developers and others in town for the week gathered outside the convention center in restaurants, bars, and hotel lobbies, but there were few organized activities if you didn't have a ticket. That's changed.
Posts tagged with "WWDC 2018"
When you've followed Apple for several years, there are certain kinds of announcements you come to expect from the company: iterative refinements that make existing products better, and even those exciting surprise features you never would have thought of yourself, or new hardware that seems like something straight out of the future. There are other kinds of announcements, however, that you're confident will never come to fruition. Perhaps because they simply seem like something Apple wouldn't do, or that the company doesn't seem to really care about.
Every now and then, to our surprise and delight, those unexpected things come about after all. Looking back on last week's news from WWDC, there are several big and small announcements Apple made that hit me as totally unexpected.
It's tough selling a paid up front app on the App Store. Users have no way of knowing ahead of time whether an app will fit their needs or not, and no one wants to spend money on an app only to find that it wasn't what they expected. Fortunately, App Store review guidelines have been updated this week to address that problem. Matthew Humphries reports for PCMag:
The updated guidelines state that, "Non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial period before presenting a full unlock option by setting up a Non-Consumable IAP item at Price Tier 0 that follows the naming convention: "14-day Trial." Prior to the start of the trial, your app must clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends, and any downstream charges the user would need to pay for full functionality."
So users will know before they start using an app that it will cost money, but only after X days of free use. The upfront transparency should prevent any user frustration, but it could also greatly improve the quality of content in apps because the developer really needs the user to reach the end of the free trial wanting to pay to continue using/playing.
This isn't necessarily a change of policy, but more an explicit clarification of something that's already been allowed. The Omni Group, for example, began switching its entire suite of apps in September 2016 to the same sales model: free downloads, with In-App Purchases for unlocking full functionality after 14-day trial periods. Since that time, however, very few apps have followed the same path – likely in part due to continued uncertainty regarding what's officially allowed. The updated review guidelines should lead to a welcome increase of paid up front apps transitioning to free downloads with In-App Purchases, thus enabling more ubiquitous free trials across the App Store.
Every year when Apple introduces the latest versions of its software platforms at WWDC, information streams out in two major phases: we get the biggest, most important announcements during the opening keynote, then afterward, once the new beta builds are in the hands of developers, we find out all the additional details not meriting on-stage attention. In that vein, here's a roundup of all the smaller details we've discovered so far in iOS 12 and watchOS 5 that weren't covered in our initial overviews.
On this week's episode of AppStories, we look at what Apple could do to use iOS and its large developer community to revitalize the Mac app ecosystem.
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Near the end of yesterday's WWDC keynote, Craig Federighi shared that Apple was at work on tools that would enable developers to more efficiently bring their iOS apps to the Mac. The ship date for those tools isn't until 2019, but this was still a major announcement, with plenty of questions left unanswered. Today Lauren Goode of Wired has published a new interview with Federighi in which a few additional details are shared on exactly how porting apps from iOS to Mac will work.
This evening, capping off the first day of Apple's WWDC conference, the company recognized the best of the App Store at its 2018 Apple Design Awards ceremony.
The Apple Design Awards are a WWDC tradition dating back all the way before the turn of the century. The ceremony is an opportunity for Apple to applaud developers whose apps demonstrate a high level of quality and innovation. 2017's winners included the excellent Things 3 and Bear.
Last year the company broke from its norm for the ADAs by making them a private ceremony, exclusive to the award winners themselves, rather than a public event for all conference attendees. This year things were back to normal, as all developers in attendance could attend.
Apple selected the following apps across iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS as 2018 Apple Design Award winners:
Every time Apple holds a keynote event, the company shares a variety of numbers related to things like user counts for certain products, software performance improvements, and customer satisfaction. With the company announcing the future of key platforms like iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS today, there was unsurprisingly a lot of data mentioned at today's WWDC event.
We've collected some of the most important numbers shared on-stage during the keynote and outlined them below.
This morning at the WWDC keynote presentation in San Jose, Apple's Vice President of Technology Kevin Lynch took the stage to announce the latest version of the company's smartwatch operating system. watchOS 5 will ship this fall and include improvements to the Apple Watch fitness features, new methods of communication, Siri and notification enhancements, the introduction of web content, and more.
Over the coming months we'll be diving deep into these new features and testing them thoroughly, but for now read on for an in-depth overview and some initial thoughts on everything new in watchOS 5.