Along with software updates like iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple has managed to spark excitement among developers around the world the launch of frameworks such as HealthKit and HomeKit, a graphics tech named as Metal and a iOS & OS X programming language called as Swift. We shall cover all these launches in the following paragraphs.
As you have already read in our iOS 8 article, the mobile operating system can now gather data from all of your fitness apps and wearables and put them at one place. The HealthKit APIs helps developers to do just the same. It helps them collect information from one app which might be relevant to the other to construct a comprehensive map of your fitness. If you are worried that apps are sharing information without your permission, we would like to point that HealthKit never collects information from apps unless you ask it to do so.
As we had speculated it earlier, Apple has developed the HomeKit framework that helps to connect all your home accessories so that you can manage them easily. It enforces common protocol, secure sharing and the ability to control one or group of devices at once with the help of Siri, Apple’s voice assistance. Apple has cited an example in the press release, where it says that if you say to Siri that you are going to bed it would dim the lights, lock the doors, close the garage door and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. It seems Apple has managed to make its investment with Nest Labs worthwhile.
Mobile gaming is a big industry and Apple has tried to give its users the best performance with the help of its 64bit A7 chip. With the help of Metal, it has managed to reduce draw call speeds in games and will try to deliver console-class 3D gaming on mobile devices. As we have mentioned earlier, Scenekit and SpriteKit are also a part of Metal.
Swift is a new programming language designed for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch that manages to combine the performance and efficiency of compiled languages along with interactivity of scripting languages. Swift shall coexist with Objective –C code so that existing developers find it easy to integrate the former in their apps. With the help of Xcode Playgrounds Swift users will be able to see instant output of their written code.
Other important additions to the SDK launch include, expanding Touch ID for additional purposes, new sharing options, custom photo filters, custom actions and document API, support for third party keyboards, custom widgets in notification center, PhotoKit, CloudKit, new Camera APIs and several App Store upgrades.
Before you start discussing the topic, we would like you to go through our feature Apple WWDC 2014 Highlights: The Top 10 Announcements That Matter.