iOS 10 from a Developer’s Perspective

ios10 Apptology

Apple will be pushing out iOS 10 this Tuesday, September 13, 2016.  As usual, Apple is declaring that this will be the biggest update ever…but I think they say that about every release.  With that said, there a few interesting updates on iOS 10 from a developer’s perspective.

Apple’s iMessage as a Platform

The focus on iOS 10 seems to be Apple’s iMessage App which according to Apple is the most used app on the iPhone.  Apple is actually creating an App Store just for the iMessage App which essentially makes it a platform.  Apple has already released 4 iMessages app ahead of the release of iOS 10.   I see this as play to make iMessage more competitive against WhatsApp and Facebook messenger.  It will be interesting what applications that third party developers will come up with and the different use cases that will be developed.

Siri Open to Developers

As a developer, when of the interesting a new feature is that Apple is allowing Siri to be used in the development of apps.  We’ve already seen a couple of request for apps to be developed that will leverage Siri’s voice recognition software.

Ability to Remove Apple Built in Apps

The surprising announcement with iOS 10 is that Apple is allowing the user to delete built in apps that come with the iPhone including iBooks, Maps, and FaceTime.  The full list of built in apps can be found here.   This is interesting for developers because if they have developed an app that competes with one of Apple’s built in apps, the user has the ability to delete Apple’s own competing app.  I’ve looked over the iOS 10 developer’s documentation and what it doesn’t state is if you can make a competing app the default function.  For example, if delete Apple’s Map App, and tap on directions in Yelp, will it launch Waze?

3D Touch

Apple launched 3D Touch in iOS 9 which works with iPhone 6s and above.  With iOS 10, Apple is allowing 3D Touch support for third party applications.

In closing, I can’t really say if this the hype from Apple that this is the biggest release ever, but from a developer’s standpoint, it’s pretty interesting and gives us more tools to be innovative.

By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014.  Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.

 

Apple Keynote Conference 2016: Apple Reveals iPhone 7 and Wireless Earbuds

On September 7, Apple hosted their 9th annual Keynote Conference at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Although newer versions of the iPhone and Apple Watch were shown for the first time, this year’s event was a little different. Instead of introducing state of the art innovations, Apple showed some additional features they’ve added to existing products. Moreover, these features weren’t anything extraordinary but new for Apple nonetheless.

Image Source: i.ytimg.com

Apple Music & the App Store

Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed his passion for music and the important role it has played in the brand’s development saying that they now have 17 million paid subscribers on their own Apple Music. They plan on partnering with more musicians this year as well. They announced its collaboration with Nintendo and will have classic games such as Super Mario and Battle Toads available on the App Store. Awesome! Its ‘ConnectED’ Program improved ‘iWork’ introducing real-time collaboration so users can work on numerous docs and presentations simultaneously. By doing so, Apple will now rival competing products such as the Google Chromebook and hope to gain a solid presence in productivity/educational environments.

Image Source: cdn1.tekrevue.com

iPhone 7 & the iPhone 7 Plus

The designs of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is virtually the same as their 2 previous models with one discrete addition. The iPhone 7 does not have an aux port because it only accepts wireless earbuds called ‘Airpods.’ Therefore, the lack of aux abilities is more of an exclusion than an addition. Its updated processors grant longer battery life whether at home or on the go. In addition, its internal stereo system has been improved for crisp audio playback. They’ve also made them water resistant and adjusted the home button for force sensitivity.  Last but not least, they’ve upgraded to a dual-lens camera system that enhances its already pristine picture quality. The price for the iPhone 7 is a little less at $649 in comparison to the 7 Plus at $769. Preorders will start on September 9th.

Image Source: 1reddrop

Apple Watch Series 2

The Apple Watch has updated features most beneficial for athletes and particularly swimmers. The new models are now swim-resistant, integrated swim workouts into its system and even repel water while swimming. It also has a built in GPS and comes with their new hiking app ‘View Ranger.’ Additionally, they partnered with Nike to create an exclusive Apple Watch with a cool running band design. Pokémon Go is now available for the watch as well. Lastly, its brighter display and faster processors tally it up to the asking rates of $269-$369 available September 9th for preorder.

Image Source: A Blog to Watch 

By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014.  Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.

