Apple in its major OS release iOS 8, says that some of the most amazing features in iOS 8 are being created right now. By far it is the biggest release for developers too. Unlike its previous iOS7 release, this time, Apple has released iOS 8 SDK with more than 4,000 new APIs. That’s a lot! and may require a pretty good learning curve, but it has room for innovations. When I say innovation, I see health care application that would enter into the stores should make this smartphone as a smart device. So, calling it as a phone or smartphone would not make sense anymore. Here is what I noticed as very new for iOS developers, especially the new frameworks and the links to learn further for your quick start.
iOS 8 SDK has frameworks that include powerful HealthKit APIs that provide the ability for health and fitness apps that would communicate with each other. Can’t wait to see how the code would look like? Here is the sample from Apple a simple app called Fit.
Next to Healthkit is Home Automation APIs that comes with HomeKit. With Siri and Philips you can control lighting in a home. Love to start with HomeKit? Here is your framework reference. PhotoKit: Developers use the robust framework to start developing high-performance Photo processing applications. With the new Camera API, your app can add focus, while balance and exposure too. For developers here is the API documentation to check.
This is not a whole new API set if you had already used how to use Core Data with iCloud in your iOS7 apps. You need not worry about writing server code and maintaining servers, instead, you can unleash the power of cloud hosting them. You can start with the prerelease documentation which is available here.
For Game Developers you get SpriteKit, you can develop 2D games with force fields, detect collisions, and you can also create new lighting effects to make the games fun.
This is for 3D game developers. Along with SpriteKit, SceneKit comes with a physics engine, a particle generator, and 3D objects development.
This is another new feature for console game developers that supports multithreading. Metal is a framework that supports GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) with advanced 3D graphics rendering and data-parallel computation.
Swift – The new programming language:
Along with Objective-C, now iOS developers can learn a new addition for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch called Swift. The introduction of this new programming language is to make developers write code with a clean syntax which is easier to read and maintain. Developers can download new Swift programming language guide from iTunes for a quick start. After this major release, developers and users can now access your iOS device from Mac easily and there is a better Notification system with interactivity. After all this new set of APIs, the OS becomes more flexible like Android. Looking forward to your comments on these new OS.
With the new sets of APIs, developers can create a new paradigm of Apps such as healthcare apps. Also, With the frameworks like HomeKit, the so-called “Internet of Things” is also coming close to reality. So, as Apple says, this is certainly “Huge for Developers”.