The mobile market is evolving at a rapid pace, and those who fail to keep up with it are destined to fall off Apple’s best seller charts. Every time a new iOS update is released, mobile app developers and app owners rush to take advantage of newly introduced features to gain a competitive edge over other apps on the market. When upgrading your iOS mobile application, you should consider taking a more holistic approach by strategically implementing future-oriented architectural upgrades and major new features.
Rewrite the App Using Swift
If you’re currently maintaining an app written in Objective-C, perhaps the most beneficial long-term goal is to rewrite it in Swift, Apple’s new multi-paradigm programming language designed to work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks.
Compared to Objective-C, Swift is more resilient to erroneous code as it addresses such common errors as null pointers. Because Swift got rid of a lot of legacy dependencies, it runs faster and is more compact. For example, Lyft’s iOS app went from 75,000 lines of code to 25,000 when it was rewritten from Objective-C to Swift. Consider hiring a mobile app development company if you’re afraid that you don’t have enough manpower to rewrite your app by yourself.
Use Rich Notifications
Introduced with the iOS 10 update, rich notifications add multimedia content to notifications, providing users with much more information at a glance. What’s more, rich notifications can be interactive and responsive. They bridge the gap between the operating system and apps and are among the hottest iOS 10 new features. While not every app benefits from notifications, the apps that use them should definitely switch to rich notifications as soon as possible. Images, GIFs, or location-based information can all add value and make users more likely to keep the notifications turned on.
Upgrade to 64-bit Architecture
With the upcoming release of iOS 11, Apple wants to drop 32-bit app support and focus solely on 64-bit apps. Judging by how long it took most users to upgrade to iOS 10, mobile app developers will find themselves scrambling to convert their apps to the 64-bit architecture unless they start working on iPhone app updates right now.
Add an Apple Watch Extension
The Apple Watch has become an integral part of the Apple ecosystem, and more and more users expect apps to take advantage of it. When you decide to update your iOS mobile app, try to come up with ideas how you could integrate it with the Apple Watch. From the iOS app development point-of-view, the App Programming Guide for watchOS is a must-read.
Take Advantage of 3D Touch
Introduced with the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the 3D Touch technology senses how deeply users press the display. You can use this technology to allow users to draw lines of varying thicknesses by manipulating the pressure, control games as if using an analogue controller, or conveniently access shortcuts and perform common tasks with fewer taps. Before implementing 3D Touch, make sure you have read and understand the iOS Human Interface Guidelines, which teach mobile app developers how to add 3D Touch to their apps in an optimal manner.
Integrate Touch ID
Designed to make logins and mobile payments faster and more secure, Touch ID uses a fingerprint identity sensor to authorized users. It integrates with Apple Pay, making it possible to make Apple Pay purchases in stores, within apps, and on websites in Safari. If your app requires users to enter login credentials or authorize their purchases, the implementation of Touch ID should be high on your list of priorities.
Include Picture in Picture Support
Does your app play videos? If so, then you need to include support for the Picture in Picture mode. While tablets may be used mostly for casual content consumption, increasingly more people rely on them to get things done. It’s difficult to stay productive when you can only see one app at the time, which is where the Picture in Picture mode fits in.