Essential Points to Consider before Starting a New Project in iOS App Development


iOS App Development


Are you planning for a mobile-first solution for your business? It is important to consider the user’s journey as well, when you are developing your very first mobile app. There are a lot of dos and don’ts, specific to the operating system as well.

Most businesses start off with iOS, before they move on to the other platforms. The reason being iOS gives them improved reach and better chances of attaining profits. If you are also planning to develop an app for iOS, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Know your audience
Who are you developing the app for? This is an important consideration, as it will help you define a user-centric solution. The idea is to deliver a solution that they will appreciate and download. If the target audience remains undefined, you are not quite sure who is going to use your mobile app, and it will result in a poorly defined and unruly solution. Eventually, the quality will suffer and the investment will be wasted.

Don the users hat
Till you know how the user uses an application, how can you define a solution for them. You will need to study the user’s mobile app behaviour closely. Just how do they hold their screens, how often do they change from landscape to portrait mode? You will also need to study how they touch the buttons, where do they prefer the buttons and how they pinch and zoom the screen. A complete understanding of the user will help you build the apt solution.

Design the UI
It is important you align your user interface with the layout that defines iOS. If your user interface does not meet their expectations, you might not be able to get the success you have defined in your goal statement. It should be simple. The target audience defined will help you design the UI. You should keep it intuitive and easy to navigate. The idea is to augment the user experience for your application.

Stay original
You may have a good idea but, if it lacks originality you are doomed. A clone of another app that does not solve any problems faced by the customer is not something that the audience looks forward to. If you are producing a clone, you should solve an issue that the original app was unable to solve. There has to be a point of difference in your app solution. This will not just guarantee your addition to the appstore but also increase your app downloads.

Testing is important
It is important for you to test your app as rigorously as possible. If you don’t test your app multiple times, you may lose out on one or many bugs that could lower your value on the app store. It is always a good idea to try out multiple testing methods before you go ahead with the app.

Take feedback positively
Feedback, whether good or bad, should be taken in the right stride. This will help you improve your solution, and make it more suitable to the audience you are reaching out to. So, when you get a feedback, whether positive or negative, use it constructively.

Summing it up
When developing for iOS, you should not only consider what makes the platform tick but also how best to derive at the right solution for your audience. There are several factors that make a good solution. Make sure you consider them all and plan your solution right at the beginning for a speedy entry into the app store.


iOS 11 Indicates Major Revolutions in AR (Augmented Reality) Mobile App Development

App Development

When Apple announced iOS11, it was the release of the ARKit that grabbed the eyeballs. With ARKit, iOS can now include the capabilities of AR to their app and enhance user experience. The AR apps can be enjoyed by the users of iPhone version 6s and higher. With the ARKit and the endless capabilities pronounced by iOS, you can take user interactions to an altogether different level, thus improving user experience. The kit aims to blend the real world with the digital objects in a seamless manner for improved interactions.

ARKit: A brief intro
The new features with ARKit allow you to create new landscapes, place the virtual objects along vertical surfaces, and map the irregularly shaped surfaces more accurately. You can even integrate the real world images such as signs, posters as well as artwork into you AR app. This way you can bring the museum or movie poster to the virtual world in an interactive way. The kit supports higher resolution camera with auto focus features for a sharper view.

Here’s a brief into the hardware and software integrations

  • The truedepth camera: Integrating the ARKit with iPhoneX, you can enhance the face tracking capabilities within AR apps. The true depth camera can detect position, expression as well as the topology of the face and make real-time recognitions. You can add live selfie effects or use expressions to portray 3D characters.
  • Lighting estimation: The ARkit can comprehend the scenes presented by the camera, track objects on smaller points, and identify the horizontal and vertical planes inside a room. With the camera, the ARKit can estimate the amount of light available in the room
  • VIO: The visual inertial odometry allows the ARKit to track the real world and its components. You can combine the camera sensor data with the core motion data to allow devices to sense how it can move within the room with the highest level of accuracy.
  • Gesture interaction: A combination of iPhone X with ARKit allows gesture based interaction easy and convenient. When developing for gesture based apps, the developers will need to take into consideration the user, and the kind of gestures they are tuned to use. The learning curve for developing gesture based AR apps is easy.

