Why is the iOS platform attractive to developers?

By Jonathan Hassell

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) begins in San Francisco today. Apple’s iOS platform is one of the leading mobile platforms in the world and is responsible for a swath of improvements in the mobile landscape over the past decade.

The following are some of the best capabilities — both new and mature — iOS offers to mobile developers:

Its extended ecosystem

iOS is more extensible than ever before. Apple has made a big deal about promoting an ecosystem of devices and objects around the iOS platform, with the iPhone naturally at the center. This approach is powerful because it attracts more purchasers and keeps consumers engaged with their devices longer, as so much is plugged into the experience.

This phenomenon explains the presence of HomeKit home automation products; HealthKit devices for measuring your exercise, levels of physical activity and basic vital signs; and MapKit for bringing location-aware apps and devices to a deeper level of integration with your daily devices.

Its multitasking capabilities

The iOS platform now supports multitasking as well. As of iOS 9, you can run two iOS apps at the same time and take advantage of platform-sponsored multitasking hooks to get your app displayed alongside another. Essentially, within the Interface Builder software that’s part of the Xcode app development suite, you can use size classes to build in interfaces for your app for when users activate it in Slide Over mode, Split View mode or Picture in Picture mode. This is particularly useful if you are developing an iPad app that targets the giant screen of the new iPad Pro.

Its use of Swift

iOS is also one of the places in which you can use Swift. Swift is a modern, easy to use and powerful programming language pioneered by Apple that makes it much easier for developers to build and deliver great app experiences. Swift is fast and secure, requires significantly less code and can be used by even novice programmers. With Swift, you’ll still have the programming concepts common to all development languages, including variables, loops, structures and arrays, but these elements are exposed in a more intuitive way that makes it easy to see and understand what’s happening in your app.

If you are interested in more information about developing mobile apps for the iOS platform, you may want to consider attending the WWDC. It’s a great place to discover what’s new on the platform, learn best practices and network with fellow iOS developers and third-party toolmakers.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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