Apple tells developers apps must be 'optimized' for iOS 7 by February 1, 2014

Apple tells developers apps must be 'optimized' for iOS 7 by February 1, 2014

Apple has posted a notice advising developers that, by February 1, 2014, all apps submitted to the App Store much be "optimized" for iOS 7. From News and Announcements for Apple Developers:

Starting February 1, new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and must be optimized for iOS 7. Learn more about preparing your apps by reviewing the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

Whether or not that means something as simple as linking to the iOS 7 SDK instead of the old iOS 6 SDK, or whether it means apps have to be redesigned in keeping with iOS 7's depth, deference, and clarity principles isn't exactly clear. However, iOS 7 is meant to be the most tabula rasa version to date, with the chrome getting out of the way so developers can fill the screen with anything and everything imaginable - including green felt if they so wish - my best guess is just that. No more pre-iOS 7 chrome. And bye-bye iOS 6 keyboard...

We've already updated the iMore for iPhone app to iOS 7, and the new frameworks really do enable much, much better software.

Hopefully there'll be some clearer guidance as the deadline approaches. If anyone has any better interpretations, please let me know!

Source: News and Announcements for Apple Developers

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple tells developers apps must be 'optimized' for iOS 7 by February 1, 2014


"Something as simple as linking to the iOS 7 SDK instead of the old iOS 6 SDK" is very likely what it means. But its actually not that simple, because any app that was built under iOS6 or earlier will almost certainly be broken by doing this. It generally necessitates a significant amount of work in interface updates to make it work at all, regardless of whether iOS7 design guidelines are adopted or not.

All apps should be optimize by now, it's time to be up to date for the future which is IOS 7, IOS 6 is the past whoever don't like it well it's too bad!!

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Same happened with the apps optimized for iPhone 5 screen, and guess what? You can still find apps running in the old format. In my opinion not every developer will care.

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Don't think so. I think you'll always be able to get the last version of the app that your software/hardware supports.

I believe the developer can opt not to allow this in case the last compatible version simply isn't functional anymore.

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Thank you. I'm hoping certain apps such as Netflix, Amazon Instant, and a few other movie/tv streaming apps stay working on my iPad. Can't upgrade at the moment because of lack of money. Once those apps stop working I'm wondering if a jailbreak would work.

I'm exciting, some of my favorite apps will be optimize or even updated. Some of the apps haven't been optimiZe since iOS 5. I refuse to download those apps. That's a great thing apple!

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I caught that typo too and strangely felt disappointed... That it wasn't as much fun as the "coach potato" incident.

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iOS 7 is the version this system grew up and finally became useable without adding a ton of additional fixes/tweaks, people don't need to be reminded to jump on this wagon.

Marco Arment was Tweeting about this a little bit and mentioned that going iOS 7 and supporting less of the old iOS 6/not supporting it at all would also result in smaller apps. Apparently iOS 7 code is lighter than the comparable iOS 6 code.

No, Marco said that the duplicate assets -- keeping fonts, styles, and graphics for for both iOS7 and iOS 6 -- were causing the extra weight.

Don't exactly like this... I have an older device that can't upgrade to iOS 7 so I'll have to update all my apps to their latest version now cuz I don't plan on buying a new device >:/

I don't know how you do that. I was just using my friends iPhone 4 on iOS 7, it wasn't the worst thing ever but like everything took 5-10 seconds to load when it came to using the operating system. I felt like chucking the phone, I have the 5S and the 5 before that. I'll be sure to get the 6 as soon as it comes out, no way I'm gonna be on that slow technology of yesteryear wagon.

Does this mean that new updates must be forced NOT to work on ios6?
I am not updating to ios7 for as long as I can (can't stand the ugly flat interface).
And will seriously be considering switching to android when I have to update.
As much as I like Apple's products, the new interface is just horrendous.
And yes, I still miss the tape recorder animation in podcasts.