Every year, thousands of Apple developers gather to learn what’s the latest from Apple in terms of iOS versions, new software and updates related to Apple products.
Reincubate has been an Apple Developer for roughly 8 years, and this year our CEO Aidan Fitzpatrick is sharing insights about the future of iOS technologies, directly for WWDC 2017.
Whilst you can easily find a coverage of the announcements made and of the agenda in publications like Cnet - here’s their summary - our focus is on understanding what are the various implications of these software changes and updates, from a B2C and B2B perspective.
Files and data management
First off, Apple’s new app Files was launched in the App Store ahead of the conference. It’s a file storage and management tool which might help Apple users centralise content created via all possible Apple native Apps.
Does that mean that the Apple ecosystem will be more closed and only accessible to Apple users? Not really. File management apps are just tools to navigate user generated content. It could make the entire experience much better, if it integrates with other popular apps, such as Box, Dropbox and Google Drive.
The Files app is good news for businesses too. It will be even easier to copy and manage data created by employees on Apple devices without pulling content from each app individually. It also makes it easier for employers to create shared folders where employees save media created solely for business purposes.
iCloud and iMessages
Whilst keeping Apple users into one closed ecosystem is something we as iOS tech experts love, Apple continues to make synchronisations via iCloud as seamless as possible. The new iMessages app will sync fully more frequently, allowing for conversations to be updated across several devices.
This means that if you deleted messages, those changes will also be synchronised on your other devices as well. Very handy indeed!
Another piece of great news we enjoyed from the recent keynote was Apple’s dedication to making the App Store easier to work with. Developers can now play with the Music API, as well as with data streams from interesting apps such as Nike Run.
What’s even more exciting is the possibility of playing with AR and VR technologies on the Apple platform. Although both Apple developers and AR/VR engineers have a quite a lot of work and experimentation to do before even more AR-friendly apps like Pokemon go hit the masses, Apple is enabling this type of innovation to flourish on their platform.
As the app industry grows beyond billions of apps produced per year, it might be harder for new Apple developers to get into the App Store and in front of everyone, the upside is that security and safety will be much more important moving forward. Data protection and privacy are high up on Apple’s list, and making the App Store a trusted ecosystems of apps is in line with what users want as well. For newcomers there’s always Product Hunt to build a fanbase, before you reach the front page on Apple Store, so don’t despair!
More creative features to play with!
Apple opens the door to better and cooler media files. Thanks to hardware enhancements, the new macOS works well with a Photoshop-like photo editing app, which both developers and photo pros will enjoy playing with. Once more photo sharing apps are integrated with it, the internet will be filled with beautiful selfies!
A major upgrade to Notes comes handy to all of us unable to decide between other apps, namely Evernote or Paper. We love the markup feature and easy PDF export feature. This doesn’t mean however that other apps will be replaced, it simply means that Apple is stepping up in delivering experiences within the iOS ecosystem that truly meet increasingly complex needs and expectations of loyal Apple users.
These updates are great news for both developers and consumers. More features to play with, richer data backups, and a more “complete” experience within the iCloud across all of the Apple native apps!
Whilst there is no obvious design or UX update in iOS 11, this feature-rich showcase at WWDC 2017 will get developers excited about pushing the boundaries of what can be built on top of the Apple platform.
If you are a developer and want to make sure your iOS 11 prototypes and experiments are not lost between updates, take the iPhone Backup Extractor for a spin or get in touch to access our API. We are happy to help you succeed before iOS 11 finally goes public.