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Is your App ready for iOS 7?

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Word on the street is that Apple is following the same 100-day launch plan they used for iOS 6, which would put the release date on Sept. 18, 2013. At WWDC, Tim Cook called iOS 7 “The biggest change to iOS since the first iPhone.” 

A VentureBeat article shows 93 percent of iPhone users are on iOS 6. More recent numbers during a 14-day period ending June 3, 2013, show this even higher, at 96 percent on iOS 6. Although on day one all of these users won’t switch, the broad trend shows that Apple is deeply committed to eliminating fragmentation in the developer platform for their OS. 

There are a few implications here, the biggest one being that if your app is not updated to iOS 7 you will be left “in the dust.” If you remember the apps that were not prepared for the retina display (iPhone & iPad), they ended up looking pretty bad during that transition. This upcoming wave will be significantly worse. 

Some bloggers are speculating that Apple is deliberately making things hard on developers to shift to iOS 7 to steal energy from Android. This makes sense. But regardless of the intention, this is a massive change and the disruption is coming sooner than you think. 

Photon is working with dozens of customers and with iOS 7 in our labs. Here’s what we have discovered: When this beast hits, you will need to consider the following: 

  • Your app will look terrible! Pre-iOS 7 apps stick out and look jarringly clunky, obsolete and obnoxious in the new Jony Ive design overhaul.
  • Apple mandatory apps dominate the new “clean” home screens and make iOS 6 icons unpleasant-looking to click.
  • New apps will take advantage of background updates and multitasking, a new Map Kit, inter-app audio, and AirDrop.
  • Type Kit completely redefines font rasterizing in apps and makes apps that don’t support it look goofy on upcoming devices.
  • Apple is deprecating some iOS 6 APIs, so apps depending on those should beware. 

Simply put, every app must consider at least basic updates to its UI and features to survive in a post-iOS 6 world. 

With Apple’s rocketing adoption rates (96 percent or more for iOS 6), updating to iOS 7 isn’t a choice anymore. And we only have 58 days to prepare for this huge change. 

Craig Federighi, Apple SVP of Software, said, “Installing iOS 7 on your phone is like getting a new phone.

So iOS 7 is like a new phone platform. Be ready! 

Srinivas Balasubramanian is chairman and CEO of Photon, the leading Cloud to Consumer UX™ company. He has a proven track record of building category-dominating, highly profitable companies with significant market value. In his tenure as CEO, Photon has developed innovative mobile and multichannel solutions for hundreds of customers including 25 percent of the Fortune 100. Earlier he was SVP at webMethods and was founder and CEO of Infravio Inc. (acquired by webMethods in 2006).

 

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