With Apple’s recent keynote unveiling their newest creations, including the Apple Watch and their newest generation of iPhone, there were a few other significant releases that dotted the keynote. While we have already gone over Apple Pay in detail, today, we wanted to look further into iOS 8 as an operating system. This new operating system offers some key improvements for app development that open the gateway to features that were never before possible. In addition to supplemental APIs and SDKs, some of iOS 8’s integrated features are native to the OS, yet make the UX a key playground for new opportunities in development. Today, we unpack three significant features that make iOS 8 among the most exciting platforms for mobile application development today, including sharing options and custom actions, documents, and enhancements to cloud storage.
Sharing Options & Custom Actions
No matter the platform, mobile app marketing should always remain a focus for app developers. It is increasingly critical that application developers build in ways for an audience to help spread the word about their new creation, building trust in apps through user reviews as well as sharing positive experiences through social platforms. iOS 8 has made this process one step easier, with push button share capability to every major social platform, including Facebook and Twitter. This may seem insignificant, but app developers need only realize the power of social media; 90% of consumers have said that reviews in some way can influence their ability to purchase.
iOS has leveraged the power of social media by removing the friction, increasing the opportunity to share in-app screens via Facebook and Twitter. This gives the user increased pathways to act as a veritable spokesperson for an app, and helps ensure that apps that are new to the marketplace have ample opportunity to be amplified by influencers on social media. This is an oft unsung improvement on an already UX-focused operating system, and certainly one that app developers should applaud.
Custom actions give app developers the ability to define different actions for the action button based on the setting or situation. From defining a photo for a specific user or contact, or even printing documents, developers now have the resources to leverage a myriad of options with the action button. This is a huge step forward in iOS, where actions used to be severely limited by a solitary button.
Documents on iOS 8
Another step that Apple has taken to increase the way in which users use documents on their smartphone includes how iOS 8 handles documents. The biggest change to document handling comes not only in increased support for more document formats, but the fact that several apps can now open and access docs without creating unnecessary copies. This maximizes both virtual memory and hard drive space, ensuring the user has the option to use the same documents on multiple apps and get the most out of their smartphone’s memory.
Another major unsung improvement in iOS 8 are improvements to integrating iCloud using a new SDK for app developers. Enhancements to the iCloud API allow app developers to use cloud storage to better store user information and ensure that users have a minimal amount of friction to store their data. This allows users access to their personal storage without a login, and ensures that there is a real time update of the app’s user data. This decreases the friction in the user interface and also improves the overall user experience by leaning on cloud storage, ensuring a user’s data and preferences are saved without a significant investment in effort on behalf of the user.
These minor improvements in iOS 8 represent major achievements in user experience. For more information on how to achieve the best user experience for your app, please contact us today.
Keeping Personal Data Safe
Jordan Edelson, CEO and founder of Appetizer Mobile, told Real Business that it’s natural for users to be worried about security with technologies such as Apple Watch.
“Anything having to do with the cloud and the transfer of data is cause for some concern,” he said. “You don’t know what encryption methods are being used, and it’s not 100 percent fool-proof.”
However, he pointed out that Apple’s newer devices have fingerprint protection and many of these apps will likely have two-step authentication processes. User data will be anonymous across various apps and platforms.
Apple is not allowing apps in HealthKit to store data in the iCloud, and it has set several other rules for third-party developers. Reuters reported that Apple is considering creating a “HealthKit Certification” for developers that would more clearly stipulate how data must be stored and forbid the sale of data to advertisers.
As these technologies evolve and become more widely used, regulators such as the FDA will likely step in and set more rules for protecting user information, Edelson said.
View the entire article at: http://www.realbusiness.com/2014/09/healthy-future/will-the-smart-watches-transform-mobile-healthcare/
Dr. Larry Wolk of Voorhees has developed a smartphone app designed to eliminate the risk of medication errors when a doctor phones in a prescription to a hospital.
