Key takeaways for iOS developers from the WWDC 2016 Keynote

As a busy iOS developer, it’s hard to find time to sit down and watch a two-hour keynote, even if it is relevant and important. Here’s a summary of what Apple announced in the WWDC 2016 Keynote as it relates to iOS developers. This covers only what’s relevant to you as an iOS developer; it doesn’t cover watchOS 3, macOS Sierra, tvOS, or any of the user-facing features in iOS 10.

1. You can develop iOS apps that work with Siri

If you have a specific type of app, you might be able to integrate your app with Siri so users can say, for example, “call Sally with MyVoIPApp,” or “pay John $20 via MyPaymentApp.”

  • Ride booking
  • Messaging
  • Photo search
  • Payments
  • VoIP calling
  • Workouts
  • Climate and radio (for CarPlay)

Learn more about SiriKit

2. You can develop Messages extensions for iOS

If you want to develop for iMessage, you can now build and sell apps and stickers.

  • iMessage Apps (via the App Store for iMessage): users can share content, edit photos, play games, send payments, and collaborate right inside of Messages.
  • Stickers: users can add stickers to their photos, text, and other stickers in Messages.

Learn more about iMessage for developers

3. You can develop Maps extensions for iOS

Maps now supports third-party extensions for things like ride booking, payments, and restaurant reservations. From Apple:

Ride booking is supported by both Maps and Siri, and users can also make restaurants reservations with Maps. Your Intents extension handles interactions that originate from the Maps app in the same way that it handles requests coming from Siri. If you customize the user interface, your Intents UI extension can also configure itself differently, depending on whether the request came from Siri or Maps.

Read more about Maps extensions in What’s New in iOS 10

4. You can develop Phone extensions for iOS

With CallKit, your VoIP app can now work with the Phone app so calls display on the lock screen (just like real phone calls), and your app’s calls show up in Recents and Favorites. You can also use CallKit to build extensions for caller ID and call blocking.

Learn more about CallKit in What’s New in iOS 10

5. Learn or teach Swift development with Swift Playgrounds for iPad

If you haven’t learned Swift yet, you can now do it with a new Swift Playgrounds app for iPad. It looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it myself — and use it to teach my kids how to program! If you have learned Swift already, you might recommend it to others who are planning to learn, and if you’re teaching Swift, this looks like a great way to do it. Apple even provides a Swift Playgrounds Teacher Guide on iBooks to help you out.

Apple also has a new course in iBooks called App Development with Swift that will help you learn the basics of developing for iOS, and there’s a Teacher Guide to help if you’re the one teaching. (Note that you’ll need a Mac running Xcode to work through App Development with Swift.)

Learn more about Swift Playgrounds

Where to go next

Now what? If you want, you can learn more about the iOS 10 SDK on the beautiful marketing page or in the release notes. You can also learn more about the new Swift Playgrounds for iPad.

As an iOS developer, you should definitely watch or read a summary of the Platforms State of the Union which focuses more on developer tools, features, and productivity than the Keynote. If you don’t have 2 hours to spare, drop your name and email in the boxes below and I’ll send you a summary when it’s ready — so you can quickly learn what’s new and relevant to you as an iOS developer.