Apple Wants Devs to Update Apps For iPhone X

Apple will release the iPhone X on November 3 and Apple wants apps to be ready. The refreshed iPhone makes a number of significant changes to the hardware that will dramatically impact app performance. If iOS is your bread and butter, it's time to get slathering a new layer of top your app.

In case you haven't been paying attention, there are big things afoot in iPhoneland. The iPhone X has a new screen size, aspect ratio, and resolution. Where the iPhone 6, 7, 8, and their "s" and "plus" variants have carried over the same screen size/resolution since 2014, the iPhone X definitely shakes things up.

The display measures 5.8 inches across the diagonal and has 2436 by 1125 pixel resolution, or a 2.16:1 aspect ratio. (By way of comparison, the iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen with 1,920 by 1,080 pixel resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. First and foremost, you need to adjust your apps for these new screen dimensions. Don't forget to account for the notch at the top of the display.

"Test your apps to make sure they are ready to take advantage of the Super Retina display by respecting safe areas, supporting adaptive layouts, and more," said Apple.

More importantly are the new user interface requirements. The iPhone X does away with the home button and Touch ID. (Yeah, no more home button support at all.) Instead, new swiping gestures are needed to navigate within and between apps, multitask, and return to the home screen.

Apple strongly suggests developers "find and address UI issues in your app before testing on a device to make sure your app looks great on iPhone X." In particular, Apple wants to ensure that developers pay attention to the status bar the the notch, the rounded display corners and sensor housing, the home indicator, and screen edge gestures. Apple has tons of Documentation going over how developers can best do this.

Let's not forget the loss of Touch ID and the addition of Face ID. The iPhone X loses the fingerprint reader and gains facial recognition in its place. This will really change how people authenticate on the iPhone, and with your app in particular. No more securing the device with a fingerprint. Instead, end users will allow the iPhone X to scan their face. This is clutch: the Face ID data is all handled locally on the A11 bionic processor. It all remains in the iPhone and is never sent to the cloud.

How to get this done? Apple's Xcode 9.0.1 (which includes SWIFT 4 and the the proper SDKs) and the most recent beta of iOS 11.1 should be your best friends. These have the core code samples and documentation you need in order to adjust your apps for the new iPhone X.

Apple wants developers to prepare their apps and check the using Testflight (Apple's app beta access tool). Apple also hopes app writers will provide new screenshots specific to the iPhone X, as well as new descriptive text that calls ot features that may only be available on the new hardware.

Apple is already accepting apps for the iPhone X. Consumers will get their hands on the phone in just a few shorts days. Best get to work (if you haven't already).


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