Announcements from Apple’s WWDC Keynote 2016

Image Source: Mac Rumors

On June 13th 2016, Apple’s first day of its annual WWDC Keynote Conference  was held in San Francisco, CA making some new and exciting announcements to its four pillars: watchOS (Apple Watch), tvOS (Apple TV), OS X (macOS), and iOS (iPhone/iPads). The event will continue until the 17th of June. Most of these items and updates will launch during Fall of this year.

watchOS 3 Updates

-Upgraded app downloads for optimized performance

-Dock interface that allows users to easily manage multiple apps that are open

-New and improved faces for watch

-Face exchange allowing users to cycle between watch faces based on preference

-New “Scribble” function allowing easy fingertip swiping

-Advanced support for wheelchair users

Image Source: Gadgets Global

tvOS Updates

-“Single Sign in” eliminates having to manually login to each AppleTV app

-“Dark Mode” for night owls or those that prefer a dim looking screen

-Automatically downloads associated AppleTV app after downloading iPhone video app

-Advanced “Siri Voice” search capabilities

Image Source: multimedia.bbycastatic

iPhone Updates

-iPhone now has remote control capabilities

-Emulates touchpad letting users to easily manage AppleTV’s Interface

-Utilize iPhone’s keyboard on AppleTV

-Gyroscope now can be used as a game controller

-Advanced lock screen and 3D touch support; “deep press” for more app details and simply move body away from phone to lock

-Automatic voicemail transcriptions

iPhone Updates

-New “Swift Playgrounds” allows users to get their feet wet in coding by offering how-tos, tutorials, and user-friendly lectures for the building blocks of app development

Image Source: 9to5mac

OS X Updates

-Rebranding OS X to simply macOS  (first name change in over a decade)

-Upcoming OS will be called macOS Sierra

-Auto-unlocking capabilities; Sierra can detect when you’re next to it by identifying your iPhone or watchOS

-copy and paste between any device; copy something from iPhone and paste into Sierra

-Advanced storage space reduction capabilities; removes temp files, old mail, etc. while auto-downloading when needed

Apple Pay integration allowing complete secure and anonymous transactions with fingerprint authentication

Picture in Picture (PIP) allowing seamless window management; watch YouTube while working without taking up space on screen

-Advanced “Siri Voice” capabilities; from generic to complex queries

-Debut of iOS 10; Craig Federighi said it will be “the biggest iOS release for users ever”

Image Source: CultofMac

Widget Updates

-Access an app’s widgets by 3D touching its icon

Siri Voice Updates

-Integrates Siri Voice for 3rd party apps

QuickType Updates

-If someone asks via SMS, “What will the weather be like this week?” QuickType will conduct an automated search and provide an accurate response

VoIP Updates

-Skype and WhatsApp will now be integrated eliminating outdated notifications when people call

Map Updates

-Maps will now have the ability to access your schedule and whereabouts to provide accurate directions

“Extensions” enabling users to integrate 3rd party apps to easily call Uber for example

Image Source: SearchEngineLand

Apple Music Updates

-Better appearance and easier navigation capabilities

HomeKit Updates

-The standard app for smart home/IoT devices now has features such as “Night Mode” that automatically locks your doors and dims the lights

iMessage Updates

-Online previews of links rather than an ugly url code

-Auto-emoji matching with text; type in “happy” and a correlating emoji will pop up

-Invisible ink; messages that will only appear when you allow via swipe

-3rd party access; allowing developers to incorporate their use into messages. For example, pay a recipient within messages via Square Cash

 

If you do decide to use “Swift Playgrounds” to develop your own mobile app, check out the 5 challenges commonly experienced by a modern appreneur to stay ahead of the curve. We don’t know about you, but we are excited for Fall to experience Apple’s new products firsthand. Check out Apple’s official website for more information and ordering process!

 

 

By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014.  Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.

Highlights of Apple’s March 2016 Announcement

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If you missed Apple’s Product announcement, you can view it here.  For your convenience here are the highlights:

Overall it was a “ho hum” product announcement. If you want to check out the latest news on Apple products and future plans for the platform, read the announcements from their annual 2016 WWDC Keynote Event .

 

By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014.  Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.

 

 

Go You Chicken Fat Go: The Trend of Wearables and Health Apps

Apple debuted their new TV Ad, Strength, during the NBA Finals which was accompanied by the odd song, Chicken Fat (personally, I find this ad very disappointing compared to their last ad, Powerful, which I actually love and usually will stop and watch).

