May and June is invariably a busy time for developers. During these months, developers find out the changes, improvements and tools that will shape their activity over the next 12 months. Microsoft’s Build, Google’s I/O and Apple’s WWDC developer conferences are the events for developers across the world. We thought we’d take a look to see what to expect from the three major platforms.
Microsoft Build – 29th April to 1st May 2015, San Francisco
2015 is a huge year for Microsoft. Windows 10 will be released to the public, showing whether Microsoft can deliver on its promise of a single platform across desktop, tablet and mobile.
Under the leadership of Satya Nadal, Microsoft is the company to watch at the moment. Satya has managed to put some of the cool back into Microsoft and made it far more open to other platforms.
Microsoft’s Build conference is expected to focus heavily on Microsoft’s approach to apps, universal Windows apps, where a single app works across Windows phones, tablets, PCs and even the Xbox One. Though this was introduced last year at Build, it’s expected to be a major part of Microsoft’s strategy for Windows 10, as the company seeks to get more developers building for its platform.
We can also expect to see more around Microsoft’s growing hardware aspirations, following its Nokia acquisition, with new devices built specifically for Windows 10, including the new Surface Pro 4 and a raft of new mobile devices. Another piece of hardware that’s hotly anticipated is Microsoft’s new HoloLens augmented reality headset, which NASA is currently using to allow scientists to feel like they are walking around Mars.
Build sold out in less than an hour.
Google I/O – May 28th – 29th 2015, San Francisco
A few years ago, Google had people’s jaws drop to the floor when it unveiled Google Glass, by having skydivers send a live video stream as the descended down to the conference centre. Early this year, Google moved Glass out of its X division and into its Nest hardware division. Whether we’ll see the next generation Glass this year, under the leadership of Tony-ex-Apple-Fadell, remains to be seen.
What we can expect, however, is to get a glimpse at the next evolution of Android. Last years’ Lollipop was one of the biggest changes to Android in recent years, so we can expect to see further refinement on the platform, with a focus on Android apps running on Chrome. Following the introduction of Android Wear last year, it’s also likely that we’ll see a big focus on Google’s wearable platform, not to mention Android Auto and Android in the home.
There haven’t been a huge number of rumours surrounding I/O this year, so we can only speculate as to what is coming.
Apple WWDC – 8th – 12th June 2015, San Francisco
Last year was a major year for Apple, with WWDC showcasing Swift, its new development language, a new OS X and huge changes to the way in which iOS works.
This year, Apple’s slogan is ‘The epicenter of change.’ Following the introduction of Force Touch and Haptic Feedback to Apple Watch and its new MacBook, we can only speculate that much of the focus this year will be about user interaction and new paradigms of device interactions.
Outside of this, rumours surrounding WWDC this year have suggested that Apple is focusing on refinements to its operating systems.
Much of the focus this year, according to Apple’s WWDC website indicate that Apple will be focusing on design and user experience across OS X, iOS and Apple Watch. Apple’s team will be providing in-depth sessions on typography, animation and navigation, in addition to focusing on prototyping techniques to help with interaction design.
App frameworks are also another focus for the company. With Swift, Apple Watch, Apple Pay and new ways to interact with devices, such as Force Touch, Apple will likely focus on how developers can make the most of these hardware and software features.
Other topics primed for attention include health and fitness, graphics and games, media content, Core OS, tools and languages and enterprise.
There’s no word whether IBM will be presenting alongside Apple at the event, or opening up any tools to developers. We can, however, expect the two companies to discuss their activity in enterprise and the recently announced HealthCare partnership.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the announcements and developments coming from the big three. All three companies have been increasingly turning their focus to mobile over the past few years, and with good reason. Research from eMarketer this week has revealed that, in the UK, people now spend more time on mobile than they do on PCs.