Top mobile app development companies report: iOS 11

by AppFutura on Aug 10, 2017 / iOS Developers Resources
Top mobile app development companies report: iOS 11

Operating systems are a big part of mobile app development. The main function of the OS is managing the tasks and performance of a mobile device. iOS and Android OS provide a basis for all the apps, big and small, to run on.

OS also affect the type of features that can be built into the mobile apps, providing users with the security that they ask for and at the very least, allowing them to switch their phone on. Unfortunately every OS can have its issues, that’s why companies like Apple continuously upgrade their digital operating system. They can also use the OS updates as an opportunity to deal with any major glitches, and provide users and mobile app development companies alike with the upgrades they crave.

Apple recently launched its latest operating system, the highly anticipated iOS 11 preview. Needless to say, the public were quite ecstatic when hearing this news. To see if Apple is able to meet the expectations that come with this hype, we have asked some top mobile app developers worldwide about the new iOS 11.

iOS 11: a new era?

To get a better idea of how the release of Apple’s iOS 11 will affect the development of the iOS mobile apps and the user experience, we started by asking the mobile app development companies about their thoughts upon hearing the news of its release.

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iOS 11 is currently in beta (the latest beta version was recently launched). The final version of the operating system is scheduled to be released to the wide audience in September (no confirmed date yet). In our opinion, iOS 11 will be a big leap for the iPads. It will also be interesting to see the features and performances of the new AR (Augmented Reality) or VR (Virtual Reality) kits and ML (Machine Learning) technologies.

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Launched in early June in beta form, it is a clear indicator that the upcoming iPhone batch will be something exciting. iOS app developers will find new avenues in developing more Augmented Reality applications with ARKit which gives the most amazing user experience. From new camera APIs to multi-tasking feature, iOS11 has a lot to offer and looks promising.

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We believe it’s a tech revolution with iOS 11, it has sparked the great interest among iOS app developers with its better-than-ever features.

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In our opinion, the new iOS 11 is not revolutionary. Still, it is a very good and quality upgrade of the system and all its infrastructure.

What we liked after the presentation, even more than iOS itself, was XCode 9 and all the improvements for iOS developers that it includes. Especially enjoyed debugging through WiFi. This feature was introduced a long time ago and after several years of pause it appeared again.

Drag'n'Drop, NFC, AR, VR, CoreML - so many sweets for app developers to investigate and so many kinds of new mobile apps for users should appear this year.

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The new iOS iteration brings to the table a lot more flexibility for the users.The update is finally embracing the idea that a user needs more control across Apple devices. This is demonstrated by its new features, for instance, the Files App that facilitate the management of all the local and cloud storage from a single interface.

Under the purview of iOS 11, the keypad gets an impressive face lift. With the enlarged screen size of iPhone (holds true for iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus/7 Plus), typing with one hand may be difficult for some users. Thankfully, the latest rendition of the OS addresses the issue by allowing the user to select left or right keyboard option by just tapping the "global key". Moving on, the iPad also gets an upgraded keypad with iOS 11. Now, every letter in the keypad has an alternate character, that is revealed through a charming pop up that allows a user to use special characters without having to switch out of the keypad entirely.

The impressive AR demo gives a glimpse into the new possibilities with this technology, particularly in gaming and entertainment industry.

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Apple has recently released the iOS 11 developer beta 3 for iOS app developers and from our point of view, iOS 11 is more developer-oriented than user-oriented. It is a major step taken by Apple to help the mobile app developers to create more innovative applications and serve the users with mesmerizing experience.

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We are really excited about working on the new iOS 11. Our team has already started trying out the new options it gives to the iOS app developers.

As mobile app developers, we find iOS 11 to be full of features which would help us design and develop exceptional apps. With a great deal of focus given to improve Machine Learning, we will be able to develop smarter apps. Talking about smarter apps, Siri also got a lot smarter now with a more natural voice. With a new block based KVO, the new APIs for Swift and Foundation seem promising as well.

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I can quickly wrap up my thoughts on it by claiming that iOS 11 is one of the top releases ever. I am not saying it because of one feature that I personally loved. I am talking about its attention to detail and the tiny features that people use in their day-to-day life.

