Upcoming iOS 7 APIs: Gaming Improvements, Multitasking Support, AirDrop, and More
During Monday's WWDC keynote, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, mentioned that iOS 7 would add 1,500 new APIs to Apple's SDK, including iBeacons, MFi game controllers, and new multitasking options.
These APIs reveal promising new features that developers will be able to incorporate into future app and hardware releases, offering new gaming technology, new location tracking options, and more. Here's a closer look at a few of the most notable APIs:
iBeacons - According to MacWorld, iBeacons are designed to use the Bluetooth Low Energy profile for microlocation, allowing iOS devices to use Bluetooth 4.0 devices to access location data.
AirDrop from Activity Sheet - Apps will be able to incorporate AirDrop support, giving users the ability to share photos, documents and more with friends from within an app.
Apple Maps - iOS 7 will let developers include additional mapping features in apps, including 3D viewing experiences, direction related route information and map-based images.
MFi Game Controllers - iOS 7 includes support for MFi "Made for iPhone" Apple Certified hardware game controllers, which will allow manufacturers to create dedicated iOS gaming controllers, turning the iPhone and the iPad into gaming machines on par with handheld gaming systems. Apps will be able to be designed around the Game Controller framework, allowing for seamless connectivity. Our sister site TouchArcade has shared an image from Apple's developer library detailing a reference design of both a standalone controller and an iPhone enclosure.
Sprite Kit - The Sprite Kit framework is designed to allow developers to create high-performing 2D games, controlling sprite attributes like position, size, rotation, gravity, and mass. It includes built-in support for physics to make animations look realistic and it also includes particle systems for additional game effects.
Game Center - iOS 7 adds new turn-based gaming modes (including simultaneous turns, chats, and trades) along with new methods for player authentication and secure game score transmission. This feature is likely designed to cut down on hacked Game Center scores from jailbroken devices.
Multitasking and Background Downloads - Apple's new multitasking APIs are designed to allow apps to update and download content in the background at intelligently scheduled times. For example, a Twitter app might incorporate this functionality, downloading new content in the background while the phone is not otherwise in use, staying up to date without unnecessarily draining battery. Push notifications can also initiate content downloads.
Inter-App Audio - With Inter-App Audio, apps are able to share audio streams with other apps, an API that will make it even easier to use Apple's iDevices to create music.
60-fps Video Capture - iOS 7 will allow apps to capture video at up to 60 frames per second.
Peer-to-Peer Connectivity - This data transmission API is designed to allow users to discover nearby devices and initiate direct communication without Internet connectivity.
Apple has a slew of other APIs available for developers, which should bring a lot of changes to apps when iOS 7 is released. For additional information on iOS 7, we detailed many of the upcoming features and we also explored some of the hidden tidbits.