iOS App Development

Sandbar is an innovative London based digital agency specialising in solutions for startup entrepreneurs, fast-growth companies and businesses looking to solve complex digital problems.

iOS is the most widely used mobile operating system in the world, and is naturally integral to the mobile app world.

We are experts in delivering world class iOS apps using both Swift and Objective-C programming languages. We have created a wide variety of functionality for the iOS platform including apps to handle Image Recognition, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Geolocation and Text Recognition.

Why choose iOS over other platforms for your mobile app?

It's the most widely used OS

Quite simply, your app will be in front of more potential users, which will derive more revenue as a direct result.

Payments are seamless

The new App Store payment flows are seamless and frictionless. The addition of Touch ID and Face ID have allowed users to purchase apps instantly. This increases your potential revenue. There are also multiple methods to sell products, from one-off In App Purchases to repeat payments, subscriptions and limited time offers.

iOS promotes good user experience

Apps are rigorously tested and those offering poor user experiences are rejected. Hence the quality of all apps in the App Store is of a relatively high grade, allowing developers to charge more.

Greater compatibility across devices

Unlike Android, iOS has a closed wall approach to its software which means less fragmentation of functionality and greater compatibility across more devices. You can be assured of developing one app which will run on all Apple devices.

iOS specific functionality

Apple themselves expose a number of APIs built directly into iOS itself. These include:

Siri Shortcuts

Siri Shortcuts can intelligently pair users’ daily routines with your apps to suggest convenient shortcuts right when they’re needed. The Shortcuts API can help users to quickly accomplish tasks related to your app, directly from the lock screen, in Search or from the Siri watch face.

Machine Learning

Another term for Artificial Intelligence, Apple’s Core Machine Learning framework delivers blistering performance with easy integration of machine learning models, which enables the building of apps with just a few lines of code.

Core ML 2 allows developers to integrate a broad variety of machine learning models into apps, which can be run on the device itself to avoid requiring cloud-based analyzation. Supported features include face tracking, face detection, landmarks, text detection, rectangle detection, barcode detection, object tracking, and image registration.

The Natural Language framework is a new framework is a new framework you use to analyze natural language text and deduce its language-specific metadata.


iOS is now the biggest Augmented Reality platform in the world. Apps can incorporate real-world objects into AR experiences, giving users even greater immersive opportunities. ARKit 2 can now offer persistent AR experiences, which allows users to resume sessions such as resuming an AR puzzle or come back to an interior decorating project over multiple sessions. AR experiences can now also be shared with multiple users to allow the same experience on different devices.

2D object tracking is also now included allowing triggering of AR experiences from 2d images such as posters, artwork or signs. ARKit 2 also adds the ability to detect known 3D objects like sculptures, toys, or furniture.


HealthKit allows users to share their medical history with an iOS app they are using. With their permission, you can personalize health experiences based on health record data such as conditions, labs, medications, vitals, and more.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay can be used to pay over the usual £30 contactless limit using your iOS device. It can also be used within apps to make purchases easier. Compared to contactless, it is more secure as Apple Pay uses a device-specific number and unique transaction code, so your card number is never stored on your device or on Apple servers.

Quality Assurance

Beta testing is incredibly easy to set up on iOS using Testflight.

Up to 25 internal testers and up to 10,000 external beta testers can be invited to test app that is being readied for public release on the App Store. Users are invited via email, and the Testflight app makes installing beta apps simple, with no need to keep track of UDIDs or provisioning profiles.

Once on the program, updated builds can be pushed to specific groups allowing a rapid test and feedback loop.

The iOS Marketplace

App Store Guidelines

It’s a good idea to be well acquainted with Apple’s App Store guidelines before embarking on any iOS project as there are currently a number of restrictions Apple impose on apps being submitted to the App Store.

We can advise on what we think will be acceptable to Apple based on our experience and ensure they pass the review process once ready for launch.

Apple Revenue Cut

One thing we are often asked is ‘do Apple really take 30% of all revenue?’. The answer is invariably and unfortunately yes. Both Apple and Google Play App Stores take a 30% revenue cut of all app purchases, in-app payments and subscriptions.

The one case where this does not apply is physical goods sold through eCommerce app platforms. In this instance Apple do not charge a fee for purchases. Digital goods are subject to the 30% fee which is why you will see Amazon Kindle book purchases, for example, routed through the Amazon website rather than through the iOS App Store.

Apple now offer a lower 15% transaction fee which applies to any business with revenue below $100k.

Getting your app noticed

App stores are crowded marketplaces and without a concerted App Store Optimisation (ASO) strategy you run the risk of remaining invisible to your customers. Along with this we can provide a range of solutions to help get your app noticed, tailored specifically for your target audience.

MVP Development

If you’re bootstrapping a great app idea the usual first step is to produce a Minimal Viable Product to validate a market exists for your product. On a minimal budget, we can provide a clickable prototype through to a downloaded app from the App Stores, using the minimum of functionality, to help take your business to the next stage.


Project in mind? Just want more information? Drop us a line and we’ll get straight back to you.

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