iOS7 was the biggest overhaul of iOS for end users since the launch of the iPhone. The iOS8 SDK announced yesterday at WWDC is most probably the biggest enhancement for developers with more than 4000 new APIs and changes.
Here are the highlights for developers:
Metal – a group of new APIs that gives apps with graphics (specifically the A7 chip) dramatically lower overheads, 10x performance gains compared to iOS7 in draw call speed and efficient multi-threading.
HealthKit – a way to securely exchange data between their apps and Apple’s new Health app.
HomeKit – a new framework for building smart home devices and connecting them to iOS.
CloudKit – a new cloud storage system for developers that is effectively free and features a massive amount of free storage.
PhotoKit – provides API access to the same features as Apple uses for its own Photo App including non-destructive edits, more control over focus, white balance and exposure.
Touch ID – will be available through an API to allow third party apps to use Touch ID fingerprint authentication in exactly the same way as the iPhone uses it for authentication today.
App extensions – allows different apps to provide interfaces into other apps and thus to talk to each other.
Widget access – Third-party apps will finally also have the ability to define their own widgets in the notification center.
New App Store features – app previews and app bundles, free analytics through iTunes Connect and TestFlight making it easier for beta testing pre-release apps.
Swift programming language – Swift is a new programming language for iOS and OS X that makes it easier for developers to create apps. Swift helps developers write safer and more reliable code by eliminating entire categories of common programming errors, and coexists with Objective-C code, so developers can integrate Swift into their existing apps.
More to follow over the coming days as we learn more from our teams on-site at WWDC, and you can also find out more directly from Apple here