WWDC 2014: Apple releases iOS 8 SDK with over 4,000 new APIs

On June 3, 2014


Announced during yesterday’s Apple’s WWDC keynote, iOS 8 SDK is the “biggest developer release ever” with more than 4,000 new APIs. iOS 8 allows developers to further customize the user experience with 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.

HealthKit APIs provides the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With our permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage our health and fitness. For example, our blood pressure app could share its data with a physician app, such as the Mayo Clinic app, so the doctor can provide better guidance and care.

HomeKit lets our home accessories connect seamlessly to better manage our home. HomeKit delivers a common protocol, secure pairing and the ability to easily control individual or groups of devices throughout the house including integration with Siri. For example, we can tell Siri we are “going to bed” and it could dim the lights, lock the doors, close the garage door and set the thermostat.

Developers can now customize the user experience with iOS extensions, including new sharing options, custom photo filters, custom actions and document APIs. They can also add their own widgets into Notification Center, and third-party keyboards offer additional layouts and input methods.

iOS 8 also includes Touch ID APIs enabling developers to securely authenticate users within apps, protect logins and user data, and unlock keychain items.

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 10 times improvement in draw call speed, Metal is claimed to enable “leading game providers for the first time to bring console-class 3D games to mobile devices.”

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.

The iOS 8 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members. This fall iOS 8 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.