iOS 8 News
What shocked the tech world at the outset of this week was not a fresh feud between Apple and Samsung but rather Apple’s surprising openness in iOS 8. Indeed, according to a press release by Apple they are now asking developers to begin creating new applications for the OS. What the company has tagged as “their biggest developer release ever” would “allow developers across the globe to customize user experience with major extensibility features like Notification Center widgets and third-party keyboards.”
This new update is great with many new features and phone controls for developers, but there are a few changes in particular that are capturing media attention.
Developers are swooning over Metal, as it gives more direct access to the graphics and computer hardware on Apple’s A7 processors to maximize the performance of the A7 chip and Swift – a robust new programming language that may soon take over the design world. Metal may also be the key to improving multithreading, which multiplies iO7’s draw call speed tenfold, and could be the key to bringing console-level graphics to the iPad and iPhone.
Vintage game developers will surely love SceneKit, which lets them build old school casual games in 2D and 3D. Originally created for OS X Mountain Lion in 2012, it helps developers to render game scenes in 3D more quickly and easily. This is achieved via an included physics engine, to govern the movement of objects, and a particle generator, to make realistic explosions.
HealthKit, designed to pull health info from other apps or devices such as BMI, calories burned or distance travelled, is intended to let apps ‘talk’ to each other by sharing collected information (with your permission) to enable a more complete user experience. HomeKit, a new framework for creating smart home devices that can be connected to iOS has also been included – despite not being present in Apple’s update documentation. The new cloud storage will also amaze Apple enthusiasts, with its massive storage space and freebies.
Although the new openness brings hundreds of new possibilities for both aspiring and existing developers, experts across the Web can’t brush off the fact that iOS 8’s big changes are not without drawbacks. By simply making inter-app communications in iOS open and by allowing users to freely interact on the lock screen (even though the iDevice is meant to be locked), Apple is submitting itself to larger possibilities of being hacked, or making itself a much more vulnerable to security attacks.
The predicament is simple: this openness surely will attract developers to create apps, despite lacking the knowledge or guidance on how to implement better security within their programming. Also, there have been speculations that the possible increase in personal data will make iOS devices a vulnerable target to hackers and security enemies.
These experts argue that Apple first has to admit that its new offering is not perfect, and doing so would force them to focus on tightening up security measures for their future product updates and releases. Apple is not generally the sort of company that admits fault, although times may be changing with a recent confession that a small percentage of iPhone 5 batteries need frequent charging – more often than they should – and have thus been recalled.