iOS 12: Going Big on AR and Machine Learning

Posted on August 21, 2018
By Neeraja Rajeev

Each year, app developers around the world eagerly await exciting new updates to iOS. This year’s iOS 12 release is focused on building on what the existing solutions can do and also adding new and exciting tools to the developer toolkit. Let’s look at some of the new additions and updates that developers should be excited about.

Every year, around the same time, InMobi works on its own SDK release. Keep an eye out for our latest updates here!

ARKit2: Powering Immersive Experiences

Introduced in iOS 11, ARKit is the biggest Augmented Reality (AR) platform in the world. It greatly simplifies the building of AR experiences, combining features like device motion tracking and camera scene capture.

With iOS 12, Apple has announced the release of ARKit 2.0, which opens up even greater possibilities for developers to innovate with AR. There are several features that developers now have access to, including improved face tracking, 3D object detection and creating shared experiences.

Creating shared experiences or multi-user functionality has been a difficult feat to accomplish in the AR world. Using the new functionality, developers can create experiences in which users can share their AR environment to play against each other, collaborate on a project or simply be part of the experience as a spectator. At WWDC, Apple showed off the new functionality in a demo of the game, Lego AR, creating a lot of buzz in the gaming community.

For developers, this opens up a host of new opportunities, including from a revenue perspective. We’re not quite at AR ads just yet, but it’s possible for that to be coming in the future.

Core ML 2: Smaller, Faster, Customizable Models

Above: Craig Federighi announces Core ML 2 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2018 on June 4 in San Jose, CA. Image Credit: Apple

Recently, apps have started to use a significant amount of machine learning in order to personalize the user experience. For instance, Netflix uses machine learning to recommend personalized content, and Snapchat filters use a combination of augmented reality and machine learning.

With the introduction of Core ML in iOS 11, developers were able to load machine learning models into an Apple device and use the power of these models without an internet connection.

With iOS 12, Apple has released an improved version, Core ML 2.0, which makes training machine learning models 30 percent faster and shrinks the size of these models by 75 percent. It also supports extensive deep learning as well as standard ones like generalized linear models. This improvement will pave the way for more intelligent apps.

AI and ML have already been instrumental for app developers, from helping to fight ad fraud to improving audience reach. Core ML 2.0 represents another step forward in this space.

SiriKit Shortcuts: Accelerating App Interactions

Sirikit was originally introduced in iOS 10 as a framework for app developers to integrate with Apple’s voice assistant, Siri. SiriKit in iOS 12 is much smarter as it can predict user behavior and suggest a relevant shortcut to an app’s feature. For instance, if a user orders tomato soup every day in the afternoon, Siri can learn to suggest and provide a shortcut to the same item. App developers only have to expose features to the SiriKit to now accelerate app interactions.

Voice is still a highly nascent field, but it’s rapidly growing. Siri is more popular than ever, and other voice-enabled devices like Alexa have become increasingly pervasive. The possibilities to monetize voice channels have not yet emerged en masse, but are likely to become more prevalent in the near future.

HealthKit: Enabling Personalization in Health Apps

Users can now share their medical history with your app through HealthKit. With the user’s permission, apps can use this data to significantly improve the in-app experience, through personalized recommendations and targeting.

Moreover, iOS 12 also has a new Natural Language Processing Framework, a new framework called CarPlay for navigation apps and now supports user interactivity in Notifications.

The overall performance improvement with speed and responsiveness in iOS 12 is quite likely to improve app retention. All this and more in iOS 12 release presents developers with a strong platform comprising of Augmented Reality, Machine Learning and personalized experiences.

Image source 1: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2018/06/apple-unveils-arkit-2/

Image source 2: https://venturebeat.com/2018/06/04/apples-core-ml-2-is-30-faster-cuts-ai-model-sizes-by-up-to-75/

Image source 3: https://venturebeat.com/2018/06/04/apples-shortcuts-gives-developers-a-reason-to-care-about-siri/ (Image Credit: Apple)