In addition to Xcode, a new forum and new rules for the publication on the App Store, Apple has introduced many other technologies available to developers for creating apps, more and more advanced.
App always more universal
Introduced with macOS Catalina at WWDC 2019, Mac Catalyst has allowed developers to carry easily on your Mac, their app for the iPad. On macOS, Big Sur, the app created with Mac Catalyst automatically inherit the new look of the operating system, while providing developers with new APIS and a greater control on the behavior of their app. In addition, developers can choose whether to resize the app on the Mac to a same resolution as the iPad version, or if they need to take full control of the interface on the Mac to create an experience ad hoc. Developers can distribute apps created with Mac and Catalyst users from the Mac App Store and allow apps and in-app purchases on Mac, iPhone and iPad with a single purchase universal.
HealthKit offers many more functions for developers who want to offer even more with the app related to health. Updates include a new API ECG that provides read access to a third party, the 13 new symptoms which can be monitored and four new types of data on mobility.
HealthKit is a framework essential which integrates data of the health and fitness of the first and third part, to help people to manage their own information on personal health. The latest innovations of the framework provide read access to electrocardiograms on the Apple Watch, and record and track over a dozen new symptoms and their severity. It also examines new types of data on mobility such as speed of walking and stride length to help people monitor and understand their mobility in time. With iOS 14 there are now 39 total symptoms that can be monitored.
New symptoms traceable include mood changes, night sweats, diarrhea, wheezing, swelling, tiredness or fatigue, incontinence of the bladder, nausea, changes in sleep and engorgement. Here’s the full list:
Finally, the last big change are the four new types of mobility that HealthKit can measure:
- Speed of walking and step length
- Asymmetry a walk and a double percentage of support
- Speed of ascent and descent of stairs
- Distance test of walking a six-minute
The new HealthKit will allow then to create apps for health and/or fitness-even more complete.
Chip U1, and Nearby Interaction
Introduced last year with the range of iPhone 11, the chip U1 adds support for ultra-wideband for better monitoring space, but so far Apple has used the technology only for the directional function AirDrop in iOS 13.
In the next few months this should change, since Apple has announced that it will open its chip U1 to the developer with the new framework “Nearby ” Interaction” for iOS 14. This framework can transmit the distance and the relative direction between devices with U1, to offer some interesting user experiences related to space.
Apple provides some examples:
- An AR experience multi-user puts water balloons virtual in the hands of its participants
- An app a taxi or rideshare using the direction of a user in real-time to identify the relative positions of a driver and a customer
- An app of the game allows a user to control a paddle with your device and throw a ball moving on the screen of the user
The framework will operate on the basis of opt-in, with users who must grant permission to your iPhone to find and be found by other devices nearby every time they open an app that incorporates Nearby Interaction. Are generated identifiers are random for each session.
In his overview video is dedicated to the framework, Apple has noted that both the iPhone should be in portrait orientation to ensure an accurate measurement of distance and direction. If an iPhone is oriented vertically and the other horizontally, this may limit the measurement capability, as well as walls, people, pets, objects, and other obstructions between the devices.
PencilKit now includes the function to Write to hand, that allows you to easily create the app with fields for entering text where you can write with Apple Pencil. With PencilKit developers will also have access to the data on the stroke, and you will be able to manage both the input via Apple’s Pencil gestures touch.
The widget on the Home screen are one of the biggest new features of iOS 14. Thanks to WidgetKit, developers can create widgets for their apps with much more information and the various dimensions provided for insertion into the Home screen of iOS 14.
Here’s how Apple describes WidgetKit:
Easily create your own widgets and make them available on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS using the framework, WidgetKit, and the new API widget for SwiftUI. The widgets are now available in more sizes, and users can visit the new gallery widget to search for, preview, size, and position them anywhere on the Home screen for access to important details at a glance. Can also add a Smart Stack: set of widgets that use the intelligence on the device to display the widget on the right time, based on factors such as the time, location, and activities.
The three main objectives to keep in mind for developers are that the widget should be “engaging, relevant and personalized.“ Also, Apple wants specifically that these widgets are not “mini-app” with buttons and a user interface in the complex.
TestFlight now supports up to 100 team members for a fast deployment of the build. Developers can also create app to test all the new features of the software before they show the new updates in the fall.
Apple says that the following features are supported:
- Configuring hotspot on watchOS
- Access information WiFi on watchOS
- Virtual address extended on iOS and tvOS
- User management on tvOS
- Siri on the tvOS
- Compiler of credentials autofill on iOS and tvOS
- Setting DNS NetworkExtension on iOS
Apple says that the clip app, the extensions WidgetKit and apps created with Xcode 12, to the download of the beta version of MacOS Universal Apps are not yet available for testing.
Developer Transition Kit
Apple has also started the approval process for its Developer Transition Kit, which includes the sending of a Mac mini, with specific software ready to usher in the era of the Mac with ARM processors custom. Several developers have already submitted the application to request a kit, which consists of a Mac mini has the SoC Bionic A12Z similar to future ARM processors on which Apple is working for the next generation of Mac.
The Mac mini comes with 16 GB of RAM, SSD 512 GB, and hardware input/output with two USB ports-C, two USB 3 ports, HDRM 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. The whole is completed by a new beta development macOS Big Sur and from Xcode 12.
As always, developers are required to sign a confidentiality agreement according to which program participants may not “write or review publicly,” the Developer Transition Kit, or share the unit without the prior written approval of Apple.
Developers are required to return the Developer Transition Kit a year after you have accepted the terms and conditions of the Program. Apple may choose not to terminate the trial period at any time. The total cost of the program is 539€.
Swift Package Manager adds support resources, you can easily share bundles and localizations in the Asset Catalog. Also, thanks to the new open source packages for Numerics, ArgumentParser and System, Swift is the language for yet more use cases. With the API AirPods and Motion, developers can access the data on the movement in real time.
Still, developers can allow users to make apps accounts existing account Sign in with the Apple.