Feeds

New iOS 8 SDK: Come in, apps. Get cozy, sip wine, swap numbers

'I say, old chum, would you like to use my translation feature?'

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

WWDC For its latest software development kit (SDK) for the forthcoming iOS 8, Apple has adjusted the platform's sandbox security model to allow apps to provide services to other apps running on the same device for the first time.

"This release is the biggest release since the launch of the App Store," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during his Monday keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. "It will give developers the capabilities and tools to make things they haven't dreamed of, and to push to a whole new level."

In all, the iOS 8 SDK contains some 4,000 new developer APIs, according to senior VP Craig Federighi, who was on hand to demo some of the new developer features.

One significant new addition is the ability for apps to publish the services that they provide, allowing other apps to use those features with their own data.

By way of example, Federighi showed a Pinterest app that offered a Share Sheet to allow users to easily post things to the photo-sharing site from within the Safari browser, and a Bing Translator app that offered one-click translation within Safari.

According to Federighi, this kind of extensibility doesn't put users' data at risk, because the system builds upon the existing iOS sandboxing model for apps.

"Extensions live inside an application's own sandbox with access to its own data," Federighi said, "but other applications can reach out by way of iOS's security mechanisms, talk to that extension, and an extension can even project UI right back into the originating app."

Along similar lines, Federighi said that in iOS 8, developers will also be able to extend the OS's Notification Center by bundling Notification Center widgets inside their apps. Users who install the apps will be alerted that new widgets are available and will be given the option to add them to the Notification Center.

Federighi added that iOS 8's new extensibility will even allow users to install third-party keyboards on their iOS devices, a revelation that drew applause from the WWDC crowd.

By default, he said, add-on keyboards will run inside the OS's most restrictive sandbox, with no access to networking. If they want to access the internet to provide enhanced functionality, they'll have to request permission from the user first.

Apple made a beta version of the iOS 8 SDK available for download on Monday at its developer website. The final release of iOS 8 itself is not expected until the Fall, when it will be pushed out as a free update for the iPhone 4s and later, the iPad 2 and later, and iPad Mini models. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.