Apple unveils new developer tools including WeatherKit, App Intents, XCode Cloud

At WWDC22, Apple introduced new tools, technologies, and APIs designed to help developers create richer experiences for their users, including XCode Cloud, WeatherKit, Metal 3 and App Intents. 

Xcode Cloud is now available with a range of subscription plans that best fit developers’ needs, starting at 25 hours per month free to all members of the Apple Developer Program through December 2023, and up to 1,000 hours per month.

Built into Xcode, Xcode Cloud is a continuous integration and delivery cloud service designed specifically for Apple developers. It enables developers and teams of all sizes to build, test, and deliver high-quality apps even more efficiently by automatically building apps in the cloud to free up their Mac for other tasks. And with parallel testing in the cloud, developers can test on a simulated version of every current Apple device, easily deploy a build for internal testing, or deliver to beta testers through TestFlight.

Apple also announced Metal 3, the latest version of Apple’s graphics framework that allows developers to render high-resolution graphics in less time, load resources faster, train machine learning networks with the GPU, and more.

Another tool Apple announced recently is WeatherKit, which  enables developers to integrate the global weather forecast that powers Apple Weather directly into their apps. The new tool is available to developers through both native Swift and REST APIs, and comes with 500,000 API calls per month included with an Apple Developer Program membership.

Apple also introduced App Intents, a new Swift-only framework that allows developers to to build new App Shortcuts. With no user setup required, App Shortcuts are available as soon as an app is installed in iOS, iPadOS, or watchOS and can be run from the Shortcuts app, Spotlight, and Siri. With support for parameters and synonyms, App Shortcuts let users interact with an app through Siri more naturally.

The company has also made some enhancements for in-app purchase experiences. Developers can now sync in-app purchase products from App Store Connect into Xcode, control when StoreKit message sheets appear in your app, and present offer code redemption sheets within their app. In addition, they can benefit from the new testing features, including the ability to request test notifications and test additional in-app purchase scenarios in the sandbox environment and Xcode.

Apple also introduced new APIs for better app experiences, including Widgets on the Lock Screen, Live Text, Collaboration tools for Messages, Passkeys, MapKit, Live Activities, and more. 

Written by Maya Robertson


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