iOS 10: Everything Developers Need to Know

Posted by Alex Misevski on November 3, 2016

Apple unveiled iOS 10, a feature-rich operating system for its i-family of devices, during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco in June. The operating system was initially available for developer preview before the launch of a public beta in July and has been released to general users along with the iPhone 7 this fall.  

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Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering billed the operating system as the company’s biggest release, ever. iOS 10 is filled with thrilling new enhancements that will allow users to better express themselves and communicate to the world around them.

Here are key iOS 10 features that mobile app developers need to know about.

1.  Siri is now open to developers

Let’s start with what could be the biggest one: iOS 10 allows developers to integrate the intelligent features of Siri in building apps. In addition, the voice assistant will be asked to interact with apps on user’s behalf. For the first time, Apple has included a SiriKit SDK in the new operating system. Intended to help Siri become smarter and more efficient, commands such as “Call Dad with Skype” or “Inform Robert I’ll be 10 minutes late with WeChat” are easily available.

With this innovative iOS update, users can easily fire up a mobile app with verbal instructions. The ability for users to undertake tasks within an app without tapping or using their fingers can assist developers with lower funnel abandonment and provide users with appropriate channels of finishing tasks faster and conveniently.

2.  Leveraging the power of Messaging

Apple admits that Messaging is the most commonly used iOS app. It is no surprise that the company has gone beyond its normal call of duty to enhance this element in the latest iOS update. With this enhancement, developers can create exciting new ways to enable users communicate more personally and emotively. While you’re waiting for the release, learn how to send text messages within your own apps.

From the possibility of sending handwritten messages using animated backgrounds to more extensive uses for emojis, mobile app developers can integrate these exciting features into iOS 10 apps to provide users with engaging and creative ways of communicating with each other. Notably, Apple is also launching a dedicated App store for Messages. This way, developers can have access to apps with extensions that can support the Messages app. The Messages App Store will include different types of apps, from simple ones allowing users to send stickers and GIFS to complicated ones allowing users to send payments.

3.  Lock screen overhaul

The iOS update has taken the lock screen experience to a whole new level, with enhanced features for both developers and end users. The completely redesigned lock screen allows mobile app developers to solicit information and direct users to accomplish certain tasks without the need to leave the notification screen. What more could mobile apps developers ask for?

3D Touch technology has been integrated into incoming notifications, and this enables users to achieve even more without ever exiting the notification bar, such as scrolling through photos and videos and replying to messages. More so, iOS developers can now easily update old notifications with new information to increase user engagement.

Another important improvement of the lock screen is the inclusion of the “Raise to Wake” feature that prevents users from accidentally bypassing the lock screen and missing notifications. With this feature, a user will automatically receive details of the notifications without the need to press any buttons.

4.  iOS 10 has app suggestions

In the latest iOS update, Apple has finally included a feature that will suggest an app for end users based on their preferences and conveniences. With this new feature, mobile app developers will be able to boost their app installation numbers. By appropriately configuring apps to allow iOS 10 to suggest them to users, mobile app developers can optimize their apps to drive engagement and achieve better conversion rates. This feature will be particularly beneficial for location-based mobile apps that will greatly gain from contextual callouts.

5.  Maps reimagined

The new iOS features include a redesigned version of Maps that is more proactive and easy to use. The tenth version of iOS allows developers to use Maps extensions to integrate directly with the Maps app. This way, users can complete many tasks without needing to open multiple apps. For instance, with Uber integration, a user can request for an Uber service directly from the Maps app.

Furthermore, the revamped Maps is much smarter. Using “Siri intelligence,” Maps can now offer proactive suggestions on directions a user is likely to take and offer the fastest route possible. For instance, if a user usually leaves for work at 8:15 A.M., Maps will generate it as a suggestion and provide information on the state of the route.

6.  Other features

Apple has included a range of other useful tweaks and enhancements in the new iOS features to excite developers. These include:

  • Users are now able to delete nearly all pre-installed apps that are unnecessary, allowing developers to lure users to install better and more powerful apps
  • iOS 10 allows developers to include a “Pay with Apple Pay” button on their websites
  • The new continuity “copy and paste” feature enables users to sync copied content across Apple devices and allows developers to increase engagement with users

Major Updates Make Mobile App Development Easier

Ultimately, iOS 10 includes major updates that could make mobile app development easy, fulfilling, and fun. The many new innovative features of iOS 10 demonstrate that Apple has invested a lot of resources into enhancing the strengths of the operating system without sacrificing the privacy of users and the security of its infrastructure.

Moving forward, the new iOS features could propel the demand for iOS app development around the world. Apple has opened up its rich ecosystem to bring developers convenience and efficiency while making the user experience better than ever before.

Topics: mobile apps, iOS, messaging

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