Monthly Archives: May 2016

What’s New In Xcode 7.3?

The Xcode 7.3.1 update was released earlier this month. Since its launch last October, Xcode 7 has come in for high praise among iOS app developers worldwide – thanks to its wide range of new tools and features. A recent survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of app makers were satisfied with the performance of the latest iteration of the Apple IDE. In the discussion that follows, we will take a tour through some of the most interesting new features in Xcode 7.3:

  1. Improved SDK support – Xcode 7 already had the software development kits (SDKs) for iOS 9, OS X 10.11 El Capitan and watchOS 2. The 7.1 update had brought with it support for making apps for Apple TV. With Xcode 7.3, mobile app developers now have the opportunity to create optimized applications for both iOS 9.3 and watchOS 2.2. In addition to the updated SDKs, there are several other handy enhancements bundled in the update as well.
  2. Bug fix for Swift 2.1 – Among the several bug-fixes that Xcode 7.3.1 comes with, most iPhone app development experts feel that the fix for Swift 2.1 is the most important. Reports had been coming in about the frequent compilation failures for targets with relatively larger file counts (at the time of whole module optimization). That issue has been flushed out in Swift 2.2, which ships with Xcode 7.3. Incidentally, this is the very first iteration of Swift after the programming language went open source in December 2015.
  3. Intelligent code completion – The Xcode IDE had always provided excellent code completion support for programmers. With the new update, Apple has taken things up by a further couple of notches. Suggestions are now generated on the basis of the initial letters of the API name that is being used. This makes the process of manual coding for iOS apps just that bit shorter and simpler.
  4. Interactive Playgrounds for Swift – When the second beta of Xcode 7.3 was released, developers got a first sniff of the exciting Interactive Playgrounds built in the latest version of the environment. Unlike the static Playgrounds in the earlier versions of Xcode, the Interactive Playgrounds in Xcode 7.3 makes the task of code testing a whole lot easier and obviously, more dynamic. Slight changes in the code can be made by developers, to see how it is working on a real-time basis. The Interactive Playgrounds can be used to check both OS X and iOS applications.
  5. Better security features – With Xcode 7.3 having Git 2.7.4, security features are more robust than ever before on the Apple IDE. In addition, the earlier lags and crashes that used to occur at the time of importing localizations have also been rectified. With better security and lesser risks of crashes, Xcode has become a really seamless IDE for making apps in the Apple ecosystem.
  6. Support for tvOS 9.2 – We have already mentioned that Xcode 7.1 provided in-built support for the new Apple TV. Xcode 7.3 ramps up things further, by bringing in full compatibility for developing software for the tvOS 9.2 platform. Although iOS app development is still by far the most dominant activity among developers (Watch apps are growing fast too), the holistic, updated support for Apple TV might just get some coders interested to make custom software for the platform.
  7. Force Touch trackpad – iPhone 6S has Force Touch, as does the Apple Watch. While making apps for either, it is only natural that developers would want to test how this feature is working in the applications. While previous versions of Xcode did not have any feature that allowed this, Xcode has turned things around with the innovative and developer-friendly ‘Force Touch Trackpad’ tool. The trackpad is present inside the Simulator app.
  8. Automatic import of frameworks – Irrespective of whether an Apple app developer is working with Swift or Objective-C, the latest Xcode version allows auto-import of frameworks inside expressions declared in either of the two languages in the debuggers. Coders no longer have to import them separately at the time of evaluating the Swift/Obj-C expressions. Yet another little feature that makes things easier for developers.
  9. Bug fix in editor – Xcode 7.3.1 is, in essence, a maintenance and bug-free update – and it solves a fairly troublesome problem that was present in the previous editions of the IDE. There had been many instances of entitlements remaining active inside app bundles, even after the corresponding capabilities in the Xcode editor had been toggled to off. What’s more, probable bugs and errors associated with generics of Obj-C as well as nullability can now be identified quickly with the revamped Static Analyzer. Chances of errors remaining undetected are minimal.
  10. More powerful Device Window – Ever since iOS developers started making apps for Apple Watch, there was a need for this feature. In the upgraded Devices Window of Xcode 7.3, Apple has made it extremely easy to toggle between multiple Watch devices – which are connected to the same paired iPhone. Coders can now keep a closer tab on the Watch applications that they are working on at any time.
  11. More resources in View Debugging – The view debugging in Xcode 7.3 has also undergone an overhaul. It now offers app developers the option to add contextual menus, detailed inspector information, and even provides a series of additional functionality in the Assistant Editor. The IDE (with greater responsiveness to user-generated events in the Interactive Playgrounds) has become more informative and resourceful than before.
  12. Another bug-fix – This one stemmed from the frequently reported cases of export failures of ad-hoc builds (from the code archives). It was widely expected that the new version of Xcode would fix this problem, and developers have not been disappointed in this regard. Version 7.3.1 has brought with it several important performance improvements too.

