iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8: What Does This Mean For Developers?
This week Apple unveiled “the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone,” according to Steve Cook, Apple CEO. In addition to 2 new device models, iOS 8 introduces more features and functionality for developers to take their apps to the next level.
First, the basic stats for iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus:
- On Sale September 19 – right on time for holiday wish lists!
- Price: $199 with a two-year wireless contract. The larger version is $299.
- The devices are “the thinnest phones Apple has ever shipped” (6.9 mm and 7.1 mm, compared to 7.6 mm for the iPhone 5S).
- 8-megapixel camera with image stabilization to take better photos in low light.
- Faster speeds and the same battery life as the iPhone 5.
- Comes in 2 sizes: 4.7-inch screen on the iPhone 6; 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6 Plus — Proof that the influence of larger tablets have changed consumers’ tastes when it comes to screen size (bigger is better for web browsing). But developers need not worry – your apps will adjust to the different screen sizes! Developers can now also design apps that will display differently when the device is held horizontally.
New iOS 8 features that will inspire your next app version:
- Let’s get physical! In addition to existing GPS, iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus devices will include a new sensor, the barometer, to estimate vertical climb, such as stairs, not just how far you’ve walked or ran.
- “Tap to Talk” allows you to send voice messages within the app instantly.
- A Smart Keyboard includes predictive text. Your iPhone will predict your words. The more you use your keyboard, the better it will understand your patterns and how you communicate.
- Third-Party Apps: Apple now allows third-party apps so that you’ll be able to build apps that can be used right inside the current app.
- Touch ID (fingerprint security) is now accessible to all apps, which means you can authenticate a user before he/she uses your app, makes a purchase, etc.
- Smart House apps? The opportunities for app development just got bigger.
Users can create their own ‘Smart House’ leveraging connected devices. Help users communicate with and configure their devices or control those devices for them through an app.Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri for control over their home environment remotely.
Other cool features:
When you’re using an app, you can still see and respond to texts and other alerts from a top banner without leaving the app you are in.
Siri recognizes music
Siri now knows 22 languages and works with Shazam to identify music. “Hey Siri” will wake her up, and get her listening for you.
Family sharing and parent controls
Sharing makes apps, books and music more affordable. Now up to six people can share data as well as purchases from iTunes Store, iBookstore, and the App Store. To protect the kiddos, Family Sharing also includes security features such as permissions when a purchase is attempted.
Developer Tool for Health & Fitness Apps
HealthKit is Apple’s new tool for developers, which allows all health and ﬁtness apps to work together. The Health app aggregates and displays data from all the health and fitness apps into one place.
iCloud lets users store documents and files of any kind and access them from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. One Caveat for developers – CloudKit users can sign in using their iCloud Apple IDs, which is anonymous and does not share their personal information. This personal info can provide valuable and useful data for developers, so do consider the benefits and pitfalls of this feature. CloudKit also provides authentication, private and public databases, and structured and asset storage services — free.