Apple’s new iPhone models add to fragmentation of product line, but few developers express concern
New iPhone 6 models introduced new display resolutions, in a edition new screen sizes – but few problems for developers creating or updating apps
For the past couple of years one of Apple’s big sales points to app developers has been that it can offer an ecosystem virtually free of fragmentation as iOS device owners regularly update their devices to the latest operating system – the result of the brilliant decision to tie the iPhone to iTunes syncing as they did the iPod.
With the release of iOS 8 yesterday there is probably few who doubt that users will continue to update their devices as they have in the past allowing developers to concentrate their time to making sure their old apps are iOS 8 compliant while developing new ones to take advantage of the most recently added features.
But more and more, Apple’s line of devices are fragmenting… or are they merely expanding.
First, a look at the line of iPhones and iPads currently being offered by Apple:
This line-up may change a bit late next month should Apple launch a new version of the iPad. Current rumors mostly talk about the possibility of a larger tablet to be introduced early next year, but one would think that not introducing a new model for the holiday shopping season would be a huge mistake. The expectations are that new models would only offer a faster processor, Touch ID, and maybe (maybe!) increased storage.
But few developers or digital publishing platform owners I spoke to expressed much concern. Apple’s platform remains fairly easy to navigate. Concerns from those I talked to were consistent: app discoverability, slowing iPad sales, and inconsistent guidelines are bigger concerns than whether Apple will introduce a new product that is an outlier that forces them to create two separate apps for different devices, models or operating systems. In fact, a few developers told me that this year went far smoother than previous years – but a few wondered if there might be ugly surprises in the weeks ahead (but this was a minority view).
One thing remains constant: conversations with what Apple is doing are always expected to be on background, such is the fear of inducing the wrath of Apple. Publicly, everything remains fine, even as privately there are major concerns. But the direction of iOS or device development remains only a minor concern to those I spoke with.