App builders boosted by new Apple tools and technologies

Apple announced a long list of developer aids at its annual keynote event in California, including Xcode Cloud and an overhauled App Store

Apple made its traditional ream of announcements at its annual keynote event, the Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California, on 7 June.

While headlines from the event focus on being able to track AirPods on the FindMy app, or the digital legacy feature for iCloud accounts, the main point of interest in edtech land will be the unveiling of numerous tools and technologies related to app building.

Xcode Cloud, for example, is a new continuous integration and delivery cloud service allowing users to build, test and deliver apps. On top of freeing up developers’ hardware for other tasks, the ability to automatically build apps in the cloud means developers can test on a simulated version of every current Apple device, carry out internal testing, or deliver to external beta testers for feedback.

The revised App Store now features product page tools offering developers greater flexibility and new ways to connect with users, including showcasing different app features to different users, and the opportunity to analytically test different screenshots, preview videos and icons.

In other news, Swift – Apple’s programming language — now includes built-in concurrency support, allowing developers to more easily write code that works in parallel, as well as making app-building more responsive to user input.

You might also like: Apple subsidiary launches app developer training programme to address technical skills gap

On the augmented reality (AR) front, RealityKit 2 introduces Object Capture, an application programming interface (API) on macOS Monterey that transforms photographs into 3D models optimised for AR.

Other new developer tools and APIs include:

  • A metal texture compression tool making it easier for developers to bring high-end games to all of Apple’s platforms
  • New camera APIs allow for better fused images and add the ability to capture high quality stills and 1080p video in the same session
  • On the Mac, developers can test in-app purchases with TestFlight
  • Third-party navigation apps can now show a map view in a vehicle’s instrument cluster display
  • A physical audio spatialisation engine helps game developers offer true-to-life audio
  • ShazamKit lets developers integrate audio recognition technology from Shazam directly into their apps

“We’re thrilled to provide our developer community with powerful new tools and technologies to help create even more compelling and higher quality apps, while engaging with their users in all new ways through the App Store,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations.

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