From app thinning to TestFlight boosts (the number of permissible beta testers has been ramped up to 100), and from the Swift migrator (1.2 to 2.0) to the iOS Energy Gauge – there had been many useful new features in Xcode 7 (announced at WWDC 2015). The Xcode 7.3 update packs powerful tools and enhancements of its own, and they add to the developer-friendliness of the IDE.


Does Your Business Need A Mobile App? Yes, And Here’s Why…

After a relatively slow start in 2013-14, the development of mobile enterprise applications really picked up pace last year. It is expected that, by the end of 2016, all businesses with 1000 or more employees will have at least one dedicated mobile app – with eWeek predicting that the total volume of enterprise apps will witness a two-fold increase from its current level by 2018. Entrepreneurs are increasingly relying on mobile technology – for a wide range of services that can potentially contribute to the growth of their firms. In today’s discourse, we will take stock of some of the key reasons why your business needs a mobile app, pronto:

  1. Enormous spurt in mobile phone usage – Or, to put things more clearly, the use of smartphones. A recent Gallup report estimated that nearly 75% people in the United States glanced at their handsets at least once in 60 minutes. What’s more – around 91% of the total ‘mobile-time’ is taken up by usage of apps. If your business has a nice and focused mobile application, the opportunity of reaching out to more prospective customers/clients/partners opens up.
  2. Scope to build a strong brand – Professional mobile app developers highlight brand-building as one of the chief benefits of enterprise applications. Consistency has to be maintained by app-makers, while coding the UI/UX of such apps – so that all the visual elements in it (logo, pictures, symbols, etc.) are the same as those present on the company website. A successful business app drives up user-engagement levels, the ‘effective frequency’ of people interacting with a company increases, and a stronger, more recognizable brand gets built.
  3. Competitive advantage – As more and more businesses start having their own enterprise apps, this factor gradually erodes. However, use of mobile technology on a full-blown basis is yet to become popular among small businesses, in particular. There is a perception that using business apps might: a) be too expensive, and/or b) pose technical challenges. You can take advantage of this, by coming out with an app for your business – before your competitors do the same. Ultimately, all of your business rivals would move over to the enterprise app bandwagon…and if you can make the first move, there are extra benefits.
  4. Mobile apps are more engaging than mobile websites – Well, it’s no longer a fair contest. According to a Flurry report, use of the mobile browsers to access the web takes up less than 20% of the total time spent with mobile devices (in the US). On the other hand, mobile apps, as already mentioned above, takes up 85%-90% of the time that users spend with their devices. The total amount of time taken up by the use of digital devices has shot up quite remarkably over the last five years – with software and app development experts estimating a 600%+ growth since 2010. More interestingly, mobile applications have become more engaging than the good ol’ television. If you manage to build a good app for your business, it will grab eyeballs – that’s for sure.
  5. Smarter, 24×7 marketing – From coupons and loyalty points, to ecommerce support and promotional push-notifications – mobile advertising via apps takes conventional product/service marketing to an altogether different level. The repeat usage of smartphone apps increases the likelihood that people will come across and use your business application – and will find it convenient to use it. The entire process of marketing is faster, easier, and most significantly, cheaper. Entrepreneurs no longer have to go the whole hog of sending mailers, making cold calls, and putting up big billboards (those do help, but they are often not affordable for small business-owners).With mobile apps, you can ‘push’ all the information that your buyers might require, right at their fingertips. Literally!

Note: The strategy, of course, would fall flat on its face – if an enterprise app has undetected bugs and malware in it. On average, 4 out of every 10 applications created for businesses are buggy, and hence, they get uninstalled from handsets pretty soon. This makes a case for businesses to not try to make apps with their in-house IT personnel, and delegating the task to a specialized mobile app development company.

