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Issue 17.4 ('100th Issue')
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Curves Ahead

The future is not ours to see

Issue: 17.4 (July/August 2019)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 10,662
Starting Page Number: 43
Article Number: 17406
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

This June, Apple held their annual developer's conference, WWDC (World-Wide Developer's Conference). In the old days this event attracted a handful of true Mac geeks, but with the release of the iPhone, Apple is now one of the top app platforms. In fact, so many people want to come to WWDC that Apple can't accomodate them all and has to sell tickets via a lottery!

Some WWDCs are more dramatic than others. Hardware isn't usually announced as this is more of a software conference, but there are exceptions. This year Apple finally showed off their new Mac Pro architecture, which, while being impressive on all fronts, is priced for people who need insanely powerful hardware for processing audio, video, photos, 3D, and so on. (While the system "starts" at $6K, that really means more like $10-15K for an appropriate setup.)

Such a system is actually too powerful for most developers since it's designed for parallel processing and most aspects of software development can't take full advantage of it. So, while the new computer is sweet, it's like drooling over a high-end sports car—something we can dream about but isn't at all practical for most of us.

But Apple also made some huge software-related announcements this year that point the way to the future. Apple is always tight-lipped about where they're going, so we never see the full picture until they're ready to announce it. Still, we can see some clues.

There are really two key moves Apple made. The first is breaking out the iPad into its own operating system, iPadOS. The second is Catalyst, which is a new way to develop Mac and iOS apps from the same code base.

(There's also a third item, which could be even bigger, but it's not as obvious and I'll get to it in a minute.)

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