iOS 12 is now live and represents the latest evolution of Apple over its decade long existence. Today, Apple’s App Store has over two million apps with over 170 billion downloads and over $130 billion in revenue. With iOS 12, developers are poised to offer a far superior experience for users compared to previous versions.
Here are the top iOS 12 application development features that enterprises can benefit from in the year 2019.
Siri Shortcuts Take User Experience to a New Level
Adoption of Siri is increasing at an exponential pace, considering the popularity of using voice technology for commands and simplifying user actions. True to form, iOS 12 makes Apple’s personal assistant more proactive, by allowing shortcuts.
Siri Shortcuts minimize the number of steps users take to accomplish everyday tasks. Siri intelligently pairs users’ daily routines with app functionality and suggests convenient shortcuts whenever available. Such shortcuts allow users to access the offered functionality or complete the task on hand from the lock screen or from search, without having to open the app.
Siri learns and predicts shortcuts through “donations.” Developers and users may “donate” shortcuts to Siri. Developers may use the Shortcuts API to donate the shortcuts they wish to offer their users. The prerequisite towards “donations” that meet the objectives is developers having an accurate understanding of the specific in-app actions that drive the most engagement, to make the relevant Siri Shortcut donations for the most frequently used features.
The flip side to making donations for shortcuts is handling user expectations. Users may, for instance, expect the app to have shortcuts for features where shortcuts are not technically possible. For instance, when the app requires user authentication before completing an action, such a feature cannot run in the background, as a shortcut.
Improved Core ML 2 Brings Machine Learning to Apps Easily
Core ML is a relatively new toolkit, but very critical, considering it now powers Siri, Quick Type, and Camera functions in iOS. Core ML allow developers to integrate machine learning models including text, barcode, face, and landmark detection, object tracking, enhanced image recognition, and other intuitive functionality into apps, easily. Core ML 2 comes with over 30 layer types and supports expansive deep learning capabilities. Developers may run on-device machine learning models without the need to analyze data across multiple servers.
iOS 12 makes it easy, simple and fast to integrate Core ML 2 with user-facing apps. Developers can leverage this handy toolkit to embed machine learning frameworks and models directly into mobile apps, with just a few lines of code, and with no extensive technical expertise required.
A New CreateML Framework Allow Lay Users to Create Machine Learning Models
Create ML, a new framework, allow developers to build machine learning models, with little to no machine learning expertise. Its similarity with Swift makes the framework familiar and comfortable to use. Create ML is also integrated into Xcode 10 playgrounds, making it easy to view model workflows in real time.
Developers can leverage the embedded natural language capabilities of iOS 12 to create in-depth models for advanced purposes such as regression, image classification, word tagging, and sentence classification, with just a few lines of Swift code.
Highly Intuitive ArKIT2 Toolkit Takes AR Experiences to a New Level
The improved ArKit 2 toolkit allows developers to create powerful and hugely incredible Artificial Reality (AR) immersive experiences. The toolkit enables developers to create engaging multiplayer games, presentations and more, allowing multiple users to view or play the AR enhanced simulations simultaneously. The ingenuity of the toolkit enables developers to offer users the option to save the AR experience and resume it at a later time, co-opt real-world objects into the AR experiences, and much more.
Interactive Push Notifications
iOS 12 changes the way users receive push notifications. Users now gain considerable control over the type of push notifications they choose to receive and how they receive such notification. Users gain access to message settings directly from the push notification interface, allowing them to opt-out of messages from the device’s lock screen. The enhanced downtime settings enable users to ignore push notifications entirely.
Such new functionality, however, creates a new challenge for developers. It is no longer enough to somehow coax the user to download the app. The obvious requirement to remain in the user’s scheme of thing is to provide better and highly personalized, stand-out content in the push notification. Developers can also add buttons and switches to the push notifications, to encourage user action, infusing interactivity to push notifications. Developers can also customize the font, image, and other elements of the push notification.
End of Password Annoyance with iOS 12 Application Development
iOS 12 offer developers access to Password Autofill. Users may leverage this new feature to create and save passwords, and then log in to incumbent accounts, with just a few taps, regardless of the device. The password autofill functionality saves the user’s password on the device, and users can now share the data across devices using the iCloud keychain.