6. Round the clock visibility – A custom iOS or Android application for your business can lend greater exposure for your company than ever before. We have already talked about the dominance of smartphones and apps in the digital world. You cannot really expect people to open their web browsers (on PC or mobile) and visit your site, every time they wish to know something about your company. With an enterprise app, the same queries can be resolved by a couple of taps. In general too, as people repeatedly encounter the icon of your business app, the brand familiarity level goes up.

Note: The human mind registers (consciously or otherwise) all the images and other visual elements in mobile apps. This, in turns, helps in making your business more ‘recognizable’.

7. Connecting with people – Make no mistake – the importance of television ads, banners, hoardings, e-flyers and Facebook ads is still immense. However, all of these channels are one-to-many (i.e., the same message from the source reaches out to the entire audience) and have that ‘oh-that’s just another advertisement’ feel. Mobile apps for business are different in this regard. They can establish interactions on a more personal level with buyers. In essence, an enterprise application will help your business stay ‘closer’ to people, enhance customer loyalty levels, and increase the probability of getting good sales leads. Personalized messages work in a way that general advertisements and sales pitches never can.

8. Serves multiple purposes – From our discussion thus far, it might seem that the only benefits of enterprise mobile apps is towards strengthening the marketing activities and client interactions. Things are not quite that limited though. Experts from the field of enterprise app development report that they are regularly working on applications that pack in various powerful features – like appointment scheduling, business inventory management, real-time chat functionality, and even a direct calling option. You can even include a GPS navigation feature in your app, to guide users to your storefront.

9. Delivering value – Let’s face it, people would need some motivation to actually search for, download, and install your enterprise app. Mobile reward points/loyalty points are probably the best tools to bolster the user-incentive levels in this regard. Virtual loyalty cards can be included in enterprise apps, with QR scanners to read them and add the loyalty points to the users’ accounts. People will definitely find it easier if they can get such value from mobile applications, instead of having to visit the store counters for the same.

10. Business on the go – Lives are busy, there are no two ways about it. People are increasingly purchasing products and services on the move – a fact backed up by the steadily increasing transaction volumes at various e-commerce and m-commerce portals. It is also practically impossible for the modern-day business entrepreneur to stay at office, in front of a computer, all the time. With a properly designed mobile application – doing business becomes easier, and possible from anywhere.

11. The ‘WOW’ factor – For customer retention over the long-run, this is extremely important. You need to move on from looking at individual business transactions as one-off events – and a professionally created enterprise app can help you in ‘delighting’ customers (something extra…over and above the quality your products/services deliver). For example, the app can record the date of birth, anniversary of buyers – and send custom greetings via push notifications on those days. You can easily let your customers know about special offers and seasonal discounts as well.

12. Help is ready at hand – There is a perception (more of a myth!) among small business owners that spending time and resources on building enterprise apps will simply be not worth it. Nothing can be further from the truth. Small and medium-scale businesses stand to gain a lot by planning and implementing a smart mobile strategy – with dedicated mobile apps at the forefront. There are concerns regarding the lack of tech expertise among the IT personnel (to build apps) at such companies too. This is where the importance of specialized Android and iPhone app development companies come into the picture. You can simply do a little research online, find a few suitable app developers, request for free quotes on enterprise apps, and hire their services. Your app, with all the features you wish to be included in it, should be ready in the matter of weeks.

By 2017 Q4, it has been projected that the demand for mobile business applications would become nearly six times the serviceable capacity of in-house IT departments of companies. This, in turn, implies that the services of mobile app companies will become all the more indispensable for corporate entrepreneurs in future. It is time to think beyond consumer applications and games as the ‘only type of apps’…enterprise apps are rapidly growing, and they can give your business a significant edge indeed.

Designing The UI/UX Of Apps For iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Tips & Pointers

Successful iOS applications mint a lot of money for their developers. However, that does not mean every iPhone app developer can expect to make big bucks – simply by choosing this line as his/her profession. Reports from a recent survey has shown that less than 65% of developers worldwide can boast of more than 50000 downloads for their applications. This figure comes down to only 11%, when we consider apps with over 500000 downloads. On average, 1 out of every 2 cases of app failures occur due to poor user-experience – which, in turn, generally stems from UI/UX designing errors. In what follows, we will highlight some important app designing tips for the latest flagship iPhones, 6 and 6 Plus:


