Skip to content

Apple Worldwide Developer Conference keynote presentation 2014

This year’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference keynote presentation had a distinct developer focus, a stark change from the more consumer marketing focused keynotes of recent years. So much so, that Apple have described it as the most significant developer event since the first iPhone Software Development Kit was released in 2008.

From a software developer point of view, the volume of content in yesterday’s presentation was immense, with lots of surprises. Apple announced iOS 8, and OS X Yosemite, as well as not one, but two new programming languages which will see these platforms into the future. Coupled with a raft of new developer tools and features, these will ultimately help us, as creators of iOS applications,  write higher quality, more stable applications, and enable more intimate integration with other applications, and the operating system itself.

Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San FranciscoMore generally, there were also some interesting themes in the announcements from Apple. Themes that may directly affect you and your customers:

Continuity

The first is the concept of ‘Continuity’ – the idea that all the devices you own should be aware of what you’re doing. If you start composing an email on your iPhone, and you’re near your Mac, you should be able to pick up editing that same email and send it from your Mac with almost no effort, and vice versa. This concept was demonstrated across a variety of common tasks, from making and receiving calls, browsing websites, all the way down to editing photos within applications.

Going the extra mile

Perhaps a more subtle, but overriding, theme was the idea of going the extra mile in the operating system to be genuinely thoughtful and helpful. This was present in the new image annotation features in Mail. For example, when free drawing an arrow, Mail will recognise that you’re trying to draw an arrow, and clean it up for you. Likewise, if you want to draw a speech bubble, it will create a beautiful speech bubble, and allow you to type your annotation before sending.

The most interesting example of this idea is the new QuickType feature for iOS 8. It provides context aware predictive typing suggestions, which means it provides quick access to words in context.

For example, while replying to a message which asks about “going to dinner or a movie” QuickType will offer contextually aware suggestions to select from, like “dinner,” “a movie,” or “not sure,” without you even typing anything. Even more interestingly, QuickType adapts to your individual vocabulary.

Over time, QuickType will even adapt to your individual vocabulary, picking up on your unique slang. It will offer your vocabulary when making suggestions, adding a personalized touch to what could otherwise be a very robotic-feeling experience.

Perhaps the best analogy to explain the thinking we have right now is from Alan Cooper who said “If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.”

This drives us when designing and building our apps. We work to make our software mindful and considerate of our  customers’ likes and dislikes, privacy and other commitments, and the need to offer simplicity.

It struck me while sitting in the keynote yesterday, these are the qualities that set Apple’s software apart. It’s something which we in Xero’s Mobile team should always have in the front of our minds when we’re creating tools for our customers.

As we continue to add new features, and rethink existing ones in Xero Touch, we hope to incorporate more of these qualities as we build. The enormous number of new developer tools and system features released today at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference will only make that job easier for us.

 

 

Read more about Developers

 

3 comments

Robbie Dellow
4 June 2014 #

Seems like Apple are trying to open up more to dev’s and give them the tools that they require. Sure that’s good for Apple, but was this prompted more-so from the ‘threat’ that Android is. After all Android devices (particularly their friend Samsung 8-) do far outsell Apple devices.
All good progress nevertheless.

Stephen Paul
4 June 2014 #

Exciting times ahead and new developments and perhaps a clearer strategy in terms of where Apple is now and what they are looking to develop

The key point to me is the concept of Alan Cooper who said “If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.”

In fear of sounding like a dinosaur technology has changed so much in the last 15 years that I have been involved with the industry that I find it comforting to see it change to the respectful, generous and helpful ways of Apple and Xero, software that learns how we work and becomes part of our natural day to day business activities

From a personal perspective the more technology feels part of our team rather then a extension to it, the better off clients and more importantly our team are

I am sometimes asked where I see the industry going in the next ten years and my personal belief is that technology will replace some if not the majority of the role of a compliance accountant but my worry is that we lose the friendly aspect of the industry, software developers such as Xero and many of the add on partners will help to maintain the personal part of the industry whilst at the same time improving efficiencies whilst give us more quality time with our clients

The more key market players in the industry state their long term plans the better, keep up the good work

Kristy Bernales
7 June 2014 #

More customization would be nice. I am waiting for 3rd party apps features for Apple TV on next IOS.

Add your comment





We welcome all feedback but prefer a real name and email address.