11 May Evolving of iOS App Development – Future Predictions
Few people could have predicted the impact the iPhone would have on the smartphone industry. When Steve Jobs originally unveiled it in 2007. In the intervening 12 years, the iPhone has evolved from a smartphone with simple functionalities to a powerful, handheld computing device.
Development for the iPhone has similarly evolved from those early days. When it was first released, it was announced that native third-party apps would not be supported. Developers would have to use web 2.0 and AJAX to create applications.
In time, however, Apple made the iPhone’s APIs available, created what we now know as the App Store, and the rest is history. Without warning, the app economy burgeoned in size and growth— and although it started off with providing the very basic apps for its users. It continued to expand until it went from having a modest 550 apps to over two million.
So when we look into the future, it’s crystal clear that there are still massive changes in the making that will continue to influence iOS app development.
Web Technology Apps
As mentioned, iOS app developers could only use web technologies to create iPhone apps. Even if they had innovative ideas that they wanted to bring to life, they were limited in resources and time. If they wanted to build for iOS, they used Swift or Objective-C. If they wanted to tackle Android app development, there was Java or Kotlin. It was one or the other without very much room to choose both. But thanks to newer technologies like React that essentially functioned as a bridge, the cycle came full circle. Developers now have an exponential amount of freedom to tackle a project without having to worry about which platform to use.
This is an appealing entry point into iOS app development for many of today’s developers who especially come from a background of web application development. Before React came into fruition, developers had to do double the work and write their code twice: for Android and for iOS. It was a tedious process having to keep the creative process for both entities separate, and cross-platform development proves to be a perfect solution.
With support from tech giants like Microsoft and Google, cross-platform development. Where a developer can write for iOS and Android simultaneously— continues to gain traction and grow in demand.
Microsoft is only one example of a company that’s taking the lead in this arena with its acquisition of Xamarin, a software company that provides tools to help develop native Android, iOS, and Windows apps. Using C#, developers can now share their codes across various platforms without the hassle of having to rewrite or tweak their work.
Perhaps the biggest impact on iOS app development is Apple’s Project Marzipan, as reported on by Bloomberg. Essentially, Marzipan’s goal is to provide a UI Kit that allows iOS apps to run on macOS. The apps will respond to touch input when running on an iPhone or iPad and to a keyboard and mouse when running on a Mac.
This could be a big boon to developers, opening up an all-new market where the amount of work they have to do prior Marzipan was exponentially more than the workload that they have now. Marzipan is still a work in progress but it only comes to show how much promise it has in the near future. As it stands right now if a developer has a successful app in the iOS App Store that they want to bring to the Mac. They have to start over, creating a new app for macOS. With Marzipan changing up the game, there’s hope that it will soon end up in the future and make the developer’s task easy.
For many developers, time and money involves are prohibitive. Even if the app is successfully brought over, the developer may struggle over the long term. To maintain feature balance between the two different versions.
With Marzipan, a developer will be able to focus on making and maintaining a great app. While Apple’s APIs handle the platform-specific details in the background.
Without a doubt, there’s never been a more exciting time for iOS app developers. Web-based technologies, easier cross-platform support, and parity between iOS and macOS will continue to open up new opportunities for developers.
Guest Post by fueled