  1. Know the difference between Screen Size and Display Size – For a layman, the two might be synonymous – but iOS app developers should never consider them to be the same. The ‘Screen Size’ of iPhone 6/6 Plus refers to the area that is utilized for marking out coordinates (thanks to the Retina Display of iPhones, the pixel density can be high). On the other hand, the ‘Display Size’ is the actual physical measurement of the screen of an iPhone, from one corner to another. ‘Screen Size’ is measured in points and is required while working with JavaScript/CSS. ‘Display Size’ is measured in inches.
  2. The resolution factor – On the latest iPhone models, pixels get compressed in a smaller area, as a result of which the view becomes sharper and of higher clarity. For mobile app designers, it all boils down to the higher resolution figures of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. On the former, the resolution is 750×1334, while on the phablet, the screen resolution gets ramped up to 1920×1080. The pixels-per-inch figure for iPhone 6 Plus (401 ppi) is also higher than that of iPhone 6 (326 ppi).
  3. Scale up images – The new iPhone models are ‘larger’ – and apps optimized for them should include bigger image files. While designing for the mobile, UI/UX experts need to scale up website images accordingly, so that they do not appear distorted on the screens. The ‘Load Time’ is yet another factor that has to be considered, while using the heavier image files. If any image takes too long to load on the iPhone screen, it would be prudent to not use it in an app at all.
  4. Remember the asset resolution figures – There used to be a time when designers only had to consider the ‘@1x’ resolution of the 3.5”, 163 ppi iPhone. iPhone app development and designing have evolved a lot from those days, and at present, UI/UX experts have to keep in mind that the iPhone 6 supports ‘@2x’ asset resolution (same as what was required for iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, because the ‘ppi’ figure is identical). The larger Retina HD iPhone 6 Plus screen requires assets rendered at ‘@3x’, due to its higher ‘ppi’ level.
  5. Size of the browser window – This is particularly important for developers who create mobile-optimized websites (also, app-makers whose applications link out to external websites). On the iPhone 6, the size of the browser screen is 375 x 559 px, and users can access a total of 627 px area while scrolling. The corresponding figures for iPhone 6 Plus are 414 x 628 px and 696 px. These are significantly higher than the browser window sizes of all iPhone 5 models as well as the new iPhone SE (320x460px; while scrolling 528 px). Graphic designers have to work accordingly.
  6. So, what do the ‘@1x’, ‘@2x’ and ‘@3x’ asset resolutions mean? – Newbies in the field of iPhone app development might trip up while dealing with the different asset resolution levels required for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The ‘@2x’ asset resolution is just the double of the ‘@1x’ level (22x22px vs 11x11px). If you are designing for the Plus model, assets have to be displayed in ‘@3x’, which means 33x33px. Any app designer worth his/her salt would know that it is best to work with vector graphics – since they allow smooth image scalability, without any loss of quality whatsoever. All vector assets from iPhone 5 can be exported to .psd files, and then used on the larger devices.
  7. The matter of app icons – Not much changed in this regard in 2014, when iPhone 6 was launched. The required app icon size was still 120×120 px (the same as iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5C/5S). The icon at the app store had to be of 1024x1024px. While the last-mentioned figure is the same for apps built for iPhone 6 Plus, the size of the app icon has to be larger (180×180 px). Given the larger screen size coordinates of the phablet, it is also only natural that a bigger Spotlight icon (120x120px) and a more prominent Settings (87x87px). Just to put matters into perspective, for the iPad Pro, the size of app icons has to be 167×167 px.
  8. Keep the THUMB in mind – On the new, larger iPhone screens, more and more interactions will be via taps done with the thumb. According to a reported thumb heat map picture on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screens, the ‘Natural’ zone for using the thumb is pretty small (particularly on the phablet) – and users generally have to stretch their fingers, to reach the top of their screens. While creating apps for iOS 9 devices in particular, make sure that all the important buttons, tabs and links of your app can be easily tapped with the thumb (focus on this during the app testing phase). An easily usable app always has a greater chance of success.
  9. Need to downsample on iPhone 6 Plus – In the context of UI/UX designing for iOS applications, downsampling refers to the need to differentiate between the physical pixels and the pixels that are actually rendered. Except for one notable exception, pixel downsampling is not required for any of the other iPhone models (the count is 750×1334 pixels for iPhone 6, as already mentioned above). The exception is the iPhone 6 Plus, which has a higher ‘ppi’, and requires a 87% downsampling. The rendered pixel level on the Apple phablet is 1242×2208, while the physical pixel level is, of course, 1080×1920. The downsampling is required because the screen size of iPhone 6 Plus is slightly smaller than what is required for natural ‘@3x’ asset resolution.
  10. Aspect ratio – No significant rejig is required in the layout compositions for apps designed for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The aspect ratio required for the two new iPhone models (16:9) is the same as what developers have been using for earlier handsets. There are slight changes required in the navigation bar though. Since the screen real estate is more, the navigation bars have to be a little wider, while their heights should remain the same.
  11. Landscape split-view on iPhone 6 Plus – The iPhone 6 Plus allows split-view multi-tasking in landscape mode – and it presents a great opportunity for Apple UI/UX designers to show off their creativity. Apart from the chance to add more content on the bigger screens, developers can position the controls and other elements on the app windows in a more user-friendly, easily-tappable manner. Those who have already worked on iPad apps would find managing the split-view in landscape mode of iPhone 6 Plus easier. In essence, the greater display area provides designers the chance to give a distinct character and identity to their applications.
  12. Use the right font – The adoption of iOS 9 continues to be robust. A mid-April report on iMore highlighted that a whopping 84% of all active iPhones and iPads are currently running on the latest version of iOS. The device share of iOS 8, on the other hand, has fallen to a lowly 11% (with earlier versions making up the remaining 5%). Apple ditched Helvetica Neue in favor of San Francisco as the default font on iOS 9 – and it is essential for designers to use the new font in their applications. It also has to be kept in mind that, while the ‘SF UI Text’ shape of the San Francisco font is to be used for long text lines, ‘SF UI Display’ is the version required for creating the components of the app’s user-interface.

