The latest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system has been with us for a while now, and mobile app developers have been getting to grips with it. They have no choice – though in terms of numbers iPhones don’t dominate the smartphone market, in terms of trends and kudos they really do.
iOS is the platform on which not just the Apple mobile experience is built; it’s the tech catwalk on which new fashions first appear. That means that understanding each new version of iOS – and getting its capabilities under your belt – is key to building apps which are both exciting and fresh.
This matters even for Android users, by the way. iOS may be an Apple piece of software, but where it leads other operating systems – and other handsets – inevitably follow. Where iOS developers go, we’ll all follow eventually. The platform sets if not the standard then certainly the marketplace’s expectations.
What, then, are the elements of iOS 11 which have already most influenced – and will continue to shape – mobile app development since its release last September? Well, we’re glad you asked.
Vision Frameworks & Machine Learning
The latest iOS update adds a new Vision Framework and a toolkit that allows developers to integrate machine learning tools into apps. This might sound like jargon, so let’s unpack it.
The Vision Framework enables an iPhone to detect faces, text, barcodes, images and more. This means that your app could take advantage of scanning text, barcodes, faces, and object tracking. Machine learning is the statistical method of enabling digital devices to build knowledge on the basis of experience. In this way, iOS 11 enhances the iPhone’s ability in a range of areas which can add serious functionality to your app.
The voice assistant we all know and love, Siri, is now capable of transactional features, using voice control. Again, what this means in plain language is simple: it means payments or money transfers by voice. This new addition is useful for banking and ecommerce apps, then, making things faster and easier than ever for users.
AR stands for “augmented reality” – that capacity of mobile devices to layer additional information onto environments such as a street filmed by its camera (think Pokémon Go). The new iOS 11 AR kit allows developers to take advantage of more features for apps. These include object recognition, contextually-aware virtual object placement, and much more.
In other words, iOS 11 sets apps up for the next generation of user experience. Any developer who ignores this new function will be left well in the dust – pay heed, and take advantage!
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