Apple App Dev Catches Up?
Written by Mike James   
Wednesday, 05 June 2019

Apple's announcements at WWDC19 sound great and the press release does a lot to make it all sound like a breakthrough that will eventually trickle down to us, less fortunate, non-Apple devs. But is it really?

At I Programmer, Apple doesn't provide our favourite development environment. Too many of us remember what it was like to be able to choose hardware and software tools to get things done. This may be true, but we have a policy of trying to be fair, despite our preferences.

appledev

The Apple press release reads:

"Apple unveils groundbreaking new technologies for app development"

Apple has never been slow to claim how great its technology is, but "groundbreaking"?

So far most of the improvements to Apple development that have been announced at sequential WWDCs have been slightly underwhelming from a broader, less tunnel-visioned viewpoint.

Take Swift, for example. This "groundbreaking" language was an excellent replacement for ObjectiveC which had a good pedigree and good academic intentions, but very little to recommend it in terms of usability. The most common comment on ObjectiveC can be summed up as "verbose and does everything the wrong way round". Swift is a language that is lauded by Apple programmers and quite rightly so, but judging from online comments, a majority seem to be unaware of what the rest of the developer world are using. Languages such as C# were years ahead of ObjectiveC in terms of sophistication and usability. ObjectiveC is great, but no breakthrough. Yet I still see lots of comments from Swift programmers seemingly unaware that there are any other languages out there with similar features.

Now what about this year's breakthrough?

"Apple today unveiled several innovative technologies that make it dramatically easier and faster for developers to create powerful new apps. SwiftUI is a revolutionary development framework that makes building powerful user interfaces easier than ever before. "

So what do we have - a declarative syntax with a drag-and-drop designer, just like XAML, Qt, GTK or Android XML. Dig a bit deeper and you find it has data binding, making it very easy to create MVC or whatever the current favourite variation on the architecture is, but then so does XAML and Android. Hardly new, a bit on the late side, even.

appleswiftui

Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that SwiftUI is bad or undesirable, but a breakthrough it isn't.

Talking of breakthroughs, Apple seems to have perfected "no-goggles" AR/VR. Presumably, it is some sort of brain implant - only a matter time.

Now if this piece of PR really was true it really would be a breakthrough.

 

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More Information

Apple unveils groundbreaking new technologies for app development

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 June 2019 )