Coming Soon in iOS

Written by: on September 18, 2017

iOS 11 is the most exciting mobile OS release we have seen in years. In this upgrade, users will be getting a slew of new functionality focused on integrating apps further into the OS’s most popular features, such as Messages and Siri. Developers will also be getting brand new frameworks for easily adding Augmented Reality and Music into their applications. Overall, we will be seeing a generation of mobile applications integrating themselves into our lives in completely new ways.

Here are the biggest features coming to iOS 11, which will be releasing on September 19th.

ARKit

This new framework provides developers with a set of tools to create fantastic augmented reality experiences on the iPhone and iPad, which traditionally required a tremendous amount of domain knowledge. ARKit does the heavy lifting for the developer, and simplifies the process of “placing” objects in the physical world. Additionally, when ARKit is used in conjunction with the new Vision framework, developers can take this technology a step further by interacting with objects it identifies in the physical world. ARKit is supported on devices with A9, A10 and A10X chips, so not all devices with iOS 11 support ARKit. Supported devices include:

  • iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus
  • iPhone 8 ands iPhone 8 plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad (2017)
  • iPhone SE

Here at POSSIBLE Mobile, we recently developed a demo using ARKit for our client, PGA TOUR. Here’s the demo we created for a 3D golf course model.

Core ML

Machine Learning has become an incredibly powerful tool for solving complex, real-world problems like mastering the game of Go and identifying hotdogs. Google and Amazon have both announced substantial investments into the world of Machine Learning, providing developers cloud platforms on which they can run and train models. While Apple does not provide a cloud ML solution, they will be releasing CoreML for iOS 11, which developers can use to integrate trained machine learning models into their apps. Users of these apps may not realize Core ML is at work, but this technology will enable them to do much more than they have before.

Swift 4

This is the latest release of the revolutionary Swift Programming language. After the “The Great Swift 3 Migration,” developers can rest easy that this new release will not have large, sweeping changes to the language and iOS APIs. The big changes coming this September include:

  • Big String Revision: Swift will again be redefining how we interact with strings by returning Collection Conformance, as well as adding a few new features.
  • Codable and Decodable: These two new protocols will let developers encode and decode their classes into and from JSON or other formats in a more Swifty fashion.
  • Smart KeyPaths: Swift will be introducing a new KeyPath object to replace the old, error-prone, string-based key-value.

SiriKit

Apple is expanding the types of applications that can integrate with Siri. SiriKit was introduced in iOS 10, opening Siri to third-party applications that provide ride booking, photo search, and restaurant reservations. With the new iOS 11 release, Apple will introduce some great new ways for users to interact with their favorite app via Siri:

  • Create\Manage Lists and Notes: Users can now create to-do lists, mark items off of their lists, or create new notes that they can review later.
  • Generate QR Codes: Users can request quick response (QR) codes from their apps so they can easily make payments, request payments, or send their contact information.
  • Extra Enhancements: Siri Kit is adding some enhancements to their previously existing functionality, like canceling rides and transferring money.

MusicKit

This cool new framework gives apps and games access to their users’ Apple Music library. Users can now use apps to help them create playlists and discover new songs in the Apple Music catalog. This new feature is sure to create a whole new genre of musical apps.

Message Improvements

In this new release, Apple is further integrating applications into Messages. Now, applications appear on the bottom of Messages in a drawer. Apps can now send a new type of message called a Live Message. A Live Message will let your app dynamically change the content of a message, and even let the user perform actions inside of a message. For example, with a Live Message, I can send a friend an invite to an event. My friend can then accept the invite by simply tapping on the message without leaving the Message app, and I will see my message update when the invite is accepted.

Drag and Drop

Users can drag items like photos, contacts, documents, and notes between (or within) their apps. However, only iPad supports drag and drop between apps.

iOS 11 App Store Redesign

iOS 11 is bringing a major redesign to the App Store. The most apparent change is the introduction of the Today tab. This view features lots of curated content like “App of the Day,” “Game of the Day,” and stories from Apple’s editors. The App Store has also swapped the “Categories” and “Top Charts” tabs for two new sections, “Apps” and “Games.” Separating games from apps is a profound change, showcasing Apple’s continued commitment to developing mobile gaming on the iOS platform, and improving the discoverability for other apps in the App Store ecosystem. The App Store will also start featuring the top In-App purchases on the store page, and let users start those purchases before even downloading the app. Check out more details on the App Store redesign here.

With so many new features and frameworks for app developers to take advantage of, this upgrade is sure to kick off a new and exciting generation of applications. If you’re wondering what these features mean for your app, or how to best implement them, feel free to email us at mobile@possible.com. We’d be happy to help.

Ryan Schumacher

Ryan Schumacher

Ryan is a Developer at POSSIBLE Mobile, a leading mobile development company. He graduated from Full Sail University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in game development.
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