iOS 8 includes over 4,000 new APIs that let you add amazing new features and capabilities to your apps. Deeper integration with iOS means you can extend the reach of your app content and functionality. And with bold new technologies for game development, you can create even more incredible, responsive, and immersive gaming experiences.
Download and Install
iOS 8 SDK and Xcode 6
Get your apps ready for iOS 8 by downloading and building with the iOS 8 SDK and Xcode 6 from the Mac App Store. With Xcode 6 and iOS 8, Swift is now final, and you can submit your iOS apps written with Swift to the App Store.
Add New Capabilities
iOS 8 introduces a huge set of APIs and services, so you can create new categories of apps and features. Here are some of the most exciting new capabilities we’re unlocking.
Starting early 2015, you will be able to deliver innovative new experiences on Apple Watch that reimagine and enhance the functionality of your iPhone apps. WatchKit provides three opportunities to extend your iPhone app to Apple Watch: WatchKit apps, Glances, and actionable notifications.
Learn more about Watchkit
iOS 8 lets you extend your app’s functionality and content throughout the system by supplying an app extension — code that enables custom functionality within the context of a user task. Use extensions to place the power of your app wherever your users need it most.
Learn more about app extensions
Your app can now use Touch ID to authenticate a user before accessing some or all content in your app. Fingerprint data is protected and never accessed by iOS or other apps. And with Apple Pay, users can quickly and securely pay for physical goods and services with a single touch.
Allows users to use Touch ID to easily and securely pay for physical goods and services such as groceries, clothing, tickets, and reservations in your app. With a single touch, users can provide your app the payment information, billing and shipping addresses, and contact information to make their purchases.
Learn more about Apple Pay
PhotoKit provides new APIs for working with photo and video assets, that are managed by the Photos app, so your app can edit photos directly in the Camera roll without having to import them first. Key features include a thread-safe architecture for fetching and caching thumbnails and full-sized assets, requesting changes to assets, observing changes made by other apps, and resumable editing of asset content.
Manual Camera Controls
The AVFoundation framework makes it easier than ever for users to take great photos. Your app can take direct control over the camera focus, white balance, and exposure settings. Your app can also use bracketed exposure captures to automatically capture images with different exposure settings.
HealthKit allows apps providing health and fitness services to access shared health-related information in one place. A user’s health information is stored in a centralized and secure location and the user decides which data should be shared with your app.
Your app can access any shared health-related information and can provide information about the user without you needing to implement support for specific fitness-tracking devices. Information can come from devices connected to an iOS device or manual entry by the user.
Learn more about HealthKit
This is a new framework for communicating with and controlling connected devices in a user’s home. Your apps can enable users to discover devices in their home and configure them, or you can create actions to control those devices. Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri.
Learn more about HomeKit
Leverage the full power of iCloud and build apps with the new CloudKit framework. Now you can easily and securely store and efficiently retrieve your app data like structured data in a database or assets right from iCloud. CloudKit also enables your users to anonymously sign in to your apps with their iCloud Apple IDs without sharing their personal information.
With CloudKit, you can focus on your client-side app development and let iCloud eliminate the need to write server-side application logic. CloudKit provides authentication, private and public databases, and structured and asset storage services — all for free with very high limits.
Learn more about iCloud
Using a simple API in Foundation, your app can participate in Handoff to let users start an activity on one device and seamlessly resume the activity on another device.
Learn more about Handoff
Technology improvements in iOS 8 make it easier than ever to implement your game’s graphics and audio features. Take advantage of high-level frameworks for ease-of-development, or use new low-level enhancements to harness the power of the GPU.
SceneKit is a high-level 3D graphics framework that helps you create 3D animated scenes and effects in your apps. It incorporates a physics engine, a particle generator, and easy ways to script the actions of 3D objects so you can describe your scene in terms of its content — geometry, materials, lights, and cameras — then animate it by describing changes to those objects. SceneKit’s 3D physics engine enlivens your app or game by simulating gravity, forces, rigid body collisions, and joints. It’s also completely integrated with SpriteKit, so you can include SpriteKit assets in 3D games.
The SpriteKit framework adds new features to make it easier to create high-performance, battery-efficient 2D games. With support for custom OpenGL ES shaders and lighting, integration with SceneKit, and advanced new physics effects and animations, you can add force fields, detect collisions, and generate new lighting effects in your games. Xcode 6 also incorporates new shader and scene editors that save you time as you create your game. Create a scene’s contents, specifying which nodes appear in the scene and characteristics of those nodes, including physics effects. The scene is then serialized to a file that your game can easily load.
With extremely low-overhead access to the A7 and A8 GPU, Metal enables incredibly high performance for sophisticated graphics rendering and computational tasks. Metal eliminates many performance bottlenecks that are found in traditional graphics APIs. It’s specifically designed to exploit modern architectural considerations, such as multiprocessing and shared memory, to make it easy to parallelize the creation of GPU commands. Metal offers a streamlined API, a unified graphics and compute shading language, and Xcode-based tools.
Test and Submit Your iOS 8 Apps
iOS 8 is in the hands of hundreds of millions of customers. Build, test, and submit your iOS 8 apps to the App Store today.
Test for Compatibility
iOS 8 supports iPhone 4s or later, iPod touch (5th gen), and iPad 2 or later. New apps and app updates submitted to the App Store should support iOS 8 and be optimized for iOS devices with Retina display.
Review and Follow Guidelines
All apps submitted to the App Store are reviewed based on a set of technical, content, and design criteria. Make sure to use these guidelines and resources before submitting your app for review.
Submit to the App Store
Use Xcode 6 with iOS 8 SDK to compile, validate, and submit release versions of your iOS 8 apps to iTunes Connect. For more details on how to prepare, submit, and promote your app to the App Store, read Distributing on the App Store.