Will slow iOS updaters face app compatibility issues? 52% of devs will require iOS 7

Will slow iOS updaters face app compatibility issues? 52% of devs will require iOS 7
Theoretically, we're just over a month away from iOS 7 being officially released, as well as some new Apple hardware being put onto the market. Of course, with every iOS update, there is a good amount of work required by developers to ensure support, and iOS 7 may have more than most because of all the new design elements.

A new survey by Twitterrific developer Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory has found that 95% of developers are currently working to add iOS 7 support to their apps. And, possibly more interesting, 52% of respondents are saying that their apps will require iOS 7, and that they will no longer support iOS 6 after updating. 

Depending on how quickly users update, and how quickly developers push updates, this could cause some frustration if apps suddenly lose support. This would also mean that any users that still have an iPhone 3Gs or older, an OG iPad, or a 4th gen iPod Touch or older will could also face problems, because those devices will not be compatible with iOS 7 at all. 

Of course, Apple does have a good track record for quick iOS upgrade adoptions (except for those who held out on iOS 6 until Google Maps was released into the App Store), so it may not be that big of an issue. Also, the survey only covered 575 app developers; and, given that there are over 275,000 app iOS developers in the U.S. alone, that may mean the survey numbers don't scale, but we'll have to wait and see.

source: Furbo via AppleInsider

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24 Comments

1. HASHTAG unregistered

Not if they just update a tad bit faster.

2. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

the fragmentation deepens!

3. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

The only difference between this and Android fragmentation (please don't ban me for using the f-word, Michael) is that Apple will be pushing this update to the vast majority of their devices. On the plus side for Android though, I'm pretty sure that the majority of Android apps are able to run on versions going back to Froyo.

18. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

What if people don't want to upgrade their iPhone 4 because it makes their device run slower? There is no turning back. On one side you have to upgrade to get the apps but on the other side the upgrade could make your phone run crappy. But you know; I wonder if that's Apple's plan. Make people upgrade because their phones run like crap.

21. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

If developers continue to support older software versions in addition to iOS 7, then their overall app development slows. Apple and the developers are hedging their bets that people who update their devices are the more lucrative target market, and as such this plan benefits them. Will a few people be mad? Of course, but if you can think of a situation that would make everyone happy all the time, I'd love to hear it.

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Too bad iOS 7 is compatible with all current iOS devices. Nice try though. If you have an iPhone, you don't have to wait 6 mos to a year for updates.

11. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Where many devices will not get all the features.Great definition of "compatible".

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31650; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Same thing with android. Some older devices simply don't have the horsepower to run all the features, of a platform. Oh well head to the store, and upgrade. I get a new iPhone and galaxy every year.

15. ibap

Posts: 871; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

This may be true. But since there is only one 'manufacturer', the wait is before the announcement.

16. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Ah, not really ALL iOS devices. There are many who will not be getting iOS 7.

24. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

By current you mean the iPhone 4 and up...3G and below need no apply. Really the 5 and whatever they call the new one are only two are 100% compatible. •iPhone 4S, but does not support: •Filters in Camera app •AirDrop •iPhone 4, but does not support: •All items from iPhone 4S, plus •Panoramic photos •Siri Only the 4th-gen iPad, iPad Mini and 5th-gen iPod touch up get full compatibility as well. So basically, unless you have an iDevice release in the last 14 months, you do NOT get the full fledged iOS 7. Nice try though!

25. arebstar

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Well duh, if something is older it doesn't have the horsepower. So clearly, they are getting the full fledged ios 7. I can't complain I won't be getting True-Flash on my iPhone 5 because it's a hardware issue. Same goes with the iPhone 4, if you don't have the processing power you won't get that simple cosmetic change. You are still getting ios 7 support, which is more to say than android and hanging people out to dry after 2 updates.

4. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

True Apple fans should not mind buying a new Apple device every 12 months. Its like paying for their tithing to their Apple Shrine.

7. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

It's easy to keep all your devices running the latest version of software when nothing changes cosmetically and functional additions are pretty sparse. We'll see how they do when the OS is meet with a more sizeable update.

9. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Except iOS 7 is a complete overhaul. And as you can see with some android phones, custom UIs actually slows down updates. And cosmetically? Same can be said with ICS and the numerous versions of jellybean running around.

14. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

A complete design overhaul, yes. Not nearly as big as the jump from Gingerbread to ICS. Definitely agree on skins slowing down updates. From ICS to Jelly Bean, Google introduced the coolest thing to happen to smart phones since the touchscreen... Google Now. Also introduced expandable and actionable notifications, project butter, and user profiles. So while things haven't changed cosmetically, functional changes between ICS and Jelly Bean have been epic.

8. Mxyzptlk unregistered

In other words, you're trying to say that iOS 7 is going to experience fragmentation? Yet when the same is asked about android, you remain coy about it. So what point are you trying to make here Michael?

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Let face it, iOS is fragmentation at its core to per device model. Only the latest iPhone 5s will get the full feature set of iOS 7. I am OK with it because that how Apple encourage their fans like you to update to the latest greatest.

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's not true. People who own the 4S since launch will already be eligible for an upgrade. The older the device the harder it is to get newer features on. Android is the same way.

23. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Denial... well let hear it from Apple support document then. http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5457 I have use both iOS and Android and i don't look forward to iOS upgrade as much as an Android update because iOS you know you will be missing out on key feature. For Android you get every function the newer Android OS bring. Mxyzptik you are pathetic to use solely iOS and knows very little... ..

26. arebstar

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

What is there denial about? Older devices don't have the processing power to smoothly run those features, ergo they don't get them. If you want the latest and greatest features, it will cost you, no matter what operating system you're on. "Pathetic" to solely use ios? You're absolutely pathetic calling anyone that for using a single OS. If you're invested in one ecosystem that is where you stay, either side. Get off your high horse thinking you know any better especially about market fragmentation when half of android users are running version 2.xx when the latest is 4.xx

17. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Good god man, the point I'm trying to make is directly in the article: there could be compatibility issues for those who don't update right away. Not every problem is called "fragmentation". This problem is called "update requirements". I've got a spotty sunburn because of inconsistent sun block application. Should we call that "skin fragmentation"?

20. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's there problem if they don't update right away. Apple isn't forcing them to and developers have ample time to optimize their apps. It's no different than the android scene. I'm not saying every problem is called fragmentation but you sure are hinting at it. I don't really get the point of your example. Why is it that every time I ask you to elaborate on something you make an article on, you tell me to refer to the article?

22. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

IOS 7 is a huge step forward from IOS 6. Its the same when Android made the change from Gingerbread to ICS. Developers needed to get on the 'Holo' bandwagon, which could have left "2.3.x GB" users in the, well something. :P IOS hasn't got such problems, Apple updates every device. Its upto the devs to suit up their apps and responsibility of the end users to update the latest firmware. 'F-word' is inappropriate here. And for the Iphone 3GS or 4 users, its about time you go for upgrade. :)

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