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What to Watch for in iOS Development in 2023

Developers should keep an eye on these factors and use them to think both strategically and creatively about what end users might want and need.

Ralph Pastor

By Ralph Pastor

A Principal at BairesDev, Ralph Pastor support's companies driving today's digital transformation with the best LATAM senior software engineer talent.

10 min read

The year 2023 will be exciting for iOS development. Developers can look forward to new functionality within the OS that will enable new levels of creativity. Apple is also updating features for development teams. Plus, high-level technology trends like 5G, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) support additional possibilities. In the following sections we explore all these changes and what they might mean for developers. 

High-Level Technology Trends 

Before we delve into what’s new in iOS development, let’s talk about what’s happening in development overall. The following technologies are important for all app developers to remain aware of. 

  • 5G. The fifth generation (5G) of mobile connectivity provides faster speeds and data transfer, and lower latency. In 2023, 5G will be the mobile technology standard for Apple and other brands. The adoption of 5G will enable higher quality apps with more features.  
  • AI and ML. Artificial intelligence (AI) and related technology machine learning (ML) enable things like prediction and personalization. They allow developers to create new apps more quickly and easily, and also boost the performance of apps themselves. 
  • Beacons. These small, wireless devices can collect important data in retail settings, providing the opportunity for connected apps to send useful information — such as relevant coupons — to customers who opt in to receive it. 
  • IoT. Internet of Things (IoT) technology enables ordinary objects, such as smart thermostats, to send information to apps, giving users the ability to control or operate more items in their environments. 
  • Mobile commerce. More people are shopping through mobile apps rather than websites, a phenomenon known as m-commerce. This trend is expected to continue, giving app developers new opportunities to improve shopping experiences and increase revenue. 
  • VR and AR. VR and AR allow app users to immerse themselves in various experiences. They offer new directions for all kinds of apps, including gaming, travel, and retail. 
  • Wearables. Watches, rings, and even clothing can use apps to enable a wide variety of functions. This technology is advancing quickly, especially in industries like finance, for things like quick payment, and healthcare for monitoring physical conditions. 

New Features for Development Teams

Developers of iOS applications should watch for the following features to take advantage of the technologies listed above. 

  • Xcode 14 improvements. Xcode 14 includes new enhancements to increase productivity. The application can be used across devices, includes an App Icon feature, and contains language and editing improvements. 
  • Xcode Cloud. Built into Xcode, this continuous integration and delivery cloud service enables Apple developers to automatically build apps in the cloud, allowing them to build, test, and deliver apps more efficiently. 
  • New gaming capabilities. Metal 3 is the latest version of Apple’s graphics framework. Its new features enhance performance, including MetalFX Upscaling, a new fast resource loading API, and the ability to add activity views into the dashboard.
  • Enhancements to Swift and SwiftUI. These platforms contain new features to streamline the development process. They include Package plugins to run custom commands and custom layouts to create various app layout versions. The following video explains the importance of Swift. 

  • WeatherKit. This feature enables developers to integrate weather forecasts directly into apps. It is available through both native Swift and REST APIs, and includes API calls with an Apple Developer Program membership. 
  • SKAdNetwork API. This API includes features designed to help advertisers measure how ads perform in apps while preserving user privacy. It also enables developers to get more information about conversions for smaller campaigns.
  • New APIs. New APIs available to Apple developers include widgets on the lock screen, live text, collaboration tools, passkeys, MapKit, focus filters, automatic shortcuts, watchOS 9, RoomPlan, and live activities. 

What Is iOS 16 Beta 4?

The operating system iOS 16 Beta 4 is the latest version of Apple’s OS for mobile devices. The iOS 16 beta 4 release date was in July 2022. In creating new apps, developers should be aware of the features end users will be able to access with iOS 16. They include the following. 

  • App clips. These programs enable iPhone or iPad users to perform specific functions — such as previewing apps and games or making payments — without having to download an entire app. 
  • Apple Pay and Wallet. New abilities include splitting purchases into smaller payments, sharing keys in Wallet, sharing ID information, and managing all payment requests from the Apple Cash card in Wallet. 
  • Focus. Users will gain the ability to connect the lock screen to the focus. Other new features include lock screen suggestions, home screen page suggestions, focus filters, focus schedules, and an allow and silence list. 
  • iCloud Shared Photo Library. This feature includes sharing a photo library with family members, smart setup rules and sharing suggestions, and the ability to collaborate on a collection. 
  • Lock screen. Enhancements include the ability to customize the lock screen, the capability to easily switch lock screens, lock screen editing, photo shuffle, live activities, and widgets. 
  • Messages. Users will be able to edit a message, undo the sending of a message, mark messages as unread, recover recently deleted messages, send invitations to collaborate, and send updates about collaboration. 
  • Passkeys. This function replaces passwords, making the device safer from phishing and website leaks, and enabling users to sign in on and sync information across devices. 
  • Siri. Updates to the assistant include the ability to run shortcuts with no setup required, ask about capabilities, insert emojis when sending texts, and get expanded offline support. 

New Factors Drive iOS Development

The year 2023 will be exciting for iOS development, given high-level technology trends like the IoT, beacons, and AI and ML. Other factors include Apple’s new features for development teams and the many new features in iOS 16. Developers should keep an eye on these updates and use them to think both strategically and creatively about what end users might want and need. 

Ralph Pastor

By Ralph Pastor

A Principal at BairesDev, Ralph Pastor support's companies driving today's digital transformation with the best LATAM senior software engineer talent. Delivering end-to-end, scalable, and high-performing solutions across the full spectrum of modern technologies is his passion.

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