Apple's September Event 2023: Key Highlights for Mobile Developers
Yesterday, during its annual September presentation, Apple introduced several new products to its lineup: the Apple Watch 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro. The event, streamed to a global audience, adhered to the company's tradition of revealing new hardware in the fall season. Apple CEO Tim Cook led the presentation, outlining each device's key features and specifications. The announcement is expected to have a notable impact on the technology market as consumers and industry experts evaluate the implications of these latest offerings.
Let's quickly go through the points that will interest mobile developers:
Apple has announced that iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 will be globally available on the 18th of September, 2023. Developers are advised to use Xcode 15 Release Candidate and the latest SDKs for app and game development. Testing can be done via TestFlight, with submissions for review directed to the App Store. Xcode Cloud now supports seamless deployment to TestFlight and the App Store.
- Xcode 15 offers improved code completion and interactive previews.
- Swift introduces macros and a new SwiftData framework for easier data persistence.
- Widgets are now interactive and available in new locations across devices.
- Metal's new toolkit simplifies game porting to Mac and shader conversion.
- App Shortcuts are more accessible in Spotlight and can be voice-activated.
- StoreKit in SwiftUI simplifies in-app purchase merchandising and testing.
- Additional updates include advancements in machine learning, Object Capture, Maps, and more.
Starting April 2024, apps submitted to the App Store must be built with Xcode 15 and the latest SDKs for iOS 17, tvOS 17, or watchOS 10.
As of September 12, 2023, developers can now submit apps built with Xcode 15 RC and the SDKs for iOS 17 RC, iPadOS 17 RC, macOS 14 RC, tvOS 17 RC, and watchOS 10 RC to the App Store and TestFlight for both internal and external testing. Apps using the visionOS beta 3 SDK may continue to be built with Xcode 15 beta 8 for TestFlight testing.
AAA gaming on the iPhone
The new iPhone devices are marked by the removal of the Lightning Port and the Addition of a USB Type-C port after nearly 15 years. They also bring significant upgrades with the Apple A17 Pro being the icing on the cake. However, the biggest surprise was to see the iPhone 15 Pro touted as “the next level of mobile gaming”.
During its keynote, Apple announced that AAA games will run natively on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Initial titles include Resident Evil 4 Remake, Resident Evil Village, Death Stranding, and Assassin's Creed Mirage, with the possibility of additional games in the future.
The iPhone 15 Pro will support ports of modern AAA console and PC games, marking a significant milestone in mobile gaming. While mobile platforms have previously hosted ports of smaller Indie games, this is the first time graphically intensive AAA games will be available on mobile devices.
Apple's September event has again set the stage for exciting technological advancements. Mobile developers, in particular, have a lot to look forward to with iOS 17 and the groundbreaking gaming capabilities of the iPhone 15 Pro. As these updates roll out, developers can seize new opportunities, explore fresh horizons, and continue creating the next generation of apps and games. Stay tuned, and keep your coding fingers ready for the future!