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iOS App Development Trends for 2019

May 14, 2019

If there’s one thing that technology does, it evolves, and with this evolution come major shifts in trends. Speaking of evolving technologies and trends, the mobile operating system known as iOS is under the spotlight these days.

Every year we see a new version of iOS and things are no different this time. The latest iteration hit the scenes in September 2018. Needless to say, we were introduced to a variety of new things. But, what’s really important is that businesses need to realize that new iterations of an operating bring with it them changes in the way apps are developed.

So, let’s look at the various changes that will be affecting appl development for iOS in 2019.

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Augmented Reality

It was iOS 11 that brought the attention of iOS app developers to AR or Augmented Reality. These developers soon began exploiting the ARKit framework to develop much smarter apps. This continues to happen as you read this. 

For example, IKEA Place allows customers to place product into a virtual version of their respective homes to see how things would pan out. This saves a lot of time and energy because the customer doesn’t have to actually bring the product home to test things out.

Similarly, American Airlines allows iOS users to access information in real-time. Flyers can find out how to head to the departure gate or identify the nearest coffee shop.

Now, with the current changes made to the ARKit framework, Apple if focusing on “Augmented Reality Interface for Interacting with Displayed Maps.” This means that users can leverage ARKit in Apple Maps to navigate themselves through unfamiliar territory. This is going to make things a whole lot more interesting.

So, app developers should start making the most of the ARKit framework. AR is going to be must among apps in the future and developers shouldn’t lose sight of that reality.

Apple ATS TLS 1.2

Security has always been a big deal for Apple, and that’s something we’ve known and experienced for years. Currently, attacks seem to be more prevalent among Android systems compared to iOS devices. This is definitely because Apple maintains stringent control over the kind of apps that make it into the App Store.

However, not too long ago, Apple shared that it would be teaming up with Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google to improve web traffic protection. In their statement, Apple mentioned bringing ATS or App Transport Security Compliance TLS 1.2

According to Apple, this is the security for today’s web environment.

TLS stands for Transport Security Layer, and it’s known for offering extremely safe communication between device. TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have been in use for almost two decades now, across Apple platforms.

But all that will change in early 2020, as TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will lose support across platforms. This will give way to TLS 1.2, which will go on to become the norm.

What does this mean for developers?

Well, it means developers can finally relax about including their security add-ons. TLS 1.2 will be taking security to a whole new level, minimizing the burden on developers to do the same.

Swift 5

March saw the release of Swift 5 amidst a lot of hooplas. You see, Swift has always been one of the most followed trends in the iOS arena. Every year or so, developers wait for the next big Swift release, and things were no different this time.

Anyway, getting back to the topic, the new version of Swift offers a range of new features. The most anticipated one is the ABI or Application Binary Interface. Older features from Swift 4, and 3.2, like compiler support, simplified string implementation, archiving and serialization, and maintenance of Unicode correctness will still be in use.

So, what can we expect from Swift 5?

Well, it will be far more ABI stable. This means apps will not have to bundle their version of the Swift Dynamic Library. This, in turn, will reduce the bundle sizes and language changes as well.

Swift will also become part of the open source ecosystem, thanks to a growing ecosystem of 7000 packages on GitHub.

We will see improved Swift support packages within Xcode IDE, thanks to Swift PM being used as a library.

Finally, Swift 5 will enjoy Linux OS support.

Apple Pay

With the growth in mCommerce adoption, mobile wallets are slowly turning into the norm. The App Store comes loaded with applications that either needs a premium version or payment gateway integration to make in-app purchases a possibility. 

This makes Apple Pay integration a significant consideration among developers.

Apple HomeKit

According to statistics from Statista, around 45 million smart home devices are active as of now, in the US alone. By 2023, we will see a 53% increase in the adoption of such devices across US homes. This means there will be a major acceptance of smart home devices all over the globe and especially the US.

This creates a massive opportunity for businesses to develop IoT devices and applications that bring in more revenue and success. 

With the increase in smart home devices, there will definitely be an increase in the number of apps being developed using Apple HomeKit. So, developers need to watch out for Apple HomeKit in 2019. It’s here to stay. 

Watch OS5

Apple watch development is becoming more popular these days, which is another area that developers and businesses need to pay attention to. You see, Apple has managed to sell around 3.5 million smartwatches in 2018.

So, developers need to take this seriously and start developing iOS apps that integrate with Watch Series 4 and WatchOS 5. WatchOS 5 now gives developers access to audio controls, Siri watch face, and a whole lot more.

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