Apple has released its iOS 8 SDK, the biggest developer release ever with more than 4,000 new APIs, giving developers the ability to create amazing new apps like never before. iOS 8 allows developers to further customize the user experience with major extensibility features like Notification Center widgets and third-party keyboards; and introduces robust frameworks such as HealthKit and HomeKit. iOS 8 also includes Metal, a new graphics technology that maximizes the performance of the A7 chip and Swift, a powerful new programming language.
The iOS 8 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com
iOS 8 offers developers robust frameworks including HealthKit APIs that provide the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. For example, your blood pressure app could share its data with a physician app, such as the Mayo Clinic app, so your doctor can provide high-quality guidance and care.
Developers can further customize the user experience with iOS extensions, including new sharing options, custom photo filters, custom actions and document APIs. Developers can now add their own widgets into Notification Center, and third-party keyboards offer additional layouts and input methods.
Gaming on iOS takes a huge leap forward in iOS 8 with Metal, a new graphics technology that maximizes performance on the A7 chip. With its dramatic 10 times improvement in draw call speed, Metal enables leading game providers for the first time to bring console-class 3D games to mobile devices. For casual games, iOS 8 now features SceneKit, making it easy to create fun 3D games, along with major enhancements to SpriteKit, including field forces, per-pixel physics and inverse kinematics.
iOS 8 also includes Touch ID APIs enabling developers to securely authenticate users within apps, protect logins and user data, and unlock keychain items. With iOS 8, developers can provide authentication with a successful fingerprint match while keeping your fingerprint data safe and protected in the secure enclave.
Additional iOS 8 developer features include:
- PhotoKit, so developers can tap into the power of the same robust framework as the built-in Photos app for faster performance, nondestructive edits and the ability to both read and write to the Photos library;
- new Camera APIs, giving developers fine grain control over focus, white balance and exposure;
- CloudKit, a complete and scaleable back-end solution helps developers eliminate the need for writing server code and maintaining servers; and
- new App Store™ features for developers like app previews and app bundles, the new iTunes Connect with free analytics and TestFlight for beta testing pre-release apps.