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Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

Of course they shouldn’t do it. But what if they did? What features would they leave behind, or bring to iOS? Where does it make sense for them to do this, and where would it never work?

Apple’s announcement at WWDC 2018 that four new apps—News, Voice Memos, Home, and Stocks—were making their way from iOS to macOS was a welcome surprise, and signaled a major change in strategy for the steward of some of the world’s most popular and important platforms. Rather than building distinct codebases for each of its properties across each of its platforms (and expecting third-party developers to do the same), Apple was beginning to migrate UIKit, the developer framework for iOS apps, to macOS. Forget iTunes for Windows, this was actually hell freezing over.

Developers investigated macOS 10.14 Mojave and learned a great deal about how these apps worked, and what it indicated for the future. Evidence suggested that this internal project was codenamed Marzipan, and some of the system files that OS sleuths uncovered confirmed it. There were, and are, a ton of hiccups with the UIKit apps as they stand today—suffice it to say they’re decidedly not Mac-like in many respects. But with Microsoft and Google both making it easier to develop cross-platform apps, or run mobile apps in a desktop context, Apple needed to do something to make its Mac App Store and macOS ecosystem feel as much of a first-class citizen as iOS. …


Compatibility with screen readers and Switch Control is one thing. Having a UX that works well with those technologies is another.

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Accessibility is a topic that in many ways is as old as the web. Because designers and developers have been focused on making digital products accessible for decades, there are many guidelines, standards, and even automated assessment tools that already exist to ensure websites are accessible. There are also regulations that many companies need to comply with, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has been updated to include digital product guidelines.

In the technology landscape of 2017, guidelines designed for the web as it was in 1997 are beginning to look dated.

But in the technology environment of 2017, guidelines based around the needs of disabled web users in 1997 are looking increasingly dated. These accessibility guidelines and frameworks were developed in the early days of the web, and in many ways the evolution of consumer technology has outpaced them. Many accessibility guidelines and best practices are focused on the web as it was in 1997 — static pages of content. …


Getting your iOS app featured doesn’t have to be mysterious — there are a few UX changes that make an impact

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Source: The Next Web

During the holiday season, as millions of people are setting up their brand-new iPhones and iPads, there is perhaps no better time to have your iOS app featured on the front page of the App Store. Apple has many avenues to feature apps — from promotional banners on the App Store home page, to more carefully curated Editors’ Choice and Design Awards lists. But there’s one thing Apple loves featuring more than anything else — apps that make use of its latest technologies.

There’s one thing Apple loves to feature above all else — apps that make use of its latest technologies. …


Conversational UI is an industry buzzword—but its overarching themes can actually help any mobile experience feel more lifelike

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Over the last several years, our expectations for what computers should do for us have transformed dramatically. What were functional tools that sat on our work desks only ten years ago have evolved to fit in our pockets, capture our memories, and reshape how we communicate with family and friends. With each passing year and each new leap in consumer electronics, the devices we love to use have continually become more accessible, more integrated, and more adaptable to our everyday lives.

These trends are a continuation of what computers have been doing since the first PC. The first 50 years of computer science were a story of humans adapting to computers, rethinking their thoughts around word processors and discovering new business models that fit into the web. The next 50 years will be a story of computers becoming more human — changing how we interface with them beyond mice and keyboards and instead incorporating elements of how we interface with other humans. …


New hardware and software announcements—or the lack thereof—indicate new product strategies for technology’s biggest players

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The Surface Book. Source: Microsoft

Even with the Cubs winning the World Series and national politics inspiring breathless headlines, perhaps the strangest thing about 2016 has been the transformation of some of the industry’s biggest hardware companies. Between the big three operating system makers — Google with Android, Apple with iOS, and Microsoft with Windows — a dramatic shift in strategic thinking for each company has become clear in the last few months.

Punctuating this strategic change are some not insignificant technology releases over the past year. iOS 10 was a significant evolution of Apple’s mobile aesthetic, Google released its first-ever smartphone, and Samsung has struggled with less-than-optimal temperature control issues. …


Notifications in iOS 10 are much more powerful, and combined with the redesigned lock screen could obviate many users’ need to open apps themselves at all

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Until the introduction of Notification Center in iOS 5, receiving and managing notifications on iOS was something of a nightmare. For all its user experience differences, Android long held an advantage over iOS in terms of how easily users could interact with, organize, and dismiss the myriad messages and alerts we’ve come to receive throughout our days. …


Messages is perhaps iOS’s most popular destination—and with iMessage apps in iOS 10, Apple is letting developers join in

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In a year when the new iPhone hardware design is a subtle refinement, holding out for the dramatic reinvention in 2017, the new version of iOS is the headline. This year, iOS 10 makes the platform competitive in new spaces, showcases the latest hardware improvements like Touch ID and 3D Touch, and pushes Apple’s machine learning agenda forward. And, most importantly, iOS 10 opens the platform to developers in all-new ways, giving access to new corners of the operating system that most closely impact the user experience.

We examined how developers can begin to take advantage of these new features, and how new frameworks like SiriKit, richer notifications, and the Messages SDK can help brand marketers build better experiences for their customers. Apple has become the kind of company that only makes big moves — and iOS 10 is one of their biggest yet.


Opening Siri to developers presents a new opportunity for brand apps to make an impact

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In a year when the new iPhone hardware design is a subtle refinement, holding out for the dramatic reinvention in 2017, the new version of iOS is the headline. This year, iOS 10 makes the platform competitive in new spaces, showcases the latest hardware improvements like Touch ID and 3D Touch, and pushes Apple’s machine learning agenda forward. And, most importantly, iOS 10 opens the platform to developers in all-new ways, giving access to new corners of the operating system that most closely impact the user experience.

We examined how developers can begin to take advantage of these new features, and how new frameworks like SiriKit, richer notifications, and the Messages SDK can help brand marketers build better experiences for their customers. Apple has become the kind of company that only makes big moves — and iOS 10 is one of their biggest yet.


Apple’s new health tools can help brands improve the wellness experience on mobile

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As part of Apple’s ever-expanding forays into the health and wellness space, this February it introduced CareKit, a new open-source framework designed to improve the patient experience. On the heels of HealthKit, the SDK that allows iOS apps to share health and fitness data, and ResearchKit, an open-source framework for sharing large-audience medical research data with scientists and medical professionals, CareKit is Apple’s newest and most compelling health-related technology that is aimed squarely at connecting patients with the care and caregivers they need.

While HealthKit makes consumer apps like Fitbit or Lifesum more powerful, allowing them to share data about users’ daily physical activity or caloric intake, the framework is specifically designed for consumers to make personal health choices and see personal trends in across lightweight wellness metrics. Conversely, ResearchKit offers very little end-user value, and instead operates as a reporting platform for medical researchers to learn about medical conditions in aggregate. Each framework is useful, but they don’t go far enough to serve the healthcare space — neither specifically addresses users’ ongoing relationships with their medical conditions that require treatment. …


Tips for preventing disaster when launching new mobile apps (and, tangentially, rockets)

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There’s an unprecedented race for great mobile ideas in today’s mobile marketing landscape, with brands launching new and exciting new products seemingly every day. But there are significantly more misses than hits in the mobile marketplace, and it’s very easy for brands’ mobile marketers to make early missteps that ultimately doom their projects to months of headaches and disappointment.

Mobile software development is not unlike rocket science — and that’s not to say it’s particularly hard. When launching a rocket, even one degree of variance in its trajectory makes the difference between aiming for the moon and not getting there at all. …

About

Connor Mason

Talks with hands. http://cnnr.land

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