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WWDC 2021: Key Updates

Apple revealed some exciting developments at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote Event. Apple announced the imminent release of their newest software update, iOS 15, which brings with it a host of features to improve user experience on iOS. Apple also announced various improvements and updates to the entire line of Apple products and software, including AirPods, iPadOS, WatchOS, macOS, and HomeKit.

Apple unveiled many changes for the immediate future and into 2022- below are a few key updates developers and marketers should keep in mind as they develop apps and plan their App Store Optimization strategy.

Among the biggest announcements were the range of new developer tools and technologies. Apple will soon implement new ways of testing creatives on the App Store, which up until now has been limited to adjusting the order of screenshots displayed for Apple Search Ads. Xcode Cloud will offer development teams a faster and easier way to collaborate, build, and deploy apps. Swift programming language now offers built-in concurrency support and updated user interface development. Apple has also released new APIs and tools, including augmented reality APIs that will revolutionize app and game creation on iOS.

App Store Tools

Product Page Optimization will give developers the ability to test different creatives—like screenshots, preview videos, and icons—directly on the App Store. This will provide insight on what creative choices best drive conversion from a view to a download, giving developers important insights into how to adjust their ASO strategy.

Another key development for the iOS App Store is events integration. This allows the promotion of timely events in multiple areas on the App Store, including “in personalized recommendations, editorial selections, search results, and on app product pages.” Users will now be able to seamlessly connect with an app and stay informed about upcoming events all within the iOS App Store.

New guidelines in the Developer Code of Conduct are also on the horizon, including updated developer identity requirements, guidelines for rating and review manipulation, and customer complaint rules. There are also new options for developers to appeal app rejections and report apps for suspected violations.

Xcode Cloud

Xcode Cloud, built into Xcode 13, is a collaborative cloud service designed for Apple developers. Xcode Cloud allows teams to build and test apps on the cloud, while freeing up space on their Macs. Additionally, cloud parallel testing provides the ability to test an app on a simulated version of every current Apple device, to assure the app will work smoothly across all devices. Teams can then easily deploy a build for internal testing or deliver the app through TestFlight so external beta testers can provide instant feedback.

Swift

Apple’s programming language, Swift, is also getting a few new features. Swift will now have built-in concurrency support, which will make it easier for developers to write code that works in parallel. SwiftUI includes enhancements to user interface developments, so developers can be sure that the app they produce is attractive and smooth for all users.

Swift Playgrounds 4 is the newest installment to Swift Playgrounds and will be premiering later this year. In Swift Playgrounds 4, a user will be able to design an app’s user interface in SwiftUI, edit it in Xcode, and submit it to the App Store right from their device.

Augmented Reality APIs

Apple’s enormous augmented reality platform is getting an incredible update this year. ARKit is Apple’s augmented reality framework that works with RealityKit – a rendering, animation, audio, and physics engine. Apple announced the release of RealityKit 2, and with this release comes Object Capture. Object Capture is a revolutionary and powerful API on macOS that creates high-quality lifelike 3D models of real-world objects from photographs taken on an iPhone, iPad, or DSLR. These 3D models can then be added to Reality Composer or Xcode, which will extend the ability to create great looking AR apps and games to any Apple developer.

Overall

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is always an exciting event, and this year Apple didn’t disappoint with their unveiling of fun, powerful, and useful features. Apple developers have a whole host of new tools at their disposal to create even better apps with richer user experiences in ever more efficient ways.

From building a better app with new APIs and updates to Swift and Xcode, to connecting with users through events and creative testing on the App Store, Apple developers have a lot to look forward to over the next several months and into 2022.

Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube, and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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