I spent the morning going through my notes following meetings with software developers last week at WWDC. Of note, I did this on an iPad with iOS 10 installed with relatively no problem. Usually, when I install an early beta of an Apple operating system it’s more of a point of entertainment to see just how much everything is broken. This year, however, that is not the case. There are a few problems (the iCloud document picker is currently a mess for instance) but it does not feel at all like the whole thing is held together by chewing gum and duct tape. This earliest beta is remarkably stable.
Maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise. iOS is 10 years old now and the yearly iterations feel a lot more like refinements and improvements than boil-the-earth rethinks like they did in years past. I think this is all good.
Getting back to my developer notes, I got this same impression of steady progrres from them. Usually WWDC is where developers learn how the new OS breaks their apps. Often developers leave WWDC with months of work ahead of them just to make sure their apps can still work in when the new OS ships. That didn’t seem to be the case this year. I spoke to many developers last week and they were all generally happy with macOS Sierra and iOS 10. They all were shocked to learn they no longer had to cancel vacation plans or re-write their apps. Instead they were looking forward to spending time polishing their apps and maybe even (dare-I-say) adding a feature or two.
Over the last few years Apple has taken a lot of grief for biting off more than they could chew. Getting macOS and iOS to play nice together certainly wasn’t a walk in the park but I can’t help but feel with this next cycle of Operating System upgrades, we’ll start seeing the benefits of this transition. App developers do not need to adjust to a new platform or start from scratch with their apps. This year developers get to hit the ground running and I can’t wait to see the results of that.