The default colour pallette of Apple is limited to only eight colours – but iPhone app designers have the license to use other custom colours (to make their applications stand out). Buttons present in the bars can be present either in the ‘active’ or the ‘default’ state. If any hover state feature is to be added (for instance, adding a drop-down menu), that also has to be done very carefully.

The total number of iPhone users in the United States is inching towards 102 million at present, and almost 62% of the devices are iPhone 6/6 Plus (or 6S/6S Plus). The onus is on UI/UX designers to keep themselves updated, and design applications optimally. Being lackadaisical about following these guidelines can lead to the failure of an otherwise good-looking app – and that is certainly not an option any developer would like!

Apple WWDC 2016: Top 12 Expected Announcements

Twice every year, Apple fans and tech enthusiasts alike have all the reasons to get excited about. One of them is, of course, the September fall event – where the latest iPhone models are launched. The other is the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will be held this year at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, from the 13th to the 17th of June. With the sale figures of the latest flagship iPhones tapering off and most of the other new Apple gadgets and accessories (the Apple Pencil, for instance) not doing particularly well – Apple developers and software experts are looking forward to the announcements that the Cupertino tech giant makes at the upcoming conference. Here are some of the most likely announcements that will be made at WWDC 2016:

  1. OS X 10.12 – Codenamed ‘Fuji’, the successor of OS X 10.11 El Capitan will finally be showcased at the conference. Although the operating system is uniformly well-reviewed, the absence of Siri on it has often been a source of complaint among users. There is an outside chance that Siri might make an appearance on OS X 10.12. Another point to be noted here is that, Apple is going for a change of naming convention – with the new version of the desktop platform likely to be called ‘macOS’ (in line with iOS and watchOS platforms). The new moniker is, in fact, already present on the Apple website.
  2. iOS 10 – In keeping with its tradition over the years, iOS 10 will be demoed at the WWDC. Professional iPhone app developers are expecting the first pre-release beta of iOS 10 to become available immediately after the 5-day event. While the new iteration of iOS will not have many visual changes from its predecessor (iOS 9), changes are expected in the Control Center, iCloud Voicemail is likely to be present, and users will probably get the opportunity to remove/hide some of the stock iPhone apps. There will be updates in the Calendar and Photos apps, as well as Apple Maps (with Street View). An all-new ‘Dark Mode’ (in line with iOS 9.3’s ‘Night Shift’) might also be present in iOS 10.
  3. New Macbook Pro – The Macbook Pro line has been due for a refresh for some time now – and according to reports from online Apple development forums, two new Macbook laptop models (13” and 15”) should see the light of day at the upcoming event. The devices will be powered by the cutting edge Skylake processors, and should sport entirely new designs. The laptops will probably have USB-C support as well, enhancing their usability. There is a general contention that Apple Macbook-s are nice but just a tad underpowered – and the new models should address the issue.
  4. Apple Watch 2 – Probably a long shot, but WatchKit app developers do feel that there is a chance of a ‘self-sufficientsecond-generation Apple Watch to make an appearance at WWDC 2016. The instruction that all new watchOS apps HAVE to be native (from June) has further fueled this speculation. Apple Watch 2, if it is indeed announced at the conference, is likely to have cellular connectivity features. This would make it more of an independent wearable gadget, and less dependant on paired iPhones.
  5. New version of tvOS – Unlike the performance of the latest iPhones and iPads, Apple TV has witnessed robust sales over the past couple of quarters. It won’t be a big surprise if Tim Cook and his team decide to release an updated version of the tvOS at this year’s WWDC event. Users have clamoured for several basic features (like voice input of instructions), and the new tvOS should have many of these. Interestingly, not much has been in the news about tvOS lately.
