IOS 8: What it Brings to Mobile Developers?
The new iOS 8 was released to the public on September 17, 2014. Apple calls iOS 8 the biggest software update in iOS history.
In this release, plenty of new APIs have been added. They provide many more opportunities to mobile developers, who may find they need to update their apps in order to make them look and perform their best with iOS 8.
Which changes can possibly affect the performance of the existing applications? Where can developers make the most of the new features to improve their apps?
We briefly reviewed the key things iOS developers need to know.
An important change is related to Push Notifications. Some of the existing apps may not support the backward compatibility of push notifications on devices running iOS 8.
Now iOS 8 enables developers to create App Extentions, the new way the applications are integrated with the system. Without opening the whole app, users can now share content, edit photos, pick documents or perform some simple actions through iOS 8.
Touch ID allows developers to add fingerprint identification to their apps. There will be no need to type a user’s ID and credentials. Whether the apps need secure access to their content or need to secure some pieces of information, Touch ID makes it possible. Users will be able to access the app or to provide all their payment, shipping and contact information with one touch.
With PhotoKit, developers can add new photo editing capabilities to their applications. There will be no need for users to import photos from the camera first. New APIs will let the apps edit photos straight from the Camera Roll. This update will allow users working with photo and video assets more efficiently.
HealthKit Framework lets various healthcare and fitness applications talk to each other and share the data between different apps. All health-related information is stored in one location, and users can decide which data to share with the app. This will make it easier for users to manage their health and fitness information when using multiple health and fitness apps.
To control and configure connected devices in a user’s home and create better user’s experience, developers can now utilize HomeKit Framework. The supported devices can be controlled by voice, using Siri.
iCloud Drive allows the sync of all data in the cloud. Developers can optimize their apps to support iCloud Drive, enabling apps to access the data stored there.
Continuity across multiple iOS devices is one of the features Apple added to the user’s experience. With the Handoff feature, users can begin their activity on one device and then move to another device and continue what they were doing. For example, if the user is writing an email on iOS device, he can seamlessly switch to other device that is signed in with the same Apple ID and finish the task there. Adopting simple API in Foundation allows the app to do that.
iOS 8 is built to support larger Screen Sizes and Resolutions, like in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It may be necessary to change the mobile apps in accordance with the new screen sizes and scales. With iOS8 it is simple now to create a single interface where the app can be adjusted to different devices and different orientations.
Another enhancement is related to Games. Advanced technologies for game developers make it easier to implement new graphic and audio features.
Together with Swift, new iOS programming language, Apple completely renovated its software development ecosystem. Read more about Swift Pros and Cons in our overview.
In Archer Software, we have a pool of both Objective-C and Swift developers ready to answer your questions regarding new opportunities in iOS 8 and provide required changes to your apps. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.