Apple's latest mobile platform, iOS 10, is nearly ready. The iPhone-maker released the penultimate version of iOS 10 to developers and public testers this week and the company hopes developers will kick app submissions into high gear. Apple is particularly interested to see what developers are doing with Siri.
"The next releases of iOS will soon be in the hands of hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Download the latest GM seed release, build and test your apps, and submit them for review," said Apple in a statement on its developer site.
IOS 10 does not herald quite so many new features for developers as previous versions of iOS 10, but it delivers perhaps the most-requested feature: access to Apple's personal assistant, Siri. IOS 10 gives developers the ability to bake Siri functionality into their own apps, giving iPhone and iPad owners the power to do far more with their device. For example, with iOS 10 people can ask Siri to book a ride via Uber or Lyft, or ask Siri to send money to a friend through Square. Apple already showcased some of these features with several launch partners last month, but is now looking forward to seeing Siri spread to more apps.
In addition to Siri, Apple is providing developers with more opportunity through iMessage. IOS 10 heralds a dramatically updated version of iMessage, complete with stickers, animations, and other expressive tools for end users. If you have a library of such content that you want to make available to iPhone owners, you'll be able to through the App Store for iMessage. Check here for all you need to know about creating apps for iMessage.
If you haven't already started upgrading to iOS 10, you should start with Xcode 8 and the latest SDKs. Xcode 8 includes Swift 2.3 and Swift 3.0. Developers can create apps with either and still maintain compatibility with the vast bulk of iOS devices.
Apple has updated most of its documentation, which is now in final form. For example, new review guidelines explain to developers how they should prepare their apps and what they can expect after they are submitted to Apple. Don't forget about app thinning, which reduces the number of bits end users need to download each time they update the app. Moreover, be sure to take advantage of Test Flight to beta test apps before release.
Beyond iOS 10, don't forget that most of Apple's platforms are on deck for updates. MacOS Sierra, watchOS 3.0, and tvOS 10 all have new developer tools and features contained within.
IOS 10 and watchOS 3.0 reach general availability on September 13, with macOS Sierra following on September 20.