6 June 2022
Apple provides developers with more powerful technologies to drive the app experience forward
New APIs provide deeper platform integration and greater capabilities for third-party applications
Cupertino, California Apple today unveiled new tools, technologies, and APIs designed to help developers create richer experiences for their users. Widgets on the lock screen allow developers to view essential information from their apps in a new way, while other new APIs across Apple platforms help them build more unique features. WeatherKit gives developers the ability to integrate weather forecast data from Apple directly into their apps, and Xcode Cloud — Apple’s continuous integration and delivery service built into Xcode — is now available to every member of the Apple Developer Program to help them build high-quality apps faster. Metal 3 enables game developers to create stunning graphics with accelerated performance, and development for Apple platforms is now made easier with improvements to Swift, SwiftUI and Xcode. And thanks to improvements in SKAdNetwork, ad networks and developers can better measure ad performance while maintaining user privacy.
“We love collaborating with our developer community and providing them with innovative new technologies that enable them to build the next great generation of apps,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of global developer relations, enterprise marketing and education. “With powerful new APIs for tools on the lock screen, new services like WeatherKit, the availability of Xcode Cloud to help every Apple developer build apps faster, and new gaming capabilities with Metal 3, developers have more tools than ever to create app experiences that Users will love it.”
Xcode Cloud is now available
Xcode Cloud is now available with a range of subscription plans to best suit developer needs, starting with 25 hours per month free until December 2023 for all members of the Apple Developer Program and up to 1,000 hours per month.
Integrated into Xcode, Xcode Cloud is a cloud service for continuous integration and connectivity designed specifically for Apple developers. It enables developers and teams of all sizes to create, test, and deliver high-quality apps more efficiently by automatically building apps in the cloud to free up their Mac for other tasks. With parallel testing in the cloud, developers can test a simulated version of every existing Apple device, easily publish a design for internal testing, or provide it to beta testers through TestFlight.
Developers can find more information about the plans available for Xcode Cloud here.
Xcode 14 improvements
Xcode 14 features new optimizations to further improve developer productivity. Project builds are made up to 25 percent faster, thanks to improved parallelism, and the Xcode app is now 30 percent smaller to download, with downloadable emulation runtimes for watchOS and tvOS. The new cross-platform target creates a single SwiftUI interface for use across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS. Developer code is easier to maintain but highly customizable to take advantage of the unique capabilities of each platform. SwiftUI’s live previews are now interactive by default in Xcode, so changes take effect immediately, and developers can create variants for each preview without typing any code, or changing the color scheme, text size, device orientation, or accessibility modes. The new app icon feature in the asset catalog allows developers to provide a single icon size for all platforms, and Xcode automatically creates all required assets for the app. Xcode includes language and editing improvements with smarter autocomplete, and additional dynamic snippets get developers to code the code they want to write faster.
New gaming capabilities
Metal 3 – the latest version of Apple’s graphics framework – comes with new features that enable game developers to harness the power of Apple silicon for better gaming performance. MetalFX Upscaling enables developers to quickly render complex scenes using less computing-intensive frames, then apply high-quality spatial upscaling and temporary polishing. The result is accelerated performance that makes games more responsive and graphics that look amazing. Game developers also benefit from the new Rapid Resource Loading API that reduces wait time by providing a more direct path from storage to the GPU, so games can easily access the high-quality textures and engineering needed to create vast worlds for realistic and immersive gameplay.
Game developers who integrate with Game Center can now add Activity views to the dashboard, letting their users see what games their friends are playing and what high scores they’ve achieved. And with SharePlay support, it’s easier than ever for users to play together in real time.
Improvements to Swift and SwiftUI
Swift and SwiftUI offer the best way to create an app, and now they come with new features that simplify the development process.
Swift adds powerful string manipulation with new literal support for regular expression built directly into the language, allowing developers to quickly validate their regular expressions and extract information with less code. With the new extension package available in Swift Package Manager, it is now easier for developers to run custom commands in their projects, and even upload commands and share them with others.
SwiftUI, Apple’s next-generation user interface framework, features an improved Navigation API to make it easier for developers to control how their app transitions from view to view. With custom layouts, developers can override common app layouts and create versions that work best with their app designs. And Swift Charts can be customized to fit almost any charting need so developers can better visualize data in their apps.
WeatherKit enables developers to integrate the same world-class global weather forecasts that power Apple Weather directly into their apps. Using high-resolution meteorological models combined with machine learning and forecasting algorithms, Apple Weather provides current weather, 10-day, hourly, daily forecasts, and historical weather.1 WeatherKit is available to developers through the Swift and REST APIs, and comes with 500,000 API calls per month included with the Apple Developer Program membership. Developers who need more will be able to purchase additional levels of service directly in the Apple Developer app starting this fall.
Developers can find more information about the plans available for WeatherKit here.
Privacy-focused approach to ad measurement
The SKAdNetwork API comes with new features designed to help ad networks and advertisers better measure ad performance in apps or on the web while preserving user privacy. Hierarchical resource identifiers increase a developer’s ability to optimize their campaigns without increasing the risk of people being tracked across applications. SKAdNetwork also features hierarchical conversion values to allow developers to receive more information about conversions for smaller campaigns, and developers can better calculate ROAS by offering multiple conversions at specific intervals.
New APIs for more powerful apps
Apple developers have more APIs available than ever before to create app experiences that their users will love. Some of the latest APIs available to developers include:
- Widgets on the lock screenWith iOS 16 enabling widgets on the iPhone lock screen, developers can now seamlessly share the same code between their widgets on the lock screen and widgets on the Apple Watch, which is based on the same new WidgetKit API.
- live text: Developers can now offer users the ability to get text directly from photos and videos in their apps, or through a live camera feed. Live text is processed on the device to increase user privacy and performance.
- Collaboration tools: Rich collaboration features built into Messages are available to third-party apps. Developers can also mark content that users from their app have shared in Messages in a new shared section of their app, making it easier for recipients to come back to that content at a later time.
- pass keys: Passkeys are next-generation credentials that are more secure, easier to use, and designed to work in apps as easily as they do on the web.
- MapKit: Third-party apps can include a detailed 3D city experience and Look Around for a richer user experience. New Apple Map Server APIs provide faster and easier map integrations.
- Focus filters: Developers can adjust the content of their apps based on the current user focus.
- Automatic shortcutsDevelopers can now use App Intents to enable their apps to be used with Siri and Shortcuts, without the need for user setup.
- watchOS 9: VoIP calls are now supported with CallKit; Share Sheet enables users to share content from their favorite app directly to iMessage and other popular messaging apps; Third-party apps can now access the Photos app using the photo picker and even integrate with Apple TV.
- RoomPlanPowered by ARKit, developers can now use a LiDAR scanner on iPhone and iPad to create a 3D floor plan of a room, with properties like dimensions and type of furniture included.
- live activitiesBy using WidgetKit, developers can keep their users up to date with the latest information about an activity or event right on the lock screen.2
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — deliver seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with cutting-edge services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s 100,000+ employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and leaving the world in better shape than we found it.
- Historical weather data is not available in all regions. Visit developer.apple.com/weatherkit for feature availability.
- Live developer activities will be available later this year.
Click on Contacts
Katie Clark Sader
Apple Media Help Line