Eight MichiganLabs developers recently had the opportunity to attend the Do iOS conference in Amsterdam.
The conference provided our team members with valuable insights that will continue to shape our approach to custom software development—making us an ideal digital product partner for high-growth companies.
Takeaway 1: A deepened commitment to accessibility
MichiganLabs already prioritizes accessibility in our app design and development. But the Do iOS conference broadened our understanding of what accessibility truly means.
An estimated 1 in 6 people experiences a significant disability, but many other people face temporary or situational disabilities, such as a broken arm.
Throughout the conference, we saw an emphasis on involving the entire team in maintaining accessibility awareness throughout the product life cycle—from early client discussions to design iterations and user testing. Some sessions also focused on leveraging built-in functionality, like hands-free accessibility.
Our team has a renewed commitment to ensuring the apps we build serve every possible end user for our clients, especially in light of the EU Web Accessibility Act. This landmark policy will require all public sector mobile apps and websites to be accessible for people with disabilities in the European Union by 2025.
Takeaway 2: Dynamic widget functionality now available through iOS 17
In 2020, Apple introduced widgets to our phone home screens with iOS 14, but they could only display pieces of information—such as the weather or the events on your calendar that day.
Now, with iOS 17, users can directly interact with apps through the widgets.
By combining the toggle and button interactions now available, we can create more complex user interactions that would have previously been impossible. For example, when interacting with an audio player, you could skip, press pause and play, or adjust the playback time.
Takeaway 3: Confidence to navigate the learning curve of visionOS
Apple Vision Pro is an upcoming mixed-reality headset scheduled for release in early 2024. visionOS, the operating system, will require a learning curve for everyone as we explore its possibilities.
But the Do iOS conference gave us the confidence that our developers can easily adapt for interested clients. Leveraging their existing SwiftUI skills, our developers could jump into creating amazing custom apps for visionOS with little friction.
Takeaway 4: Empowering clients through back end-driven development
By using back end-driven development, we enable clients to instantly update their custom apps without requiring a full app release. This means clients can directly control and modify what appears in their app without relying on developers for every change.
At the conference, we learned how back end-driven development can help clients conduct more A/B testing. For example, the product owner of an e-commerce app could shift messaging for holidays or sales without needing to release a new app version. Product owners could also explore various subscription models or ways of presenting new features.
This empowers clients to own what they present to users and shift their content as they learn more about what their users want.
Takeaway 5: Collaborating to ship seamless app releases
Finally, we gained a fresh perspective on effective shipping practices. The conference reminded us to invest in the set-up process early with our clients, so we can ensure we’re ready for the fun part of releasing the app.
Three guiding principles emerged:
Ship quickly: Prioritize swift deployment to deliver refined products.
Ship continuously: Embrace regular updates to adapt to dynamic software landscapes.
Ship confidently: Produce trouble-free releases, thanks to rigorous testing and preparation.
We look forward to working closely with clients to create efficient release processes.
One of our favorite parts of professional development is the buzz of energy we get when debriefing afterward. As we flip through our notes, we discover fresh inspiration to apply to our daily work.
And we love to share what we learn. What do you think about these five takeaways from Do iOS?
Interested in exploring how MichiganLabs could be your digital product partners? Start a conversation today.