There might not have been a “...one last thing” moment at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, but there were some significant announcements for iOS and macOS developers. This was also the first year since 2019 that Apple welcomed audience members back in person to the annual conference. Our team was watching live, and we put together this list of four things we will be digging into as Apple releases OS updates over the next few months.
Dark Sky is dead. Long live WeatherKit
When Apple acquired the Dark Sky in March 2020, developers shared their fears about what would happen to the popular weather data API. Apple shut down the Android version of the API that same year while iOS apps continued to work. At WWDC 2022, we learned that Dark Sky would continue as WeatherKit.
WeatherKit provides developers with hyperlocal and affordable weather data for iOS and macOS applications. The affordability of WeatherKit is a nice thing to see since weather data is typically expensive to access.
Apple is making WeatherKit available as a Swift library for iOS and macOS apps and as a REST API for Android and web applications. We currently use Dark Sky for our Water My Lawn app, and we’re excited to move to WeatherKit soon.
iPadOS and MacOS continue to converge
When Apple released its first Apple silicon-based Macs, one of the most exciting features was the ability to run iOS apps on a Mac desktop. Today, Universal Control allows a single keyboard and mouse to be used across a Mac desktop and an iPad, and at WWDC, Apple announced more features that will enable Macs and iPads to work together.
We think it’s only a matter of time before Macs and iPads can run the same operating system — which begs the question, why use a laptop?
Moving closer to passwordless
If you didn’t know already, the days of passwords are ending thanks to passwordless authentication. Apple has been pushing towards this with biometric authentication using fingerprints and facial recognition. At WWDC, they introduced Passkeys, another nail in the coffin on passwords.
Apple, along with Google and Microsoft, has agreed to introduce authentication protocols based on the FIDO Alliance and W3C standards. Passkeys are the introduction of that for iOS and macOS developers. Passkeys use strong cryptographic keys, and we believe it’s time to start supporting this standard in most authentication scenarios.
Reading is believing
Our favourite announcement from WWDC 2022 is the VisionKit Data Scanning API. The new API allows developers to build live scanning from video into their applications. Live scanning enables the app to detect — and read — text and QR codes.
The demo from WWDC showed how easily developers could implement the new API into apps. One example of this would be in a grocery store. An app could scan the ingredients on a package to look for allergens. Instead of reading each item, the app can see all the ingredients and alert users before buying the wrong thing.
Our team is constantly working to keep up-to-date with the latest changes to everything from iOS to Android to web frameworks and database technologies. Want to learn more about how we can help you bring your app to life? Contact us today!