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Giacomo Balli
Innovation consultant specializing in mobile strategy
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iOS7 new API features I'm excited about

WWDC is currently taking place in San Francisco. I still find it funny that now that I live in SF I am spending my summers in Italy (visiting family) and therefore cannot attend although I previously flew to California just for this event.

Among the many announcements that have been made, the release of iOS7 is surely the one that will impact most people.

If you didn't have a chance to nab a ticket (during the 2 minutes while they were available), official videos of the sessions are already available here.

new iOS7 UI

Apple's new iOS7 brings both a completely redesigned user interface (see here) and new features for developers to use to make iPhone apps even better.

A complete list of what's new in iOS7 can be found here. If instead you want more detailed and raw information, you can actually find a neatly organized iOS7 API diff file here.

 

If you're in the industry, you will surely come across countless media sources listing all the changes and additions and for this reason I will not do it. What I will do, instead, is mention what gets me the most excited about the new iOS7.

 

Design


The most obvious change that can't go unnoticed is the new user interface throughout the whole operating system. This is such a big change that there is an updated official iOS7 Design Resource to help developers follow and and adapt to the new environment.

 

Multitasking


This is quite awesome, and a big deal. Now you can specify an interval at which your app will retrieve new content from online without being open by simply setting UIBackgroundModes:fetch in your plist (just like you did for the older modes) and implementing a application:performFetchWithCompletionHandler: method.

To take this to a whole new level, it can also be triggered by push notification. This needs UIBackgroundModes:remote-notification in your plist and application:didReceiveRemoteNotification:fetchCompletionHandler: handler.

They basically opened up the system that downloaded new issues of newsstand magazine to all developers for “normal” apps. Amazing...

 

AirDrop, Inter-App Audio & Peer-to-Peer


These are very niche (ie very specific apps) but if they make sense for your application they are really cool.

 

Attachments


Now you can also attach files to a messages. This is very nice especially when I think of the app MyBookList. Users have the possibility of exporting and sharing their book database. Being able to do so also as a message attachment could be appreciated... we'll see!

 

iAd


Strictly talking about iOS7 I'd mention the possibility of showing an iAd right before playing a video (pure youtube style). However, I think that the big news here is iAd Workbench: basically allowing anyone to use iAd as a platform. Could be huge!

 

Core Telephony


This is another enhancement that only affects apps that cater to a very specific niche or need. I find it extremely exciting because most users of FindTower have been requesting specifically this: details regarding the radio technology used by the device aka information about the cell tower from which their carrier is emitting signal.

 

Conclusion


Obviously not everything rumored has been included in this new iOS7 but I have to admit there are elements that were a pleasant surprise. I find myself generally satisfied and can't wait to update my apps to support new features. Also, it's always exciting to see how fast operating software updates on Apple devices occur, especially after OTA (Over-The-Air) functionality has been introduced.

 

Bonus: The hidden gems of iOS 7


 

#ios7, #wwdc
Published: Wed, 12 Jun 2013 22:17:12 +0000