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iOS Gains Key APIs for Touch ID, Camera, More

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Jun 2, 2014, 2:11 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Apple today revealed a significantly expanded set of new tools for developers to use for creating iOS apps. The new iOS SDK includes some 4,000 APIs for developers to put to use. Of those, core APIs concern the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s, which will now support third-party apps. Previously, only select Apple-made apps could access Touch ID. New camera APIs will allow developers to do more with their own camera apps and let users access more photo features. The HomeKit API will let Apple devices talk to the myriad different home automation products in the market so people can control their electronic door locks, garage door openers, and other tools from their iPhone. SceneKit will give developers light sources, field forces, and per-pixel physics in their games. A tool called Metal can be used to create 3D graphics while also freeing up system resources. Last, and most importantly, Apple debuted Swift, a new coding language that it promises with be faster and simpler for developers to use. As Apple described it, "Swift is Objective C without the C." Swift works with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch and uses all the same compilers and vectorizers already available within C. iOS 8 is available for developers to download in beta status beginning today.

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