Apple’s WWDC 2017 and Its Impact on Mobile Application Development

Over 5000 developers attended Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month while the rest of the world waited patiently to see what the tech giant has in store for mobile application development and its future.

Apple started the conference with a video that showed a world without apps, and why the world needs apps. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook later emphasized the importance of mobile technologies in an app-driven world before an announcement of sensational innovations, officially kicking off the conference.

iOS 11 was the biggest announcement on the mobile front. The OS comes packed with new native features one of which includes the ability to send money to friends and family using Apple Pay. They have upgraded Siri and redesigned the App Store.

Apple announced a bunch of other updates for iOS 11 that will be released later this year. Here are a few of them worth checking out.

iOS 11 Updates

Augmented Reality with Apple’s ARKit

Augmented Reality has been gaining a lot of traction lately, evident from a rapid increase in AR integrated applications after the success of PokemonGO. AR can provide great, meaningful customer engagement in many ways. With Apple’s ARKit, developers can do just that. ARKit could be the game changer for the tech giant this year, as it will help developers figure out and create innovative ways to provide immersive experience to customers.

Very soon, iPhones and iPads will have AR capabilities essentially making Apple the largest AR platform on a global scale.

A more intelligent Siri

The upgraded Siri now learns from the user’s search patterns, and will attempt to accommodate their needs based on searches. Apple also revealed that they have used machine learning to make the Siri voice (both male and female) sound more natural. The tech giant’s finally made Siri capable of understanding context better, making it more useful than ever.

Customer Service via Business Chat

Business Chat is Apple’s new unique feature to improve customer service options for businesses. Unlike the existing AI chatbot systems, Business Chat allows customer care executives to directly communicate with users via chat.

This feature allows the customer to directly begin a chat session, via iMessages, with the representative of a business they have been looking up on the internet.

Drag & Drop

iOS 11 will come with the drag & drop functionality that can be used both within an app and across many apps. Users will now also be able to tap select multiple items at once with the multi-touch functionality.

iMessage Money Transfer

The iOS 11 upgrade also improves the Apple Pay feature, expanding it to include person-to-person payment features. Using iMessages or by commanding Siri, users will be able to make and receive payments with friends and family instantly.

Core NFC

iOS 11 features Core NFC which allows developers to read NFC tags to types 1 through 5, and read data in the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF). In addition, the new OS will also include apps that utilize NFC technology. Just like ARKit, Core NFC allows developers to try out innovative ways to use NFC.

Redesigned App Store

The App Store has been redesigned to provide users with a better experience to find the newest apps. The ‘Today’ tab addition showcases apps users would be interested in on a daily basis. The new upgrade to the Search option added a new UI. It now features more filters in search results including developers, in-app purchases, categories etc.

The store layout will now have tabs at the bottom serving as filters to categorize Games, Apps, and ‘Today’ feed.

Impact on Mobile App Development

Apple intends to make app downloading exciting again with the redesign of App Store. App Store ratings are lifetime ratings now, and developers will also be able to perform a phased roll-out of applications releasing them slowly to customers or for a specific demographic.

In addition to iOS 11, new APIs and innovative features, Apple also unveiled TVOS, macOS, and WatchOS. This means developers will now be able to build more personalized and relevant apps to users, essentially taking the company higher in the app-driven ecosystem we live in.