iOS app development is quickly adapting to changing times. Right from it was launch in 2007, iPhone has always been the center of attraction in the smartphone theatre. iOS is one of the top two mobile operating systems ruling the smartphone world right now. Analysts and smartphone enthusiasts keep a keen watch on the latest developments in iOS, as Apple always releases benchmark-setting technologies.

In this article, we will look at some of the trends in iPhone app development, which are expected to dominate during 2020.

Augmented reality and Virtual reality

Augmented reality is the hot new trend in the smartphone industry. Games like Pokemon Go have already shown to the world what a smartphone and a great idea can do using AR.

Apple has launched the ARKit, which helps the developers in building high-quality AR apps. With the launch of ARKit-3, the latest version of ARKit, Apple has given wings to the creativity of iOS Developers.

There are many cool features in the ARKit which allow the iOS app developers to create life-like experiences for their users. Let’s discuss

People Occlusion

With people occlusion, AR content can be programmed to pass behind and in front of people realistically. Earlier the effects seemed unnatural, but with ARKit-3, Apple appears to have solved this issue. People’s occlusion helps in making the AR experience more real and immersive, giving the user a closer feel of being in the virtual world.

Motion capture

This feature allows the iOS developers to capture a more realistic motion of a person by using only one camera! Those who have even a passing interest in AR will know how difficult it is to accurately mimic the body movements of a person using only one camera. Motion capture helps in accurately capturing small details of the motion of a body. It is then used as an input into the app, thus improving the iOS app developers to keep humans at the center of the AR experience.

Use front and back camera simultaneously

This feature opens up new possibilities by allowing the developers to use the face as well as the back camera simultaneously. It can allow the users to interact with the AR content in the rear camera by using their face.

Multi-face tracking

In the new ARKit-3, Apple has provided the feature called multiple face tracking, which allows the developers to track up to 3 faces simultaneously by utilizing the right depth camera of Apple devices.

Collaborative sessions

This feature is especially helpful for developers of multiplayer games; the iOS developers can now enable collaborative sessions in AR, making the AR experience more productive.

Other Improvements

With the new ARKit-3, the smartphone can now detect 100 images concurrently. The system also provides you with an accurate estimate of the physical size of the image, which makes 3-D mapping more accurate.

Reality composer

Even if the developers do not have any prior experience working with 3D images, the reality composer feature of iOS helps the developers in building brilliant life-like AR experiences. By using the live linking feature, the reality composer helps you to move seamlessly between Mac,iPhone, and iPad.

RealityKit

It is a new framework that has camera effects and animations along with photo-realistic rendering capabilities. This framework has been primarily built by Apple for AR.

Apple has taken the game of AR app development a notch further by launching the USDZ(Universal Scene Description) format. This format supports rich animations like the ones which see on AR. All the new Apple devices with iOS 12 and above will be able to project these files automatically.

Ikea’s app allows you to see how furniture would look in your room; you can even see minute details like texture and color and have an accurate estimate of the size of the furniture.

With companies like IKEA adopting AR to showcase their products, the world is waking up to the possibility of using AR in severe commercial applications.

Thus we can see that Apple is making all the right noises when it comes to the field of AR.

The trend is expected to continue in the future.

Improved Sirikit

Siri, the smart digital assistant who had been launched with iOS5, has been helping iPhone users set reminders, call cabs, know the weather and ask useful questions.

Apple started giving out tools to integrate Siri into third-party apps from iOS 10. Apple has defined certain domains that an app must contain to use Sirikit. The domains are:

VoIP calling, photos, Ride booking, Restaurant, Payments, Messaging, Workouts, Restaurant reservations, and Carplay.

With the popularity of voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant rising, Apple is equipping Siri with better capabilities to take on the competition.

Moreover, with iOS 13 Siri now has a more natural-sounding voice, you can notice the difference in Siri’s voice when she speaks longer phrases. Siri’s suggestions have been integrated into podcasts, maps, and the safari browser. Thus Apple is following a strategy of spreading Siri to its products, and by opening up Siri to third-party developers, it has made clear that it wants Siri to proliferate faster.

Machine learning

Apple has released the Core ML-3, it’s machine learning SDK, which allows the iOS developers to build next-level machine learning apps.

