Apple will release its latest iOS 8 update in the fall, and the developers will finally have access to many features that have always been available on Android. This is not only great for developers, but for the consumers who will benefit from all of the awesome apps that can be created. Apple iPhones and Macs will soon have the best of both worlds: a controlled ecosystem of apps that make the App Store such a pleasure to use, but with the power of more complete operating system access. Here are the top three updates that developers will most love:
CloudKit and Document sharing between apps
This is actually two separate updates, but both fall into the category of problems that should have been fixed long ago. CloudKit will finally give developers full access to the power of cloud computing from within their apps, using iCloud.
Secondly, working with documents on iOS is highly irritating and awkward. iOS 8 promises to fix most of those problems. With the ability to share documents between apps, and to use them through iCloud, iOS may actually become more usable in a business environment.
Custom sharing options
Any app has the ability to share items however the developers see fit, but there is currently no way for an app to access sharing from the photo album directly. When a user opens content and clicks the share button, there are only a handful of sharing options. iOS 8 allows developers to add their own sharing button for their app. This is a huge update, as it will give developers with smaller, less-well-known apps the ability to have a spot next to the big-wigs such as Facebook and Twitter. It will also make it much easier for people to remember that they have other sharing apps on their phone, and that sharing is only one click away.
Custom actions are hands down the best new option available to developers. These actions are available from the same screen as the sharing options, but will allow developers to do pretty much anything they want with the content the user has opened. For example, an Evernote custom action for a webpage opened in Safari may be to clip the entire web page. Currently, that action cannot be performed on the iPhone, even though it’s available on other platforms. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Developers will be able to come up with all sorts of creative ways to manipulate content.