The Best iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Features for Developers

The WWDC 2018 developers banner

iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 both include a fair share of features targeted at the average Joe, but what if you’re more than that? Developers are what shapes a platform. Without them, your platform will shrivel and rot, like we’ve seen in the past with Windows Phone. Without developers, there are no apps and without apps, no customers. The cycle continues as with no customers, there are no developers to code the software.

Thankfully, Apple’s platforms do not have issues with developer interest. They even pack a lot of features specifically targeted at them to make developing apps easier. iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 both include many new features that could be useful if you like to code.

iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Features for Developers


iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 both feature support for Apple’s latest and greatest of goodies for developers; SwiftUI. This framework will allow you to code the UI of your apps using Swift code as well as fill in a lot of support gaps automatically, like resizable elements and automatic compatibility with some future features.

The best part about SwiftUI is that the code is very reusable across Apple platforms. While UIKit on macOS already fills this gap to a big extent, SwiftUI is a more forward-thinking solution. New “proper” macOS apps can be written using SwiftUI then later be ported to some extent to the iPad making it a mutually beneficial relationship. It, of course, goes both ways.

NFC Is Getting an Upgrade

iPhone - NFC Technology

Apple is finally opening up the NFC chip with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. Not only will apps be able to read the code from NFC cards, but they’ll also be able to write to them, meaning things like Google Pay could, in the end, come to the iPhone. Public transport apps (Like Transport for London) could integrate their tickets right into their apps. This change is for the iPhone 7 and up and developers can already start testing these new features in the latest Developer Betas.

ARKit 3

While consumers might not be as interested in Augmented Reality, ARKit 3 is still a big thing for developers. With RealityKit and RealityCompose, Apple is introducing powerful tools. The tools help you set the scene, import 3D assets and sound sources, while detailing how those objects will interact with user input and their environment


Siri Shortcuts Cool Things Featured

Siri has long been seen as the prettier but much dumber sister of Alexa or Google Assistant. And this is due to a plethora of things, one of them being unable to integrate third-party music players, podcast apps and more, with Siri. This is finally changing in iOS and iPadOS 13 with SiriKit for audio. Developers can now integrate their audio media apps directly into Siri’s system, just like she should have for years by now.

Project Catalyst

While not directly an iPadOS or iOS 13 feature, it’s worth a mention. Project Catalyst, also known as Marzipan and UIKit on Mac, is Apple bringing the development tools for iPad apps to macOS. Apple first introduced this feature in macOS Mojave, however, the tools were mostly restricted or unofficial. Now, everyone can compile their iOS app for macOS with often a single click.

We’ve already seen companies like Twitter embracing it, and developers do crazy things like to run Cydia on macOS.


iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 still have a long way to go before they can be considered “developer friendly”. They have, however, come much closer to reaching that label thanks to Apple’s latest and greatest software. Apple is slowly opening up where needed and expanding important features further.

Did we miss any new cool features that you, as a developer, appreciate? If so, let us know in the comments section below and we’ll make sure to add that as well.\

Check out our other articles to discover all the new iOS 13 and iPad OS features: