Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Quick Look at the Improvements in iOS 6 SDK and APIs

Hello guys, as you know, iOS 6 has been public for quite a while now. I don't know about you, but the only changes I've noticed after updating is the disappearance of the YouTube and Google Maps apps, as well as the implementation of an 'all-new, Apple-designed' Maps app.

Well, it turns out there's more to the update than just the mysterious disappearance of apps we are familiar with. Today we have a very informative guest post by Anelei Ivanova, discussing changes under the hood of iOS 6.

A quick look at the improvements in iOS 6 SDK and APIs
With the release of iOS 6, Apple has made significant changes in the SDK. New features have been added, with improvements in existing class and frameworks. I had a quick look at Apple’s article on the new features and I am trying to summarize those improvements here. I think all the iOS developers must read about these improvements and build their new apps keeping these new improvements in mind.

Map Kit
The new Map Kit framework now provides a way to the apps to display different kind of routes (bicycle or hiking trail, air routes, public transportation lines) without integrating the Map Kit within an app. This means developers can use the map features by invoking the Map externally. It also provides the opportunity to register an app as Routing App, and if registered the in-built map application displays available routing apps on app store and provides a facility to the user to purchase those apps directly from within the map application.

Social Framework
Social Framework has got more exciting. The Twitter framework has been replaced by the new Social Framework. Now it supports Fcebook and Sina’sWeibo Service. Integrating users’ social accounts within app has become easier. The framework bundles with a UIActivityViewController, which can be used to interact with social accounts.

Game Centre
The Game Kit framework has been improved. The following new features have been added to it:
- GKChallange: Can be used to challenge other players directly from within a game
- GKAchievement: Facilitates to submit multiple achievements at a time
- GKPlayer: Now supports displaying member’s name
- GKGameCenterViewController: Includes all the previous features like Leader board, Friend Request and Achievement. Previous view controllers still exist.
- GKMatch: This class also has been improved and provides a method to detect which player has the best connectivity to the Game Centre.
- GKMatchMaker: Improved to support better programmatic matchmaking. It has become easier to implement customized matchmaking interface.

Also local user authentication procedure has been changed. Authenticate Handler property can be set to a block to handle all the authentication steps. Authentication interface can be represented as and when required.

Pass kit
Pass kit is a new technology used to implement the support of downloadable passes. Passes are basically files with a new file format, which can be created by business and can be delivered to user’s device via email or custom app. Different kind of documents like Event Ticket, Discount Coupon, Boarding pass can be created with the support of barcode.

The event kit framework is now updated and provides the support to create reminders in user’s device.

In-App Purchase
In-App purchase now support hosting content in Apple’s server and download the contents using SDK Download class.

Collection Views
UI Collection View is a new addition. It has become much easier to display ordered items to user using this class. It supports standard flow-based layout. The view can be customized to support any type of layout.

UI State Preservation
State Preservation makes it easier to restore application state. In the previous versions of the SDK, developers needed to write down the application state so that it could be restored next time the app launches, but with the help of State Preservation it is now a lot easier.

Data Privacy
The system now asks the user whenever a third party application tries to access the following data:
1. Calendar
2. Contacts
3. Photo Library
4. Reminder 

The application should be programmed and prepared to handle the situation where user denies the access to the requested resource.

There have been a lot of other improvements in the following frameworks:
1. OpenGL ES
2. Media Player Framework
3. Image IO Framework
4. IAd Framework
5. Foundation Framework
6. External Access Framework
7. Event Kit Framework
8. Core video Framework
9. Core Media Framework
10. Core Location Framework
11. Core Bluetooth Framework
12. Core Audio
13. AV Foundation Framework
14. Ad Support Framework
15. Accelerate Framework

I’ll discuss the enhancements in the above said frameworks in the next article.

Anelei Ivanova is an eminent guest post writer. She has writing different technical article based on I-phone app development, jailbreak, Android application development and many more topics. In the above article, you can get good information about Iphone application.


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