Apple details new APIs & Xcode Cloud for developers

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Following a tease during the WWDC keynote, Apple has made Lock Screen Widgets for iOS 16, the WeatherKit API, Xcode Cloud, and more available to third-party developers.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Keynote Address of WWDC 2022, Apple announced the release of various APIs and utilities to app developers.

Lock Screen APIs help developers incorporate their app's information so that it can be displayed on the Lock Screen in iOS 16.

Xcode Cloud will allow development teams to offload app building and compiling data into the cloud. It also allows team members, collaborators, and co-workers to contribute and change the app's code base at any time.

In a similar vein to the consumer-facing iCloud, it will free up local storage space, and will allow for mass testing by the development team on simulated current Apple hardware. It will also make builds easy to deploy to users with TestFlight.

The new version of Xcode builds up to 25 percent faster, and has an app footprint that is 30% smaller. A new multi-platform target option compiles for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS in SwiftUI with one toggle

Swift comes with a regular expression-processing capability and support for optimized package managing in Swift Package Manager. This will make it easy for developers to run custom commands.

SwiftUI now has an improved navigation API. With Custom Layouts, developers can create layouts specifically tailored for their app. Swift Charts can be customized to allow for the best possible visualization of data for developers.

Metal 3 is also included in the releases. It optimizes file retrieval times and helps with upscaling of graphics.

WeatherKit will help integrate data that was previously only available to Apple Watch into their own apps. This leverages the Dark Sky API's data that was acquired earlier by Apple in 2020. It is now available once again to developers.

These new utilities join privacy-minded ad and system feature APIs now released to registered developers. Major APIs included in the press release are:

  • Widgets on the Lock Screen
  • Live Text
  • Collaboration tools
  • Passkeys
  • MapKit
  • Focus filters
  • Automatic shortcuts
  • watchOS 9
  • RoomPlan
  • Live Activities

The APIs debuted will be available to developers starting on Monday.