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IBM and Apple Partner on iOS Mobile Apps for Enterprises

Developers using iOS to create AI and machine learning-powered apps now have significantly more power in their arsenal.

For years Apple and IBM have collaborated to expand the business capabilities of iOS -- including IBM's embrace of Apple's Swift programming language for enterprise use.

Now, that partnership has gained even more momentum with the introduction of new functionality which combines Apple's machine learning framework called Core ML -- which helps developers integrate trained machine learning models into mobile apps -- with IBM Watson, "the AI platform for professionals."

Along with that, the companies also introduced a cloud-based developer console.

"To further advance businesses and industries and usher in a new era of mobile intelligence, Apple and IBM are combining our capabilities in machine learning, AI and cloud to bring to market two new offerings: IBM Watson Services for Core ML and the IBM Cloud Developer Console for Apple," the companies said of the partnership.

While there's more to come in the partnership, an initial new capability lets iOS developers take advantage of Watson Visual Recognition's new support for Core ML models, enabling the classification of images even when iOS devices are offline. The source code for Visual Recognition with Core ML is open source and available on GitHub.

By integrating Core ML with IBM Watson, developers can gain insights the more the technology is used, as apps "get smarter" over time via machine learning.

The IBM Cloud Developer Console for Apple, meanwhile, is designed to help developers quickly build and connect to the IBM Cloud, providing automatic configuration of development environments, integrating with a DevOps toolchain and making it easier to add AI, database and mobile services to back iOS apps.

"The new IBM Cloud Developer Console for Apple provides tools, including preconfigured starter kits, to simplify Swift development, along with AI, data and mobile services optimized for Swift," the companies said in a statement. "For example, we're introducing IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Starter Kit to enable iOS developers to safeguard credentials, services and data using the IBM Cloud Hyper Protect services. This facilitates building enterprise apps on the IBM Cloud, and further complements the high level of security of Apple devices."

More details on the Apple/IBM partnership can be found on this site.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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