It was in June 2020 that Apple announced the arrival of the new iOS 14 update. This news took the tech world by a storm and had everyone speculating about what exciting new features Apple would reveal.
There was some heat over the internet towards apple taking the features from android in this release, specifically the widgets. However, many questions arise like; why did apple choose to add widgets now, should we even update our iPhones and what are the new iOS 14 features that Apple has in store for iOS developers. Keep reading and by the end of this blog, you’ll know everything there is to know about iOS 14 and how this update can benefit iOS app developers.
Apple released its latest version of the iOS operating system, iOS 14 on September 16 and this is the biggest iOS update till now. This update is all about the software since it has been released without any new iPhone device. Where the last few updates were more focused on enhancing the stability, this release is all about streamlining the interface by changing home screen designs, updating existing apps, improvements in Siri and many other tweaks.
iOS 14 Features
Let’s see what features Apple has introduced in the new iOS 14 update.
- Smart Stack
- App Library
- Compact UI
If you have seen the Android vs iOS debates all over the internet then you’re probably aware of how Apple has redesigned the Home screen by including widgets for the first time ever. These widgets (though not as customizable as an android) can be moved anywhere on the screen and give the home screen a pretty neat look.
Why Apple is adding widgets 8 years after android did? Well, the answer to that is; it seems that Apple wanted to make sure to use the widgets in its own way by adding its own twist through a couple of extra features on top of the widgets (like the Smart Stack).
These widgets are all first-party apple apps however for the first time ever; third-party apps can also use these widgets and this here is the most exciting news. iOS developers now have an option to work on third party-apps that can benefit from these customizable widgets. E.g. users can now have a google calendar widget or a widget that can control the room lighting setting with the press of a button. Thus, this iOS 14 update can prove to be a major source of revenue for third party applications.
Also read : iOS Development Trends
Apart from adding widgets on the home screen, Apple has added interesting dynamic nuances to these widgets. One of these is called a smart stack which is a stack of widgets. Through this Smart stack feature, iPhone uses on-device intelligence to make the right widget appear on the surface based on time location and activity.
The new App Library is a space revealed by swiping all the way to the right on the home screen. It shows all the apps on the iPhone at a glance where the apps are automatically organised. Inside the App Library, there is also a straight- up alphabetical searchable list for the apps. Apps can be kept in the app library to give the Home screen a cleaner look.
In the previous versions including the iOS 13 update, there are many features and actions that unnecessarily take up the whole screen. iOS 14 update has remedied that by making the User Interface compact. For instance, a face time call won’t dominate the whole screen but would just appear as a drop-down banner on the top. Even during the facetime call, the video can be minimised and other actions on the phone won’t pause the call. This picture in picture window is very flexible. It can be moved around on the screen and even the visual video can be hidden with audio playing in the background.
Siri has also been updated so that Siri requests no longer take over the entire screen and when activated, it just displays a small animated Siri icon on the bottom of the screen.
The new iOS 14 update is available to users as a free over the air update which can be done through settings. iOS 14 can be run on iPhone 6s or later devices. iPhone SE and 7th gen are also compatible.
What the new iOS 14 means for iOS app development
Now that you know all about the new iOS 14 features the question arises is the new iOS 14 update beneficial for an app development company or not. The most exciting news for the developers is that Apple has finally broken the tradition of keeping its closed off environment when it comes to its features.
This lightweight version of apps can enable developers to promote their apps by offering some functionality and thus persuading the users to download the full version. The app clip can be discovered easily and its quick launching gives a good experience to the users.
Widgets can be said to be the game-changer for iOS app development. As mentioned above, through widgets developers can come up with small yet striking representation of their app’s content and also allow them to display this at the centre of the user’s screen. Since widgets are supposed to be lightweight, it is a chance to show the best content of the app.
New features and enhanced support for view layouts indicate that SwiftUI is not going anywhere and can be used by developers to define the structure and behavior of their entire app.
At Mob Inspire we have an expert team of iOS app developers who are well versed in Swift as well as Sirikit.
ARKit 4 has been improved in the new iOS 14 while the Reality kit and help developers create a new level of animation and realism for AR experiences.
Development is even easier and more extensive with new tools in Core ML for model deployment, new models and training capabilities in Create ML, as well as additional APIs for Vision and Natural Language. Thus, developers have the ability to build more flexible and secure ML-based apps.
Read more : Machine Learning in App Development
From the above iOS 14 features, it is clear that for an app to truly shine, app developers and third parties will need to embrace features like widgets and App clips. However, this is easier said than done because Third-party widgets and app clips still need a lot of work.
Moreover, apple’s release of iOS 14 caught the developers by surprise causing them to scramble to meet the deadline. Apple announced the update a day earlier while usually companies announce the release date a week or two in advance. It is because of this short turnaround that many apps in the new update may have bugs. This is why developers are advising users not to update their phones just yet and wait until Apple has issued an update to fix the issues. Only time will tell how developers respond to this new iOS 14 update but our verdict is that many users will enthusiastically update their phones because who would want to use safari when you can use chrome.
At Mob Inspire, we excel in developing elegant and user-friendly apps for iOS and Android platforms. If you want to update your application to iOS 14 or make a new one and make the best use of the new iOS 14 features; connect with us today so that our experts can take you further.