The latest version upgrade from Apple, the iOS 12, continues to give developers reasons to rejoice. Even though the changes are more subtle this time, there are plenty of opportunities for app developers to add an extra touch to their apps by leveraging features such as the 3D touch, ARKit 2, Siri Shortcuts and a lot more. Even in terms of hardware, Apple has rolled out the faster A12 chip, bigger screen sizes and the new Apple Watch series 4.
So let’s take a look at all that’s in store for developers in the all new iOS 12:
1. ARKit 2
Did you check out the keynote video? The part where the iPhone effortlessly and accurately measured objects and gave their length, width, height and even diagonal measurements, had a lot of people fascinated. Sure there are other apps that can measure, but the fact that it is now available as an iPhone features opens up a world of possibilities for developers. This has been made possible thanks to the new and advanced ARKit 2.
And that’s merely a glimpse. ARKit 2 is capable of doing so much more. You now have a markerless AR experience available. Pointing the phone at a plane to reveal its details, doing precise object detection, street/place identification and a whole lot more is now possible, and you can bring fascinating AR ideas to life in your iOS apps.
2. Siri Shortcuts
The new Siri Shortcuts are smarter and allow you to decide which actions on your app can be performed directly on Siri Shortcuts, without opening your app. now some developers may think at first, that this is bad for your engagement. If users can perform actions without opening your app, what about the interaction, the ads and the revenue? Well, think of it this way. App fatigue is real and in the long run, quality time will trump quantity of time. If your app allows users to perform key actions in Siri Shortcuts, thus saving their time, they will thank you for it and choose you over others anytime.
In fact the idea of Apple promoting Siri Shortcuts falls into the concept of ‘Time Well Spent’, wherein users are encouraged to spend less time on their phones and more time doing, well, life. So if your app leverages this feature, it puts you in a lot of good books.
3. Health Records
If you are a part of the growing healthcare apps industry, there’s great news for you. Apple has made provisions in iOS 12 to enable secure and confidential read-only access to clinical records. The HealthKit store now comes with the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).
So if you have a fitness app, a consulting app or anything else in the ambit of healthcare, you can give users the option to securely save, access and share medical records with others like doctors or nutritionists, improving the app experience greatly. To get a feel of how this works, Xcode’s simulator has sample records you can try accessing. Check out Accessing Sample Data in Simulator to know more.
4. Interactive Notifications
Everyone noticed just how exhausting notifications were in the earlier versions of iOS. If you just left your phone alone for a few hours, you’d find your lock screen cluttered by notifications. If a user’s tweet went viral or a post blew up on Facebook, they’d have to struggle through a cascade of notifications to see yours, even if it was important. Chances are, that they might just close them all and never see your notification at all.
IOS 12 aims to fix this issue by greatly improving notifications. It not only groups notifications of a kind together, but also provides various controls on the notification itself, to improve interaction. They can even touch the notification to reveal the entire message right on the notification screen, without having to go to the app. You can enable them to take actions quicker and save time and energy.
iOS sticker, Animojis and Memojis have made everyone fall in love with them over the last year. With iOS 12, this much loved feature gets a little more advanced and fun. When users iMessage, they now have access to a whole new world of camera effects. The text window has a camera button, clicking which takes them to a life image page that allows them to take photos and send them in a message. To this photo, they can add a bevy of effects like Memoji, Animoji, texts, shapes, filters and even hands. Now if you have an app that has its own effects, users can use your effects and filters in real time in their texts.
With iOS 12, you can share authentication logins between apps and Safari, making multi-channel usability even easier. So your users can now get a streamlined experience across all their devices, be it on iOS or Mac. Any data or login information that users saved on your app can easily be used to unlock the website too, and provide a seamless experience.
When new things come, some old ones need to go too. So Apple is actively discouraging and will eventually discontinue support for OpenGL ES. It is being replaced by Metal. This one is indeed a bit shocking to developers as a lot of games, apps and platforms that run on Open GL. But since Metal is land-locked to Xcode and Apple, it will provide a robust alternative, and anyway, Apple is likely to allow support for Open GL for at least a few more years.
So those are some of the major changes developers will feel when using iOS 12 to develop or update their apps. Aside from the discontinuation of Open GL, which isn’t that urgent as of now, the other changes are extremely welcome and here at MoveoApps, we can’t wait to try these out. Can you? Do share your ideas with us in the comments box.