New iOS 10: Much Broader Opportunities for Developing iOS Apps
The new Apple iOS 10 was introduced on June 13, at the WWDC 2016 in San Francisco, one of the most significant Apple events of the year. Another launch event took place on September 7, where both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were announced. Although the iOS 10 will be available on September 13, it is already being called one of the biggest events for developers in the company's history, promising the heftiest and most anticipated changes. Being interested in further rapid advancement, Apple has provided designers and programmers with extended iOS frameworks and made many of it's services available for modifications.
As a result, it is now possible to create a wider variety of products, including those which are compatible with the other Apple platforms via your iPhone or iPad.
Does this really mean that the new platform gives more opportunities to exercise your developer creativity? Let's have a closer look at these innovations.
The most dynamic changes of iOS features
Speaking about user experience, the following pieces of functionality were changed thoroughly and now present a wider range of opportunities for creating iOS apps:
- expanded iOS push notifications and 3D Touch,
- iMessage improvements,
- Siri with extended options,
- more robust Maps,
- new Speech Recognition API in iOS 10.
So, let's look closer at the listed changes and how they can influence iOS app development.
The most forceful features of new iOS 10
New iOS push notifications and expanded 3D Touch
Notifications influence user experience heavily and have more capabilities in the new iOS 10. Probably one of their most handy features is 3D-touch response. Because of this advancement, you can check your schedule and update it, see the results of your favorite sports team and turn on a live game without diving into the app. If you get a notification from Lyft, you can tap 3D Touch and see all the info, including location and the progress of your order, and accept or decline the ride. With the new expanded notifications, you are able to respond to messages, and send stickers and emojis without unlocking the screen.
Useful tips for app developers
Some developers believe that push notifications are the most unique feature in the new Apple iOS. So when you are developing iOS apps with rich push notifications for the new operating system, the following aspects should be taken into account:
- consider the necessity of an extended view to let users interact without opening the app itself;
- make several actions available, like answering a missed phone call or postponing the alarm;
- deletion options, by means of which a user can delete something to avoid anything undesirable;
- have notifications pop up in the most urgent moments, not to be annoying;
- create a feasible built-in or customized notification sound, which can be enabled manually.
New iOS push notifications and expanded 3D touch
iMessage improvements in the new iOS 10
Messages were called the most frequently used service on iPhones. People love sharing their events, emotions and locations within iMessage. There are a lot of desirable and handy improvements in the refined iMessage like:
- boosted emojis,
- handwritten messages,
- visual links, which allow you to have a glance at the content of the link within the dialogue, without launching it,
- sharing views from your camera right in the dialogue,
- the possibility to pay for something or use booking apps without leaving the conversation.
The new Apple iOS feature mentioned before, allows you to synchronize communication while solving some of the problems that we previously discussed. This opportunity definitely saves the users' precious time and prevents the likelihood of postponing or forgetting important matters. For example, you want to order a table in a restaurant for a business lunch or promised your child to buy tickets to the cinema, and you don't want to forget about it. With the new iMessage you can do all of that while staying in the conversation!
See also: 5 Success Stories: Messenger App to find out what are the most outstanding features that attract users to messengers
But the most significant fact is that Apple opens iMessage to developers. The following features are definitely in scope with developers' interests to create new solutions using the Messages framework:
- animated stickers,
- interactive messages,
- 3rd-party iOS apps which work within iMessage e.g. booking apps, payment apps etc.
All these enhancements are available both for iPhone and iPad. And to successfully use them, programmers are provided with new and updated mobile app development tools.
iOS 10 iMessage improvements
Siri has become more intelligent than ever
Siri is an integral part of iOS and serves 2 billion requests a week! What a busy lady! Here are some examples of what people ask Siri about:
- tell me the weather forecast,
- respond to my e-mail,
- call me a taxi via Lyft,
- what movies are on today/another day,
- find and book a table in my area.
