Jun 3, 2014

How Apple is revolutionising your digital future — and you’ll never notice

The most exciting thing to come out of Apple's announcement at its Worldwide Developers Conference isn't a shiny new gadget -- it's a whole new toolkit for developers.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

Apple announced something far more important than shiny new gadgets at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC14) in San Francisco overnight Australian time: a fundamental shift in the architecture of its mobile operating system iOS. It’s brought back the excitement, at least for developers.

Apple, the world’s biggest company by market capitalisation, is competing to service your digital future — some might say control it — against global No. 3 Google and No. 4 Microsoft. Each is trying to persuade you that its combination of desktop and mobile devices, operating system and core application software, back-end cloud services, and ecosystem of third-party hardware accessories, apps and services is the one that will best make you a socially acceptable human being and, to a lesser extent, be most useful.

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7 thoughts on “How Apple is revolutionising your digital future — and you’ll never notice

  1. Patrick Brosnan

    Wow, looks like Apple are copying Java, the most ubiquitous framework language on the planet. Pity they didn’t make life easy for everyone and adopt it as there main programming language/API as per Google, typical Mac balls-up when it comes to non-UX initiatives.

  2. Bill Parker

    I was doing a clear out of my apps the other day. Google Chrome appeared ( I never use it). I looked at the file size – 6.7GB from memory. Deleted!

  3. Charles Miller

    @Patrick Brosnan: When OS X first came out, Apple supported Java as a first-class language for writing Cocoa apps.

    The Java-Cocoa bridge was maintained for years, but the advice every third-party Mac developer would give you if you asked them was that you were much better off taking the time to learn Objective-C. Java’s brain-dead type system and heavyweight runtime were a very bad match. The Java-Cocoa bridge was an abject failure, and was deprecated in 2005.

    From reading the documentation on Swift, it’s pretty clear that seamless interoperability with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks was a major design constraint, and one that would have made it hard for Apple to just reach out and adopt an existing language.

    It’s worth remembering that to get Java running acceptably on Android, Google had to write their own virtual machine from the ground up, and then spend years in court with Oracle over their right to have done so. I’m pretty sure Apple are happy to have avoided that fate, too.

  4. Patrick Brosnan

    “Java’s brain-dead type system”
    Yeah, I’m not sure about that, using emotive language doesn’t help your argument. Java has a very clear and safe type system. I think that if you’re come from a typeless or sloppily typed language (Javascript, Perl) you may have a bit of a learning curve but you’re code will benefit in the end (less type cast errors). As to the runtime, well I think you’re living in the 90s there. It sounds a bit like you’ve worked exclusively on Macs using their IDE.

  5. Patrick Brosnan

    “6.7GB from memory”
    I think your memory’s faulty …

  6. Patrick Brosnan

    This from Slate on Swift:

    “but compared with Java, which is the default development language on Google’s Android platform, Objective-C is clunky, antiquated, more bug-prone, and all around painful.”

    “Given all that, it may sound strange to say that as a programming language, Swift lacks a reason for existing. Yet, unless I’m missing something big, there is nothing in it that hasn’t been done before—and just as well—in another language, be it Java, Python, Ruby, Scala, Rust, Go, Clojure, OCaml, or many others. “

  7. Bill Parker


    Since I installed 10.9.3 most things have been playing up, including my sanity.

    GC is in the same ballpark size as Firefox.

    There was I thinking Google were doing something sinister.

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