Just yesterday, over 5000 developers gathered at the San Jose Convention Center for Apple’s WWDC 2017. In addition to the usual hardware overhauls and new products, Apple also announced some new APIs. These APIs include the MusicKit API, Core ML API, and the ARKit API.
The MusicKit API allows developers to extend the functionality of Apple Music to third-party applications. The API makes it possible for applications to tap into a user’s Apple Music account (once they authorize the application of course) and create playlists, add songs to their library, and play any of the content in the Apple Music catalog. If a user is not already signed up for Apple Music, the company makes note that they can be offered a trial membership. You had to know that was coming. The 27 million paid subscribers that Apple Music already boasts will most certainly enjoy being able to benefit from tighter integration with Applications like Nike+ Run.
Next up is the Core ML API, which Apple’s developer website claims is designed to “integrate trained machine learning models into your app.” The framework as a whole aims to make it easier to run machine learning models on all iOS devices. However, Machine learning is certainly not new to mobile applications. Rather this seems to be an attempt to shift the workload from cloud computing to on-device computing. This strategy could benefit app developers by relieving the reliance on internet connectivity, reducing the load on device RAM, easing the amount of power consumption, and increasing computational speed. Apple claims that this could, for example, make image recognition on the iPhone six times faster than on Google Pixel.
Last up is the ARKit API. Finally Apple has thrown it’s hat into the augmented reality ring. Seemingly taking cues from the likes of Pokémon Go and Snapchat, Apple’s ARKit framework hopes to streamline the process of creating AR apps for iOS. Apple embracing AR is a great sign for the proliferation of the technology. Considering the rapid adoption of previous iOS upgrades, Apple’s Craig Federighi claims that iOS will soon become the world’s largest AR platform.
All of these APIs are announced as part of the upcoming iOS 11 release, which is currently slated for fall 2017.