The new password autofill option significantly improves the user’s onboarding process, offering the path of least resistance. Empirical evidence suggests complicated registration fields harm user acquisition efforts and increase user abandonment. Also, contrary to the first impression, the autofill option actually increases app security. Autofill suggests strong, unique passwords at the onset.
While features and options are aplenty in the new iOS 12, the key to successful app development is picking and choosing the right features, relevant for the project. A tie-up with competent professionals with a history of having developed successful apps helps.
Related Reading: How to Empower your Business with an iOS Application
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iOS App Development: Grow Your Business With An iOS App
With smartphones and tablets emerging as the device of choice for most people, apps are in a boom phase. Businesses are joining the bandwagon in a big way, rolling out apps that offer a world of convenience to their customers and employees alike. However, while doing so, they need to be wary of losing focus.
Apps are not just another channel to execute the entire gamut of organizational functions. The most effective apps serve specific purposes, and in the process empower the business.
Businesses also need to take a serious look at iOS application development, considering iOS apps have proven to be very engaging. An average iPhone user spends about 75% of her time on apps, probably owing to iOS applications being able to leverage the advanced features and functionality of Apple devices.
Here are some ways in which you can empower your business, using iOS application.
Roll Out Customer-Facing Apps
Customer facing iOS app is a good idea, considering Apple devices, such as the iPhone, has more than a 15% share of the total smartphone market. Such apps not only promote sales but help in engaging with customer better. Marketers may send out push notifications on key milestones, keep track of customer behavior, issue special offers when a customer is in the vicinity of a store, and do more. Customers may be given several self-service options, from keeping track of loyalty points to access of neutral product reviews, and more.
Empower Internal Teams
Imagine the world of convenience when the salesperson, on meeting with a potential or existing customer, pulls out the iPhone, opens an app that draws on data from the CRM, and gather all details about the customer, right from his purchase history to open inquiries, his preferred channels of communication, and so on. The salesperson also gets highly customized tools and relevant insights, such as market surveys, reports, and more. iOS apps facilitate similar empowerment across all functional area, be it accounts, HR, logistics, and other teams.
Forge Deep Relationship with the Ecosystem
More and more businesses seek to develop apps that help the company forge deeper relationships with their ecosystem partners, such as suppliers, contractors, and others. An app that makes explicit real-time stock levels and issue alerts would prompt suppliers to make timely deliveries, and improve the efficiency of their business as well. Contractors could log into another intuitive iOS application to get a list of open projects, deadlines, billing, and more. Channel partners could also gain from first-hand access to a ton of resources, and all the information they require, without having to make follow-ups, or spend time seeking information.
Facilitate the “Internal” Customer
An iOS app could likewise benefit the “internal customer” of the enterprise. Employees could, for instance, use an internal employee app to make leave requests, access their payroll details, stay updated on everything from upcoming team meetings to office parties, and more. Such apps eliminate complicated and time-consuming paperwork, be it filing trip sheets, expense reports, or appraisal forms. With the bulk of information readily available at their fingertips, employees can focus wholeheartedly on their core tasks, improving their productivity manifold.
Streamline Internal Processes
Many enterprise apps streamline internal workings and deliver big productivity gains. Employees starting a task could hook up to an iOS application that guides them through the specific process flow, helping them complete the task without being bogged down by doing things the wrong way, or seeking instructions. The app could also facilitate electronic submissions of documents and bills associated with the task, and make sure the next in line gets a notification to process the same. The benefits are multifold and include reduced paperwork, better productivity, faster turnaround time, and cost-cutting. Still better, employees are empowered to do the task from anywhere, at any time.
Promote “Smart” Work
Apps can help employees work smarter instead of harder. A case in point: the average employee attends 62 meetings a month, wasting a whopping 31 hours in the process. A collaborative app that enables managers to set targets, notify team members of their targets and deadlines, allow team members to submit their results, and do more can eliminate a good chunk of such meetings, and save considerable time. Such app based internal communications is also a good way to overcome silos, a big stumbling block for the free flow of information.
