While consumers look for the latest sleek gadget to come out of Apple’s WWDC each year, developers look for other ways to take advantage of the cool that is Apple. Consumers circulate rumors about smart TVs and the iWatch. These gadgets, though fun to have, don’t always spark the same interest in developers, since many of them don’t have wide access to such devices.
This year, though, there’s no need for developers to be disappointed: Apple unveiled iOS 7, and it looks to offer a great deal that’s new for developers to work with.
The Operating System
The new operating system has a newer, sleeker look. Jony Ive’s team has created an interface that looks at once familiar and completely refreshed. One of the coolest features of the iOS 7 is multi-tasking. Now, all apps will be capable of multi-tasking, including the ability of aps to interact with each other, as well as the operating system. There’s a new multi-tasking API designed to allow all the apps to run in the background. But the fact that apps can interact with each other should expand the possibilities for developers.
AirDrop for iOS7
AirDrop is also coming to iOS 7, which means that you can select someone to share data with quickly and easily. However, the implication is that, since AirDrop is being featured with the new OS, the coming of Near Field Communication technology that allows you to simply tap another device to share is a ways off — at least for the iPhone.
Apple is Helping Developers Cash In
Apple developers can also take heart in some of the numbers shared at WWDC. During the keynote, CEO Tim Cook shared some interesting data, including the fact that Apple has paid $5 billion to developers in the last year, with $10 billion being paid out overall. Cook claims that Apple has paid three times more than all the other app stores combined.
Even with this heartening news, though, Google’s Android is growing at a faster pace, and is expected to surpass Apple in downloads later this year. Apple’s more restrictive policies seem to be holding some developers back. Even so, there is plenty to be excited about with Apple’s latest version of iOS.
1500 New Features for Developers
Apple has added nearly 1,500 new features for developers with its new software developer kit for iOS 7, which is a solid update. Developers looking for new things to do with iOS, and ways to expand their horizons have a chance with the new system.
You can find an excellent summary of the top features here, but to build your appetite here are some of the more interesting updates.
Inclinometer: This is the latest in 3D space tracking technology, the inclinometer measures the angle of slope/tilt with regards to gravity, giving more apps the opportunity to incorporate awareness of up and down motion, rather than just side to side.
iBeacons: Apple’s iBeacons deply the Bluetooth Low Energy profile for microloaction, allowing Bluetooth 4.0 devies to collect precise location data like your exact location inside a building even without a GPS system installed.
Xcode 5: Left out of the WWDC keynote, Apple’s iOS and OS X app builder, Xcode 5, is coming soon. The developer preview is available, the full version to be released on a date to be determined later this year. You can read more abou Xcode’s new features on Apple’s website.
If you are a registered developer, and you don’t want to wait until fall rolls around to check out the new iOS, you can sign up for the beta now. But you might have to be patient. The Apple developer center was down earlier, thanks to intense interest in iOS 7.