Apple announced iOS 10 its Worldwide Development Conference (WWDC) in June. The company started rolling out the latest version of its mobile operating system officially in September. Apple is yet to announce the adoption number of iOS 10. But statistics posted on various websites depict that iOS 10 has already overtaken iOS 9 within a short amount of time.
Hence, the people using specific versions of iPhone and iPad will soon look for apps that take advantage of the new features and enhancements provided by the latest version of iOS. Likewise, the developers also need to create or update their apps according to the changes in the current version of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Significant Changes and Enhancements in iOS 10 for App Developers
IOS 10 no longer supports the older devices that use the 30-pin dock connector. It supports only specific models of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The latest version of iOS is compatible with iPhone 5 and later, iPod touch 6th generation, and iPad 4th generation, all models of iPad Air and iPad mini 2. Hence, the developers must keep in mind the features of these specific devices to make the iOS 10 apps deliver more personalized user experience.
The latest version of iOS aims to make 3D touch an integral part of the user experience delivered by latest iPhone and iPad models. While using iOS 10, a user can take advantage of the 3D touch feature to accomplish common tasks directly from the lock screen of his device. He also has option to access and operate several third-party mobile apps through 3D touch. Hence, most users will look for apps that can be accessed and operated through 3D touch. While developing apps for iOS 10, the developers need to ensure that they support 3D touch fully.
Apple has already revealed its plan to make Siri available to iOS app developers. The developers now have option to create apps with extensions that allow users to take advantage of Siri, and access content and services through voice commands. The developers can take advantage of the SiriKit provided by Apple to create extensions for their mobile apps to enable users to perform common tasks like searching photos, sending messages, making audio/video calls, making payments, and managing workouts through voice commands.
The iOS app developers can take advantage of Apple maps to deliver more relevant content to users according to their current locations. They can use the Map Extensions provided by Apple to create apps that deliver prompt location-based services to users. The extensions will help developers to include features in their apps to book, track, and pay for a variety of location based services like restaurant reservations and ride booking.
IOS 10 enables app developers to keep the users engaged by delivering interactive and powerful notifications. They can take advantage of the iMessage Apps to allow users to interact with the app directly within the messages. They can even take advantage of 3D Touch to allow users to respond to the notifications directly from the lock screen. Also, the developers can make the notification richer by allowing users to listen audio, watch video or access real-time information directly within the notifications.
Apple Pay Enhancements
While developing apps for iOS 10, the developers can enhance its user experience by taking advantage of Apple Pay enhancements. The API provided by Apple further makes it easier for developers to incorporate Apple Pay directly into both websites and mobile apps. The dynamic payment network will enable users to make payment in a more flexible and secure way. At the same time, the new sandbox testing environment helps developers to assess the entire payment process based on encrypted test payment data.
The developers can take advantage of an API provided by Apple which supports continuous speech recognition. They can use the API to create mobile apps that recognize the speech and convert the speech into text. The API can be further integrated with the Speech Framework to create apps that perform speech transcription more efficiently. The app can further transcribe speech in both real-time environments and through recorded audio.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
While developing apps supporting VoIP for iOS 10, the developers can take advantage of the CallKit provided by Apple. They can use CallKit to enable users to make calls directly through the app, while availing controls like call waiting and mute. Further, details of the call made through the mobile app will be automatically included in the recent and favorites tabs in the Phone app. Hence, the developers can keep the users engaged by allowing them to make calls through the app, and accessing the app right from the calls.
New APIs and Frameworks
The developers also need to use several new APIs for both Objective-C and Swift. The iOS 10 APIs for Objective-C includes AudioUnit, CloudKit, CoreBluetooth, CoreData, CoreImage, CoreGraphics and CoreMedia, and CoreLocation. Likewise, the iOS 10 APIs for Swift includes Contacts, CoreAudio, CoreData, CoreImage, CoreGraphics. CoreAudioKit, Speech, Social, and Security. Hence, the developers must learn a number of new APIs to write robust mobile apps for iOS 10.
The iPhone app developers have option to write iOS 10 apps in either objective-C or Swift. But Apple recommends developers to write apps for iOS 10 only in Swift 3. It has further included several new features and enhancements in Swift 3 to simplify iOS app development. Swift 3 further enables programmers to build iOS apps rapidly by using the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks. Hence, the mobile app developers must learn Swift 3 to write applications for iOS 10 more efficiently and quickly.
However, the mobile app developers must remember that iOS 10 is available only to specific models of iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Hence, they must combine the features of iOS 10 and the specific iOS devices to make their apps deliver optimal user experience. At the same time, they also need to ensure that the apps are also available on the devices running on iOS 9.