Transform Organizational Processes
Rolling out iOS applications could even eliminate certain traditional functions altogether. For instance, a training app that delivers instructional videos, handbooks, and other resources to the employee’s iPhone could completely eliminate the need for training sessions. The cost saved in terms of arranging training resources and the trainer’s time alone would repay the investment in the app many times over. Employees could also leverage such apps to unlock training and development opportunities not available before. The impact on employee performance and commitment are worth its weight in gold.
All the possibilities come to pass only when the app development is done right. iOS developers would do well to customize enterprise apps by giving it a distinct look and feel that resonate the brand image, offer appropriate options such as choice of languages, flexibility to enable or disable certain features, location mapping and more. The ability to customize the app and the presence of value-added features make the employee feel more connected and enhance the worth of the app.
Development of iOS apps is a far more straightforward process, compared to developing Android apps, as Apple provides standardized SDKs, APIs, and IDE needed for the application development. However, Apple’s app store discards apps that do not meet its guidelines, and as such iOS app development requires a much more concentrated and focused effort. A partnership with a reputable company to develop the iOS application helps pass the iTunes test and ensure the effort invested in the app development process does not go waste.
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Apple alleges that its new iOS 9, released on September 16, 2015 will make people ‘do more and leave them wondering how they ever did without it’. What can be so fundamental that we missed for so long and never realized that we did? After all, what’s in it that the Apple is so proud about?
The new iOS brings subtle design changes, improved functionality, more refined features and performance enhancements. There are major enhancements made to apps, multitasking has been made much better with new 3D app carousel (an improved version of Android’s multitasking window), a made-over Siri, new built-in iCloud Drive that lets user store, see, access and manage all files in icloud drive, improved security and productivity- all are part of the new iOS now. Apple seems to be playing a catch up game with Android, by incorporating a deep battery saving mode in iOS 9, for phones in their dire power straits.
Apart from the usual well-versed features, are there any key improvements worth a bite? Yes, there are. Here are 9 of such cool factors that make you awe at the finest tweaks Apple has brought in its new version:
Search through settings
No idea where to find the “Location Services” in settings? Don’t worry, there’s now a search option at the top in the Settings menu, where you can enter your query, like “Location service” and get every matching result appear right there, from where you can easily access it. A very useful feature indeed to quickly search for features. iOS 9 also has a spotlight search at the top with which users can search through the different Apps to find a particular app they need to open.
A feature that is enabled by default, to allow users automatically switch to the phone’s data connection, if the Wi-Fi connection they use becomes spotty. The feature is available in, Settings->Cellular-> Wi-Fi Assist.
Switching between Apps
iOS 9 brings the ability to swap back to the previous app you were using. For instance, you opened a new built-in App, like the Mail or the App store; the OS will show a quick shortcut in the top left corner to switch back to your previously opened app.
Going back quickly
The Back button at the top left corner of iOS 9 interface helps you swap between apps to check links or maps. It helps a lot to navigate around quickly than having to double tap the Home button like before.
Hey iPad owners, make use of the Slide Over feature in iOS 9 by sliding your finger from the right. This feature has a second app as its sidebar. iPad Air 2/ iPad Pro users can tap and drag the Slide Over border line to use an advanced Split View.
iOS 9 learns your preferences over time and will present you with smarter search recommendations. It is available when you swipe left from the main screen and will show your most frequently used apps, contacts, locations etc. first and the rest below on further scrolling.
Block out Ads
Ads are a great nuisance unless they are highly personalized, that is, about something we really need, which is not often the case. Most often users wish if ads were poppers which they can be popped off. You can do just that with new iOS 9. The “Content Blockers” work like desktop ad blockers, to block ads, tracking attempts, and more that in turn makes faster page loads.
Select multiple photos, hide photos, and find selfies easily
From within the main Photos app, you can select multiple photos easily. Tap “Select” tab, and hold and drag to select multiple consecutive images, just as the click and drag selection in computers. You can also hide sensitive images from the general view via the “Hide” option in the “Share” menu. These images can be made visible from the Albums view in the app. Another surprise for Selfie fans is that, iOS 9 keeps the photos taken with your front cam in a separate folder, enabling easy access to your smashing selfies!