As an iPad user, iOS 11 is huge for me. There are so many significant changes that are making my iPad more productive and enjoyable. I really like the new QuickType and Multitasking feature.

The new features of iOS 11

It goes without saying that Apple’s latest release will make a difference to the mobile app industry. The question is how extreme this difference will be. Apple promises an exciting experience with an array of new features as well as updates to a few of the old ones.

Will iOS change the way mobile app developers make apps? On the surface, the idea of a brand new operating system is quite intriguing. But how much will that intrigue translate into concrete upgrades to the Apple App Store?

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Well, iOS 11 has revealed a number of features. It has sparked great interest among iOS app developers with its awe-inspiring features. Mobile app development companies can now extend app capabilities to Messages, Apple Pay, Maps and much more. This provides better flexibility for third parties and surely a benefit for end users.

In iOS 11, Apple has focused a lot in Machine Learning, specifically its work in natural language processing. Such capabilities have the potential to make a huge improvement in the user experience of mobile apps. Also, the applications now can offer transactional features through voice control. Since voice grows in importance, supporting SiriKit should be a high priority for iOS app developers.

Also, with the launch of ARKit, there are lot of new high hopes foreseen. Apple is giving Augmented Reality a big boost. Specifically, e-commerce app should start leveraging such tools, involving users for virtually trying the items before they actually buy them.

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Apple has improved a lot. In iOS 11 they do not focus on new features much but they have immensely worked on the enhancement of the existing features. As iOS developers, one may need to deal with the camera, Maps, notification, security, In-app payment, Music, etc. Apple worked incredibly on these things and improved to such extent that iOS app development companies can work smoothly and improve user experience.

For Maps, Apple will now support indoor mall and airport maps with iOS 11. Siri has been relaunched with a translation feature and the SDK has also been provided to mobile app developers for their use. Apple always comes up with something new to the users like Do Not Disturb While Driving option. In its last WWDC, Apple focused on how these improved features will help users as well as on the simplicity of the iOS app development as well.

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If we consider only iOS features without taking in account new features that can be implemented in the apps, probably the best new feature would be an updated control center and one hand keyboard. Also, a minor but pretty useful feature is app auto-deletion.

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The best feature of iOS app is undoubtedly the File app. That's something the Apple user community has been asking for a while now. With iOS 11, users can finally access their files in a more localized manner. The app will not only display the recent files from the iPad, but also from other iOS devices. You can now organize, store or access all the files from iCloud, including files saved in 3rd party storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox. As users rely on the availability of a remote document and photo repository more and more, it will become an essential app for all iOS users.

The updated Apple Map is yet another high point of iOS 11. The apple is far more robust and brings great value to an Apple user. For instance, users will have access to lane assist, speed limit information, which are useful inputs for safe driving. In addition to outdoor maps, the update also provides users indoor maps that include POIs and detailed directional information.

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The iOS 11 has come up with various new features like the ‘look and feel’ of the App Store is completely changed, iMessage app is automatically synchronized in iCloud, Control center is revamped, one-handed keyboard is introduced, Apple Pay is integrated with Messaging app, and so on. But, the features we find the best from iOS app developers point of view are:

  • Apple Music: The iOS 11 MusicKit framework allows iOS app developers to get an access to 40 million songs present in Apple’s cloud catalog. Also, it enables mobile app development companies to make mobile applications that support AirPlay 2 and so, give a spellbinding music experience.
  • Machine Learning: Apple is providing a Machine Learning framework, Core ML, which will enable iOS app developers to build more intelligent apps with just a few lines of code. The Core ML framework can help in providing better performance in case of different features like face tracking, text detection, face detection, landmarks tracking, Image registration, barcode detection and so on. Core ML also supports vision framework (for image analysis), foundation framework (for natural language processing) and GamePlayKit framework (for estimating learned trees).
  • ARKit: Earlier, the process of integrating AR technology to iPhone and iPad apps was lengthy and complicated. But now, it is much simpler and effective. The ARKit has eliminated a lot of the busywork from creating software, enabling iOS app development companies to target on how they can use the functionality to delivering engaging experiences. In a nutshell, the mobile app developers can easily integrate digital objects and information with the real environment, and take the apps experience beyond the screen.
  • Siri Integration with third-party apps: In iOS 11, Siri integration support is expected to be available for many more categories. That means the mobile app developers will be able to provide a compelling, voice-controlled experience to the app users. The users will be able to use the apps in a better way. They will also be able to talk to devices for any service, from ordering a pizza to make a call; they need not poke at the devices with fingers.
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Some of our favorite new features of iOS 11 are the drag and drop API, the UI refinements, the new APIs for Swift and Foundation, and variable screen refresh rates.

