Apple's first iOS app development center on European soil is being assembled in Italy to help train more software developers in the skills needed for building iOS apps for the company's huge customer base around the world.
Apple on Jan. 21 announced that the iOS App Development Center will be in Naples, Italy, at the location of an Apple partner institution that was not yet identified.
The facility is being formed to support teachers and provide a specialized curriculum preparing thousands of future developers to be part of Apple's thriving developer community," the company said. "In addition, Apple will work with partners around Italy who deliver developer training to complement this curriculum and create additional opportunities for students."
While this is the first such iOS development initiative so far in Europe, Apple said it expects to expand the program to other countries around the world.
"Europe is home to some of the most creative developers in the world and we're thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success," Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said in a statement. "The phenomenal success of the App Store is one of the driving forces behind the more than 1.4 million jobs Apple has created in Europe and presents unlimited opportunities for people of all ages and businesses of all sizes across the continent."
There is already an active Apple developer community in Italy, according to company officials. More than 75,000 jobs are attributable to the presence of the App Store today in the country.
Apple has not yet given a date for when the new app development facility will open in Italy.
The company has also been busy in recent months acquiring firms to expand its product and service offerings. Earlier in January, the tech giant acquired emotion-detection startup Emotient as the company continues to invest in businesses in a wide range of niches to add to Apple's features and technologies. Emotient provides data about customer attention, engagement and sentiment by analyzing a user's facial expressions and detecting their feelings with its cloud-based services, according to the company's Website. "The company is at the vanguard of a new wave of emotion analysis that will lead to a quantum leap in customer understanding and emotion-aware computing," the site states.
The company's services give "direct measurement of a customer's unfiltered emotional response to ads, content, products and customer service or sales interactions," according to Emotient.
The Emotient acquisition continues Apple's ongoing acquisition spree, which took on a new fervor in 2015 as the company worked to spend some of the more than $178 billion in cash it amassed in recent years on research and acquisitions.
In November 2015, Apple confirmed that it had acquired motion-capture technology startup Faceshift, which builds applications that capture human facial expressions as animated avatars or characters. Faceshift's motion-capturing technology has been used in the making of earlier Star Wars movies. In addition, Faceshift has also worked with Intel and Pepsi on previous marketing campaigns that used motion-capture technology.
In October 2015, Apple bought Perceptio, an artificial intelligence startup that works on ideas that could be integrated into future iPhones. Perceptio's technology helps smartphone owners more easily organize and store photos on their iPhones, making them easier to find and use. The price of the acquisition and terms of the deal were not announced.
In September 2015, Apple reportedly acquired Mapsense, a mapping visualization startup, for $25 million to $30 million to bolster its mapping assets as it continues to develop better map tools in iOS 9 and other Apple products, according to another eWEEK report. Mapsense works to help customers create data-driven maps for a wide range of business uses, while also offering mapping visualization tools and services to developers and enterprises. Apple has been struggling with mobile mapping services in the last several years, especially compared with Google Maps and its offerings.