Apple has spent several years in making of Swift. Apple put down the foundation for Swift in order to improve the current compiler, debugger, and also framework structure. The memory management has been made easier with Automatic Reference Counting (ARC). The framework stack, designed on the strong base of Foundation and Cocoa, and also been modernised and standardised all around. Objective-C alone has developed to support blocks, collection literals, as well as modules, allowing framework adopting of latest language technologies with no interruption. Continue reading Promising future for app developers with Apple’s Swift
The new products of Apple are generally released around the fall; thus those who are fans of their products wait with bated breath for the next releases around this time. In this context, the next releases from the Apple stable are supposed to be iOS 8 and iPhone 6 which will be released sometime around September. The news about iOS 8 release was publicized on June. Now, with just a few days left for the release, people are growing increasingly curious about the new additions or changes that might be introduced in it. Here is a sneak peek at some of the features which are expected to be seen in the new release.
In the previous 7th version, the operating system had seen vast changes in the design aspect; there was a total overhauling. So as per some reports, there will not be major changes in the design aspect. The focus would rather be on incorporation of new apps as well as features in this version.
The seventh generation iPod, iPhone and iPad operating system of Apple has received a major update through iOS 7.1 which has been code-named as Sochi. Some long overdue as well as much needed bug fixes have been provided. Not just that, several improved features also accompany it which have become quite a fodder for discussion amongst developers. In fact, it is claimed to be the fastest iOS to be introduced yet. Even iPhone 4’s normal performance has been improved greatly so that its users can hold on to their handsets for a little while longer. Some of the most talked about features are discussed here.
Absence of displaced background- The latest update by Apple has made it possible to disable parallex feature which gives motion on wallpaper and can be pretty annoying at times. However, despite disabling this feature, you need not eliminate the zooming animation feature while closing as well as opening of apps. For that you have to toggle off “Reduce Motion” in Settings under General under Accessibility options. Then from there you have to navigate to settings of wallpapers and brightness and tap Lock Screen Wallpaper. Perspective Zoom must be toggled off and pressed set.
Encouraging photography, enabling HDR auto- Previously there was a terrible bug which resulted in constant disabling of HDR every time you close the camera app. Now a new auto setting of HDR has been introduced to monitor the adjoining lighting conditions so that HDR can be enabled or disabled automatically. For enabling of this feature, the camera app must be opened and then you can tap HDR Off or HDR On. HDR Auto can be selected so that everything is taken care of automatically.
Comeback of button shapes option- With earlier versions, users could manipulate Button Shapes but there were complaints regarding the tap targets. With the new upgrade users can now include button shapes to text-only tap targets of the software. It is very simple to add button shapes. Toggle on Button Shapes by visiting Settings, under General under Accessibility tabs.
New and improved Siri- Siri, the virtual personal assistant now includes many enhancements which are much appreciated. The voice sounds calmer and more natural instead of the previous stilted tone. A great feature is the option to enable it when you want to speak to it. The home button can be held down when you want to begin talking; on releasing the home button you indicate that you have finished talking. This acts as an alternative to status quo of Siri which notices automatically when you are done talking.
Revamping of calendar app- There is some subtle revamping of the Calendar app through addition of new list toggle. Now on choosing the specific options, events taking place on varying days can be seen while still in month view. Apple now has added country-specific holidays for different countries. You do not have to look at an actual calendar to remind yourself of particular country holidays.
iTunes Radio- Now you are allowed to directly purchase albums according to the track playing currently through iTunes Radio with just the press of a button. Featured stations now have a search field and there is Repeat as well as Shuffle buttons in the music apps.
HFP Prompts supported- Now when you connect the iOS device to the entertainment system of your car through Bluetooth there will be an option called ‘Allow HFP Prompts’ which will enable the listening of other audio on the system; whenever there is new route information, it will drop in. Previously, you could only hear the directions given to you.
Recently, iOS 7.1.1 has been posted which is iOS 7.1’s minor update. This update has resulted in the fixing of another batch of minor problems with further improvements of performance. In fact, in this discussion we have excluded Car Play option since this is available only in select countries for the time-being.
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Apple has completely revamped the look and feel of iOS7. So developers, nowadays, find it a daunting challenge to fit their iPhone and iPad apps with Apple’s new design guidelines. Many developers are further starting from the scratch to avail fresh features and functionalities like Maps, AirPlay and Siri. At the same time, each iOS programmer also needs understand the similarity and differences between iPhone and iPad application development.