Picture in Picture
The picture-in-picture technology in iOS 9 lets user scale down a streaming video to the bottom of the screen. You can open any other app like, mail and still see the video playing in a reduced screen below.
If you are planning to get the new iPhone 6s and 6s plus, you can enable even more features with new hardware like 4k video recording and 3D touch, but everyone can’t sell kidneys to get latest iPhones every year, right?
iOS 9 has brought the tiniest and finest changes that actually make your life a lot easier. You will be left thinking, “Wow, did they actually make this tiny tweak that makes my work a lot easier”?!
All these clearly justify the fact that the new OS has reached nearly 12% adoption in less than a day since its release into the wild (which is better than its previous version)!
However, I would suggest you to wait a little longer before updating. The OS is good to go with iPhone 4s and above versions but with other borderline devices, be slow people, the OS might work but the device could get extremely slow.
Image credits: Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock.com
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Ever been frustrated with having to submit your iOS application to the Apple app store, and having to wait for days to get it approved? I totally understand it. Giving an app that you developed to the iOS app store, be it hybrid or native, was supposed to be the last step in the development process. But due to Apple’s App Approval process, which is pretty stringent, this last step for deployment has become quite a big one. At Apple, they have automated tests as well as reviewers who go through each and every aspect of the application like User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), features, functionality and the like. The reviewers are people who have expertise in application testing, as well as with the Apple’s App Store Review guidelines.
Now, as a developer, this can be hard work, having to conform with Apple’s standards (which may be rather long-winded and complex) while developing an app. If you want to get your app approved quickly, it might take considerable time and effort and most importantly, patience. Here are 11 quick tips for you to speed up your iOS app approval process:
- Follow the Apple guidelines exactly – Apple has very strict guidelines on placing buttons, icons, navigation bars and other such elements on your app. Do not at any cost violate any of these, even by a few pixels.
- Work on bug fixes – Keep testing and working on fixes until you perfect your app. Bugs are one of the main reasons for rejection.
- Loading time – If your app takes a long time to load, say more than 10 seconds, initially, then chances are that your app might get rejected.
- Disclaimer – If your app uses other background services for various purposes like VOIP, audio playback, location etc. be sure to give a disclaimer in the app.
- In-app payments – If your app requires taking payments, be sure to use Apple’s In-app purchasing API. You have a Cordova plug-in for that for hybrid applications as well.
- Broken links – Make sure the links in your app are relevant and that they take you to the respective site. If they do not go anywhere, or if they take you somewhere they are not supposed to, the app is likely to get rejected.
- Enough data – Make sure to provide proper and accurate description, including testing data, regarding the app before you submit it. If the app description does not match the user experience, it might get rejected.
- Advertisements – Make sure that advertisements in the app run properly and mention whether your app uses the Advertising Identifier (IDFA) to display ads.
- Similar apps – Be sure not to copy the features or functionality of another app. It is ok to be inspired by them, and incorporate them in your app, in different ways.
- Plug-ins – Lastly, if yours is a hybrid app, make sure that you do not call add-ons or plug-ins that are not being used in the app.
These points can be used as a checklist while developing an application. Following these will surely help you get your app approved faster by Apple. You may sometimes find that your app gets rejected even if you check for these points or even if you are very careful about the details of your app. All you need to do is provide the necessary clarification supported with sufficient documentation of course, while re-submitting your app.
Reasons for rejection
The top reasons for app store rejection include crashes and bugs, substandard user interfaces, broken links, inaccurate descriptions etc. According to Apple, in the 7 day period ending June 17, 2015, 14% of apps were rejected due to lack of information. Almost 10% of apps were rejected because they exhibited bugs. 3% of apps that used or mentioned the name of other mobile platforms were rejected. Also, apps that contain description or data not relevant to the content, apps that crash, apps that contain fraudulent or misleading information etc. were rejected.
That said, if you take care of a majority of these points while submitting your app, then you definitely have a better chance of getting approved faster.