  6. watchOS 3 – This one’s fairly certain, and it should be the start of the end for WatchKit. Experts from the field of app development have reported that the role of WatchKit would either be significantly diminished in watchOS 3 – or the new platform will not have watchKit at all. With apps for Apple Watch going native from June 1, all codes will be present on the smartwatch itself (and not on the paired iPhone). Given that most third-party developers still use WatchKit, this will be an interesting move. It remains to be seen whether watchOS 3 is indeed as big a success as Apple obviously envisages it to be.
  7. Upgrade on Apple Maps – Google Maps is still streets ahead, and improvements to Apple Maps (in a bid to catch up) might just continue at the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference. In particular, an upgraded version of Maps – with a public web API – has a chance of being released at the event. It will be possible to embed the new version of Apple Maps in publicly hosted websites and blogs. Again, not a certainty – but there is a chance.
  8. End of the road for Macbook Air – If new Macbook Pro models indeed arrive in a month’s time, Apple is likely to pull the plug on its line of Macbook Air laptops. The other option is, of course, revamping Macbook Air with Retina Display and the new Intel processors – but most hardware experts as well as app-makers feel that is not going to happen. In fact, with Macbook Air being killed, the line of Apple laptops (Macbook at the low-end and Macbook Pro at the high-end) will become more streamlined. To put it differently, a new Macbook Pro will do away with the NEED for a Macbook Air.
  9. Apple Music updates – This one is a hunch – purely from the fact that Apple had previously hosted Music-related events at the Bill Graham Civic auditorium, which is larger and has a better acoustics system than the Moscone Convention Center (the regular venue for WWDCs). Many users as well as iPhone app developers feel that the iOS music application can do with an update – and the upcoming event might be the right occasion for that.
  10. More secure iCloud – There was always going to be an aftermath of the recent lawsuit tussle between Apple and the FBI – and the rumored ‘Rootless’ security system (rumored to be present on iOS 10) is just that. What’s more – the Cupertino company is gearing up for a tighter, more advanced security setup for its cloud services. It has been reported that the overall infrastructure of iCloud will be brought in-house by Apple – making it more stable and reliable than ever.
  11. HomeKit – Apple introduced HealthKit in the 2014 edition of WWDC. Two years on, iOS app development experts feel that the company is ready to come out with the HomeKit application. The app will segregate and order home devices in separate ‘virtual rooms’, and its function will vary with the precise physical location of users. It will be something of a surprise if iPhone 7 (coming this fall) does not have a dedicated ‘Home’ icon.
  12. More functionality for Apple Pay – With a user base in excess of 12 million, Apple Pay is easily the most popular NFC-powered contactless payment system at present. However, a recent Bloomberg survey revealed that Samsung Pay is growing at a faster rate than Apple Pay, while Android Pay is also emerging as a strong challenger. To stay ahead of the competition, the Cupertino company would do well to come out with an improved version of Apple Pay, with person-to-person payment options being its main highlight. Rumors are rife about many other new features of Apple Pay being in the works – right from ATM transactions, to loyalty points and on-tap money transfer (phone to phone).


The 90-minute keynote session of WWDC 2016 by Craig Federighi will give us an idea about how many of the above announcements will actually be made at the event. Tickets, priced at $1500, have been distributed via a lottery system – while 350 student scholarships and 125 additional scholarships for developers with monetary constraints also being given.


2016 has already seen a major Apple event on March 21, when the iPhone SE was launched. The WWDC is only five weeks away, and for Apple fans – June 13 can’t come fast enough!