WWDC 2016: Our top 5 videos

  • 9 Min. Read.

Since there are around 125 WWDC videos this year, it can become quite a challenge to watch every single one of them. Spritekit, UIKit, Metal, GamePlaykit, … These frameworks all got amazing new features in the upcoming iOS 10 release, and this WWDC introduced new frameworks & features such as Sirikit, Callkit, iMessage apps and more.

This post contains the 10 videos we definitely recommend checking out!

1) Platforms state of the union

In this keynote you’ll hear about the new technologies and which sessions will provide you with more details on each technology.

  • Extensions were already integrated in Apple’s current products, but this year they opened up more API’s to developers. iMessage apps, SiriKit, Map Extensions, and new features for Notifications just to name a few.
  • watchOS 3 now supports SpriteKit & SceneKit (even in notifications!), inline video & background app refresh.
  • tvOS supports non-view elements to become focusable (think SKNodes) and features an all-new dark mode.
  • Interface Builder now supports Canvas operations at any zoom level
  • Swift Playgrounds on the iPad is a new educational tool that makes it possible to write actual code and apps on the iPad

Who should watch this video?

If you only have time for 1 single session, we definitely recommend you watch this session, since it gives you a great summary of all new features.

Watch Platforms state of the union

2) What’s new in Swift

Swift 3 got announced it in December as part of the open source launch of Swift, and since then development has been completely open.

Cocoa API’s have become ‘Swifty’ and Grand Central Dispatch has gotten a major overhaul.

The session highlights the brand new naming conventions and shows how they reduced redundant coding. To migrate your existing Swift code, Xcode 8 features a Swift Migrator tool.

The big take-away from this session to budget time to migrate to Swift 3 as soon as possible.

Who should watch this video?

Developers who haven’t been following the development of Swift 3 in the open.

Watch What’s new in Swift

3) What’s new in Spritekit

This year marks the 3-year anniversary of SpriteKit, and development is still going strong. Apple enabled Spritekit on watchOS 3, but not all classes are compatibly (no SKEffectNodes with CoreImage filters for example). This session highlights the new features in the Xcode-integrated live editor, where you can visually lay out your gamescenes, add timeline-based animation and more.

It’s easier than ever to get a quick overview of your entire scene hierarchy using the scene outline view, where you can drag to parent/unparent and lock or hide nodes.

GamePlaykit integration has gotten a major overhaul. Assign components directly from the editor & tweak properties directly in the inspector.

New performance tools will make it easy to debug your CPU/GPU frame time, framerate and GPU Utilization. These new tools are very detailed and offer an entire breakdown of the update loop, so you can easy identify bottlenecks.

The scene editor now features a tilemap editor so you can ‘paint’ maps while using reusable small sprites. 

Warp transformations, Per-Node attributes for Custom Shaders, Focus Interaction on Apple TV (FINALLY!), and a nice overview of performance tips & tricks are also part of this session, so go take a look!

Who should watch this video?

If you have a game in the App store or are planning on releasing a game in the future, this session is a must. Bonus: The art Apple used in this session is created by Kenney (also known as Asset Jesus)!

Watch what’s new in SpriteKit

4) Advanced Notifications

One of the biggest new features in iOS 10 are the new rich notifications which feature an entire new design and can handle media elements.

The new notifications are completely customisable and you can add entire custom views in the body of your notification (think maps, calendar, photos, videos and even GIFS!).

This is achieved through service extensions which will initiate a download (of an image or movie) after it receives a notification.

The first half of this session is a quick overview of all these new features and gives you a great idea of what’s possible.

The second half of this session shows you how to actually implement these new features using ServiceExtensions and NotificationContentExtensions. You’re free to use any custom view you like, but there’s a single caveat: There’s no interaction allowed.

The session highlights how actions (introduced in iOS 8) can interact with the ServiceExtension and update the content of the notification based on the selected action.

Finally there’s a demo of how to create a custom input accessory view to allow your users to reply using a custom input view. This expands upon the iOS 9 quick reply feature.

Who should watch this video?

If you have an app which can benefit from (rich) notifications, this is worth a watch!

Watch Advanced Notifications

5) Apple Pay on the Web

Apple announced Apple Pay is coming to the web with Safari on both macOS and iOS. Big news if you have an online store and always loved Apple Pay in apps, because now you can offer the convenience and security of Apple Pay on your online store!

Apple Pay has one of the highest customer satisfaction rates of any payment method ever because it’s so easy to use, and users love it.

Checkout processes on the web are generally very confusing and are a major cause of user drop-offs. Apple tries to take this problem heads-on by expanding Apple Pay to the web.

The first part of this session covers the general flow of a payment using Apple Pay and the behind-the-scenes when users see a spinning indicator.

The second part of this session covers implementation (and errorhandling) using the new Apple Pay Javascript SDK. Finally, there are a couple of do’s and don’ts regarding placement of the Apple Pay button, the design and the interaction.

Lucky for us, payment gateways (such as Stripe) handle much for you, so you don’t have to worry too much about implementation using this SDK.

Who should watch this video?

If you run an online store and are looking to increase customer satisfaction, conversions and user engagement, this session is definitely for you.

Watch Apple Pay on the Web


And that concludes our top 5 WWDC video’s this year. Obviously, there’s much more than we can write about, so if you have the time, definitely head over to developer.apple.com/videos and browse through the video’s yourself.