Developers Dish On How iOS 6 Will Change Your Favorite Apps

By June 12, 2012

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This week Apple announced iOS 6 during the keynote at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in California. The operating system was available for developer preview immediately after the keynote.

Developers always get early access to the new version of the operating system so that they can start making their current apps compatible before the public launch. While many are looking back to make sure that the apps they have created for iOS 5 will work on iOS 6, even more are excited to start working on apps that take advantage of the new features that roll out with the new version.

We talked to iOS developers a few hours after they got the chance to download and play around with iOS 6 to get them to dish about what changes consumers can expect to see to their favorite apps. Based on the new capabilities baked into iOS 6, apps are in for a major facelift.

 “There are more than 1,500 new APIs that we can utilize within our apps for iOS 6. To us, these APIs are more exciting than the 200 new user-facing features of iOS 6. These new APIs will allow us, and other developers, to better enhance the usability and functionality of our apps. Also, since the release of iOS 5, more than 80 percent of all users have upgraded. This means that once iOS 6 is released most developers might not need to support older versions of iOS like iOS 4. This rapid adoption of the latest version of iOS makes it easy for us to always create the best experience for our users.” – Brendan Lim, co-founder and CPO at Kicksend

Apple’s release of iOS 6 brings a significant amount of new functionality to the platform. Features that are of particular interest from the security and privacy perspective include the addition of Passbook, tighter cloud integration and formal integration with Facebook. Apple has a good track record with security for iOS, which bodes well for these new additions. However, storage and processing of passes, tickets, coupons et al by Passbook might give malicious users extra incentive to target the platform. Additionally, with tighter cloud integration and formal integration with Facebook, user data will be stored in more locations and will be accessible to third parties such as Facebook, increasing the opportunity for user privacy to be negatively impacted. Additional research around these new features will be required in order to determine how they function and to what extent they increase risk to the user.” – Michael Price, Chief Architect, iOS Engineering at Appthority

“For enterprise iPhone App developers like myself, the most significant aspect of today’s WWDC announcements was how Apple will be integrating the Siri API with third party applications. Over the course of the next 12 months we should see a number of apps being able to ‘bolt’ Siri’s robust functionality directly on top of the application layer. For users on the go, this will mean they will be able to interact with apps on a more automated basis, in my case, this type of integration could save users 30-50 percent of the time they usually spend typing or navigating the app manually.” – Jordan Hudgens, Senior Software Engineer at MCW Services

 “The new Xcode IDE brings a slew of really great features that will make developing for iOS and OSX a lot simpler and faster. Things like automatic layout functionality in interface builder and convenience language features like automatic synthesize of properties will make development a more pleasant place to be. Throughout the keynote and live stream discussions it felt like Apple had been listening and working to make the whole platform better. Safari (like chrome) will now unify the search and address bar. The notification center now combines notifications and popups across apps including a simple do not disturb switch in iOS and OSX for when you don’t want to be spammed with notifications or calls. There are also lots of features for humans to make the computer behave more like you’d want it to and features for developers to get there faster. Functionality like integration to share to Facebook and Twitter and send to printer now only takes a few short lines of standard code rather than hours or even days of custom development.” –  Ben Roberts, ePublishing Director at Smashing Ideas

Users can look forward to Siri becoming a part of their favorite apps, enhanced security thanks to the sensitive nature of Passbook, and formal integration with Facebook. With the new tools that Apple has given developers to work with, consumers can expect apps that work for them rather than apps that require a lot of data entry and tapping from screen to screen on the user interface.

What apps are you hoping to see get a facelift with the new iOS 6 capabilities?