WWDC 2011 Notes
Returning to WWDC after a multi-year hiatus I was really excited to catchup with old friends and see what’s in store for the Apple platform. I didn’t arrive to San Francisco with many expectations but left excited and with a strong desire to do some prototyping. I’d say that’s a good sign.
I won’t attempt to do a full, detailed WWDC recap here considering most of the show is under NDA but I would like to share a few things that I’m excited about.
ARC (Automatic Reference Counting)
ARC was not covered during the Keynote but is publicly documented elsewhere. In short, ARC is a memory management solution. Rather than using Garbage Collection (which cleans up memory usage during the runtime) ARC, instead, will synthesis the needed releases and autoreleases in your code during compile time. The end result, when using ARC you no longer have to worry about memory management.
It sounds too good to be true but apparently it’s working well for a few friends who have migrated their projects. The particularly cool thing is that it is backwards compatible for 10.6 and iOS 4 so it’s something people can start to use right away, even if they need to support older OS releases.
People have long wanted an iOS companion app for ProfitTrain and while I’ve spent the last year learning iOS I sadly didn’t see the point of an iOS ProfitTrain until I got the syncing problem settled. I tried to roll my own solution and it just didn’t work as well as I needed it to. I investigated other options but never saw something I liked. Now with Apple doing iCloud, there is a new hope.
Being able to be at this specific WWDC was great. I got to ask some hard questions in the labs regarding iCloud and while I won’t be able to give a firm conclusion until I get some prototyping done I am at this point hopeful. The only better thing would have been to have had access to iCloud pre-WWDC so I could have approached the labs with real code but oh well.
I also really like that there is a free 5GB account as well as a hinted paid options. There were some past sync solutions built on MobileMe but I didn’t want to put that subscription burden on my users.
The final public topic I wanted to share my enthusiasm for is the improvements to Game Center coming in iOS 5. Overall these are great and are going to continue to help people expand their friend list and find new games. For developers it’s going to let us create asynchronous multiplayer games without the need to build and manage the server infrastructure to run them. The only down side to this is a complete lack of any Mac availability. I was really hoping to see this come as a late Lion addition but sadly it is not the case. I still hope to port TwizShow to the Mac in time but removing the Game Center leaderboards and achievements will be a bummer if not available.
Overall WWDC was a blast and totally worth it. I’m actually excited to maybe attend a few more conferences in the coming months. What can I say, this community is intoxicating.
Posted on: June 15, 2011 – 8:42 PM