iOS 8 includes over 4,000 new APIs that let you add amazing new features and capabilities to your apps. Deeper integration with iOS means you can extend the reach of your app content and functionality. And with bold new technologies for game development, you can create even more incredible, responsive, and immersive gaming experiences.
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iOS 8 lets you extend select areas of the system by supplying an app extension — code that enables custom functionality within the context of a user task. iOS supports app extensions for the following extension points.
By providing more sharing options, iOS 8 enables your app to share photos, videos, websites, and other content with social websites and other entities.
Embed your filters and editing tools directly into the Photos app, so users can easily apply your effects to images and videos without having to import them into your app.
Create your own custom action buttons in the Action sheet to let users watermark documents, add something to a wish list, translate text to a different language, and more.
Your apps can now display widgets in the Today view of Notification Center, providing quick updates or enabling brief tasks — for example, posting updates on package deliveries, the latest surf reports, or breaking news stories.
You can now provide a document storage location that can be accessed by other apps. Apps that use a document picker view controller can open files managed by the storage provider or move files into the storage provider.
The document picker view controller grants your users access to files outside your app’s sandbox. Documents are easily shared between apps, enabling users to edit a single document in multiple places.
With iOS 8, you can provide custom keyboards with different input methods and layouts for users to install and use systemwide.
iOS 8 introduces a huge set of APIs and services, so you can create new categories of apps and features. Here are some of the most exciting new capabilities we’re unlocking.
Your app can now use Touch ID to authenticate a user before accessing some or all content in your app. Fingerprint data is protected and never accessed by iOS or other apps.
PhotoKit provides new APIs for working with photo and video assets, including iCloud Photos assets, that are managed by the Photos app, so your app can edit photos directly in the Camera roll without having to import them first. Key features include a thread-safe architecture for fetching and caching thumbnails and full-sized assets, requesting changes to assets, observing changes made by other apps, and resumable editing of asset content.
Manual Camera Controls
The AVFoundation framework makes it easier than ever for users to take great photos. Your app can take direct control over the camera focus, white balance, and exposure settings. Your app can also use bracketed exposure captures to automatically capture images with different exposure settings.
HeathKit allows apps providing health and fitness services to access shared health-related information in one place. A user’s health information is stored in a centralized and secure location and the user decides which data should be shared with your app.
Your app can access any shared health-related information and can provide information about the user without you needing to implement support for specific fitness-tracking devices. Information can come from devices connected to an iOS device or manual entry by the user.
This is a new framework for communicating with and controlling connected devices in a user’s home. Your apps can enable users to discover devices in their home and configure them, or you can create actions to control those devices. Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri.
Leverage the full power of iCloud and build apps with the new CloudKit framework. Now you can easily and securely store and efficiently retrieve your app data like structured data in a database or assets right from iCloud. CloudKit also enables your users to anonymously sign in to your apps with their iCloud Apple IDs without sharing their personal information.
With CloudKit, you can focus on your client-side app development and let iCloud eliminate the need to write server-side application logic. CloudKit provides authentication, private and public databases, and structured and asset storage services — all for free with very high limits.
Using a simple API in Foundation, your app can participate in Handoff to let users start an activity on one device and seamlessly resume the activity on another device.
Technology improvements in iOS 8 make it easier than ever to implement your game’s graphics and audio features. Take advantage of high-level frameworks for ease-of-development, or use new low-level enhancements to harness the power of the GPU.
SceneKit is a high-level 3D graphics framework that helps you create 3D animated scenes and effects in your apps. It incorporates a physics engine, a particle generator, and easy ways to script the actions of 3D objects so you can describe your scene in terms of its content — geometry, materials, lights, and cameras — then animate it by describing changes to those objects. SceneKit’s 3D physics engine enlivens your app or game by simulating gravity, forces, rigid body collisions, and joints. It’s also completely integrated with SpriteKit, so you can include SpriteKit assets in 3D games.
The SpriteKit framework adds new features to make it easier to create high-performance, battery-efficient 2D games. With support for custom OpenGL ES shaders and lighting, integration with SceneKit, and advanced new physics effects and animations, you can add force fields, detect collisions, and generate new lighting effects in your games. Xcode 6 also incorporates new shader and scene editors that save you time as you create your game. Create a scene’s contents, specifying which nodes appear in the scene and characteristics of those nodes, including physics effects. The scene is then serialized to a file that your game can easily load.
With extremely low-overhead access to the A7 GPU, Metal enables incredibly high performance for sophisticated graphics rendering and computational tasks. Metal eliminates many performance bottlenecks that are found in traditional graphics APIs. It’s specifically designed to exploit modern architectural considerations, such as multiprocessing and shared memory, to make it easy to parallelize the creation of GPU commands. Metal offers a streamlined API, a unified graphics and compute shading language, and Xcode-based tools.
Swift is an innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch with concise yet expressive syntax. Writing Swift code within an Xcode 6 playground shows instant results, while finished apps are compiled into high-performance native machine code. The Swift language is fast, modern, safe, and interactive.
Learn more about Swift
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