Both iPod and iPhone apps use the same mobile operating system, i.e., iOS. These apps are also developed using the same iOS SDK and development language. So at the surface level, you may not note any significant difference between building apps for these two Apple devices. But a close observation will make you notice a number of differences in terms of components and functionality.
Significant Differences between iPhone and iPad App Development
Difference in User Interface
The wide difference in the screen sizes of iPhone and iPad makes it essential for programmers to create different user interfaces. When the user interface complements the screen size of the mobile device, the application can deliver richer user experience. The developers also need to use distinct techniques to maintain the user interface properly. While creating the user interface, the developers can use synchronization tools as per the designing guidelines provided by Apple under the Human Interface Guidelines (HIGs). Also, they can use cross-platform tools to create different user interfaces for iPad and iPhone.
Quality of Resolution
Most iOS applications are compatible with both iPhone and iPad. But the larger screen size of iPad allows the apps to take advantage of additional screen space. But the quality of the resolution is affected as the application is stretched to fill the screen. So the developer must remember that an iPhone app may not run on iPad with high resolution. Further, the tablet users expect the screen to be split into separate panes for content and navigation.
Sense of Immediacy
Unlike tablets, smartphones can be carried by users in a flexible and hassle-free way. So the smartphones often create a sense of immediacy among the users. Each user expects the smartphone apps to fetch information or perform certain tasks in a time-driven and spontaneous manner. The sense of immediacy makes it essential for the iPhone apps to deliver user experience that is both time-driven and spontaneous. The requirement further makes iPhone app development different for iPod development.
Required Mobile Bandwidth
The larger screen size of iPad enables programmers to create robust and dynamic user interfaces with streaming rich media content. Many users even rely on Internet cloud to access data at their own pace. But functioning of dynamic interface varies based on the available mobile bandwidth. As many reports have highlighted, iPhone users can access and use more mobile bandwidth in comparison to the iPad users. Often iPad users access internet through Wi-Fi. So they have to compete with other users to get more bandwidth. That is why; the developers must design iPad apps that perform smoothly without consuming additional mobile bandwidth.
Target Audience for the App
The iOS developers also need to consider the target audience for the application, in addition to the technical aspects. The larger screen size of iPad makes it more suitable for apps that are designed mainly to display information. For instance, the kids love to see large graphics, while swiping and taping the device to change view. So iPad apps will be more appropriate for visually oriented tasks. Similarly, the iPod apps can also be use by retail stores to display and catalogue their products. On the other hand, the iPhone apps are more effective in targeting the professionals and business people. As they have to work on the go, the iPhone app will make it easier for the business people to access information anytime and anywhere.
The version of iOS will also have an impact on the differences between iPhone and iPad app development. But the developers can always build apps by targeting the most recent version of iOS to overcome these differences.
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iPhones come up with an array of value added features that make these devices almost indispensable in modern life. These user-friendly applications or apps as they are called help in performing a wide range of activities. There are quite a number of apps that people find extremely handy. Let us pick up 10 out of them which are voted best by the users.
Box.net is one of the most popular service that helps in online storage of files. Now, iPhones come up with the updated version of this feature that only makes life of the users easier. With the help of this feature, users are able to share individual files or entire folders that are stored on Box.net. Users are also able to open files by using file viewer that the modern iPhones come up with. It also gives them the option of leaving comments on these files. There is also the option of uploading images from the Camera Roll. It comes up free of cost though the individual account comes up with a storage capacity of 1 GB while the 10 GB version is available at a monthly cost of $9.95.
This is another feature, that is a bit different from the rest of the lot. Soonr helps in integration of document sharing, review and publishing into another backup application. However, for using Soonr, one will have to install a Mac or a Windows Desktop client. It helps in automatic backing up of designated folders whenever a file is changed.
Once the files are saved in Soonr Cloud, users can log in through any web browser and browse. Users can e-mail, send faxes, comment as well as restore files if and when needed. It is also handy for creating projects, adding files and editing them. Another extremely important feature of Soorn is that users can have a look at the revision history.
It is yet another extremely popular feature that is considered by many as by far the best in terms of utility! The app is powered by some wonderful back end systems. Users will simply have to forward the confirmation email for booking flights, bus or train tickets, hotel rooms and so on. It can also be done automatically by using Gmail plugins. Once the mail is sent, the feature will automatically organize them with all the relevant details along with the confirmation number.
