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And so the WWDC keynote is over. Tim Cook may have called this a "milestone" year for WWDC, and it's true that we saw some impressive things with the improved software development kit and the integration between iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite. But where was the iWatch, the bigger iPhone, or anything that counts as "one more thing"? Looks like we'll have to keep waiting to find out.
Still, we did learn about Swift, the new programming language Apple designed. It's one of the few genuine surprises of the show, and one that may end up meaning great things for developers. Federighi called it "fast, modern, safe, and interactive," and he claimed that it's better than Objective-C. The presentation even featured a demonstration of the language in action, which is designed to let programmers see how their code works the second they write it.
Apparently the programming language can be used for everything from the simplest apps for social networking and the like to complex 3D games using the new "Metal" graphics optimization utility that was also announced during the presentation. It doesn't entirely replace Objective-C; instead, it complements it and lets developers switch between the two at will.
Swift is an apt name; in one case, Apple showed how a single line of code (called a "Generic") could make an entire string of images pop up. Swift also lets developers see how their code will perform over time in an app, so they know exactly where they need to work when the app runs into a problem.
Swift will have complete Xcode support when it ships alongside iOS 8 sometime "later this year," and developers can already pick up a guide for the language on the iBookstore.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.