Earlier today Apple announced the release of the iOS 8 operating system. We’re particularly chuffed to have had our directors in the thick of Silicon Valley when it all went down. Yes, we really do mean it when we say we heard iOS 8 from the horse’s mouth. No speculation, it’s happening.
Back home in New Zealand, our app developers are nothing short of ecstatic. For them, iOS 8 means they can develop highly customised user experiences (a benefit prior associated with iOS’s sworn enemy, Android) and a new programming language called Swift. Alongside this are also the benefits of added security options for user authentication, 4000 new APIs and safer, more reliable code.
So in layman speak what does this mean? Better apps.
But for users, what is perhaps most exciting about this development is the new Healthkit and Homekit frameworks. These frameworks allow iOS apps to be interactive in new, bold and audacious ways, as iOS 8 seeks to revolutionise the way we use mobile applications.
On the Healthkit framework, Apple’s press release suggests, “With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness.” Basically, your diet app may combine with your running app to create a better fitness plan.
Moreover, just when you thought you couldn’t ask any more of Siri, the Homekit framework takes the interface to a new height. Homekit allows you to connect mobile-enabled household devices to Siri commands. In other words, “you can tell Siri you are ‘going to bed’ and it could dim the lights, lock your doors, close the garage door and set your thermostat.” One can only assume this is one aspect of functionality among many.
So what do you guys think? Is this the iOS revolution developers have been bracing themselves for? And how beneficial do you think users would find interactive apps?