In the middle of a busy WWDC19 week for Apple in San Jose, California, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, talked to the founder and editor-in-chief of MacStories, Federico Viticci, about some of the news presented in recent days, including the Catalyst Project, The iPadOS and the SwiftUI.
The interview was the main theme of the podcast’s 114th episode AppStories, developed by Viticci and John Voorhees (also from MacStories).
The recently announced Project Catalyst (formerly known as “Project Marzipan”) was very well received by most developers (and users), who will now be able to adapt their apps to Apple’s various platforms, including iOS, iPadOS and macOS .
Regarding the novelty, Federighi stressed that the Catalyst Project will allow many developers to bring even more apps from iPad to Mac, considering that with this Apple has filled the gap that separated UIKit and AppKit.
UIKit and AppKit have always remained in these two separate worlds and, depending on what the developers did, they could create an application that was made in a way that shared multiple cross-platform codes, so they always needed to have people on the team who knew the AppKit , people on the team who knew UIKit and making the decision that was best for both of them. And for many developers, they chose one or the other, not both, because it was a real effort to get the knowledge and make that investment.
The executive added that Project Catalyst gives Apple that same benefit of being able «to have a single team that can focus on making better apps and launch it on all its platforms», which makes this process much more «sensible» for the company, he said.
Regarding the new operating system dedicated to the Apple tablet, the iPadOS, Federighi said that the iPad has created a “distinctive” experience over the years and, therefore, deserved an operating system to match.
Things like drag and drop [drag & drop], Split View, Slide Over and Apple Pencil are what really define a different way of working with the iPad. When I work on my iPad, I don’t feel like I’m working on a big phone or working on a Mac. I feel like I’m working on an iPad. What we mean when we say macOS, or when we say tvOS, which is an iOS-based platform, or when we say watchOS, which at its core is iOS, these things for us are definitions of experiences […] iPadOS has become a distinct experience.
The executive also joked about the newly added support for external storage units (such as USB devices and SD cards) on the iPad:
External drives. We are willing to acknowledge the 1990s and go back all the way. People still use them sometimes, you know. I’m a fan of AirDrop, but I understand that there are other uses… we know that with photographers, the ability to import your photos directly into an application, such as Lightroom, is important.
As we reported, the new framework Apple will allow developers to use smaller programming codes and build more elaborate user interfaces. In that sense, Federighi said that giving developers such a “so expressive and interactive” tool will result in better ideas and, therefore, better applications.
SwiftUI will make interface development more accessible to many people who may not have approached it before, and that’s exciting, because we are already seeing some of that with Swift and Swift Playgrounds. But even for the most experienced developers, giving them such an expressive and interactive tool means that they will build better things, try better ideas, and that will result in better apps.
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The full interview is available on the Podcasts app and also on this episode’s AppStories.