# 36 : Impressions on WWDC 2024

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Weekly Comment

WWDC 2024 has successfully concluded. Throughout this week, Apple showcased a series of new features and functionalities that will significantly impact the future. I will share my thoughts and feelings about several aspects that particularly resonated with me, reflecting on the highlights of this WWDC.

AI

Despite pre-event leaks and extensive pre-rendering that gave many an early insight into the impending AI transformations by Apple, the live demonstrations during the Keynotes remained thrilling and inspiring. Apple demonstrated its understanding of AI: avoiding flashy but superficial tech displays, prioritizing privacy, seamlessly integrating AI into daily operations, and leveraging the close relationship between devices and users with enriched contextual information to provide a more personalized AI experience.

Overall, Apple’s AI technology may not have felt like a revolutionary leap to attendees, but it is subtly integrating into everyday life, making the convenience of the AI era increasingly accessible to more people without them even realizing it.

Swift

Time flies, and Swift has reached its tenth anniversary. With the official launch of Swift 6, this milestone signifies Swift’s mature phase. Starting with Swift 6, the Swift community has clearly demonstrated its determination to make Swift a mainstream development language across multiple platforms. At this WWDC, Apple continued to show enthusiastic and open support for Swift. The introduction of new official frameworks and applications significantly broadened Swift’s application scope. These measures will undoubtedly invigorate the community and strengthen developers’ confidence in using Swift.

SwiftData

The latest version of SwiftData was surprisingly impactful. Although it might seem that few features were added on the surface, the substantial underlying adjustments were revolutionary. Considering that SwiftData was only founded a year ago, such changes were particularly unexpected. Stability remains a challenge, as seen in the first test version, which may disappoint many developers who had high expectations for SwiftData. However, after in-depth analysis, I believe there is sound reasoning behind these significant adjustments. The new version of SwiftData has almost achieved decoupling from the Apple ecosystem, and once it adds an independent default storage implementation, it will have all the makings of a cross-platform open-source framework. While this is just my personal hope, given Apple’s increasingly open approach to the community, the potential for this transformation is significant. If realized, the current waiting and effort will undoubtedly be worthwhile.

SwiftUI

Upon first encountering this year’s new features in SwiftUI, I wasn’t particularly excited. However, after further research, I realized that this update would be very significant in the history of SwiftUI. Starting with this version, the SwiftUI development team appears to have found the right path to rapidly evolve SwiftUI, exploring ways to enhance its capabilities while maintaining the characteristics of a declarative framework.

In this update, the SwiftUI team changed its previous API design strategy—from highly encapsulated and less flexible designs to providing developers with greater lower-level control. This includes integrating UIKit gestures, introducing more functional custom containers, custom rendering of Text and providing precise scroll control. These improvements have significantly raised the upper limits of SwiftUI, opening up broader technical possibilities for advanced developers.

As SwiftUI shares mechanisms for animations, transitions, and gestures with the UIKit framework, it is gradually transitioning from a framework built on UIKit/AppKit to a more equal partner within Apple’s UI framework ecosystem. It is no longer just drawing features from other frameworks but is starting to give back by contributing new features to them.

The new version of the SwiftUI framework also underwent code-level stratification, carving out a separate SwiftUICore framework. This was likely done to facilitate better collaboration with UIKit and AppKit, but it also opens up exciting possibilities for future developments.

Conclusion

I am undoubtedly very satisfied with WWDC 2024, a sentiment that has grown as I have progressively learned and experienced the new features and capabilities. This level of satisfaction is relatively rare in recent WWDC events.

I am aware that many developers are indifferent to the new features introduced at WWDC, believing they are irrelevant in the short term. However, understanding these new features and trends is not only about facing future market needs. Learning about new APIs allows us to absorb innovative ideas and techniques, which we can apply to our current development practices.

Therefore, WWDC is not just a window into future trends; it is also a vital platform for facilitating communication, driving progress, and fostering self-improvement.

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