This wasn't the "flashiest" year for WWDC but some important changes were mentioned that affect businesses. It appears that Apple is addressing concerns from the past year and doing some behind the scenes house cleaning. These behind the scenes improvements might not grab the headlines but they make a big difference for users and businesses.
An iOS Update For Everyone
Both inside and outside the Apple world, lately there has been a fair share of bad press and scandals. These reports are especially regarding security issues, battery life, speed and bugs. As a result, this year they have delivered the first update in awhile in which devices supporting the previous OS support the update. That means all devices which support iOS 11 can update to iOS 12:
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5s
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad 6th generation
- iPad 5th generation
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
- iPod touch 6th generation
Additionally one piece of news that should make everyone happy is that older devices actually run faster with this update. This means if your company has older iPads, such as the iPad Air, or older iPhones like the iPhone 5s or iPhone 6, it will probably be worth your time to update your devices. For developers, expect very high adoption rates of iOS 12 and little reason to support iOS 11 for much longer.
Mac App Store Improvements
The Mac App Store has received its fair share of criticism. Compared with its iOS counterpart, it has seemed neglected and insufficient for the macOS software market. Apple has decided this year to make a bigger push towards getting software developers onto the Mac App Store.
Better Models For Businesses
Not only are they migrating the magazine format from the iOS App Store over to the Mac but there are changes to the restrictions on apps and their business model.
Recently, Apple has included a better subscription model. And now they are including something like a "Free Trial" offering available from the Mac App Store. There will also be improvements to how sandboxing works. Sandboxing is a way to isolate the app and the files it uses from the rest of the data on your computer. This improvement to sandboxing has allowed Mac developers at Panic to publish their app Transmit to the App Store. As far as their pricing model, Panic will be doing a subscription model on the App Store and allowing a one-time purchase on their website.
> The Mac App Store is already home to some of the best apps in the > world. But there's plenty of room for more 😉
> Here are just a few of the awesome developers coming to the all-new > Mac App Store. > #WWDC18 > pic.twitter.com/UmWZVVDV8U > > — App Store (@AppStore) June 4, > 2018
There are also other big software companies moving to the App Store, such as Microsoft and Adobe.
If you're interested in learning more about macOS development, check out our article on macOS development for iOS developers. Now is a good time to at least consider publishing your app to the mac.
Using Social to Showcase AR
Since the release of the iPhone X and AR Kit, Apple has continued to showcase it's AR features with Animoji and now Memoji. Animoji would use a set of cute animated characters which mimic your facial expressions using iPhone X technology. With iOS 12, Memoji allows a user to create an animated version of themselves. It's easy to view this as a bit of a gimmick. However, we must keep in mind what is going on "under the hood." Memoji is a way to demo the exciting new AR and machine learning technology behind it.
Businesses should continue to watch trends in ARKit and CoreML and consider how these tools may help their business.
Just as Google introduced new ways to control phone usage on Android, Apple is doing the same on iOS 12 with Screen Time. Screen Time allows users (and parents) to limit app and overall phone usage.
Users can always avoid following through on these limitations by overriding them with a pass code. However, it's important for businesses to keep in mind that users can place these limits on their apps.
Plenty For Businesses to Prepare
In iOS 12, Apple has introduced Screen Time which encourages associating the iPhone with productivity and less with addictive games and social networking. Apple is also showing their commitment to older devices by making them faster and more reliable in iOS 12. There is a strong indication that Apple sees a big future in the Augmented Realty and Machine Learning space as they introduce more features in ARKit, CoreML, and Memojis.
On macOS, Apple is encouraging more developers to move to the Mac app store. There are more improvements coming to the new version of macOS, Mojave as well. We will talk about these in our next post.