Apple’s iOS 8 was released a few weeks ago, and there may be a few things involving iOS 8 that would be of interest to FileMaker developers.
The first important item to bookmark is the FileMaker Go iOS 8 compatibility page. Here you will find a listing of iOS 8/FileMaker Go 13.0.5 known issues. Also note that only version 13.0.5 is being listed as compatible for iOS 8, so make sure your devices are updated to iOS 8 as well. One major flaw that was discovered was the behavior of files not automatically opening when saved to FileMaker from external programs. Version 13.0.6, with patches to known issues, should be released by FileMaker shortly.
Now on to the fun stuff. One thing that might be of great interest in our community is the inclusion of the Swift Programming Language into Xcode. While not a lot of FileMaker developers keep iOS and compiled application development in their arsenal, Swift is important because it introduces easier programming, as well as a playgrounds feature that shows you how your application behaves in a WYSIWYG interface. Swift is being hailed as Cocoa for beginners, and it might just be time to download that copy of Xcode and start playing around!
Another big thing that got me excited about iOS 8 was the addition of extensions. Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Apple software told Business Insider, “With extensibility, applications from the App Store will be able to extend the system and offer services to other apps.” Why is that cool? If you think about it, we could add things like inline translation and sharing FileMaker data with other apps on iOS. Really cool things will start coming out on this concept over the next few years that should be able to extend the usability of FileMaker Go.
Being a camera geek, I thought the camera improvements in iOS 8 are great too. There are time lapse videos as well as timed shots now. There’s also a meter for straightening the horizon line that shows you the degrees of the horizon from zero. Coupled with the new camera Apple has included in the iPhone 6, and assumably carrying into the next generation of iPads, the camera is becoming quite a useful tool.
Keyboards also got a big update in iOS 8. You are now allowed to choose third party keyboards such as Minuum and Swype for iOS. This should translate down the line to better keyboard control in FileMaker Go, something that was improved with the release of the FileMaker 13 platform, but could always use improvement! Oh, and iOS keyboards are adaptive so the more you use it the faster you’ll type!
Apple’s slide on continuity should definitely ring a bell with FileMaker developers. FileMaker has been modeling the FileMaker platform on the same principles, that your experience should be seamless. While it’s ultimately up to us, the developers, to make the solutions that carry this seamless performance between iOS, WebDirect and the desktop, it’s good to see Apple and FileMaker working together to bring the tools for us to do so. As someone that once used a copy of FileMaker Mobile 8 on PalmOS, I can truly say that it’s staggering what we can do in iOS now with FileMaker Go.