September Writing Challenge, Post 9: Brief Thoughts on Today’s Apple Event

There was a lot of cool stuff introduced today. I think we’re all (“we” = “Apple geeks”) looking forward to performance improvements and a more powerful SDK on watchOS 2. The iPad Pro would be seriously tempting to me if I hadn’t just bought an 11″ MBA (and even so). I really wish Pencil worked with other iPad models, because I’d like one. The new tv has some cool stuff in it (and another SDK to learn! yay!), but the killer feature for me is the multi-channel search; going through the siloed apps on my “smart” TV for each of the services I subscribe to – and I do use a few – is a PITA.

The most interesting news on the iPhone, to me, was 3D Touch. The snap consensus on Twitter seems to be that it has discoverability issues (which is true) and that a lot of people will have trouble explaining it to their parents (which they will). The same has been said, though – also correctly, to varying degrees – of double-click, right-click, pull to refresh, long press, swipe, long swipe, et al. It strikes me as another thing that people are just going to have to poke at for a while, then they’ll get used to the idiom, then they’ll all use it without thinking about it.

And my favorite thing about both iOS 9 & El Capitan is not any particular OS feature (though there are a few cool ones, especially on the iPad). It’s that I get to use Swift 2, with try/catch, defer, guard, protocol extensions, and API availability. Aside from the dynamic language features of Objective-C (I do miss method swizzling sometimes) and a few stupid preprocessor tricks, Swift has caught up to Objective-C as a tool on Apple platforms, and surpassed it in many respects as a general-purpose language. And now that it’s open source, there’s a chance it may even replace Ruby in my affections.

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