Whenever a new iPhone is launched, there’s alway one question in every app developer’s mind- How will it change app development and usage? Apple unveiled its much awaited iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on September 7th, 2016 at Bill Graham Auditorium, San Francisco.
Though the visible hardware design has not changed much, the new devices are refined from inside and offers a lot for iOS app developers to build high quality apps.
The phone packs in a lot of new features. It comes with two 12 megapixel cameras, one for wide angle photos and another for telephoto. Apple is known to be one of the courageous companies which annoys its users with deliberate decisions to dump things and move forward, obviously for the better. And that comes with the second major hardware change, replacing the decades old I/O port 3.5mm audio jack with a lightning connector of it’s own, for earphones. The device has become water resistant with the removal of the audio jack.
The architecture of the new processors are reengineered and includes the new A10 Fusion chip which is a 64-bit, quad-core processor that Apple says is 40 percent faster than last year’s A9 processor. Two cores are high-performance, the other two are high efficiency, which will toggle depending on tasks to provide you both better battery life and performance. Apple reckons its 240 times as fast at graphical processor as the chip in the original iPhone. These various virtues and abilities add up, according to Apple, to console-level gaming and the longest battery life ever on an iPhone.
How will it impact developers?
Some of the major features developers can take advantage of with iOS 10 is the power of Siri, Apple AI based assistant, and it’s Map which are now open to developers for better assistance of the user.
Apple also revamped its Messages app with full screen effects and bubble effects. A new app category is introduced for Stickers to be used in the Messages app which will be useful for the designers to bring their ideas to life using innovative stickers.
Developers can now enjoy the benefit of Xcode 8, while debugging, to track leaks, threads, views and potential issues at runtime. Xcode8 gives more control over the flow and analysis in real time for your code. This is a huge advantage over other platforms. Tracking bugs has been totally refined and it will help you to pinpoint where the problem is or could be.
The interface builder is way better than its predecessors and can now be edited at any zoom level. The constraints have become lessened with the introduction of stack views. If you are working on an universal app, portrait, landscape, split screen, you will have to overcome less hurdles while using it.
One of the major things which is improved, according to Apple developers, is the indexing time. So if you’re opening a project you don’t have to wait long before starting to work on it.
The automatic certificate signing ensures that there are no more problems if you have a lot of development or distribution profiles or, you are missing some for your devices. Automatic certificate signing will handle it for you.
Apple has incorporated an improved set of tools that help you minimize the errors that you could encounter with. Its Unit testing, UI testing, Bots, Scripts and Continuous Integration, testing environment with OS X Server can make you feel more comfortable, greatly reduce the errors and optimize what you are doing.
The swift language is also gaining much accolade from the developers community. With the launch of iOS 10 and Xcode 8 release, Swift has reached the version 3.0 with lot of enhancement.
The API’s are renamed completely, dropping the NS prefix, which was two decades old.
With the new programming language, features of the SDK, bundled with Xcode will provide developers more capability and enhance productivity. However there will be things unknown to explore and enhance,always. Sometimes your tests may fall short even after using the tools’ abilities or a bug in Xcode might make you bang your head to wall. There will always be something new to discover. No matter how convenient these tools are, they will fall short at times. That keeps the hope alive for the next release.