Summing up
ARKit is giving wings and it will definitely improve the overall experience of the users with iOS app development. However, how the developer’s understanding of AR as well as mobile app development and user interaction will define how the AR apps will turn out to be. It is important for developers to understand the needs of the user and how they interact with the apps before proceeding with the development aspect.

Bring Machine Learning Inside Your iOS App Development with Core ML

iOS App Development

Remember the movie “Minority Report” where the machines were programmed to predict the murders before they happen, thus reducing murder rate to zero. This is an apt example of machine learning, where based on the past experiences, the machine learns to identify things and adapt to the changes. For example, the emails have become more intelligent and can identify the spam specifically.

This will benefit the businesses that are looking to understand the consumer and offer services/products that cater to their needs specifically.

Apple has been proactively working on incorporating machine learning to their iOS applications. The introduction of Core ML during the Apple’s WWDC proves this. This framework was solely designed to help run the different machine learning models on Apple devices efficiently. With simple integration, this framework helps deliver fast performance of machine learning models.

Let’s take a look at what all you can do with the Core ML framework.

Exploring the Core ML Framework
The Core ML framework allows you to choose from the different pre-trained models or integrate your own machine learning model, depending on your need. There are different machine learning models such as neural networks, tree ensembles, support vector machines etc. You will need to check if the model that you are using can be obtained in the .mlmodelformat. If you are using a model that has been created in a different format, you will need to use the CoreML tools to convert it to an appropriate format before moving on.

The CoreML framework can help you with a lot of features within the applications you are developing. Let’s have a quick look at the possibilities.

1) Facial Recognition: Facebook has been asking questions like “Do you want tag “X” in the photo?” This is an example of facial recognition technology. By combining Vision with CoreML, you can bring machine learning into your apps to facilitate facial recognition, object recognition, barcode detection as well as object tracking. If you can work on the applications to facilitate anticipating user requirements, you can benefit from it majorly
2) NLP: With NLP, recognizing text becomes easy. You can use the different features such as language identification, tokenization, named entity recognition etc. to depict the language. You can integrate this feature into your application with ease with the Core ML framework.

These are just some of the applications of Core ML framework. You will obviously be able to use the framework to integrate better and improved features to your application, thus enhancing the user experience.

Benefits of ML models in iOS Apps
Why should you integrate machine learning models into your iOS apps? If this question has been haunting you, the benefits section will help you.

1) The machine learning model now works within the iOS app and not on a remote server. This reduces the need for data communication
2) The integration helps bridge the gap that existed between the iOS app and machine learning
3) There is more data privacy
4) Even in offline state, your app proves to be useful. It can predict well, and the response time is less
5) The RAM and power consumption is less when this integration occurs

Incorporating ML Models to iOS Apps
Here’s a step by step guide into incorporating the ML models into your iOS apps. For this, you need MAC OS (preferably the latest version), Python, download pip, format converter and Xcode 9. Once you are ready with these things, you can work on integrating the ML models.

1) Start with writing a basic model. You can choose any framework for this. It is a machine learning model, you will need some numeric data. Convert your existing data into numbers. Check out the predictions made. Test some more sample data using this model for predictions
2) Now, convert this ML model to an Xcode accepted format. If you already have a converter, this work is done easily. However, if it is not present, you can download a converter for the same. This is the basic strength of CoreML, which allows you to convert and import models that are built on other frameworks
3) Next, you need to import this to Xcode. This is a simple drag-n-drop process
4) You can now code the model so that it can run the predictions you are expecting from it
5) Compile and run. Test as many times as possible for the outcomes using the iOS simulator.

Now, your ML model has been integrated into your iOS app. You are ready to use the benefits of machine learning in your app to boost your business.

Summing up
Apple has always envisioned bigger and better things to enhance user experience. With the ideal combination of Vision, Core ML, Foundation as well as other ML tools, you are bound to see a transformation in the way mobile apps are developed for iOS. Core ML is all set to offer high-performance, and efficient machine learning apps with easy coding and converting techniques. You have got a gist of how to get your ML model integrated into the iOS app effectively with this tutorial. So, get started and enjoy your futuristic iOS app development.

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