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Posts tagged with "WWDC 2021"

A First Look at the Apple Developer App’s New Design and Search Functionality

Shortly after announcing WWDC will be held online again this year from June 7 - 11, Apple released a significant update to its Developer app, which serves as a hub for news and watching WWDC sessions.

The sidebar of Developer is now easier to navigate. On the iPhone and iPad, content categories, such as Design, Frameworks, and Graphics and Games, can now be collapsed, greatly reducing the amount of vertical scrolling when browsing news and sessions. The iPhone and iPad versions of the app use a more compact, tile-based layout for the Discover tab, which allows for more items to be featured too. The design works well on the smaller screen of the iPhone, but where it really shines is on the iPad and Mac’s larger screens.

The old Discover tab (left) and the updated version (right).

The old Discover tab (left) and the updated version (right).

The iPad app’s tab bar has also been eliminated, moving what was previously there into the sidebar. Combined with the collapsible sidebar sections, the app is both easier to navigate and has more room for content on the iPad than ever before.

Search results are better organized than before.

Search results are better organized than before.

The update also includes a dedicated Search tab. Instead of a vertical list of results in the sidebar, the results are displayed in the app’s main view organized by videos, articles, and news, showing top results with the ability to ‘See all’ if more results than can fit onscreen are available. I used Developer’s search functionality a lot last year and looking at the results pulled from last year’s WWDC, I can already tell it will be easier to find the videos I want. Also, ‘Favorites’ have been replaced by ‘Bookmarks,’ although the functionality of the two appears to be the same in my limited testing.

The Developer app has always been a useful companion app for WWDC, but with the event being remote last year and again this year, it has taken on greater importance as one of the primary ways developers access sessions and news about Apple’s frameworks. Although I haven’t spent a lot of time with the app yet, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into adapting it to fit in with Apple’s modern iPad and Mac design vision and providing a better experience when sifting through the deep catalog of videos and other content that is available to developers.


Apple Announces That WWDC 2021 Will Be Online-Only Again from June 7 - 11

Apple has decided to make WWDC an online-only event again for 2021, which is no surprise given the on-going global pandemic. Before going online-only last year, WWDC was held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, from 2017 - 2019. The event has been scheduled for June 7-11, 2021. Submissions for the Swift Student Challenge are open now through April 18th.

In a press release issued by the company today, Susan Prescott, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations and Enterprise and Education Marketing said:

We love bringing our developers together each year at WWDC to learn about our latest technologies and to connect them with Apple engineers. We are working to make WWDC21 our biggest and best yet, and are excited to offer Apple developers new tools to support them as they create apps that change the way we live, work, and play.

Although there are benefits to an in-person event that cannot be replicated online, last year’s WWDC was widely considered to be a success. Apple released dozens of excellent videos about its latest APIs and conducted online lab sessions for developers that received high marks from participants. Although Apple hasn’t released details about this year’s format yet, it’s a safe bet that it will be similar to 2020.

I miss in-person WWDC a lot. Last year’s online version was excellent, but it’s impossible to replace the chance to get together with friends who I often only see at WWDC and meet with the developers whose apps we write about all year long. I expect there’s a chance that even after the pandemic recedes, WWDC will remain online-only, but I sure hope not.

Of course, MacStories readers can expect the same kind of comprehensive WWDC coverage we do every year. In 2020, we tried a few new things that worked well, and we’ll continue to experiment again this year, so stay tuned.