iOS 12 features that will boost your app’s usability

(source: Apple — screenshot)

Every year, Apple releases an update to its operating systems with new features for developers to improve their apps. At this year’s WWDC 2018 in June, Apple showed us a preview on iOS 12, the operating system that runs on all iPhones and iPads. A public beta version was made available on June 25 for developers, the public launch will happen somewhere in autumn — probably mid-September. Here are the top three iOS 12 features that excited my developer heart the most.

Siri Shortcuts

(source: Apple — screenshot)

Siri gets a new feature called Shortcuts. It’s designed for users to create a workflow of commands that can be activated via a voice request.

(source: Apple — screenshot)

For example, let’s create a “Heading to work” shortcut that texts your colleague that you’re on your way, sets your office temperature using the Nest app, and plays your favourite playlist while walking — and all with just one dedicated voice-based action using Siri.

(source: Apple — screenshot)

With this amazing new feature, you can create custom shortcuts for your apps. Once your project is configured, just

  1. define a Shortcut
  2. set custom intent
  3. add custom responses
(source: Apple — screenshot)

Grouped Notifications

(source: Apple — screenshot)

Apple has finally unveiled the new “grouped notifications”, a feature we’ve all been waiting for. Grouping notifications by topic, app or thread totally change the way users perceive their notifications. And it takes the just concern of developers to spam app users with too many notifications.

(source: Apple — screenshot)

With a simple tap, users can expand grouped notifications, see single ones manage or clear them. Although this feature has been introduced on Android for quite some time, iOS users are excited to finally have that on iOS.

AR File Format USDZ

The new USDZ file format (Universal Scene Description) is optimised for mobile devices. USD has been around for a while, and it produces computer graphics films for Augmented Reality, interchange of elemental assets or animations. USDZ will provide the ability to share AR files across mobile apps. “What’s great is you can place these 3D items into the real world. It’s something like AR Quick Look”, explained Craig Federighi.

(source: Apple — screenshot)

USDZ can be shared via the files app, Safari and even messages and mail. Apple is working with leading 3D companies to add USDZ support so that everyone can create great AR content. Just have a look at the AR Quick Look gallery to see USDZ in action.

(source: Apple — screenshot)

Adobe is a key player with adding support to USDZ file format. “There is now a way to deliver AR experience across the entire iOS experience”, Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis said. Adobe announced that with its Creative Cloud, apps like Photoshop and Dimension will have native USDZ support, where developers and designers can easily create AR content via USDZ. With a new immersive design tool on Creative Cloud, we will have WYSIWYG AR editing, which will make it even simpler to create new AR content.

(source: Apple — screenshot)
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