The 2022 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) highlighted new ways for developers to build with APIs, introducing updates to Swift® and Safari®, revealing improvements in accessibility, and uncovering a mountain of innovative product upgrades and releases. We’re sharing a summary of news and resources we collected from WWDC 2022 sessions, along with an ongoing series of updates to this blog post.
WWDC 2022 and more
WWDC 2022 exists as more than a singular moment in time. Most technical sessions were recorded, which is good, or should we even say necessary, as there are hundreds of hours of video from this year. There’s no way you could watch them all in a week. We’ve spent several weeks now, prioritizing reviewing WWDC 2022 sessions most relevant to our work on custom software development for mobile, data and web solutions…and we’ve only scratched the surface of WWDC 2022 content. But we’ve managed to get through a
handful of [updated 9/8/22] couple dozen sessions (so far!) to compile news and highlights, with links to the sessions and related resources.
By the way, this is just the WWDC 2022 content. If you go back to session recordings from recent WWDCs, you’ll find additional compelling content. (And if you want to have some real fun, track down WWDC footage from the distant past).
Let’s dive into WWDC 2022 session content, which highlight some of the new ways to use Apple tools and technologies, starting with…
APIs for Everything
WWDC 2022 delivered dozens of brand-new software APIs for creating streamlined user experiences and modern application interfaces, not only for Apple devices, but also for consumption by web applications and web services.
Developers can program automatic Siri® shortcuts using the App Intents framework. Programmed intents can appear in Spotlight, Focus Filters, or App Shortcuts without re-architecting existing code.
With MapKit API and MapKit JS, new Apple Maps Server APIs can help MapKit developers to convert between coordinates and addresses, improve search parameters on integrated map systems, and handle estimated times of arrival. The new APIs are authenticated, allow for a full-stack architecture of MapKit-driven apps, and provide improved power efficiency by delegating redundant server calls to backend servers.
Another new release is Apple’s WeatherKit and WeatherKit APIs, available both through a native app framework or REST APIs for app integration with Apple’s weather information services.
New and improved VisionKit, Live Text (and Data Scanner objects) are able to read, capture, and even translate text live from the camera or within captured images.
Beezwax’s Claris® FileMaker® development team is especially excited about Live Text enhancements, following Claris’s support in FileMaker 19.5.1+ for the Live Text API, making it possible to integrate machine learning models into FileMaker projects without the hassle of tackling CoreML integration from scratch.[Updated 6/17/22]
- Dive into App Intents
- Meet Apple Maps Server APIs
- What’s new in MapKit
- Meet WeatherKit
- Capture machine-readable codes and text with VisionKit
- Add Live Text interaction to your app
What’s new with Swift?
Apple’s now-8-year-old programming language has fresh tools for a better Swift UI experience. The Navigation, Grid, & Custom Layout APIs allow for an optimized interface that uses expressions for the desired structure to adjust UI by default through Machine Learning. This elevated flow can align views, reuse layout logic, and improve app navigation.
Swift also provides new visualizations for optimizing concurrency using Instruments 14 (in Xcode®), as well as Swift Regex for regular expressions to process strings more effectively. Also new are open-source packages for safer asynchronous coding with async algorithms.
- What’s new in Swift
- What’s new in SwiftUI
- Meet Swift Async algorithms
- Meet Swift Regex
- Hello Swift Charts
- Visualize and optimize Swift concurrency
Coding with Core ML®
With new features in Create ML, developers can analyze their model accuracy and receive live feedback on machine learning programs. One session on macOS® and Linux virtual machines demonstrated how developers can use the Virtualization framework built into Apple silicon to create fast and simple virtual machines for isolated app testing. Core ML APIs have been enhanced for better loading and optimized data flow.
Fresh Functions in Safari and WebKit
Apple announced over 160 improvements to Safari, including new elements in HTML, cascade layers in CSS, and updates to privacy and security. Safari also now allows browser applications to send notifications directly to Safari users with Web Push. Custom web extensions can be created using the DevTools API with XCode and cross browser web extensions to add tabs to Web Inspector.
- What’s new in Safari and WebKit
- What’s new in Safari Web Extensions
- Create Web Inspector extensions in Safari
- Meet Web Push for Safari
Accessibility for Everyone
New updates are also afoot for Swift Charts, allowing for multiplatform use with support for Dark Mode, dynamic type, voiceover, audio graphs, screen sizes, and more. The Audio Graphs API supports VoiceOver with Swift Charts to create audible representations of data in charts and graphs for a wide audience.
Geek Out, With Power
Along with serious software updates come some fun features in Apple’s latest releases. Check out:
ARKit® 6, a new developer toolkit for creating AR apps on iOS devices. ARKit uses tools like MotionCapture body tracking, improved access to camera functions, and LocationAnchor for street level AR experiences in select virtual cities. Spatial awareness functions are also available with Nearby Interaction, which uses the U1 chip’s Ultra Wideband technology.
Continuity Camera, a way to seamlessly transfer video calls between desktop and mobile. The camera function allows users to wirelessly connect an iOS device with a computer as an external video camera.
The M2 Chip, the powerful successor to the M1 chip. Upgrades to power efficiency, graphics, bandwidth, memory, cache, and engines will be available in the MacBook Air® and MacBook Pro®.
- Discover ARKit 6
- Bring your world into augmented reality
- What’s new in Nearby Interaction
- Bring Continuity Camera to your macOS app
[Updated 9/8/22] Here are some other useful sites covering WWDC 2022 sessions:
What Apple’s WWDC means for developers (stackoverflow.com)
News from WWDC22: WebKit features in Safari 16 beta (WebKit.org)
WWDC 2022 – Top 10 sessions that you shouldn’t miss (raywenderlich.com)
WWDC Notes – “an open-source and community-driven effort to collect notes for all Apple’s WWDC videos”.
WWDC 2022 Viewing Guide (useryourloaf.com)
Originally published 6/14/22, with updates 6/17/22, 8/29/22 and 9/8/22.