This year at the annual Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced game-changing new features for their platforms that users and developers will love.
As expected, Apple announced the next iteration of their mobile operating system: iOS 13. Somewhat unexpectedly, though, they also announced iPadOS — an offshoot of iOS that runs exclusively on the iPad lineup. That’s not it though- there were dozens of announcements spanning all of their platforms.
Let’s dive right into what’s new on iOS and iPadOS.
Users: This has been a long awaited feature that gives the entire system a new theme. As one would expect, you can schedule the system to automatically change to Dark Mode at sunset, then back to light mode at sunrise. Simply navigate to the display section of the Settings app to get started.
Developers: Apple has been pretty clear throughout the sessions at WWDC — you need to embrace Dark Mode and ensure your app supports this feature. When users toggle Dark Mode, they expect your app to follow suit.
Bonus: Apple provides dozens of dynamic color options that now automatically change with the system.
Health & Activity
Users: The Health app is all-new in iOS 13. With a brand new design centered around a new Highlights feature, it’s never been easier to keep track of your health habits.
Additionally, the Activity app now shows you trends of the last 90 days compared to the previous 365 days. This gives you the opportunity to see how you are trending with your Move, Exercise, and Stand goals, as well as your distance and flights of stairs per day.
Bonus: Women can now track menstrual cycles with the Health app!
Developers: Unfortunately, there aren’t many additions to Health and Activity this year for developers. Apple has added new methods to HealthKit for cumulative quantities as well as discrete quantities. These new methods, paired with a start and end date, give developers a great new way to view accumulated data over a period of time.
Bonus: HealthKit can now track toothbrushing events!
Health & Activity
Users: You’re going to see some crazy new AR experiences soon. With new options for developers to integrate augmented reality into their apps, expect to see some fun new experiences!
Bonus: Minecraft showed off a demo of their new Minecraft Earth game at WWDC. Get ready to build a new Minecraft world in AR!
Developers: With ARKit 3, RealityKit, and Reality Composer, it’s never been easier to integrate AR experiences into your apps. Design scenes in the new Reality Composer app for macOS and share them as multiplayer experiences with RealityKit on iOS devices.
Bonus: Apple provides dozens of 3D models in their Reality Composer app for macOS!
Find My & Locations
Users: Find My Friends and Find My iPhone are now combined to form a single app: Find My. This new app tracks your friends and your devices in a brand new interface including some new features.
Additionally, users can now choose to share their locations with apps ‘just once’, so that apps don’t have continuous access to your location. Yay, privacy!
Bonus: Even if lost or stolen devices are turned off, nearby iOS devices can anonymously detect an encrypted ping and forward it to Apple’s servers for you to find the lost device. Pretty cool!
Developers: While not specifically related to Find My, developers have some new methods in Core Location relating to beacons and their detection. Check it out!
These are just a few of the new features in iOS 13. Users can download a public beta in July, and developers can download the beta now.
Users: Apps are no longer single window. Enjoy a new desktop-like experience with multiwindow support on iPadOS. Apps like Mail and Pages allow you to open multiple documents at once, and even drag and drop between them.
Developers: There’s no way to sugarcoat it — this is a massive change to the way apps are structured. To add multiwindow support, use the new UIScene methods to give your app the ability to open multiple windows. This will take some time to implement, so if you’re planning on a fall release you might want to get started sooner rather than later!
Users: Get ready to experience new drawing options in your favorite apps as apps can now integrate with PencilKit, a framework that allows developers to add their own support for Apple Pencil (or even just their finger).
Developers: Take advantage of low latency drawing with the new PKCanvasView. Apple provides this new class so you can adopt hand drawn content in your own apps.
Bonus: PencilKit supports macOS and UIKit for Mac as well!
Custom fonts, USB support for Files, and dozens of new features are exclusive in iPadOS. Users can download a public beta in July, and developers can download a preview now!
iOS and iPadOS have never been better. With brand new features and experiences for both, you’ll have a hard time finding someone who doesn’t like this year’s update. There are some awesome new updates that we didn’t mention above, including a new Music design, new Memoji stickers, and even a ‘Streak’ feature in the Books app.
Developers, now’s the time to make sure your apps are ready for the future. Embrace the new multiwindow support, AR features, and Dark Mode to ensure your users are getting all that they expect out of your apps.
One last thing: Developers, take a look at the new SwiftUI framework, a declarative experience meant to make building interfaces easier than ever.
Founder & Developer
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