As part of WWDC 2020 this week, Apple introduced a slew of new APIs, frameworks and tools for developers, ranging from App Clips to Xcode 12 to a new SwiftUI API for building widgets that work on iOS, iPadOS and macOS.

  • Application extracts: New in iOS 14, app clips bring up information from relevant apps without forcing users to download an entire app. Apple describes app clips as a “small part” of an app designed to be discovered when it’s needed. Once inside the App Clip, users can easily install the full app with just one click.
  • Widgets: iOS 14 offers widgets that can be pinned in different sizes to any home screen page, providing useful information at a glance. For this, Apple released a new SwiftUI API that allows developers to use the same code to create a widget for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
  • Find my network accessories program: In iOS 14, the Find My app supports finding third-party products and accessories with the new Find My network accessories program. This will allow users to use the Find My app to locate non-Apple devices, with end-to-end encryption. A draft specification is available for accessory manufacturers and product manufacturers starting today.
  • Xcode 12: Apple’s developer tool has been redesigned to match macOS Big Sur. Apple says the new document tabs make opening multiple files faster, while browser fonts now match system size or can be set to small, medium, or large. Additionally, Xcode 12 creates default “macOS Universal” apps to support future Macs with custom Apple silicon. Apple today released the first beta of Xcode 12.
  • A new StoreKit tool in Xcode allows developers to simulate setting up subscriptions, in-app purchases, and refunds right on a Mac.
  • Safari for Mac adds support for the WebExtensions API used by Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, making it easier for extension developers to work with Safari and distribute them through the Mac App Store.
  • The App Store now supports Family Sharing for subscriptions and in-app purchases.
  • HomePod supports third-party music services.
  • Users can set default third-party web browser and email apps in iOS 14.
  • Developers now have the ability to detail their app’s privacy practices right in the App Store for users to review, including what types of data the app can collect, whether that data is shared with third parties, and the possibility for users to opt out.

Apple describes several other new developer efforts in its press release, including the ability to “challenge” the App Store review guidelines starting in late summer.

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