Mobile // Mobile Business
12:06 PM

Apple iOS 8: What Consumers, Developers Gain

Here's what Apple's iOS 8 and iOS SDK news at WWDC means to users and developers.

and any other type of app that requires tight security can let iOS device owners use their fingerprint instead of a password or PIN.

Another key idea is extensibility -- the ability for apps to speak to one another and share features. Extensibility will let developers reach into far more of the operating system and its tools than ever before, empowering their apps with features that simply weren't possible in previous generations of iOS.

Looking briefly at some of the tent pole APIs, PhotoKit will let developers add the editing tools of the iOS Camera Roll app to their own, and the Camera API gives third-party camera apps control over exposure, focus, and white balance. HealthKit includes an app that acts as a hub for other health and fitness apps so users can not only better track their health, but also share it with healthcare professionals. HomeKit aims to simplify home automation by letting the iPhone to talk to in-home appliances, such as garage doors and thermostats. CloudKit will let developers add instant cloud services to their apps via iCloud Drive.

SpriteKit, SceneKit, and Metal all focus on making game development simple. SpriteKit makes it a breeze to add 2D animations to games. SceneKit goes one dimension further and makes adding 3D graphics a cinch. Metal takes a step towards crazy town, as it can empower console-grade gaming graphics on devices such as the iPad Air (thanks to its A7 processor).

Last, Swift is a brand-new coding language from Apple. Apple claims Swift is simpler and faster and gives developers a whole new level of freedom when it comes to writing applications. It works with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch and can run side-by-side with Objective C.

In sum, Apple has closed the feature gap between iOS and Android for both consumers and developers. During the keynote, the developer attendees offered raucous cheering when Apple announced these new coding tools. It's clear they were excited by what Apple had to say. In the end, that should translate to much better apps and services for the rest of us.

Too many companies treat digital and mobile strategies as pet projects. Here are four ideas to shake up your company. Also in the Digital Disruption issue of InformationWeek: Six enduring truths about selecting enterprise software. (Free registration required.)

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2014 | 2:40:26 PM
Not An Apple Fan but...
And yet the one feature Apple has that is lacking on the Android platform is the ability of the user to control what, if any data, applications may transmit back to the MotherShip.  This is tremendous power that appeals to a great many privacy advocates that should be trumpeted from the rooftops to drown out the bells & whistles crap of any other platform. 
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2014 | 5:30:28 PM
As a developer I was worried about the new language. It is some what like Javascript and the language guide is really helpful. Hoping to get hands dirty with Swift soon.
User Rank: Apprentice
6/4/2014 | 2:11:01 PM
TouchID Kit is huge
I think allowing TouchID to use for different apps is huge. And to some extend it is a game changer. Imagine in next few years the possibility to cast your vote directly from your smartphone (regardless of which platform you are using). It will completely change the dynamics of the politics. I bet voter turnaround will be huge and casting a voting will be as easy as paying a bill from your smartphone. Possibilities are mind-boggling. 

Very very interesting developments. 
User Rank: Author
6/4/2014 | 12:05:39 PM
Apple plays Android catch-up
The Android phone camp had some fun with this round of Apple announcements, for sure.
Li Tan
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2014 | 3:46:45 AM
Re: catching up?
I am more interested in its iMessage. It adds new features compared to current iOS. But these features are not something new - WebChat has almost all these functionalities. So somehow I am inclined to agree on the point "Apple is catching up". 
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/3/2014 | 4:41:37 PM
Re: catching up?
The Continuity feature is already available for Web applications. Start your work at home in Google Docs, for example, then pick it up at the office by logging on there.
User Rank: Apprentice
6/3/2014 | 12:52:10 PM
catching up?
Summary, Apple is trying to catch up. :) .... no flaming, i'm using iphone :P
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