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So there are various best features that I would like to mention here about the new iOS 11.

The first one is Multitasking: The design is aesthetic, it displays a grid of Windows as a substitute of unnecessary iPad’s display as with predecessor iOS 9. The Multitasking feature the Control Center spontaneously.

Customizable Control Center: It is customizable now. You can add quick access to Low Power Mode, HomeKit lights, Do Not Disturb while driving and Apple TV remote. Now we have some nice choices to make instantly.

Redesigned App Store: The redesigned App Store follows the same design as Apple Music and adds multiple new functionality.

The App Files brings all your devices files together. Now you can easily organize, browse and search all your files in one place. Moreover, it has a particular location for your recent files also.

The last but not least is Apple Music’s social features. Now Apple Music allows users to create their profiles with the recently listened music and playlists. You can listen and exchange playlists with your friends here.

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We think this new update is the boost iPads need to get back into the tablet market as a strong device. With the new pricing and new OS, the iPad could gain more users looking for productivity on the mobile devices (office and professional work).

As for the iPhone, the updated QR code/Document scanner is the best feature.

The worst new features of iOS 11

As mentioned before, an advanced operating system means new updates and features. These are usually aimed at fixing old issues related to aspects such as security, performance and capabilities. Apple also works to include new features that are accounted for by the latest developments in digital technology. But what happens when these updates and features aren’t up to scratch? We are sad to say that this is always a possibility. To understand where Apple could have slipped up, with the aim of giving readers a complete review, we have asked the developers what the worst new features of the iOS 11 are.

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We believe it is too early to point out the worst iOS 11 feature.

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The worst feature is that support of only 64bit applications can be a trouble for someone as well as now unsupported iPhone 5 users. Although, frankly speaking, we do not think that it is a big disadvantage – we see it as a required step for evolution.

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While it's presumptuous to say the worst, Apple Pay to transfer money to another Apple user, seems like a "me-too" attempt by Apple to expand into the digital payment market, currently dominated by apps like Venmo. While competition is always great for customers, at the moment, we are skeptical about this new feature. We are yet to see how Apple Pay money transfer differentiates itself and drives awareness as well as user engagement for this feature.

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It’s quite tricky to say which feature would be considered as a bad feature until the users begin to explore iOS 11 completely. But yes, from the iOS app developer point of view, we feel that the feature of automatically uninstalling rarely used apps can be a bit annoying. This might affect their app ranking.

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While none of the features of iOS 11 qualify to be bad, we think that it would have been better if iOS 11 was optimized to consume less battery with ARKit. The current situation is daunting for iOS app developers as well as users. We believe that this is something that Apple could improvise upon in the future updates.

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One of the worst features of the new iOS 11 is its ugly Control Center. Thanks to customizability. the design is terrible. The other thing is its Notification Center and Lock Screen combo since both are one entity. It does not make any sense to combine these different features because they had no significant issues with usability.

The No Group FaceTime, even after seven years of FaceTime, it is still difficult to initiate a FaceTime call with more than one friend or family member. As we all know, this group call feature is on computers for almost a decade now.

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The Control Center, because Apple is trying to make it like Android’s Quick Settings, but it is less polished.

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We call them nasty surprises: users using older generation iOS devices will be disappointed to see support extended to their firmware ended. iOS 11 is dropping support for 32-bit devices, the iPhone 5 and 5c.

