Welcome to WWDC! I was so excited for yesterday’s Keynote and State of the Union and on balance I don’t think they disappointed with a range of new and updated features across the board. In this weeks issue, I thought I’d take a slight break from the norm and take a look at all the new goodies that were announced at yesterday’s events.
The standard 70/30 revenue split will remain but with the introduction of these new subscription changes, the revenue share will change to an 85/15 for any subscription lasting beyond a year and in fact these changes have already kicked in, with existing long-term subscriptions already moving to this new model.
There was however a word of caution. Although all apps are now eligible for this new model, Apple have gone to some pains to point out that “just because apps can, it doesn’t mean that they should” adopt this new business model. This has left some uncertainty with regards to app approval so just be careful what you implement and don’t try and force it where it doesn’t make sense.
Either way, @gruber has a good summary of the changes.
WatchOS also has your health as it’s top priority. The activity app gets an update with additional sharing features that allow you to share workouts with friends and additional features to support wheelchair users. Workout apps also gain the ability to run continuously in the background even if you swap to new apps such as when changing your music. Added to the workouts app is a new feature called Breath that attempts to tackle your mental as well as your physical wellbeing by guiding you through deep breathing exercises so now mind as well as body is covered. Finally, Apple have also added a new emergency response feature that will call the emergency services and emergency contacts in your location should you get in to serious difficulties.
From a developer point of view, we are also getting access to a range of new APIs on watchOS as well. Full CloudKit access is now provided as is access to the gyroscope, crown events and additional gesture recognisers. Multimedia capabilities are also enhanced with the addition of SpriteKit, SceneKit and AVFoundation allowing much richer media to be displayed on the watch. This combined with background refresh will also allow us to keep notifications, complications and full-screen views consistently in sync.