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iOS 8: The four biggest opportunities (and challenges) for developers

Nancy Gohring | Sept. 1, 2014
iOS8 could be in the hands of users soon. Here are the top four new capabilities and the challenges they present.

Split screen: iOS 8 is rumored to support a new kind of split screen capability that lets users run two apps side by side, in a similar way that Microsoft allows this capability in Windows 8. Split-screen support will be welcome particularly by business users who may want to run a chat app, for instance, alongside a web browser or the email client on an iPad.

However, such a capability might come with challenges that could be out of a developer's control. If two apps are fighting for the same memory and CPU resources, app performance might take a hit, Kwok noted.

Swift: While Kwok doesn't expect an overnight wholesale migration to Swift, Apple's new programming language, he does think it might give a boost to the development community. The language is designed to be easy to use which could bring new developers to iOS, he said. That opens the door to new kinds of apps.

But until Swift gets all the same capabilities as Objective C, it won't convert everyone, he said. "I think it will take off, just not immediately," he said.

It's not certain yet when new devices running the OS will be in the hands of end users. But given the many updates to the OS, a new breed of apps might be coming our way. 


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