On June 5, Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC23) for developers. In this article, we have compiled the top 12 most important updates introduced at the WWDC23 and explained how they can affect your work in the App Store.
Apple announced iOS 17, which will be released in autumn 2023. The new OS is compatible with the iPhone XS and later models, which means that support for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X will soon be discontinued. We have compiled 12 major iOS 17 updates and some other news from WWDC23 that could affect your app’s performance, promotion, and internal metrics.
1. WatchOS 10
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WatchOS 10. Source: apple.com/newsroom
Apple previewed watchOS 10, which will feature new metrics, Workout Views, and Bluetooth connectivity for power meters. The new API enables popular coaching platforms such as TrainingPeaks to generate personalized workouts that can be seamlessly imported into the Fitness app.
Developers using HealthKit for workout tracking can now offer accurate calorie measurements for golf workouts by distinguishing between using a golf cart and walking on the green. Developers can also access data on cycling speed, pedaling frequency, and power, as well as mirror workouts from an Apple Watch to their iPhone.
Today, watchOS 10 is available as a developer beta and will be available as a free software update this fall.
2. Apple Vision Pro
Apple Vision Pro. Source: nbcnews.com
A new operating system called VisionOS was unveiled at the WWDC23 conference. This OS is specifically designed for AR glasses and aims to facilitate the development of augmented reality applications across various industries, including education, medicine, and entertainment, amongst others.
VisionOS boasts impressive machine learning model creation and training tools, along with tools for working with graphics and sound. These features allow developers to craft captivating and highly effective augmented reality applications for AR glasses.
3. Widgets and Live Activities
Widgets and Live Activities. Source: developer.apple.com
Now, with WidgetKit, you can implement interactivity and animated transition features, allowing users to interact with your app via a widget.
After optimizing for iOS 17, you’ll be able to show your widgets to users in StandBy mode on iPhone, as well as on the iPad lock screen and the Mac desktop. This will help users stay up to date with your app’s current events in real time directly from the lock screen.
Thanks to SwiftUI, the system automatically adapts the colors and spacing of your widget according to the context and expands the range of its use on various platforms.
4. Advanced StoreKit features
Apple has announced more advanced StoreKit features that showcase your products through Apple’s platform: StoreView, ProductView, and SubscriptionStoreView.
StoreKit Views opens up new opportunities for creating reliable and efficient in-app sales and subscription systems across all Apple platforms. Just one line of code can clearly reflect information about the description, cost, and duration of each level of the proposed purchase for the user. Apart from this, you can also get additional benefits from App Store Server API updates and improvements in StoreKit testing in Xcode, in the Apple testing environment, and in TestFlight.
Apple has added MapKit to SwiftUI to make it easier to integrate maps into your apps. In addition, you can create breathtaking map shots using the Detailed City Experience feature. You can also adjust the camera and viewing angle to provide users with spectacular views of city maps.
SharePlay will allow iOS 17 users to connect their devices to work together with any app that supports SharePlay, without the need for additional settings.
SharePlay allows you to share vivid experiences in real time when using FaceTime and Messages. AirDrop in iOS 17 allows you to quickly connect devices to work together without additional configuration in any app that supports SharePlay.
The new sharing context menu in FaceTime and the SharePlay interface makes it easier to find SharePlay-enabled apps in iOS and iPadOS. Apps that support SharePlay are now able to efficiently transfer large files to all participants in a session.
7. Assistive Access
Accessibility features. Source: apple.com/newsroom
Apple has introduced a new Assistive Access feature, which will help users with cognitive impairment to use technology and apps on iPhone and iPad. This feature offers an interface with high-contrast buttons and large text labels and also allows you to use Personal Voice to create a synthesized voice to communicate with loved ones. For people with visual impairments, the Point and Speak mode has been added, which allows you to control smart home and other devices using voice commands.
Apple has introduced Passkeys, a new authentication technology, which will allow users to log in to sites and apps without the use of passwords. Instead, Passkeys use cryptographic keys that are stored on the user’s device and generated automatically. This will simplify the authentication process and increase user security on the Internet.
TipKit. Source: developer.apple.com
TipKit is a new tool that will help effectively introduce your users to the right features at the right time. This framework presents templates that easily adapt to the appearance of your app, and are similar to what users see in system apps. With TipKit, you can customize targeted tips to match the user’s current context and control how often they are shown to avoid the repetitions of tips, even if they have already appeared on another device of the same user.
SwiftData introduces a new framework for efficient data management within your apps. You can describe models using standard Swift code, eliminating the need for external editors. With SwiftData, you gain automatic relationship management, undo/redo action support, seamless iCloud synchronization, and several other helpful features. SwiftData also seamlessly integrates with SwiftUI, granting unrestricted access to data and ensuring up-to-date view counts at all times.
11. App Shortcuts
At WWDC23, Apple also unveiled the App Shortcuts feature that will allow users to quickly launch app features using voice commands or on-screen gestures. For example, you can set up a shortcut for sending a message to a specific contact or launching a specific app feature. This will simplify and speed up work with Apple devices.
By applying the App Shortcuts feature, you’ll be able to automatically highlight important features of your app in Spotlight. The new design makes working with your app’s shortcuts even more convenient. And thanks to advanced natural language processing capabilities, users can manage shortcuts with voice commands.
Push Notifications. Source: developer.apple.com
Push Notifications will allow developers to send more interactive and customizable notifications to users’ devices. New features include the option to add interactive elements to notifications, as well as to customize notifications depending on a user’s context and behavior. In addition, Apple introduced a new API for managing notifications, which will allow developers to more accurately configure and manage notifications in their apps.
The major updates introduced in WWDC23 encompass a wide range of enhancements, including interactive widgets, in-app purchase tools, SharePlay support, improved accessibility, the implementation of cryptographic keys (Passkeys) instead of passwords, the use of TipKit for user training, the introduction of the SwiftData framework for efficient data management, improvements to push notifications, and the ability to add a website to the Dock or home screen.
With these significant improvements, you will have the opportunity to elevate your app’s interface and offer users a more comprehensive set of useful tools and features. Using these advancements, you can optimize your app page to achieve higher conversion rates and enhance app visibility.