The last iOS update brings an impressive list of the new features to the iPhone and iPad. Many of them you can use to enhance your existing applications or to build completely new products on its basis. From simplified data sharing to micro-location detection, background synchronisation and smile recognition tools – we have rounded up the list of the most essential iOS 7 features that will help you as a product owner or entrepreneur to get the most out of your apps.
Region monitoring lets you know whether the iOS device enters a specific area and ranging let you determine the relative range of nearby Bluetooth devices. This technology allows mobile apps to recognise when an iPhone is near a small wireless sensor called a beacon (or iBeacons). The beacon can transmit data to an iPhone and visa versa, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
Say you’re walking by a cafe that has a beacon. When you enter that beacon’s zone, you will be transmitted special promotions or coupons to your iPhone 5S via the Starbucks app. Beacons will also accept payments, so you can pay for your coffee from a distance – iBeacons’ range is up to 50 meters.
iBeacons also is ideal for indoor navigation. An iPhone with iBeacon can connect to a nearby beacon to determine a GPS location. You could then navigate through an airport, casino or museum just by using a mapping app.
Now applications can be woken up or launched periodically to fetch data. The new multitasking features in iOS 7 apply to the background data push and flow of information to the app. Apps could be periodically launched by the system in the background. This way such apps can download and process data not just without disturbing users but even not appearing on the device screen at all.
AirDrop lets users share photos, documents, URLs, and other kinds of data with nearby devices. Data could be transferred directly from user’s Mac to iPhone or iPad and vice versa.
The peer-to-peer connectivity is essentially the new sharing feature in iOS 7. Now you can discover nearby devices and direct communication without an Internet connection. In addition to AirDrop, this is one more way for content sharing and communication between iOS devices via Wi-Fi, peer-to-peer or Bluetooth.
Apple has added “dynamic” UI actions, such as proximity and gravity controls as well as a whole new kit for text. The UI elements in iOS7 now can react to gravity and applied forces, collide and bounce. More about changes in the user interface read in 4 Key Design Changes To Consider While Redesign Your Apps For iOS7.
Since iOS 5 facial detection and recognition functionality was provided by Apple. In iOS 7, we can even tell if you are smiling or has closed eyes on photo. Additionally to that there’s a snippet that might be used by a camera that only saves pictures of smiling faces.
Developers will now be able to integrate Apple Maps into their apps, take advantages of 3D map features and control the user’s perspective. Other new features include a way to call on Apple for directions that overlay on top of the map.
iOS 7 lets you get information about the type of radio technology in use by the device. Apps developed in conjunction with a carrier can also authenticate against a particular subscriber for that carrier.
Your application now can detect movements that correspond to user motion and use this information to calculate the number of steps. Because the system detects the motion, it can continue to gather step data even when your app is not running.
Alongside this feature you can also distinguish different types of motion, including different motions reflective of travel by walking, by running, or by automobile. Navigation apps might use that data to change the type of directions they give to users.
This was a small part of the new features of iOS 7. If you craving for more, check out Apple’s guide What’s New in iOS 7.September 26, 2013