For mobile app developers like us, there was a ton of news coming out of the 2017 WWDC opening keynote… so our developers have been intently watching the presentations and poring over documentation in order to stay on top of it all and share our reactions! In addition to some pretty significant hardware updates for the iMac, we saw updated laptops and iPads and the announcement of HomePod, a high-end home speaker controlled by Siri. On the mobile software side of things, we were introduced to Apple’s latest operating system: iOS 11. Some of the best new native mobile features in iOS 11 include the ability to send money to individuals in Messages using Apple Pay, Live Photo editing, and a new Siri watch face in watchOS. As mobile app developers, here are some of the things we see in the latest OS that we are most excited about being able to take advantage of with our clients:
iOS gets a shared file system with the introduction of the Files app, enabling users to organize their documents in the cloud, across their devices, and between their apps. In conjunction with the new Drag and Drop capabilities on the iPad the creation and management of content feels seamless and limitless, breaking out of Apple’s app sandbox without compromising its inherent security. The new dock and updated multitasking on iPad for iOS 11 supports this enhanced file interaction and makes it clear Apple intends to keep pushing the capabilities of the iPad format to greater heights.
Using technologies like Metal and Accelerate, Core ML provides developers a number of machine learning models and techniques to harness the power of iOS devices to analyze data. In addition, iOS now supports image analysis out of the box with the Vision framework, allowing developers to identify faces, landmarks, text, and even arbitrary objects within images and video. Custom document and image scanning now has a first party solution.
Natural language processing is another addition to the iOS machine learning suite. This gives developers the ability to analyze parts of speech, language, and root words in order to understand text and it’s intended meaning.
Building on the hardware advancements available in today’s iOS devices, ARKit gives developers the ability to merge virtual content with the physical world around us. ARKit simplifies the work of lighting, shadows, and object placement and tracking in your virtual world.
The App Store has also been updated in iOS 11, bringing a richer experience to finding your newest favorite app. The new Today tab offers more long form editorial way for apps to showcase their innovative design and functionality. Individual product pages themselves now include more information and content, and starting in iOS 11 app store ratings are lifetime ratings, not per version. Additionally you can now perform a phased roll-out of your app, releasing to customers slowly rather than in one shot.
Other interesting updates
The newest Siri update lets users add to their favorite to-do lists or reminder type applications.
Core NFC Reader
Enables Near Field Communication (NFC) to interact with physical devices in the spaces around us.
Developers can now access Apple Music and the local music library to play music directly within apps and games.
If any of the WWDC announcements piqued your interest, contact us to explore how we can work together to turn these new technologies into business value!