Following the official unveiling of iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 earlier today, Apple has released iOS 8 SDK, the biggest developer release ever with more than 4,000 new APIs. Major highlights of the iOS 8 SDK include ability to create Notification Center widgets, third-party keyboards, new frameworks like HealthKit and HomeKit, and ‘Metal’, a new graphics technology that maximizes the performance of the A7 chip.
“With more than 800 million iOS devices sold worldwide, the opportunity for developers is huge,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “This is the biggest iOS release since the launch of the App Store. The iOS 8 SDK delivers more than 4,000 new APIs including amazing new frameworks, greater extensibility and a revolutionary new programming language.”
“We believe Apple’s HealthKit will revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people,” said John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO. “We are proud to be at the forefront of this innovative technology with the Mayo Clinic app.”
With the new iOS 8 SDK, developers can further customize the user experience with iOS extensions, including new sharing options, custom photo filters, custom actions and document APIs. Furthermore, developers can now add their own widgets into Notification Center, as well as third-party keyboards to offer additional layouts and input methods. Similarly, gaming on iOS also takes a huge leap forward in iOS 8 with Metal. “With its dramatic 10 times improvement in draw call speed, Metal enables leading game providers for the first time to bring console-class 3D games to mobile devices”, notes Apple.
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.