iOS 12 Functionality: What You Can Do With the Biggest iOS Update Ever

July 31, 2018 - 6 minutes read

iPhone app developerIn this second part of our special series about iOS 12, we’ll discuss the functionalities of the new features that are coming to an Apple device near you.

With upgrades spanning AI, MedTech, AR, and device connectivity, not only will iOS 12 be the broadest iOS update ever, but the largest one as well. iPhone app developers, buckle in — big changes are coming!

Siri’s Getting Smarter

You can now create custom actions in your app so users can say a custom command to Siri. It can be as simple as triggering your app to open and land where the user last left off. Or it can be as complex as allowing the user to post something with just a voice command.

Another major update to Siri is Siri Shortcuts. This pairs users’ day-to-day habits with third-party apps. Essentially, user engagement is getting a serious upgrade! Users can also create their own Shortcuts and trigger them with voice commands.

Augmented Reality Upgraded

The ARKit upgrades in iOS 12 include more accurate measurement tools, face tracking, 3D object detection, better rendering, and shared experiences.

Knowing a user’s position and movement is key to creating a seamless AR experience. Add in 3D object detection and face tracking, and we should start seeing new, innovative AR apps soon after the release of iOS 12. And with shared experiences, iPhone users across the world can immerse themselves in the same AR experience at the same time. iOS 12 will let users send AR objects using Messages and Mail, so a whole new world of possibilities is ready for the taking. Our L.A.-based developers are already having some fun testing this out with our remote employees!

Another awesome tool for apps is the AR USDZ file format; this format is like an “AR Quick Look” and can be shared across Files, Messages, Mail, and Safari. Autodesk, Adobe, and Sketchfab are already working on integrating this format across their products so you can move AR objects within multiple programs without losing quality.

Maximizing Machine Learning

An update to Apple’s Core ML engine makes models faster, smaller, and easier to handle. The new Create ML framework allows developers to easily create and train models, even if they’re not the foremost authority on ML.

Using the new Natural Language framework, your app can intelligently analyze natural language and portal this data to custom natural language processing models.

Health Record Sharing

Health records through HealthKit let users share their medical history with your app. The data is multi-dimensional: it can tell apps about the user’s conditions, diseases, vitals, lab results, medications, and more. Your app can then use this data to create a more personalized user experience, like suggesting recipes that don’t contain allergens.

Better Developer Tools

A new Network framework essentially adds another option for developers working on network data transfer. The new framework can also replace calls to low-level socket APIs, which can reduce load times and improve your app’s sensitivity to user input.

Apple’s always updating its API, meaning many API calls are deprecated. Basically, if your app was built with iOS 11 or earlier operating systems, deprecated API calls need to be replaced immediately. Apps using OpenGL ES will need to be updated with Metal, a better framework for accessing the modern GPUs that new Apple devices employ. Although it’s a change in code, your users will notice the faster rendering and higher graphic quality right away.

When apps are ready to be tested, developers can send users a public link from TestFlight.

Interconnected Devices

Even if you only have an iOS app in the App Store, Apple’s going to make it easier to create Mac apps using the UIKit framework. It will officially roll out in 2019, but it’ll create a faster development cycle so that users can continue using your app on their laptop or desktop.

If your app works with Siri’s watch face, it’ll now show up on the lock screen watch face. And for iPhone X users, developers can adjust apps to take advantage of the all-screen Retina display. For users that rely on CarPlay, the CarPlay dashboard may display your app if it’s navigation-related.

These changes mean a better, more accessible experience is coming for users with multiple Apple devices.

Are You Ready for iOS 12?

iOS 12 is bringing many updates for users, developers, and third-party apps. A more cohesive experience is the goal, and this OS upgrade is certainly heading in the right direction.

Are you ready to make the upgrade to iOS 12? Reach out to us today through this link! Let’s get started on making your app ideas into a reality.

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