The next iPhone is just around the corner. Market speculations point towards a September 9th announcement. Apple’s new iPhone, likely to be titled iPhone 6, will be this year’s biggest smartphone launch for a number of reasons. For developers, it brings a whole new package of opportunities.
Apple pretty much defines the smartphone market with its iPhone launches. Till the last couple of years, most manufacturers were just happy to copy some of the features Apple introduced on its iPhones. For example: iPhone 5s included a fingerprint sensor for the first time on a phone, Samsung and other manufactures were happy to add it to their phones.
Let’s take a look at five of the biggest reasons why this year’s iPhone launch is probably Apple’s biggest ever so far:
1. iOS 8 – A Far More Stable, And Better Mobile Operating System
Apple claims its mobile operating system is the most advanced mobile OS out there. In several ways, it’s true. When it comes to stability, performance, and the overall user experience, there’s nothing like iOS. Last year’s iOS upgrade was a radical transformation from the company’s previous user interface which had stuck for a long time.
iOS 8 makes last year’s transformation rock solid. It fixes previous issues, while adding a ton of new features. iOS 8 is, according to Apple, huge for developers and massive for everyone else. iOS 8 SDK comes with over 200 new APIs. Developers now have access to more tools and deeper access to the underlying operating system.
Developers now have the ability to create custom keyboards, use Touch ID, and iCloud, and even more. Apple has a great track record for getting maximum number of users to upgrade to the latest version of the mobile OS. That is certainly encouraging for developers, who’ve had access to the beta editions of the upcoming iOS since a few weeks after WWDC.
2. Integration With OS X Yosemite
For years, Apple has been trying to bring its mobile and desktop operating systems together. This year we will see iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite bring that vision to reality with a number of features. Continuity and Handoff are two such features that Apple announced at WWDC this year.
Handoff allows users to pick up a specific app where they’ve left working on a mobile device like a tablet or a smartphone, on their desktop. The magic happens in the background using iCloud. Apps like Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Mac, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts already have the feature on OS X Yosemite. Developers will also be able to bake these into their mobile apps.
Users will also be able to receive their calls and text messages directly on their Mac running OS X Yosemite from an iPhone running iOS 8 nearby. The feature comes quite handy for users who do not always keep their phone with them when inside a house or an office.
3. A New Era Of Mobile Apps
iOS 8, along with the new iPhone, will help developers create a new genre of mobile apps. With almost 4,000 new APIs in iOS 8, and a number of expected new hardware enhancements on the iPhone 6, developers will have a whole new market to exploit.
Apple announced a new programming language called Swift at the company’s annual developer event this year. We’ll see more developers pushing Swift-powered mobile apps, that are much better when it comes to performance, and have an immersive user experience. The possibilities are just endless. Swift can also be used to write apps for the Mac, and is seen as an obvious replacement for Objective C.
4. Apple’s AppStore Is Breaking Records Already
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, just announced on Twitter that the App Store tracked a record number of sales in the month of July. There’s hardly anything surprising about it, the App Store has been hitting record numbers ever since it came out. Statistically, Apple developers earn more money than any other mobile platform out there.
With a new device scheduled for fall this year, and a number of previous devices getting a free upgrade on both mobile and desktop, the Apple AppStore remains a reliable choice for developers across the globe.
5. Two Instead Of One New iPhone This Year
Last year, Apple introduced two new iPhones — the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. The former was mainly the iPhone 5 in a plastic casing, with a few minor changes. This year’s rumors have it that Apple might launch the new iPhone in two difference screen sizes. If it’s true, this would be the first time something like this happens with an iPhone.
That means developers will be able to build apps for a slightly bigger iPhone. Several hints so far point towards a bigger iPhone being made available this year. Xcode 6 beta, the IDE for writing iOS and Mac apps, allows developers to create apps for a new form factor. The simulator in the new Xcode allows developers to preview their apps in virtually any form factor. A bigger iPhone display could open up opportunities for a number of mobile app developers in the entertainment, and general apps category.
Image source: www.apple.com/ios/ios8/preview