Core ML-3 provides the luxury of building personalized machine learning experiences on-device to the iOS developers. Apple has already prepared its devices for the future by installing A-series chips and Neural Engines in its devices. Apple wants the iOS developers to build sophisticated machine learning models on their devices without the need for complex coding.

The new Core ML-3 kit is equipped with features to allow for accurate object recognition in photos. The new Core ML-3 kit allows the models to be updated with user data on-device without the need to compromise the privacy of the user.

Core ML-3 kit supports 100+ model layer types and can support advanced neural networks.

With Core ML-3, it is now much more comfortable to integrate computer vision capabilities into an iOS app. The core kit is loaded with features that allow the developers to identify differences between two similar images with great detail, integrate advanced face detection capabilities into their app.

In the new core kit, Apple has improved the landmark detection, rectangle detection, barcode detection, and image registration capabilities of iOS.

Deploying custom NLP models is way more comfortable now with the advanced text recognition engine of the Core ML-3 kit. The new features inducted include sentiment classification, word embeddings, and text catalog, which are available for languages like English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and simplified Chinese.

Advanced speech recognition capabilities such as utterance detection, acoustic features, streaming confidence, and pronunciation information have been included in the new core kit. These features allow the system to detect speech accurately.

Apple Homekit

Apple is seriously looking towards the smart home market, a market where it is considered a laggard. Apple has recently increased the size of its home kit team so that it can catch up with competitors like Google and Amazon.

The Apple Homekit is a system through which the user can control all your smart home devices via an Apple device. Apple knows the importance of being in sync with the customer in this vital market and hence is putting all the requisite efforts to improve the smart home experience with Apple devices.

Although the number of devices that can be connected with the home kit is presently limited, Apple is increasing the number of tools at a rapid pace. In the market, users can know which accessory will work by referring to a label that says, “works with Apple HomeKit.” Through the iOS app, the users can manage many attachments simultaneously and even give commands to Siri and bundle various activities. For example, the user can program Siri to turn on mood lights, play soft music, and turn on the smart coffee maker when the user says, “Hey Siri, I am home.” This situation, where many commands are activated by using one power, is known as creating a scene in the Apple lexicon.

Apple Pay

Apple pay had a slow start in its home market, the U.S., when it was launched in 2014, with only 1 in 10 of its users coming from the U.S. during that year. Fastrack 5 years, and in 2019 Apple Pay has overtaken Starbucks as the leading mobile payment app in the U.S.

Apple persisted with the idea, and it’s the brand image as a secure brand helped in broadening the base of Apple pay. Four hundred thirty million iPhones in the world have installed Apple Payout of the billion odd iPhones according to a report.

Swift 5.1

Apple is promoting swift as a versatile programming language that can be used to write code in macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

With the launch of Swift 5.1, Apple has improved the language’s ability to let the developers create better APIs and also simultaneously reduce the amount of boilerplate code.

Swift 5.1 is a modern language that has been created after years of coding experiments; the APIs in Swift 5.1 are easy to read and maintain. The code is clean, and the language is safe by design, making it less prone to errors.

The memory usage is now efficient, minimizing the burden of garbage collection.

Apple is continually innovating swift, and it is clear that it wants to position Swift as the language of the future.

iBeacon

iBeacon debuted in 2013 with the sole objective of revolutionizing retail by notifying the nearby iPhones about its presence. The technology was mainly used for sending offers and other commercial messages to devices in its proximity. Another main feature of the iBeacon is that it enables the iPhone users to make payment at POS without their phone or wallet.

Although promising, the technology never really took off. One of the main reasons was that iBeacon uses something known as BLE(Bluetooth low energy). The problem with Bluetooth technology is that it cannot bypass physical obstructions and hence is severely limited in terms of range.

Apple is rumored to be mulling using Ultra Wide Band Radio Technology, which will empower the iBeacon devices to overcome the limitation of range in iBeacons.

Epilogue

By launching ARKit, Core ML Kit-3, and Swift 5.1, Apple has made it clear that the speed of change in iOS app development is going to accelerate. Technologies like Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT are going to open up new dimensions, and Apple’s iOS seems ready for the future.