If you follow tech news you’ll no doubt have noticed Apple’s yearly World Wide Developer Conference announcements making the rounds this past week. Here are some of my highlights.

I usually feel quite ambivalent toward the keynote — where Apple announces its upcoming software plans to an eager crowd of enthusiasts. It’s been hit-and-miss the last few years, and amongst the often mediocre announcements were cringe-worthy AR demonstrations and a slew of statistics designed to compensate for an otherwise hollow keynote presentation.

Not this year.

Apple’s presenters set record pace. Some might argue they rushed it. After 15 minutes of extreme slide-shifting, it was clear Apple had a lot to talk about.

  • Introducing Voice Control on Mac and iOS. Apple does accessibility very well, and with Voice Control, they’re taking things 1-step further. I really enjoyed this video.
  • SwiftUI - This one was a huge surprise to me. SwiftUI is a new way to build user interfaces in Xcode using a straightforward declarative syntax. This is a big deal and I really think it’ll help attract new developers to the app store.
  • iOS 13 introduces the long-anticipated Dark Mode. Some may have been disappointed to discover that this was the headline feature for iOS 13, but you don’t have to peel back many layers to see that they have made some huge improvements across the platform.
    • iPadOS is now its own thing – great news for the future iPad experience.
    • The new Photos app allows you to more easily discover those old pictures and take a stroll down memory.
    • The Reminders app has been totally redesigned. Very, very welcome.
    • Video Editing now inherits all of those useful tools for fine-tuning your photos. Need to crop or rotate your video? iOS 13 has got you.
    • New 3D experience added to maps, and a redesigned canvas exposes more details than ever before.
    • Face ID is now up to 30% faster, app downloads are up to 50% smaller, and apps will launch up to twice as fast. Since when did we start seeing both new features and major performance gains?
  • Sign In with Apple brings Single-Sign-On to your websites and apps. Apple’s approach to privacy is one of the attractive selling points for me. Sign In with Apple brings the convenience of Single-Sign-On without having to surrender your personal details to Google or Facebook. They even provide a way to avoid sending your email address to third-parties via a unique email proxy.

These are just a handful of my favourite parts of the keynote. As someone who dabbles in iOS app development, I’m very much looking forward to digesting the information coming from the sessions that followed over the coming weeks.