95% of developers surveyed say they're full steam ahead on iOS 7 updates

Survey says 95% of developers full steam ahead on iOS 7 updates

This fall Apple will be releasing iOS 7, and with it, a whole new design language and feature set for developers to adjust to and pass along to the people using their apps. How many designers and developers plan to update, especially considering how few people seem willing to pay for updates? Hall of famer Craig Hockenberry of the Iconfactory was curious as well, so he put up a survey, and shared the results on Furbo:

An overwhelming number of developers are updating apps for iOS 7. Of 575 valid responses, 545 developers indicated that they were working on an update for iOS 7. That's an adoption rate of 95%!

Hockenberry also broke down how many developers plan on updating to iOS 7 and dropping support for older iOS versions, and how many plan on supporting both iOS 7 and iOS 6 and older. It's a small sampling and likely skews towards the more engaged, more dedicated developer community of which Hockenberry is part. But that that core community is engaged and energized, given the radical changes in iOS 7, is a great sign.

Previously, Hockenberry's partner and fellow hall of famer, Gedeon Maheux, wondered on Gedblog about whether or not customers would be willing to pay for all the work needed to update to iOS 7. So far, comments haven't been encouraging.

Check out the data, and let me know - will it matter to you if your favorite apps are updated to iOS 7 asap? How important is iOS 6 and older compatibility going to be to you come the fall? And what's the best way for developers to get paid for the work all of this is going to entail?

Source: Furbo

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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

95% of developers surveyed say they're full steam ahead on iOS 7 updates


It will NOT matter to me if my apps are updated to ios 7 because right now I do not plan to update to ios 7. I tried the beta. It worked ok but i really dislike the new design, the look and some design choices they made don't appeal to my eye. I rolled back to the last firmware of ios 6 and i'm much happier. "what's the best way for developers to get paid?" I'm a consumer not a developer. Sorry, I don't care in the slightest about developers getting paid. I'm trying to keep my money not give it away. "It's just a cup of coffee blah blah blah" I hear people say. Seriously, i get more pleasure from a cup of coffee. I have about 4 paid apps and I bought them expecting the updates to be free so paying more now isn't in my plans. For example, Downcast i bought in part because it didn't charge for updates while Podcaster did when it changed numbers. I saw that and went, "Nope, not buying Podcaster." Either way i'm fine with the old versions i'm using or free versions. But aside from that I'm not paying for upgrades for a ios 7 that i'm not currently interested in.

Those developers that you don't care about are what help make you customize and make your phone yours instead of a cookie cutter version that Apple puts out. If you don't care about the devs then they might stop caring about their work here and look for more lucrative business outlets.

I don't understand the reluctance in some people wanting to reward devs for a job well done with a few bucks.

I don't customize my phone any more than adding wallpaper so speak for yourself. I like the cookie cutter apple put out. These developers are not helping me. I liked the ios 6. I don't customize it. And I don't owe them a single thing. They aren't my family. They don't put food on my table. I paid for my phone they didn't. If i bought an app i paid for it. I'm not charity. They sell a product. I either buy it or don't. And if they want me to rebuy the app I won't. If they decide they no longer "care about their work and leave" i don't care in the slightest. I have other choices of apps for free or platforms. If the business of making apps isn't enough to support their lifestyle or their happiness as a hobby adequately then they should quit. They have then chosen an unsustainable profession. Then the product they offer can't be sold at a profit and they should stop. That happens all the time in business. Software sales are not different. Take HP and Palm. They tried to sell a mediocre tablet for $400 and the market said "I'm not buying it. It's not worth $400." They could sell it at $99 for a firesale but that price was not sustainable from a business standpoint. HP got out of the webos tablet business because the market wouldn't buy that webos tablet at a price that made business sense. It's business. I'm a consumer. I'm not a developer charity. That's what you want. You want me to "reward" devs. I'm under no obligation to "reward" people by buying their product, let alone doing it twice. Plus, there are adequate free alternatives and hell i'd buy a competitor out of spite. Also again, the issue is paying for ios7 related upgrades. Well i'm unlikely to upgrade to ios 7 so i'd be paying for things that have no value to me. This is commerce. Market demand determines if a product is worth buying not some sense of altruism for a job well done. I'm not demanding upgrades so they have zero value. And i'm not giving people my money as a "reward."

Don't worry about how this guy feels/says. He's the minority and its partly because of people like him that app prices remain so low. The average consumer now understands that software shouldn't be expensive more so closer to free or very little. Its no surprise that iOS App Store is the most lucrative software market so it definitely is paying out to the developers. He may not want to upgrade now but in 6 months to a year he won't have a choice or some new feature will be available in the same type of apps he likes that iOS 6 doesn't support and he'll climb aboard. Classic story of late stragglers.

