API Development News

New Apple APIs and Frameworks announced at WWDC 2017

During the opening session at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2017, new versions of tvOS, watchOS, iOS and macOS were announced along with a list of new and enhanced APIs and Frameworks. Here is a quick list of some of the new technologies that developers can get their hands on (in beta) today.

New and Enhanced Apple APIs and Frameworks

Introducing ARKit – “iOS 11 introduces ARKit, a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. By blending digital objects and information with the environment around you, ARKit takes apps beyond the screen, freeing them to interact with the real world in entirely new ways.”

Introducing Core ML framework – “Integrate machine learning models into your app. Core ML is the foundation for domain-specific frameworks and functionality. Core ML supports Vision for image analysis, Foundation for natural language processing, and GameplayKit for evaluating learned decision trees. Core ML itself builds on top of low-level primitives like Accelerate and BNNS, as well as Metal Performance Shaders.” – macOS, iOS and watchOS.

Support for binary (non-text) barcodes (specifically QR codes and others) – iOS and macOS.

MusicKit – Apps can access to the full Apple Music catalog, and to the user’s library.

Drag and Drop for iOS

SiriKit updates including support for notes, todo lists, reminders, and visual codes (for payment and contact information exchanges) – iOS, macOS and watchOS.

Metal 2 – significant additions and updates to Metal framework, the Metal Shading Language, and the Metal Performance Shaders framework. VR support in macOS. Available across iOS, macOS and tvOS.

Vision Framework for high performance image analysis. Leverages the Core ML framework. Allows for detecting faces, barcodes, text, image horizon, and rectangular regions. – iOS, macOS and tvOS.

New support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and  High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) – iOS and macOS.

New APFS file system for macOS – “Apple File System is a new, modern file system for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals. APFS replaces HFS+ as the default file system for iOS 10.3 and later, and macOS 10.13 and later.”

Updates to the CoreBluetooth framework – “updated the Core Bluetooth framework to match across iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS, and marked call availability based on platform.”

Full right to left support for tvOS. Also for tvOS – SceneKit and SpriteKit focus support.

For a complete overview of what’s new for developers from Apple – See What’s Next for Xcode, macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS – “The new beta of Xcode 9 is now available, and includes Swift 4 and SDKs used to build apps with the latest innovations and powerful capabilities in macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.”

Migrating to Swift 4  – note: Xcode 9.0 comes with a Swift 4 migration guide and tool.

Developers can check out the complete Apple documentation for APIs and Frameworks. The online documentation has been updated with the latest beta release information across all four platforms including API reference, articles and sample code – macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS.

New Apple App Store Review Guidelines

One of the things announced at the opening session was reduced review times for apps. Most apps are being reviewed in less than 24 hours. This is a vast improvement over the weeks it has taken in the past. Apple also announced new review guidelines – Updated App Store Review Guidelines Now Available – “The App Store Review Guidelines have been updated. We review all apps submitted to the App Store in an effort to determine whether they are reliable, perform as expected, and are free of offensive material. As you plan and develop your app, make sure to use these updated guidelines.”

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