The camera and the iphone photo apps come up with state of the art technology that has sent the conventional ‘point-and-shoot’ camera to back end. Instagram can be used to upload family photos to Flickr or family albums as well as for uploading everyday photos. The feature is quick, and extremely simple to use.
This is an iPhone feature that is great when it comes to taking notes. It has striking similarity to Dropbox as it can save data as well as information locally though it syncs the data across all the devices.
This application comes up with several value added features that help in meeting scheduling, web conferencing, document editing that can be integrated into the web version. With the help if this app, one can organize projects into workspaces and put more emphasis on workflow though Huddle mainly deals with task management.
This app comes up with the feature that helps users to snap videos from conferences as well as uploading them to be viewed on the web for free. The app also provides a fantastic way to access those videos on mobiles and releasing TED talks.
This app helps users to take startling panoramic shots with iPhones as well as line up the shots and correct them automatically.
This app is mainly for helping those who like shopping. It can turn an iPhone into an effective barcode scanner and the app is pretty flawless. All the user needs to do is to scan the UPC code of a particular product. The app will do the rest and will find the product for the user from Google Product Search as well as TheFind. The most important thing is that it is lightning fast.
Last but not the least, Twitter is still considered the best as well as the most popular app for the users of iPhone. It is a magnificent app that also happens to be one of the most popular social media sites.
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Many reports recently highlighted how Google’s Android has superseded Apple’s iOS in terms of global smartphone market share. But the rapidly growing and popularity of Android is not having any significant impact on iPhone app development. According to VentureBeat.com, “An average Android app makes 5 times less money per download than an iOS app. Even though Android has by far passed iOS in terms of global market share, the picture is not so clear-cut in terms of revenue. Despite Android’s dominant market share, for many app developers, iOS is still the biggest platform.” The data clearly indicate that 2014 is going to be the year of highest iPhone apps. However, there are several factors that will contribute towards the rapid growth of iPhone app development during this year.
Why 2014 will be the Year of Highest iPhone Apps?
Increased iOS 7 Adaption Figures
The popularity and adaptability of a mobile operating system directly affects the popularity of mobile applications. According to the iOS adoption numbers, updated by Apple recently, iOS 7 has already hit the 80 percent mark. The increased iOS adoption number clearly indicates the growing popularity of the latest version of the mobile operating system. So the figure will encourage more enterprises to launch new iPhone apps.
Enhanced Processing Power
Apple surprised competitors by launching iPhone 5S with a powerful 64-bit processor chip. Companies like Samsung and Qualcomm have promises users to deliver enhanced process power during 2014. But Apple still has the edge, and the optimized processing power will also contribute towards making the latest version of iPhone popular. At the same time, the 64-bit processor chip allows application developers to launch more robust and fast mobile apps. The new feature will further result in launching new iPhone applications.
More Enterprise Apps
Despite the huge popularity of mobile applications, many enterprises still opt for mobile websites. The mobile websites are effective in keeping the visitors interested and engaged. But most users, nowadays, expect the websites to work like a mobile app. So many enterprises will launch mobile apps to meet the current trends. The gradual shifting from mobile websites will contribute towards the rapid increase in the number of iPhone apps during 2014.
Many organizations invest in iPhone app development to get higher return on investment. With companies and individual developers offering iPhone application development services, it has become easier for organizations to launch mobile applications without any hassle. Further, a business can outsource the iPhone app development project to curtail development cost. As many reports have highlighted, iOS is still the most preferred platform for many developers who wants to maximize their revenues. The enhanced earning potential will encourage new companies to invest in iPhone app development to get higher ROI.
Target Emerging Markets
As many reports have highlighted there are many countries where the app download numbers are high, but the developers are not getting any revenues. At present, the paid application download numbers are much higher only in USA and Western Europe. So the application developers have to target emerging markets to get more revenue. Apple also aims to make iPhone popular in countries like India, Russia and Brazil to increase its global smartphone market share. Therefore, more developers will build iPhone apps this year to target users from these emerging markets. The enhanced market share of iPhone will further contribute towards increasing the number of applications at the Apple App Store.
The iPhone application development will also be impacted by the frequent changes in the user demand. With more and more people wearing mobile devices as smart glasses or smart watches, enterprises will be encouraged to launch innovative apps to meet the current choices and preferences of users. At the same time, enterprises also have to release updated versions of existing iPhone apps to beat competition.
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