I'm clearly the majority that's why app prices are actually low. People don't actually WANT high prices. I saw a study done by Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray that 86.5% of app downloads are free apps. So clearly free is something people like and want to pay. Nobody says, "Boy i wish this food, rent, and gas was MORE expensive." That's how absurd that sounds. You're arguing for inflation. And the justification stated above is that consumers who already paid for product should reward a seller for supporting the product. That's ridiculous. No business works like that. That's fantasy. I'm a consumer. Nothing more. I'm not a shill for your developer.

You're right. At some time i'll switch. But there's no guarantee i'll upgrade. I had a Pre on the original webos version for nearly 2 years after it changed versions. But i'm not getting a new phone in 6 months regardless. But i have the option to go android as well. I've nothing against android phones. I'm not an Apple zealot. If old apps all stopped working i could switch. And Maybe by then ios 8 looks better (doubt it unless Jobs is resurrected). Maybe they fix the functional issues i have with one of the apps. Maybe they tweak it so it's not all white. but again i doubt it. As for features. Well i used ios 7, and so far there's not feature that i can't live without. "He won't have a choice." Bull, I'm in control. I always have a choice. And it's my choice to buy or not buy, apps, phones or anything else.

"No business works like that"...

Not true.

Microsoft - Windows & Office
Apple - OSX
Adobe - Photoshop

There are a bunch more but those were just the ones that came to mind and I don't have time right now to come up with a huge list.

I've been using iOS 7 since day one. Took a minute to get use to but I like almost all the new features. Would not want to go back to iOS 6. There are the usual "room for further improvements" but my only pet peeve is the yellow color of links and numbers in native notes app. I find yellow much more difficult to read than the old blue. The update to iOS 7 has many great new features. Over all, love it.

Yes, it is important for my apps to be updated to iOS 7 in a timely fashion, if a developer chooses to not release an update in a timely manner then I will probably look for alternatives that are fully updated.

If I have to pay a few dollars again per app for my most used apps to get an iOS 7 update that looks as nice as iOS 7 does and functions well then I'm fine with that, as long as I don't have to repay for some of my more expensive apps... I have a few games that I've paid $20+ for.

Upgrade to iOS 7 ASAP. Out with the old and in with the new. I have to deal with backwards compatibility everyday and it's a nightmare. I would like to see all app being updated to fit the new style of iOS 7.

There should not be any issue with a developer charging for an update to an app. Free doesn't pay the bills. You want awesome apps? Pay for them and you will get them! I can't speak for every developer, but more you give the more we can give. Please be kind to the developers, they will treat you well in return.

Sent from the iMore App

For games: They do not need to be updated (unless they are incompatible with iOS 7). They use their own interface anyway, so it won't be very noticeable. However, if Rene is correct about the total gamification of the OS, then existing games could be made leaner by utilizing APIs directly from iOS (rather than re-inventing the wheel). But as long as the game functions normally, I'm fine with not updating them.

For all other apps: I would like to see them updated, but it's not a killer for me. My main concern with the developers choosing to not update them is that they may stop supporting the app (not so much that the app will look "old").

As far as money goes: Just allow me to donate to existing apps that have been updated. If I feel like the app has some cool new features, I would offer up a couple of bucks to keep food on their tables. But if they just add a flat interface, then force me to pony up an additional full purchase (especially for those over $5.00), I would at least consider alternatives first. And I am aware that most people would choose not to donate money, but some of us would and that is better than nothing :)

People hate change. We're funny that way.

After using iOS 7 since June, I could never go back. For all the complaints, iOS 7 is gorgeous. I still find interfaces that are just so damn beautiful I can't stop staring at them, and so delightful I can't stop playing with them.

It'll take some getting used to for sure, but it's the future.

Beauty is subjective. Some will like it others will not; Same as wp7, tiles, android, ios. I think changes they made to the music player make it less usable not more. Not the Iradio aspect, but the actual local music player. Adding art to every entry shrank the number of entries in the list meaning much much more scrolling. And parts of it i found harder to read. Hated the pulling of images from the net rather than using album art. Kinda reminds me of itunes 11 where, they made it less usable removing things like the column browser when you're searching the items on your docked iphone.

Being a developer, its really excited time to develop apps for iOS, its a delight, so much things you can add to your apps, gamification is a game changer for apps, and thats how iOS apps will be differ from other platform for some time, till they catch on. Cat and mouse game begins again.