Apple Pre-WWDC Announcements

Today, just a mere 4 days before their World Wide Developer Conference, Apple has made a couple of developer-related announcements. There are two specific areas, Developer Earnings and Swift Playgrounds.

Developer Earnings

When the iOS App Store opened in 2008, it was not clear just how popular the iOS App Store would be. To date, Developers have made $70 Billion. That’s about $7.77 Billion per year, over the last 9 years. There were a couple of tidbits to take from Apple’s announcement. The first is this:

Health and Fitness have experienced over 70 percent growth in the past year. The Photo and Video category is also among the fastest-growing at nearly 90 percent growth.

The second tidbit is:

…active paid subscriptions are up 58 percent year over year.

Each of these may give developers clues as to where they might want to put some effort, if they have ideas for applications in either Health and Fitness, or Photos and Video. If a developer has a product that might benefit from using subscriptions, it may prove to be worthwhile to utilize subscriptions. As an aside, if your users stay around for at least one year, the developer gets 85% of the subscription price, up from the initial 70%.

Swift Playgrounds

At WWDC 2016, Apple unveiled an iPad Only app, Swift Playgrounds. Swift Playgrounds is a self-contained development environment. Since its initial release, it has seen a couple of minor updates. However, today Apple has announced that version 1.5 of Swift Playgrounds is gaining some new features. One of the limitations of Swift Playgrounds is that it is software only, and you cannot interact with physical objects. With Swift Playgrounds 1.5, this is changing.

Swift Playgrounds 1.5 will allow the interaction with a number of physical items. As Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering states:

Now they can instantly see the code they create and directly control their favorite robots, drones and instruments through Swift Playgrounds. It’s an incredibly exciting and powerful way to learn.

The list of items that will be available include:

  • LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3
  • the Sphero SPRK+
  • Parrot Mambo, Airborne and Rolling Spider drones
  • UBTECH’s Jimu Robot MeeBot Kit
  • Dash by Wonder Workshop
  • Skoogmusic Skoog 2.0

The Swift Playgrounds update will be available on Monday, June 5th and will be a free update for all iPad users.