D-Day for iOS 7, developers issue updates, cross their fingers
It is on days like this that I am glad I pulled Talking New Media for iPhone out of the Apple App Store. That original mobile app was built in 2010 and I doubt very seriously that it would work under iOS 7 (it hardly worked back then!).
Although the developers and tech companies I’ve talked to about iOS 7 are enthusiastic about the new mobile operating system from Apple one can’t help buy get the feeling that this version of the OS may cause some problems. Developers working with the beta versions have been releasing app updates since August and one can see many crossing their fingers this morning hoping that their apps perform as expected once iOS 7 is released to the public.
One clue to the difficulties that may await comes with this morning’s update for iBooks from Apple. One would expect Apple to update its own apps before the release of a new OS, but today’s update which says “improves compatibility with iOS and iCloud” comes only 24 hours after a previous update to the same app was issued. On top of that, another update that said involved “compatibility with iOS and iCloud” had been issued on August 20. Interesting.
For many developers, the reason to update their apps for iOS 7 is less about crashes and bugs and more about overall design. Apps such as Snapguide which provides step-by-step how to guides has issued an update to make their app design more consistent with the look and feel of iOS 7.
Another app reissued because of iOS 7 design considerations was the restaurant reservation app from Open Table. “We’ve completely redesigned the OpenTable app for iOS 7 to help you find and book great places to eat – by focusing on new search features and a design that lets the restaurants shine,” their app description states.
You can expect many app developers to look at their app icons later this week and compare them to those designed by Apple and decide that a redesign may be smart. Their apps may look like the Southern California homeowner who re-roofs their house then sees that their house, with its brand new wood shingles, looks out of place among a neighborhood of red tile houses.
new media companies like Zillow and Netflix both issued updates today. Zillow mentions iOS 7, but Netflix is just about bug fixes, having issued an update just three weeks ago which presumably would have been their first stab at developing for iOS 7.
Twitter-owned Vine Labs issued an update for its video app that mentions iOS 7 – though, to be fair, Twitter issues updates on a weekly basis for just about any excuse.
Finally, Amazon has updated its Amazon Mobile app. The update does not mention iOS 7, but the update is a major one, bringing the app up to version 3.0.