September 27, 2013

Why your iOS apps needs updating for iOS7

Written By Martin Sandhu

As with all major changes, be it Facebook, iOS or politics, people are either in the love or hate camp, there is rarely an in between. But it won’t take long for those who aren’t fans to get used to it and move on, or change to another handset if they really can’t cope!

The rate of adoption with Apple tends to be pretty fast, based on the upgrade rates of previous iOS releases, so the amount of people still running iOS6 or earlier, who are able to upgrade, is likely to be pretty low already and almost non-existent within a month or so. In a first for Apple though, those not able to run iOS7 will be able to download iOS6 versions of apps.

The visual changes in iOS7 are far-reaching and certainly not subtle, which gives mobile app developers the chance to make some pretty major changes to the design of their app. Whilst ‘flat’ is definitely a theme, other features such as integration with native functions, navigation buttons and the keyboard can really show an app up if it’s not been updated. Those that haven’t had the iOS7 treatment are already starting to look old and clunky, especially when commonly used applications such a Twitter and Facebook got the clean design treatment instantly.

Another major problem with choosing not to or delaying app updates is iOS7’s new multi-tasking feature. Previously, Apple only allowed a small set of services to run in the background, such as music and alerts, applications otherwise self-suspended when users switched to other apps. In iOS7, users have the ability to multitask virtually any app, even when it is not onscreen. However, in order for apps to respond to this developers need to upgrade the code in their apps. Apps that have yet to be updated are already causing frustration to users getting used to the convenience of multi-tasking on the iPhone or iPad.

Whilst iOS7 has steered away from navigational changes, the radical transformation in design and the impact of the new multi-tasking feature means app developers do still need to update their apps if they want to keep their users happy and experience the same success they have has on previous operating systems.