The most useful features for app developers on iOS 11

Every operating system has it’s ‘thing’. For iOS users is the ability to fulfill the user’s desire for AR functionality. When evaluating the features of an operating system, it’s prudent to analyse the use and the benefits that it can provide. Some new features will be useful, others, a mere evolution.

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Most likely NFC support will be very useful for many apps. Moreover, we believe many apps that have only an Android version will get an iOS version. Drag'n'Drop will also probably become much more popular within the apps.

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The AR kit, is quite impressive, offering developers a list of tools and framework to create highly interactive and useful mobile apps. The ability to see an augmented version of the real world (in real time) on the screen of the phone with all the moving parts is a sight to behold. We believe integration of AR would be done in healthcare, education, and safety training protocols. Entertainment and creative fields of work are other groups that the AR kit will find takers.

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According to our experts, the ARKit and QR code support will surely be advantageous for apps that will be created in 2017.

The ARKit framework for iPhone and iPad development have become much simple and effective, allowing mobile app developers to provide exclusive AR experiences integrated with real world elements. The iOS app developers have already started taking the perks of this technology. One example is 3D visualization of menu items instead of flat images on the paper menu.

With QR Code support, the mobile app developers will be able to offer quick and effective logging to the user. Users have to just scan the QR codes through the camera and they will go straight to the associated website or web page.

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With CoreML and Vision, two new frameworks introduced in iOS 11, we believe that Machine Learning support will be the most useful feature for the mobile apps that will be developed in 2017. Machine Learning has a lot of potential and we believe that this potential will be exploited a lot with the help of the new frameworks for iOS 11. Apple has been known for the quality of the products that the company releases, hence it will be easier to trust CoreML and Vision to be the best solutions for Machine Learning.

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Artificial Intelligence is nothing new, we have been relying on Siri for some time now. AI can perform organic brain functionality. It can solve your problems and make decisions. Apps can avail the opportunity through AI. Apps can also execute operations such as language recognition or speech (a universal translator for example).

Mobile apps that will not opt or go with the AI will quickly diminish or perish in the market value or size. So, AI will definitely prove to be a useful thing for apps that will be developed in 2017, but the main concern is its implementation.

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iPad Multitasking features will help out greatly, and the new AR/VR and ML libraries (but it will more likely be for 2018).

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Although iOS 11 has come up with a bundle of goodies both for mobile app developers and users, certain benefits are simply outstanding if we specifically talk in terms of application development. There is still much to do in areas of iOS app development. The focus areas are applications of Augmented Reality and mobile payments.

Apple Pay (by interacting with Maps and Siri) functionality of iOS 11 offers a new testing environment that helps users in testing cards directly on the device. Hence, iOS app developers will be able to build applications that give distinguished user experience. Along with this, Xcode 9 is among other great new editing tools that include a brand-new compiler written specifically for Swift. It promises to improve build times and file indexing.

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It is great that iOS mobile apps will be more intelligent and completely revolutionized with the usage and power of Machine Learning with Core ML in iOS 11. In 2017, mobile apps will have Maps, Apple Pay, Siri and Apple Music to create a stir in the mobile app industry.

Having written this, Apple Maps has improved a lot and now iPhone and iPad users prefer the Apple Maps app over the others. SiriKit, this is another domain that is expected to be included in lots of apps this year. With improved Apple Music and secure Apple Pay, many apps this year will have these features.

The technology that will benefit the most with iOS 11

An operating system will always lean towards a certain type of technology, though it’s fair to say that it can benefit more than one at the same time. In 2017, the four of the most common considerations are mobile payments, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. All of them are quite interesting, pushing companies to consider user security, gaming experience and the overall performance of the device.

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At the moment, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality have the entire world piqued, including us at LeewayHertz. iOS 11 appears to be a platform that will present mobile app developers the right set of tools to create the next generation of apps. The natural language processing APIs and face detection could facilitate the creation of new age social networking apps.

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What we believe is that both AR technology and Machine learning will gain more attention with iOS 11.