The new app, called “eAttending,” does away altogether with verbal medication orders that doctors give nurses via the telephone. Instead, the doctor uses the app to type a prescription into an iPhone. The medication order, along with the doctor’s electronic signature, goes to the fax machine at the hospital, nursing home or other health care facility, which then prints out the order.
“The doctor types in a faxed order that is dated, timed and signed — so there is no question” about exactly what the doctor ordered, Wolk said.
While verbal telephone orders don’t often lead to medication errors, Wolk said the potential risk has led some health care facilities to prohibit telephone medication orders, except in the case of an emergency.
Wolk, who practices family medicine in Philadelphia, said a hospital in Philadelphia began piloting the eAttending app in May, and he’s talking with a nursing home in New Jersey that is interested in giving in a try. And he said eAttending is being used by about 20 health care facilities around the country.
Over more than three decades of practicing medicine, Wolk has seen firsthand the need for a more reliable way to communicate medication orders when one of his patients is in a hospital or nursing facility. Basically, the doctor had two options: phone in the order and run the risk of being misunderstood, or go to the hospital or nursing facility and write out a medication order in person.
Wolk came up with the concept for eAttending several years ago.
“I thought for sure that this was so important that someone else would develop it,” he said. “I waited and nobody else came along with it, so I decided to take the risk and invest the funds to develop the technology.”
It took about a year and half to develop the iPhone app, and Wolk said once it catches on he will introduce an Android version.
Wolk launched a new company, DocThreads LLC, to develop and market the app, which is in its early stages and not yet making a profit. This fall, Wolk will introduce eAttending to doctors and hospitals via medical journals and the Internet.
The inspiration for his invention was his own personal experience as a physician — and today Wolk is a regular eAttending user: “I use the app about eight times a day” to prescribe or change medications for his patients when they’re in a hospital or nursing facility, he said.
Making sure medication errors don’t occur “is very important, and I believe once the app gets more widespread, it will be accepted,” Wolk said. He’s optimistic that eventually eAttending will become “the standard of care for hospitals.”
Edelson has been beavering away on the iOS 8 adaption of the more than 150 apps developed by his company to make them run smoothly on the iPhone 6and 6 Plus. What's more is he claims to have an insider information on how the future software apps will be more useful on the new platform.
Edelson made a variety of predictions, not all in EE Times, some were also made on Bloomberg TV, ABC News and Fox News (see App developer reveals possible iPhone 6 specs). All in all, he made more hits than misses and claims the misses will still come true—just a little further down the road.
"A lot of my predictions came true," Edelson told EE Times. "As far as the size of the devices—the 4.7- and 5.5-inches—they came true—the same for the A8 processor, which came out at about 25 per cent faster, whereas I had estimated 30-to-50 per cent, so they came out on the lower end of that. I did predict how this NFC [near-field communication] and thing would work—that whole Apple Pay process of not storing your credit card information in the cloud or locally on the device. A lot of vendors are going to start using Apple Pay because of its security features and ease of installation."
However, Edelson did not hit on all eight cylinders.
Apple's Watch's screen can look like a normal watch, become a jumbled version of the home screen on the iPhone, or be taken over by a single app. Source: Apple
"I missed on the sapphire iPhone screens, which are just on the watch, but I still predict they are going to do that on the phones too, not just yet," Edelson told EE Times.
One of the things that Edelson is most excited is the possibilities presented by iOS 8, which opened 4000 APIs including access to Siri. The possibility of apps cooperating together opens the door to true artificial intelligence according to Edelson.
"The biggest change for apps is the ability to share data with each other—being able to take data that's already available in one app and use it in yours, making it more of a connected experience," Edelson toldEE Times. "Siri will also be taking advantage of this new connectivity—where apps are speaking to each other—for instance Siri can find you an airline flight now, but cannot book it for you too. But with apps cooperating with each other Siri could turn into a real personal assistant who can do the kinds of things that a human assistant could do for you."
Jordan Edelson on ABC News. Source: Appetizer Mobile
View the entire article at: http://www.eetasia.com/ART_8800704257_765245_NT_3bd3442c.HTM
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