Siri's main objective is to collaborate with the keyboard, perform voice commands and pool together many native and third-party apps. And now Siri is available to developers. Using the newly introduced SiriKit they can implement the smart voice assistant into their apps. Working with Siri, it's necessary to understand how it analyses information and what are the limitations of it's intelligence are. This will help you realise how it can serve you best and how to use the suggested iOS Siri API correctly, to create or update your product.
Useful tips for app developers
All the varieties of requests that Siri can handle are grouped into special domains:
- audio and video calls;
- searching for pictures and photos in Safari and your device;
- messaging via various applications;
- controlling and reminding you about your healthy activities;
- booking a ride;
- making payments;
- managing a smart house.
All of the services, which Siri would do, should accomplish tasks in efficiently, while satisfying the following demands:
- handle user's request as quickly as possible;
- provide non-ambiguous information and only expected content, without any kind of commercial;
- propose minimum quantity of choices and assist making decisions without looking at the screen.
The majority of users interact with Siri while driving a car, via headset and wish to shorten the time which they spend doing things from the previous list.
Any other tasks which are not listed above cannot be implemented by the help of SiriKit. Although it's just the first time Siri has been opened to developers, so we hope that Siri API will expand and will provide us with more possibilities for integration in the future.
Siri in iOS 10
New Speech Recognition API in iOS 10
With the new Apple iOS 10 release, developers get another opportunity to deal with speech apart from Siri - new Speech Recognition. It understands up to 50 languages in real-time or recorded speech. And with the Speech.framework it can be integrated into various third-party applications.
Useful tips for app developers
Here are some recommendations for implementing the new speech recognition into your products with the new API:
- it works only for iOS 10;
- it requires an Internet connection;
- it has per-day, per-device and per-app recognition limits;
- it shouldn't deal with any personal data, like passwords, credit cards security codes, etc.
- it must always show the recognition results before processing it;
- it should not process long records (longer than 1 minute) to avoid needless expenses because of big data volume.
Using the new speech recognition, you can make an application perform an action after a phrase, for example, "After a loud "cheese" take a picture!". Except for creating some entertaining apps, this technology gives a lot of opportunities for upgrading existing products and creating various helpful services to make users happier.
New Speech Recognition
Much smarter new Maps application
In the new iOS 10, Maps got a new design, and became much friendlier too, while helping us become lazier! To be serious, they save plenty of time doing the following work in advance for us:
- display places on the route and how much time it can take to get to the places nearby;
- show services, available in your area, exactly how far they are and other related info;
- interact with 3rd party apps as well as with native apps;
- make a customized route with places to visit;
- call a taxi to your location using any app you want;
- book a table or buy tickets via a certain app or pay with Apple Pay.
See also: iOS In-app Purchase: From Development To Monetization to find out how to turn on in-app purchases on iOS
And all that is possible with Maps in the new iOS 10.
Also, Maps is now opened to developers. Thanks to this opportunity, iOS mobile app development can make leisures and travel more exciting with less routine. You can integrate your solutions with Maps, create markers to help locate needed places or services on the client's route, provide exact addresses, track delivery, and many others.
New Maps application
Apple assists making app development for iOS perfectly safe
Aaron Roth, a privacy researcher and a professor of the University of Pennsylvania called security the central part of Apple's product in his interview for Appleinsider. Most of the specialists in this area acknowledge that security models implemented on iOS are more reliable than the ones on Android. As a matter of fact, Apple has not experienced any mass-hacking of personal data in the last decade. Despite the addition of facilities in the new Apple iOS, Apple guarantees that no matter what kind of information you are looking for, where you travel using Maps, what information you share within iMessages, personal profiles will never be built. Safety and privacy are one of the company's basic principles. So with iOS developer tools you can be certain that you can create code with higher security levels.
iOS 10 Security
See also: iOS Application: Development with a Secure Background to find out more about iOS application security
Also, it's becoming easier to develop iOS apps, because Swift is an open source now. The newly announced Swift 3 is already available on Linux OS. In the future, it is supposed to become available for other platforms' users.
The official release of iOS 10 will happen on September, 13. Nevertheless, all the innovations are available for developers already. It's a great chance to start planning modification of your current services or create the new exciting ones! If you are ready to start, get in touch with a team of professionals!