For Apple fans, the coming of September brings the hope of a new iOS platform and new phone releases. iOS 9 promises to be more secure and offer a better user experience. We took a closer look at these new features and came up with a few that are important to evaluate and address. I hope to capture the key areas of changes that may affect DL Reader and your apps.
- Updated build tools
- Image resource management
- App Transport Security
- IPv6 support
Updated Build Tools
With every update, comes a new set of SDK tools. There will be a new Xcode 7 and iOS 9 SDK. As of now, both Xcode 7 and iOS 9 SDKs are still in their beta stage. So far our update to build DL Reader with this new set of tools has gone smoothly. We plan to get our release out to customers as soon as possible. Our initial release may be built with the beta versions of these tools. We will submit the updated DL Reader app to the App Store as soon as both Xcode 7 and iOS 9 SDK are officially released.
Image Resource Management
According to Apple, “iOS 9 enforces the UILaunchImages requirement; apps can no longer declare the same launch image to support different interface orientations.”
To comply with the new requirements, and to better manage the launch images, we added the use of storyboards to manage launch images. Using this new mechanism removes the need to provide static launch images in many different sizes and resolutions to work on all iOS devices. In order to support iOS 7, we still kept the static launch images for running DL Reader on iOS 7.
As part of the resource management improvement, but not completely related to the changes in Launch Images, we are also updating DL Reader to use asset catalog to manage image resources. Doing so allows an app to take advantage of the app thinning feature. As apps get larger and more complex with added architecture and devices (think of doubling some part of the app to add 64-bit support), being able to allow a user to download a portion of the app is a great feature to have.
Multitasking allows two apps to run side-by-side and even run in the Picture-in-Picture mode. To meet the iOS 9 release date, our initial focus is to test how DL Reader operates in the multitasking environment and take note of issues that we can find with multitasking enabled. We all enjoyed testing out the DL Reader alongside a video being streamed, and we are impressed with how polished the multitasking looks and functions. It was quite fun to watch multitasking in action. To give you an idea of what you can do, here is a snapshot of the screen from an iPad Air 2. You can see DL Reader on the left side and Datalogics website shown in Safari on the right in what is called the split view; and for an added bonus, a video playing in the small window in the lower left corner on top of what is displayed in the DL Reader.
In this testing, DL Reader is built with multitasking enabled. However, we have some issues to sort out so our initial release will not have the multitasking enabled.
For more information on the multitasking feature and how you can optimize your app to support this feature, take a look at the multitasking info page from Apple’s developer site.
App Transport Security (ATS)
As everyone is more concerned about internet security, Apple has set the use of secure connections as the default behavior of iOS 9 apps. By default, iOS 9 apps will not connect to websites through http protocol. In addition, there are other requirements to meet. You can find more information from Apple’s webpage on ATS requirement.
For DL Reader and many of our customers’ apps, besides what the app maker can often add to communicate with the website, there are also services going between the app and Adobe’s activation server, as well as between the app and the Adobe Content Server. If you are using RMSDK 11, you might already be communicating using https with Adobe’s activation server. What may not be available is the secure connection to Adobe Content Server which is typically set up using http protocol.
As our customers, if you are interested in moving your ACS servers or your app to use secure connections, rest assured that ACS does work with this type of connection. Since DL Reader needs to be able to support a wide selection of content from different Adobe Content Server providers, our release will not be restricted to secure connection only.
IPv6 is short for “Internet Protocol Version 6.” New iOS apps should be able to support IPv6 going forward. We have discovered that in order to support this, a network component used by DL Reader needs to be re-built to enable IPv6 support. Since IPv6 may not be adopted by network services in all places, Apple provided guidelines for setting up a simulated testing environment. We have now built and tested DL Reader under this simulated environment, and I am happy to report that all is well. Changes to the build will be included in build scripts, and distributed to our customers.
I hope this gives you a good idea of where we are and what you can expect from Datalogics when we are ready to release the updated DL Reader. If you have any questions regarding the iOS 9 updates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.