The introduction of iOS 8 is here. What’ s new? Well, one thing is for sure… this is the biggest devkit release for Apple ever.
How does it change things for developers like us? Let’s find out in a quick summary, so you don’t have to read all the mumbo jumbo…
Notifications are now going to be more interactive, letting you swype down to reply immediately, even from the lock screen. This likely won’t affect much for you as an app reskinner, but it can if you take some time to integrate push notifications with enhanced interactivity. For example, you could bring a user to a specific part of your app based on what push notification you send them.
Like Android, iOS 8 introduces word multiple word suggestions as you’re typing. Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about this, as I’ve used both and found that auto-correct works fine for me 95% of the time. However, it could be useful to have a list of a couple words to choose from. They take this one step further by relating the word suggestions to the person you’re talking to, so which word suggestions come up will depend on the context. Crazy stuff.
Again, probably not much of a change for developers and reskinners.
Group messaging features will be updated to give you more power, including naming the thread, ignoring certain people, and more.
Audio messages – With the surge in popularity of apps like SnapChat and other self-destructing messages, this makes sense. You will be able to send audio snippets which can be self-destructing.
Video messages – Same as above, and they can be self-destructing.
This could hurt developers that were moving into cloning apps like SnapChat, or coming up with similar ideas, like self-destructing audio apps. Be careful!
We knew this was coming. Health apps have been huge, and the name of Apple’s app will be just that… Health. It will connect to our health-tracking apps so that you can access everything in one centralized location.
New For Developers
Health: Accessing the HealthKit APIs can be huge for you. We’ll likely see an increase in independently developed health & fitness apps, with a lot of innovation and crazy ideas. With all that user’s data on their weight, blood pressure, exercise, and more, we’re bound to see a flood of apps that take advantage of this information and trend to capitalize on it in a ton of different ways.
Touch ID: Like with HealthKit, having access to the Touch ID APIs opens up lots of doors… more specifically, in the area of authentication. We’ll most likely see more privacy apps, or updates to apps to allow more privacy. Of course, we’ll probably also see more “fake” scanning apps that claim to read your personality and things like that based on your fingerprint.
Home: HomeKit is going to allow a lot more objects in the home to be paired with your iOS device, and more and more apps will control things like lighting, audio, TV, and more.
Third-Party Keyboards: This is not new if you also use an Android device. Possibilities here are also endless, and it would be smart to come up with some nice keyboard ideas now.
Photos: PhotoKit and new camera APIs means more flexibility and higher quality photo and photo editing apps; however, Apple is going to have filters in their native Photo app, so marketing a “Photo Filters” app alone probably won’t do well for you.
Metal: New and improved graphics technology, especially for those interested in 3D, console-like, graphics.
Swift: A new programming language that coexists with Objective C, the language that Xcode uses. Again, this won’t necessarily mean changes for your previous apps, but a new tool to improve development going forward.
It will be another big year for Apple, and another for developers. Opening doors to Health, Home, and Touch ID should prove to be interesting. A new programming language and enhanced graphic technology should also improve the types of apps we see in the App Store. Of course it is likely that simple, addictive apps will continue to succeed, as they always do and always have.
What are your thoughts on this news? Concerned? Excited?