This ad illustrates a couple of trends that I’m seeing; health apps and wearables. Apple announced their Health app at WWDC. Essentially, their health app is able to collect data from other health apps and acts as a dashboard. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, Google is expected to announce Google Fit which sounds pretty much identical to Apple’s Health App.

From a personal perspective, Apptology has received several request for quotes to develop health apps. The buzz in the Silicon Valley start-up community is wearables. Validating this trend,our hardware partner, Ansync has recently completed three Blue Tooth LE projects that involved wearables.

Well, it’s time for me to go and work off my chicken fat. Hmmm…is there an app for that?

iOS 7 is coming! iOS 7 is coming! iOS 7 is…

Like a modern day Paul Revere (or Chicken  Little  depending on how you view it), I would like to remind you that iOS 7 is coming sometime this month.  I’ve heard  rumors that the  launch will coincide with their big announcement on September 10, 2013 which we all believe will be the  debut of the next iPhone.

So what’s the  big deal?  Well in general, we find that that with any major upgrade with iOS, things tend to break with existing apps.  From personal experience, the very first app  that I worked on, the upgrade from iOS 2 to 3 broke half my audio files in the app.  Our development team had to work overtime to fix the problem and resubmit the app to  Apple.  We’ve done some testing on the apps  we developed against  iOS 7 beta and we found that the upgrade has caused some problems.

First order of business is insuring functionality.  So, if you already have an iOS app developed,  to be proactive, contact  your developer and ask them to test against iOS 7.  If they find any issues, have them fix it.  In terms of timing, you also have to remember that Apple typically takes  2 weeks to review an app (even upgrades to an existing app).

Skeuomorphic vs. Minalimist

Skeuomorphic vs. Minimalist

Longer term, you may want to consider redesigning  your app to match iOS 7’s minimalist design.  Currently, iOS 6 uses a Skeuomorphic design (where functions mimic real world objects) .  iOS 7, on the other hand,  will embrace a minimalist design.

More  importantly, in redesigning your app for iOS 7, you should consider leveraging some of the new iOS 7 features.

If you have an app  on the Apple App Store, hopefully, you’ve been aware of the debut of iOS 7 and have already prepared for it.  If you haven’t, I  recommend contacting your developer and ask them to test your app against iOS 7.

Cheers,

Rich Foreman

CEO / Apptology

 

 

Apple Debuts iOS 7 at WWDC 2013

ios7

Apple introduced iOS 7 last Monday at the annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference.  The reviews have been mixed. We’re waiting to see it for ourselves before we pass judgment.  As an iOS developer, we expect to the beta version of this to be released to us sometime next week.

Here’s some of the new features coming in  iOS 7:

iOS 7 Camera App:  Apple’s camera app has been updated with filters and the ability to share via  social media.

iTunes Radio:  From the way this is described, it sounds like Apple’s challenge to Pandora.  You can create custom radio  stations based on genre or artist.

Control Center:  This looks  like a much easier way to access the iPhone settings.  Currently you have  to launch the Setting App.  With Control Center, you can access the setting by swiping from the bottom.

Notifications Bar:  This has been redesigned to give you updates on text, tweets, shared photos, etc.

Smart Multitasking: The new multitasking features included new intelligent scheduling, opportunistic updates, adaption to network conditions, coalesced updates, and push triggers.

AirDrop:  I expected to see NFC introduced with iOS 7.  I think  AirDrop is their stop-gap solution.  AirDrop allows users to share files via Blue Tooth or WiFi  with people nearby (I hope they figured out a robust security protocol). 

Safari Redesign:  Safari has been updated with 3 D animated tabs and the ability to save your credentials via iCloud.

SiriThe voice is less robotic and you have choose between a male or female voice.  The voice recognition has been improved.  Siri uses Wikipedia, Twitter and Bing to research your questions.

Watch Apple’s video introducing iOS 7.

How Free Apps Can Make More Money Than Paid Apps

While building apps for Apple and Android app stores can be highly lucrative ventures for developers, one of the hardest decisions an app developer has to make is how to get the app to pay for itself. Often the “monetization strategy” — shorthand for “how will this app make money?” — is left for last. (more)