Utrecht, 6 July 2020 | 12 minutes 

Apple's virtual WWDC 2020 is over. The special all-online event has been viewed by millions worldwide. Over the past week, developers around the world from Brazil to Germany have had engineering sessions with more than 1.000 Apple developers.

In our In our previous article, we extensively covered our expectations for the WWDC20. In this article, we'll discuss the key outcomes of Apple's annual developer conference. Which announcements have the most impact and what does this mean for our iOS apps?


To keep this article somewhat limited, we won't discuss all the announcements, but a short recap might be in order. What was announced at this year's WWDC?

iOS 14, macOS Big Sur, an extension of Siri, widgets on your home screen with iOS 14, route navigation for cycling (something that we in the Netherlands are eagerly awaiting), Scribble on the iPad, spacial audio for the AirPods, a digital key for opening cars (we now know everything about digital keys) and much more… There was certainly no shortage of announcements this year.

For those for whom it all went a little too fast without the usual, somewhat lengthy, clap sessions, we've collected our WWDC20 highlights. What impact will the announced features and innovations have on our iOS developers?

We give Dennis, iOS developer at Coffee IT and ardent Apple ambassador, the word:

the setting

For me there were a few points that stood out this WWDC. First of all, the conference itself. Unlike previous years, this is completely online. The result is, among other things, a fantastically directed Keynote video full of beautiful drone shots and shots of various buildings of the Apple Campus at Apple Park.

iOS 14

This year, Apple is making the operating systems a lot better and more convenient. iOS 14 highlights this year include Widgets on the home screen and App Clips. Widgets are of course no unknown functionality for our friends from Android, but the uniformity as Apple approaches it ensures a nice experience for the user.

Widgets with SwiftUI

Apple is also looking ahead when it comes to making the Widgets, as they need to be built entirely in SwiftUI. The advantage of this is that it is very easy to roll them out quickly on all platforms (iOS, iPadOS and MacOS). This is a big advantage for the iOS developers, but also for the customer: it makes developing iOS apps for all platforms more efficient.

The Potential of App Clips

I see great potential for our iOS apps with the newly announced App Clips. These are parts of an app that are temporarily downloaded to your iPhone when you need them, without having to install the entire app. This is much more accessible for the user than installing an entire app. Suppose you are in France and you want to rent an electric scooter, but you don't feel like downloading the whole app for that one time you need it. Scanning a code on the scooter from a QR code or NFC only downloads the part of the app that is responsible for the rental and payment of the scooter. The app will disappear from your device when you no longer need it. Now the step example is just one application, but I can think of many more where this could be a unique benefit to the user.

Apple Pencil for iPadOS 

iPadOS now also has a nice method for writing in entry fields with your Apple Pencil instead of typing. You can quickly fill in things with written text if you already have your pencil in your hand. This makes certain iPadOS apps more attractive. A good example of this is the educational app like Examenoverzicht, an app that offers teaching material. The Apple Pencil integration for iPadOS makes it interesting to release apps specifically for tablets.

Programs that can run side by side

Are you being called via FaceTime, for example? Now an elegant little bar is shown at the top with the person you're calling and an answer and hang up button, without taking over your entire screen. This feature is also coming to iPhone. This means users can start using apps differently and multitask more. It is important to take this into account in the design process.

Big Sur with its own Apple chips

MacOS is moving to version 11 called Big Sur. Apple is taking a very big step, they are switching to their own chips instead of using Intel chips. By using Apple Silicon, Apple can get even more functions out of the devices and unparalleled performance per Watt of energy. This transition will take about two years, and the first Macs with Apple Silicon will appear by the end of this year. Big Sur also gets a redesign with features we know from iOS and iPadOS and gets a new version of the Messages app with more functionality. What's even nicer is that it will also be possible to run iPhone and iPad apps on your Mac without further effort. The boundaries between these devices are likely to become even more blurred.


WatchOS now also gets a sleep measurement function so that you can see how you sleep and can also detect when you are washing your hands and then start a timer of 20 seconds. This obviously responds to the current corona situation.

Closing comments

I'm excited about all the announcements. All in all, this was a very nice WWDC with fantastic features that allow us to take our apps to the next level!