iOS 8 – How will new features affect mobile development?.

By Posted in - Development & Product Strategy on June 11th, 2014

The 2014 Apple Worldwide Developers conference was exciting for consumers and fans of Apple. Here at Apollo Matrix, we are intrigued by how some of the announcements will affect iOS development.

App Extensions

Apple now allows applications to directly communicate with one another – something that had been seen in the Intents feature on Android, but had previously not been considered on Apple. Another exciting possibility opened up by App Extensions is the ability for developer to create custom Widgets and keyboards.

Swift

One of the biggest announcements from WWDC as it relates to developers was the announcement of Swift Swift code can be integrated into existing Objective-C apps, and Swift uses the same compiler. Developers will be able to submit apps using the new language this fall. For those interested in diving into Swift, Apple has published a free ebook that you can download from iTunes.

Playgrounds

Perhaps the most interesting change with Swift is the addition of something called “Playgrounds” to Xcode. Playgrounds let developers instantly see what a section of code does in the IDE, without having to compile or finish a complete build. The biggest benefit to this may be for people who are new to Swift or programming in general. However, it can also be useful for experienced developers who want to make small changes quickly.

New APIs

The iOS SDK includes more than 4,000 new APIs. While it remains to be seen which of these APIs will be most useful, one that has been receiving a lot of attention is a new graphics software called “Metal”. Compared to Apple’s current OpenGL, Metal is designed to have a faster draw rate, reduce processing overhead, and allow developers to more easily access the A7 processor chip.