Thousands of iPhone and Mac fans and developers from all over the world have waited for this year Apple WWDC. And it turned out to be really impressive. So many innovations were presented and they will definitely change the overall user experience and approaches to app development.
Although the exact release dates of iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur haven’t been set yet, the developers start preparing themselves for building apps corresponding to new standards provided by Apple. So let’s take a look at the most significant updates and how they will influence app development and design.
#1 App Clips
Have you noticed how many apps are published in the App Store? Sometimes it is extremely hard for users to select the right one. And speaking about the developers, they constantly struggle to outshine their competitors, and invest in SEO and advertising to push their solution on top positions. And sometimes even all those efforts do not bring the expected results. However, with the new App Clips option added to iOS 14 everything will change.
First of all, let’s take a quick look at this option and what it is going to do. Basically App Clips will let users take advantage of some app features without downloading the solution on the device. You just scan a code and get access to a certain option provided by the application. App Clips are predicted to become popular among service providing apps (like bike renting, coffee purchasing, making reservations or pre-order food at restaurants, etc.).
So App Clips will provide a seamless way to use any application (it may be an even more convenient experience than the web one). App Clip codes will combine NFC and a visual code. Therefore a user can scan the code or tap it and access an app. Apart from being extremely convenient, App Clips are very secure. They will not get access to any iPhone sensitive data and if you will not use App Clips again in a certain period of time, then its data will disappear.
You may be wondering if App Clips are a good idea because “Why would someone download an app if it is possible to use the necessary option only one time when you need it?” Well, App Clips actually can attract more users to your app than you think. They can cache some info related to a user’s order and when the user will order next time, the app will provide relevant suggestions. Such instant reactions will speed up ordering and may make users install a full version of the solution.
Therefore all developers should focus now on learning the technology available to App Clips and create lighter versions of the initial solutions. A knowledge of the ways of launching App Clips is also required since there are several of them (scanning NFC tag, tapping location-based suggestions from Siri or Maps, tapping smart banners on a website, following the link shared via Messages). Some initial app functionality should also be preserved in App Clips, f.e. users will need in-app purchases, document opening, BSD notifications, option to leave a review, etc.
We can’t wait to enjoy a totally new Home screen experience on our iOS devices. The presentation of the updated Home screen look was so impressive especially with all those adjustable widgets. It is going to be so convenient for both users and developers. The first ones will have an opportunity to see some crucial app content without opening it, and the latter can make the user experience even more pleasant by providing easy access to the app content and faster navigation to the necessary place/option within the app.
In new iOS 14 widgets should be provided by apps in multiple sizes (small, medium and large) to ensure more customization options. So a widget of a certain size can convey different amount and kind of information which makes it easier for users to set up the size which meets their needs perfectly.
Widgets will become a huge trend and many software developers will devote more time to creating widget extensions, designing them and making them user-friendly. It will be preferable to add some entertaining content and make it automatically update at appropriate times. Making a configurable widget is not an easy task but Apple, as usually, provides detailed documentation and explanations, so there should not be too many issues. So if you consider making an app in 2020, don’t forget to include customizable widgets!
#3 New Scribble feature
Although this aticle is about iOS, we think it’s crucial to discuss one special feature related to iPads. Many users of iPads appreciated and loved the Apple Pencil. No wonder, because it is convenient to create reminders, use Safari, or do drawings using it. Although all Apple Pencil users were quite satisfied with it, Apple found a way to make a good thing even better. Now PencilKit framework will allow applications to transmit handwritten text into the typed one.
How does it work? Thanks to on-device machine learning. One groundbreaking update of Scribble is that now it will recognize objects and replace them with perfectly shaped ones. Let’s say you drew a triangle and one of the lines is not straight or good enough – well, now it will be automatically straightened. Thanks to this all applications that support drawing features will reach a totally new level. Which means all developers of solutions for designers and architects will be able to make their apps even more advanced and functional.
Now with the new update not only car owners and travellers but also people riding bicycles can build a convenient route. Apple Maps now will show you whether the road is busy, if you are going to face any challenging hills or even stairs. This is a very important feature as it addresses the challenges of disabled people as well. On top of that Apple Maps will contain information about electric vehicle charging stops. It seems like moving across the city or even country gets extremely convenient.
Such an update grants numerous possibilities to service providers as now they can build their solutions taking advantage of the new Maps features. Many businesses will find new growth opportunities thanks to digitalization of their business and by building solutions with geolocation. For example, knowing great routes it is possible to open some bicycle renting spots, spots with spear parts or repair services. The possibilities are endless if you give this idea a good thought.
We all got used to the fact that every year Apple surprises us with its innovations and updated operating systems. And as a software development company we got used to adjusting to all changes. We are catching trends and helping our clients make their iOS apps modern and top-notch solutions.
WWDC 2020 showed that this year is going to be all about perfect user experience. So the main goal of every solution will be to satisfy the user and such convenient things as widgets and lighter versions of apps will become huge trends.
Already have an awesome app and think that it will require some updates after iOS 14 release? Or maybe you'd like to build a new solution from scratch?