Among Apple's announcements at WWDC 2021 is a new Xcode feature called Xcode Cloud. According to Apple, this new capability will help developers accelerate app creation.
Xcode Cloud brings together all the processes and tools developers need to build, test and offer their apps using cloud services.
Additionally, Apple has announced events within the apps and custom product pages, which will allow developers to promote their apps and communicate with users in new ways.
For its part, the new version of the Swift programming language will allow the integration of competing models.
What is Xcode Cloud?
Xcode Cloud is a new cloud app delivery and continuous integration service designed specifically for Apple developers.
Xcode Cloud, included in Xcode 13, allows both independent developers and teams to build, test, and deploy apps more efficiently.
Because Xcode Cloud can auto-compile apps in the cloud, developers can dedicate the power of their Mac computers to other tasks.
Parallel testing in the cloud allows developers to test a simulation of their apps on all current Apple devices, implement versions for internal review processes, or send them to an external team with TestFlight to help refine betas.
New version of Swift
Swift is Apple's new programming language, which in its new version incorporates concurrent development options. This means that developers can write code that runs in parallel, which is essential when building apps that respond to user selections, while doing other tasks in the background.
According to Apple, Swift's concurrent model will allow developers to write code quickly, safely and with fewer errors according to the latest standards to take full advantage of the power of multi-core chips in Apple devices.
Additionally, the new version of Swift adds improvements to list views, search, accessibility features, multi-column tables, and more.
Object Capture: a step forward in Augmented Reality
RealityKit 2 releases Object Capture, a simple and powerful macOS Monterey API for creating high-quality photorealistic 3D models of real-world objects in minutes.
To create the 3D model, simply take photos with your iPhone, iPad or DSLR camera to transform the objects into AR-optimized 3D models. These models can be viewed in AR Quick Look or added to AR scenes from Reality Composer or Xcode.
Other developer tools and APIs
Apple offers developers a selection of new tools and APIs that will simplify their work and allow them to add entirely new features, all with maximum privacy.
- Xcode 13 incorporates powerful team development capabilities perfect for working with Xcode Cloud, as well as new collaboration features from GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab.
- With SharePlay, you can create new types of shared experiences for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users.1
- Le third party video calling apps can take advantage of the latest FaceTime enhancements, such as voice isolation, sound environment, and portrait mode.
- Le messaging app, now offer the ability to share users' status in conversations, and apps can have Siri announce incoming messages. The Notification APIs, meanwhile, allow for the sending of high-priority and communication app notifications even if Focus or Do Not Disturb features have been enabled.
- La new camera API improves image blending and can capture 1080p and high quality video snapshots during the same meeting.
- With TestFlight for Mac, developers can test features such as in-app purchases.
- To ensure customers secure in-app purchases, StoreKit 2 now includes new APIs that manage product ownership and subscription status, as well as support for testing in Xcode and Apple's secure environment.
- Le Safari extensions are available on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Developers can also create extensions in the Mail app.
- Le third party navigation app now they can view maps in a vehicle's digital dashboard, and the new carplay simulator for Mac helps make testing much more effective.
- Apps can offer cinema-quality experiences using spatial audio and distribute audio to make their content more engaging. And the physical audio specialization engine allows game developers to easily render ultra-realistic sound across all Apple platforms.
- With ShazamKit, developers can integrate Shazam's audio recognition technology directly into their apps. In this way, they can not only find the music within Shazam's extensive catalog of songs, but also identify the pre-recorded audio from the custom results created by the developers.
Betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 are now available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com.
Xcode Cloud is available as a free beta on a limited basis starting today. Access will expand in the summer and fall and will be available to all developers next year. More information on pricing and availability for Xcode Cloud will be available this fall.