WWDC 2020 Expectations
Everyone has their own expectations when WWDC comes around. Here is what I’d like to see come from Apple and their various platforms.
Whether they call it SwiftUI 2, or just say they’ve made it better, I fully expect to see a “What’s New in SwiftUI” session this year, including some much needed additions. Of those, I’m hoping to see:
- First party support for two-dimensional data grids. If
UITableView, then I want whatever is the equivalent of
UICollectionView. There are a few interesting third-party solutions out there, and I’m not against using them, but I feel something like this would benefit from being provided by Apple themselves.
TabView. Right now, while you can easily create tabbed navigation, the SwiftUI
TabViewdoesn’t behave like a normal
UITabViewController. Specifically, if you navigate to another tab and come back, it’s up to the developer to maintain the hierarchy. So if I’m 3 views deep in tab 1, go to tab 2, then go back to tab 1, I’m back at the root by default.
NavigationView. This is more-so when it comes to master/detail on iPad. If I navigate a layer deep in a detail, then rotate the iPad, it resets the detail view while retaining the navigation stack. So I can push a view, rotate, push again, rotate, push again, and end up with what seems to be a navigation stack three or four views deep when in reality my hierarchy is just one or two.
What I do not expect to see is a complete replacement of everything available in UIKit or AppKit. What I mean: I don’t think we’ll see SwiftUI versions of
MKMapView, or similar views. The current SwiftUI<->UIKit/AppKit functionality seems to cover situations like this.
“Swifty” Core Data
In Swift 3, Swift gained a huge improvement when it came to JSON Serialization: Codable. Codable is really two protocols: Encodable and Decodable. But together, they take the concept of serializing data, such as to/from JSON, and made is super easy to support.
I would love to see something similar done with Swift classes and Core Data. Could we make a data model conform for Core Data storage by just adding a protocol conformance? If that were possible, I know I’d love to use it.
I’d also hope that any such improvements would allow us to make a Core Data managed object that automatically conformed to Codable without requiring a custom init/decoder.
A Gamer’s GameCenter
I think GameCenter was one of Apple’s squandered opportunities. They offer a powerful Apple TV box that, if powered by newer iOS chipsets, can rival console performance. Yet they have nothing on their platform that resembles the social interactions and networking like you’d see on Xbox or Playstation. I keep hoping they’ll wisen up, revive that platform, and provide a better way for people to find their friends and game together.
An Improved Development Experience on iPad
Swift Playgrounds shows that it’s possible to do coding on the iPad. I’d like to see this turned up a notch, even if it isn’t a full-blown Xcode for iPad. With SwiftUI, perhaps we’ll see some middle-ground. Use your iPad to develop a SwiftUI app? Great. Want to integrate legacy components? Take your project to your Mac.
Even if that doesn’t happen, I’m curious to see what new features and enhancements come to the Swift Playgrounds app this year.
I’m sure that, with whatever Apple announces, I’ll be eager to install the latest betas and try things out. Even if none of my expectations are meant, I’m going to enjoy WWDC 2020.