The ARKit framework for iPhone and iPad app development is more simple and straightforward when compared to that for development in the case of Microsoft Hololens and Google Tango. This increases the chances of iOS app developers to try their hands in integrating AR technology into their apps and deliver breathtaking Augmented Reality experience to the users.

The Machine Learning framework Core ML lets the mobile app developers design more intelligent apps with just a few lines of code. That means one needs not write a lengthy code to include features like face detection, object tracking and text detections into its app.

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Mobile payments, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning...The technology that will benefit the most is Machine Learning. A lot of work is already in progress in the field of Machine Learning and with Apple stepping up the game, a world full of possibilities has been exposed to the mobile app developers working on Machine Learning.

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In my personal opinion, Augmented Reality will change the way we live today. It focuses on product imagining to offer businesses the capability to show virtual things instantly in a real environment. We have listed down the three benefits of Augmented Reality here:

  • Urban exploration: AR will completely change the way we navigate the world, both outdoors and indoors.
  • Safety and rescue operations: AR can provide a 3D map of the place to equip first responders with the maximum information available.
  • Entertainment: haven’t you played a game called Pokémon Go? In the entertainment sector, we may see a revolution.
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Machine Learning, all major platforms are investing in ML features for their products and services.

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Apple’s iOS 11 showcases a range of improvements to iOS-using enterprises. In terms of mobile payments, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, iOS 11 has come up with a lot of advancements and enhancements. New Machine Learning APIs in iOS 11 offer enterprises an opportunity to create personalized and intelligent applications also extending to Siri support

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It is great that iOS mobile apps will be more intelligent and completely revolutionized with the usage and power of Machine Learning with Core ML in iOS 11. In 2017, mobile apps will have Maps, Apple Pay, Siri and Apple Music to create a stir in the mobile app industry.

Undeniably, all the new technologies have their own and specific set of benefits for the users, so we believe that all the functionalities will carve a unique niche in the user experience with iOS 11.

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We are a bit skeptical about the AR functionality, VR looks like something that could be more useful. Both of them may spread widely for interior designers and architects. Our team believes that CoreML will benefit with iOS 11.

ML is very trendy today and many startups will try to use its capabilities. It might be used sometimes even when it is not needed but simply because everyone uses it. Anyway, we believe ML will be very popular in the development of new apps and extending with Machine Learning features of the existing apps.

Conclusion

This report is a summary of the new iOS 11 looking at the good, the bad and the ugly of the new OS. It’s obvious that the latest Apple operating system has given mobile app developers a lot to work with. iOS 11 presents some interesting advancements in terms of apps, support for innovative development tools and increased productivity. In this report, mobile app development companies have given us quite a lot to think about, taking it as an opportunity to give the public a very deep insight into the relationship between mobile app development and the operating system that they work with.

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The other significant feature of iOS 11 is Apple Maps. The updated Apple Map allows to navigate through malls and airports, check out all the security terminals, food courts and much more. This is a grand opportunity for iOS app developers to give an enhanced indoor experience to the users.

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iOS is undoubtedly the most advanced mobile operating software of the world. However, with iOS 11, Apple has set a new standard. It will make iPhone and iPad better than before. The new version of iOS has now opened amazing possibilities with Augmented Reality in apps and games. iOS 11 has made the iPad and iPhone the most intelligent, personal and powerful devices they have ever been.

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iOS 11 looks to be a really interesting new update, and it remains to be seen what the actual value will be in the real world once launched and used by the iPhone/iPad users.

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Certain other improvements in iOS 11 have opened doors for app developers for exhibiting their talent in the iOS app development domain. Now iOS 11 apps will allow you to engage with notifications while the device is still in a lock screen. So, iOS app developers now have to rethink how to implement notifications and the type of experience they want to give the application itself. There is a lot to do with iOS application development.

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We need to look not only at the iOS features itself, the power of Apple is in their tightly coupled ecosystem. If we try to find something groundbreaking in any new presentation from Apple as it was before - revolution will be most likely out of the iPhone itself but in watchOS, tvOS, HomeKit or... something absolutely new. While the majority will try to find something extraordinary in the updated phone they can miss the fact that it has been integrated in something revolutionary already.

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