What Apple’s Spring 2016 Announcements Mean for Appcelerator Devs

At Monday’s Special Event Apple announced a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the iPhone SE, Xcode 7.3 for iOS 9.3, WatchOS 2.2 and then some more.

Here’s what these announcements mean to you as Titanium developer:

Xcode 7.3

We have tested Titanium 5.x with the latest Xcode 7.3 betas and while we are still running final tests with the just-released GA we expect it to work just fine. Please report if you see otherwise.

See our updated Titanium Compatibility Matrix on the CI Wiki for details.

You can update Xcode via the App Store.

NOTE: There’s a known issue with Xcode 7.3 that if you had iOS 7.x or older Simulators installed that are incompatible with Xcode 7.3 it won’t show any Simulators at all and neither will Appcelerator CLI and Studio. The solution is to manually remove the old iOS Simulators.

New: Force Touch via Trackpad

As a Titanium developer you’ll probably not actually use Xcode a lot, except for the iOS Simulator. With Xcode 7.3, the Simulator now supports the Force Touch trackpad to test Force/3D touch on iOS.

iOS 9.3

In our tests with the Xcode 7.3 betas we have seen no issues with Titanium 5.x and iOS 9.3. Again, please report if you see otherwise.

See our updated Titanium Compatibility Matrix on the CI Wiki for details.

If you update to Xcode 7.3 it will upgrade the iOS 9.x Simulator to 9.3. For devices, iOS 9.3 is an over-the-air update.

API Differences

From a developer point of view, iOS 9.3 comes with the usual pile of API Differences. As a Titanium developer we hide most of this from you as we take care of deprecated and removed APIs.

New APIs & Frameworks

There’s a few noticeable new APIs and frameworks. To use these without delay, plug-in Hyperloop to access any API, third-party or Apple Framework like ResearchKit and the upcoming CareKit directly from JavaScript.

The WatchSession framework now supports communication with multiple Apple Watches. We have an update for Ti.WatchSession awaiting to be merged for Titanium 5.4. However, even without this update your WatchOS and Titanium iOS app will continue to work. Users will have to move the iOS app to the background and then reopen it each time he has switched Apple Watch.

For HealthKit you can use the beta module by our partner Logical Labs.

iPhone SE & 9.7-inch iPad Pro

The iPhone SE has the same screen size as the iPhone 5s. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has the same screen size as the iPad Air 2. So both devices will use existing App Icons and Launch Images. Of course they can also use Storyboard Launch Files for which we introduced support in Titanium 5.2.0.

So yes, Titanium supports both new devices.